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Old 01-24-2012, 07:08 PM   #1
jbell360
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Default Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to read and offer advice. I'm 23 I have a bachelor's degree in English. I wont getting into the long story of what I was planning to do with that. Anyway I realized the only thing I can really see myself doing is something in the gaming industry. I feel that my best chance at a shot in is going for a Master's in Game Design and I'm looking at Full Sail University. My only concerns is the feasibility of a backup plan with this degree and if the degree really transfers to a job in the game industry.
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Old 01-24-2012, 09:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbell360 View Post
1. I feel
2. that my best chance at a shot in is going for a Master's in Game Design
3. and I'm looking at Full Sail University.
4. My only concerns is the feasibility of a backup plan with this degree
5. and if the degree really transfers to a job in the game industry.
1. I wrote an article about trusting "feelings." http://www.igda.org/games-game-december-2011

2. You don't need a masters degree. You already have a perfectly good degree. http://www.igda.org/games-game-june-2011

3. A for-profit school.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/For-profit_education
http://www.igda.org/games-game-august-2011

4. Don't worry about that. You already have a perfectly good degree. You'll be fine.

5. Of course not. Whether or not you get a job in games is completely up to you. No degree is a guarantee of a job. http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson24.htm
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

Thanks for your help, tsloper. I guess my thought to check what game related jobs were out there was a good one. It lead me to posting here and getting your advice. So I'm pretty certain that going the master's route isnt the one I will be taking. I'm sure you quite busy but would you happen to have any thoughts on what direction to take? Advice from other places is to learn and put together a portfolio of my own and get a job elsewhere and hope opportunity knocks or is it better to find a game related job I'm qualified for?
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Old 01-25-2012, 06:17 AM   #4
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbell360 View Post
Thanks for your help, tsloper.
You're welcome. But my name is Tom.

Quote:
would you happen to have any thoughts on what direction to take?
Yes.The one that you want to take. http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson40.htm

Quote:
Advice from other places is to learn and put together a portfolio of my own and get a job elsewhere
I think you mean "take any job, to make money, even if it's not in games"? You can do that if you can't even get a QA job, either because you can't afford to move or because you don't have the skills needed for a QA job yet, I suppose. The advice "get a job that's not in games" might be bad advice -- but your retelling of the advice you got is without the context.

Quote:
and hope opportunity knocks
Hope is not a plan. Make a plan. http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson47.htm

Quote:
or is it better to find a game related job I'm qualified for?
There's no "or" about it. It would be great to get a game job you're qualified for, wouldn't it? Why would that not be great? Am I missing something here?
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Old 01-25-2012, 09:28 AM   #5
jbell360
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

Thanks again, Tom.

To clarify the advice from other sources was that I should focus on teaching myself some programming skills and knowledge either through some sources on the internet or taking some classes. Use some tools available to learn things like scripting and some game making mechanics and then use those to build a portfolio of my own. That our pursue something in the gaming industry that I can do with my current skills and qualifications.

My current understanding of everything is that a game design degree would have value if I did have a background in programming I'm sure it would be a great step towards landing a job. The skills full sail's program seem and I am sure they are part of the industry. The skills though seem to be supplemental though. I think they would aid someone that already has experience. Every job I can find lists programming/scripting experience as a top requirement and the business skills are lists fair lower if at all.However, for me at the moment I dont believe they are for me. I'm not sure what direction or route to take to be able to get into the field but I willing to keep looking for my path.

Last edited by jbell360 : 01-25-2012 at 09:54 AM. Reason: additional info
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:22 AM   #6
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

So you're saying you want to be a game programmer. Or somebody told you that everybody in games is a programmer. And you only look at ads for programmer openings.
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:26 PM   #7
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

No I'm more interested in game design and writing than programming. However, yes you are the correct much of the advice I have received is to get programming experience. I get what your suggesting(and agree to some extend, I have to decide my own path based on my own goals, needs, and abilites), however, the jobs deign jobs I have looked at all require some programming background. I realize that not everyone is gaming is a programmer but it appears that having it is a plus and that at least in the places I am looking its a requirement. I'm not sure of job titles I could look into that would require zero programming and that I might also be required for or where to look for those jobs. So far every place I've looked every design job at least included scripting of some kind.

I'm more then willing start small and have to improve myself. I'll work extra, learn, go back to school if need be. I just want to make sure when I do that I'm activitly working towards an end. Not just going to school to end up further in debt.

Last edited by jbell360 : 01-25-2012 at 12:34 PM. Reason: more info
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Old 01-25-2012, 12:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jbell360 View Post
I'm not sure of job titles I could look into that would require zero programming and that I might also be required for or where to look for those jobs. So far every place I've looked every design job at least included scripting of some kind.
You are not qualified for a design job. You might as well stop reading those ads.
Read these:
http://www.skillset.org/games/careers/profiles/
http://archives.igda.org/breakingin/career_paths.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson7.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson24.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson27.htm
http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson5.htm
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Old 01-27-2012, 04:36 PM   #9
jbell360
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

I've been doing some research on the industry at large and spoke to the director of the game design master's program at full sail. She basically said it's horribly miss named and that it is more of a game production program, designed to prepare students to get producer jobs. Figured I'd put that out there for anyone that in a similar spot to me. I'm still at not sure if school or portfolio build is the better avenue for me. Only more research and soul searching will give me that answer.

New question, where does the industry stand on volunteer work as a way to get experience? Is it out there? Is it excepted as experience?
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:44 PM   #10
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Default Re: Seeking Direction. Is a Masters in Game Design a good choice?

Quote:
1. I'm still at not sure if school or portfolio build is the better avenue for me. ... more research and soul searching will give me that answer.
2. where does the industry stand on volunteer work as a way to get experience?
3. Is it out there?
4. Is it excepted as experience?
1. Start with a decision grid. It'll help you identify what research you need to do and what questions to ask yourself. http://sloperama.com/advice/m70.htm

2. The important thing is that you actually DO the stuff you say you want to do. Doing it is proof of what you say.

3. Not at professional game companies, of course (your question isn't exactly clear on what you're talking about). You can volunteer for amateur or student projects, that's perfectly good portfolio-building.

4. No. Read http://www.igda.org/games-game-october-2006
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