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Am I doing the right things to get into the industry


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#1 ZacTheImpailer   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 02:08 AM

Hi, my name is Zac, I'm 16 ,live in australia and want to be a game designer someday. But what I want to know from you guys is, am I taking the right precautions? I really want to be a designer (lead, level,combat, anything with the word designer in it.) and not a programmer or artist. I'm taking IT and multimedia classes, but as for now I don't have much art or programming knowledge. I've created some content with level editors and some of those interface based game creators that require no programming knowledge. Alot of that though has been with RPG maker vx, in which I've been using for the past 3/4 year and have so far had 3 failed projects. The first was the victim of incompatable scripts and bugs, my computer died and I lost all the files to my second project and I just outright quit on the 3rd one (which I know was wrong, and that you should never do that). I've also been researching schools that offer a degree and have been looking up websites with info on how to get into the industry (although most have not sugar coated it and dampened my spirits a little bit). Anyway, am I doing the right things? Am I doing the wrong things? Do I need to do more? P.S I'm new to this site

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9900

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 03:22 AM

Zac, you wrote:
> I'm taking IT and multimedia classes
> I've created some content with level editors and some of those interface based game creators
> I've also been researching schools that offer a degree
> and have been looking up websites with info on how to get into the industry (although most have not sugar coated it and dampened my spirits a little bit).
>Anyway, am I doing the right things?

Yes, sure.

>Am I doing the wrong things?

How could any of those things be wrong?

>Do I need to do more?

Of course you do! You didn't really expect us to say "no, that's enough, you can stop now," did you? Surely you already knew that you need to keep on doing that kind of thing.

I suppose mine is one of those sites that didn't sugar coat the info. Do you think it would be better if I sugar coated the info on my site?

Re the schools you're researching. You say you're researching schools that offer a degree. That's a lot better than schools that don't offer a degree, but just out of curiosity, what degree are you interested in?

I wrote a lot about how to choose the best degree for you. Articles 3, 14, 34, 40, and 44 are all important ones for your question. Sorry they're not sugar coated, but they are chock full of nutritional information.

As for more right things you could be doing, you might want to read my articles 12, 24, and 27.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#3 Sammage   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 10:47 AM

Quote:

>Do I need to do more?

Of course you do! You didn't really expect us to say "no, that's enough, you can stop now," did you? Surely you already knew that you need to keep on doing that kind of thing.


That's some of the best advice you can be given in my experience, so keep on working.

As for the course search(I'm also looking), I've come across this one:

http://www.deakin.edu.au/future-students/courses/course.php?course=S333&stutype=local&keywords=game

It looks like what you are after and *could* give a well rounded look at things but I can't really say that without experience in it. In Aus you'd be hard pressed to find a course that sticks strictly to design and is worth your time. I prefer to be able to make my way into the industry on multiple paths (programming, arts ect) and end up in design.

Anyway I'm impressed that your working hard at it and I wish you luck. Happy hunting.

#4 ZacTheImpailer   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 07 December 2009 - 08:45 PM

Well I want a course and degree more suited toward narrative and actual game design(I want to take a more kojima aproach to games design)

But I just looked it up now and I found a course suited to this that also branches into art and programming at the Royal Melbourne institue of technology(RMIT) and melbourne is 3 hours away from where I live, and the only requirement is year 12 english.

#5 MatsVed   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 11:34 AM

Quote:
Well I want a course and degree more suited toward narrative and actual game design(I want to take a more kojima aproach to games design)


I think what you just said summarizes what alot of aspiring game designers are thinking. Someone correct me if I am wrong, but it just feels like alot of people are basically thinking 'If I learn how to write a game design document, I'll be hired as the next superfamous gamedesigner in a famous team!!'
No. That's not how it works. You need to have a marketable skill besides an idea, even if you can actually turn that idea into a game design document. Noone's gonna hire you based on a game design document.
What is likely gonna happen is that to become a game designer you're going to have to work your way up from the beginning. Whether that'll be as some kind of intern, a tester, programmer or modeller is kind of irrelevant.
The closest thing you'll get to a game designer starting out is probably working as a [script]writing [intern]. But if you're interested in writing for games, you should probably focus just as much on actually writing stuff as designing games. Like, pursuing a degree in English or something, perhaps in addition to your gamedesign degree.

#6 ZacTheImpailer   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:04 AM

at MatsVed

I don't want to sound like I'm ungrateful for your advice or anything, but I
realise that I won't be hired on the spot upon graduating, and will have to do some sucky job for a while or be an intern.

What I meant by the kojima thing is I like his cinematic style of design and that If I do get far enough in the industry, I would like to adopt my own version of the unique style he has built.

But I also want to make my games inovative and fresh and try to meld genres together, so we are not just getting a bunch well designed, yet stale shooters overhyped and rehashed year after year!(I'm talking to you Call of duty Modern warfare 2,halo,Gears of War)

So, thats why I want to study that course.

#7 Eskapade   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 15 December 2009 - 02:45 AM

Quote:
Original post by ZacTheImpailer
But I also want to make my games inovative and fresh and try to meld genres together, so we are not just getting a bunch well designed, yet stale shooters overhyped and rehashed year after year!(I'm talking to you Call of duty Modern warfare 2,halo,Gears of War)

So, thats why I want to study that course.


The problem is that it's not missing ideas which keep innovative games from being released, but risk for the publisher. If you have a great new (aka "unproven") idea, no one will know how well it sales. Everyone knows how well the next FPS sequel will sell. That's why MatsVed tells you ideas aren't everything and you actually need some skills apart from that.
I also think you misunderstand the work a game designer has to do a little. You're not just writing the game document, you also have to interact with programmers and artists, which makes it very important to actually know what these guys are doing and how. You'll also be asked to do prototypes yourself or script (in the programming sense) for the game.

#8 ZacTheImpailer   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 01:54 AM

At Eskapade:

I realise the reason why FPS's sell is because they are familiar,and easiably marketable to a targeted audiance, what I meant by the inovation thing, is that I would that my goal is to get to hopefully get to a point in my carrer that I would have tremendous skills to be trusted to make a good product based around an original idea ( like tim schafer, poor tim schafer)

Man,commercialism robs the world.


Anyway, I realise that designing a game is more than writing and coming up with ideas, I realise you have to work with the programmers and artists (without that the game wouldn't exist) as well as pulling your own weight do some art and programming on the side, the job would be stupid if it was just ideas and writing a boring document all day. I mean thats one of the sole reasons I'm taking multimedia and IT classes, because I want those skills because I will need them.


Btw, would it be viable to like join a small dev that creates small downloadable games (like the ones on PSN, Xbox live, Wii Ware)
and not be tied down to a major publisher?

#9 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9900

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 03:09 AM

Quote:
Original post by ZacTheImpailer
Btw, would it be viable to like join a small dev that creates small downloadable games (like the ones on PSN, Xbox live, Wii Ware) and not be tied down to a major publisher?

The sticky parts of that question are the word "viable" and the phrase "tied down." Of course one can work at a small development company doing small downloadable games. And of course it's feasible to work at a company that isn't owned by a big publisher.
But the realities of the industry, the foibles of publishers, are unavoidable if one is working in games.
Look, you can't have it both ways. If you work in games, these things are going to be factors. You simply can't go through life saying "I want this thing, but I don't want the consequences of this thing." All choices come with consequences. When you make the choice, you choose to get all the baggage that comes with it.
You can work to change the industry, but you can only do that from the inside.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#10 jtagge75   Members   -  Reputation: 139

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 08:31 PM

Quote:
Original post by ZacTheImpailer
Btw, would it be viable to like join a small dev that creates small downloadable games (like the ones on PSN, Xbox live, Wii Ware)
and not be tied down to a major publisher?


The problem with those is it costs a serious chunk of change to have a chance at getting a game on downloadable sections of consoles. So those games tend to stay pretty "commericalized". To be "unique" you will probably have to stick with indie PC games where there is nearly zero barrier to entry. Sorry to say but today games are big business. Its more about the bottom line then trying to push boundaries.

Really you need to pick up some basic programming and art skills and learn a tool like Unity and create playable prototypes of your games. Most game designers are former programmers and artists that got promoted. Its not to common to be an outsider and get hired as a game designer. So you are going to need some proof that your designs are fun. And fun is hard to gauage just from a design document. Especially if your games deviate from the usual stuff.

#11 MadApples   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 05:44 AM

Hello Zac, im 17 years old, i droped out of school. however im a huge geek. im currently developing a morpg town game. Everything i know i tought my self. i started with html, flash, javascripting, css -- build websites and hosted on my own custome built servers, withthat cash i bout better servers, i then got board and whent into php/ mysql, build 5 morpg text based.... after mastering php, i decided it wasent enough,so i went into c#, xna, multi sockets, multi threads, sql 2008, i had to learn to build my own sockets streams, everything ive done was from scratch.

I guess my point is as long as you are moving up, and continue to learn, with or with out school then you cant go rong.. sure stay in school for your deplomas, in my apionon unless you wanting to work for others its a complete wast of valuable time.

Dont let others stop you from what you truly want.
it takes dedication, time, and sacrafice ... i meen that totaly.. lol


my advice to you is.. use google, right now... search diferent types of programing language, forget all that other bullony rpgmaker, vx maker crud.. there a wast of time. personaly i would go with c#, xna for its the most easest language thats true 2D or 3D object orented.

dont get me wrong, its HARD, just google the language you want to learn, find beginner tutorials.. thereevery where for everty kind of language. learn from it.. thats your start. follow my advice, and you will be way better off. ;)


Feal free to pm me for help.

Tho im new to this site, i have no idea how people resond here.. soo..
for those who might critisize me in advanced to this post...lol... dont.. its a wast of your time ;) and ill probably smerk that i was special enough that i got your attention in the first place :P

yes i spell horibley bad, but im one heck of a programer ;)

to finish this post... Zac, you dont need to worry about the direction just yet... first i would atualy learn a language... dont worry about what others tell you.. like your wasting yoru time.. just start with google. find a language you want.. and realy start to learn it.. if your dedicated enough and never give up , you will go far, and just follow your dreams ;)

[Edited by - MadApples on December 19, 2009 12:44:32 PM]

#12 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9900

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Posted 19 December 2009 - 06:14 AM

Quote:
Original post by MadApples
sure stay in school for your deplomas, in my apionon unless you wanting to work for others its a complete wast of valuable time.

Words to live by.


#13 ZacTheImpailer   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 12:05 AM

Thanks for the advice madapples, probably the most optimistic and best response I've gotten from this post

P.S: Rpg maker aint that bad, it's good for beginners and can be customised with code, but ultimately very limited.

#14 wicked357   Members   -  Reputation: 1165

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 12:36 AM

I'll tell you this, find out the possible companies you are targeting, I don't know how many game companies are around your area, but after you do that look at positions they have open, then look at the requirements to get in to get an idea of what you might be facing. If you ever want a lead position chances are you will need a Bachelor's degree from a credible college. If you want to be a in game design you will have to have quite a few skills taking online tutorials are not going to teach you how to design a game. Yea sure you can learning any language from online tutorials, but really that will only take you so far, like people have told you it is more then putting together a game design document.

I wouldn't listen to MadApples, having a college degree isn't a bad thing or ever a waste of time unless you are obtaining a degree in something you are not interested in doing and will not help you get a career you want. I don't know how it is in Australia maybe most companies don't require you to have a degree to have a non-grunt job that turns into the daily grind with no chance of expanding your future. I have witnessed quite a few people in there every day jobs get passed up for upper management because they don't have the education to back it, even though they know the place like the back of there hand and are more experienced then the person with a degree that got the position.

Basically, remember this an education isn't a bad thing!

#15 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9900

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 04:11 AM

Quote:
Original post by ZacTheImpailer
Thanks for the advice madapples, probably the most optimistic and best response I've gotten from this post

It's too bad you felt this way about the dropout's anti-education response. He was right about one thing, though:
Quote:
Dont let others stop you from what you truly want.
it takes dedication, time, and sacrafice ... i meen that totaly.. lol

I didn't see anybody trying to stop you. We were answering your questions in a helpful way, so I don't know who the dropout was talking about. Get that degree. The degree will help you get what you truly want, but make no mistake, it does take dedication, time, and "sacrafice." Getting a degree is decidedly NOT a "wast of time." Don't let a dropout convince you that it is.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#16 ZacTheImpailer   Members   -  Reputation: 109

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Posted 21 December 2009 - 11:51 PM

I was always planning to get the degree, I just liked madapple's optimistic attitude about not letting people keep you down and that working hard always has rewards, and even if you are say " a dropout" through that very philosophy you can still achieve things.

Now I know you guys are just trying to help, and your info really has helped me put things into perspective more, but your messages can sometimes be a bit of a downer(although sugar coating things is worse) and madapples message was just what I needed to get me back into that "I can Achieve mindset", that I've been dropping in and out of. The only thing I can denounce from it is the thing he said about not bothering getting a degree, I mean you should at least try, and I guess him saying that kinda goes against his own philosophy of never giving up.

P.S: Can you guys please check out my post on the writing forum and please comment, I've got one helpful post, but i'd like to see what more people have to say. It's called "Modern Day Fantasy World".

#17 dudeman21   Members   -  Reputation: 419

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Posted 22 December 2009 - 03:08 AM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
Original post by MadApples
sure stay in school for your deplomas, in my apionon unless you wanting to work for others its a complete wast of valuable time.

Words to live by.


Greatness. That's completely true, you don't need a diploma or degree... unless you ever intend to work for anyone. Thanks for the chuckle.
---------------------------Visit my Blog at http://robwalkerdme.blogspot.com

#18 AbelCorver   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 09:10 AM

Hey Zac,
I'm a 16 yo student, and I'd just like to briefly tell you my opinion.
First of all (and please don't get me wrong): Don't always listen to others. Yes, people will try to discourage you, but remember, this is NOT about them. It's about YOU, and what YOU think you can do for the gaming industry. What innovative ideas will YOU have? That's what it's about.

Following from this, is that the only obstacle standing in the way of you and your dream job, is... yeah ... YOU! What do YOU like? What's YOUR passion? If you want to become the best in your field, you'll have to LOVE what you're doing! I myself spend like 100% of my free time programming and designing applications and games. Virtually everything I know, I learned myself. It's not something I do knowingly, but this is what happens when you love something :)

So, my final advice: Find out what YOU love. Try different things, take risks. Try things you thought were too difficult, it doesn't matter. Just do something you ENJOY! You'll find that you'll automatically become better and better in the fields you love, and by the time you leave school, you'll be marketable enough to make decent money.

So, how do you start? Browse the internet, watch game dev diaries. I myself am following courses at www.gameinstitute.com. That would be an amazing start for you I think. The people over there are amazing! They would be able to provide you some guidance, but in the end it's up to you, that what's it all about.

Cheers!
Abel.

#19 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9900

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Posted 23 December 2009 - 10:47 AM

Quote:
Original post by AbelCorver
1. Don't always listen to others.
2. Yes, people will try to discourage you,
3. the only obstacle standing in the way of you and your dream job, is... yeah ... YOU! What do YOU like? What's YOUR passion? ... Find out what YOU love. Try different things, take risks.

1. YES. Too many young people think their own opinions and desires are unimportant, and think they have to ask strangers to tell them how to live their lives.
2. Have I missed something? Has anyone here tried to discourage Zac (he who said "commercialism robs the world")? Or did Zac say someone tried to discourage him?
3. YES. YES. And YES. http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson40.htm

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#20 AbelCorver   Members   -  Reputation: 112

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Posted 25 December 2009 - 07:53 AM

Hey!

Quote:
2. Have I missed something? Has anyone here tried to discourage Zac (he who said "commercialism robs the world")? Or did Zac say someone tried to discourage him?


Haha, no, I didn't mean any people around here at gamedev.net :D you guys rock!! :P lol

I remember someone mentioning this in one of the replies, and I just wanted to say that I totally agree, and that there will be people that'll try to discourage him. I'm just making sure he won't listen to them ;)

Regards,
Abel.




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