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Getting Into Production Positions - Master's in Game Design Viable?


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#1 Crimzn   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:06 AM

I am basically asking for either a review or advice regarding the attendance of the Master's in Game Design program at Full Sail and it's potential for hirability. Sloper, I have read your entire site but I still have to ask this and hope you'll reply :) I recently graduated from a local university with a Bachelors of Science in Communications. I have not been able to get a job relating to my field but am currently working as an office manager of a small electrical company. I am extremely passionate about games and feel that working in that industry is the only way I'll achieve long term happiness. However, I am not very artistically inclined or compelled by programming; though, my degree provided me with graphic design experience. My degree also provided me with film production, television production, PR, acting, creative writing, scriptwriting, and directorial experience. Upon viewing gaming job options, I felt that production would be the best field for me. The question of how best to enter this field still remains. The Full Sail Master of Game Design is focused on the production element of the industry and lists that it prepares you for a career as: Assistant Producer Associate Producer Development Director Development Manager Junior Designer Localization Producer Producer Project Lead Project Manager QA Lead Studio Director So would this degree really give me hirability for what I'm wanting or would it be a huge waste of money without other game industry skills and experience. Do entry level positions for production and management even exist? Thanks for your time Sincerely, Anthony

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#2 sybixsus   Members   -  Reputation: 210

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:17 AM

The problem is that most, if not all, of these positions are positions that are usually hired internally or if not, they're looking for people with years of production experience. You don't generally get into these positions without having done something else first, and you've already dismissed two of the most obvious ways in: art and programming.

So with those two aside, your next best bets are level design and QA, neither of which are going to come any easier for this program. Getting a job in QA is mostly about luck and trying hard for a long time, and level design is an area where a lot of "outsiders" are picked up for their demonstrable skills. Having this course on your CV for these jobs you might make you look enthusiastic, but it's a lot of money and hard work to make you look enthusiastic, n'est ce pas?

So I'd say your best bet is to knock on doors until you can get a foot in the door in QA - but be prepared for a salary nosedive, or if you fancy level design (which is something quite different from graphic design) then work on a mod. An awful lot of people got hired as level designers from working on mods.

#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9588

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:59 AM

Anthony wrote, after presumptuously calling me by my last name as if we were old Frat buddies or something,

>I recently graduated from a local university with a Bachelors of Science in Communications.
>my degree provided me with graphic design experience. My degree also provided me with film production, television production, PR, acting, creative writing, scriptwriting, and directorial experience.

That's not "experience." Read http://www.igda.org/games-game-october-2006

>I ... am currently working as an office manager of a small electrical company.

Good. That's "experience." Read http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm

>I felt that production would be the best field for me. The question of how best to enter this field still remains.

Yes. What's your breaking-in plan?

>would this degree really give me hirability for what I'm wanting

Can't know that without knowing what your breaking-in plan is.

>...without other game industry skills and experience. Do entry level positions for production and management even exist?

I thought you said you'd read all my FAQs? http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson42.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.

#4 Crimzn   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:37 AM

Haha, my bad, I thought I had read it all. Guess I missed that page. Thanks for the reply in any case.

So I guess I should put Full Sail on hold and start trying to break my way in through QA and Communications positions. I have already sent my resume in for both at Blizzard without response.

I'd like to develop more skills that would allow me to apply to entry level positions. Maybe level design? Could you recommend a program to me for creating portfolio worthy levels?

#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9588

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 03:29 PM

Quote:
Original post by Crimzn
Maybe level design? Could you recommend a program to me for creating portfolio worthy levels?

Why don't you ask that in the Game Design forum. And maybe these would also be useful:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/m69.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson56.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.




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