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What should I do?


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#1 afransen   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 12 August 2001 - 02:31 PM

I am interested in getting into a career in the PC game programming industry. I have a few questions for anyone who is willing to give me a hand. I need some advice and there is really no where else I can find it. Anyway, to start off I''ll tell you a bit about what I hope to do: I hope the learn as many skills as possible to help me get a good paying job. I am interested in programming and design, and I''m nothing even approaching an artist. I live in southern Ontario (in Canada, if you didn''t know ;-) and I hope to get a job somewhere in the area. Now here are the questions. I''ll number them to make them easier to respond to. 1. What post-secondary education should I pursue? I am currently considering attending the University of Waterloo (located in S. Ontario) for a B.A. in Computer Science. It is a very open-ended course, and deals with things like object-oriented programming and AI among many other things. Is this a wise decision? What type of education would be better? Will this help me in finding a good job or a well paying job? 2. In the gaming industry, what is the likelihood of me gaining a position that will give me creative input as well as requiring me to to perform technical tasks? 3. What are the chances of finding employment in the gaming industry in Southern Ontario (Toronto or Kitchener-Waterloo-Cambridge)? I do not expect many to know this, but its worth asking. If the chances are not good, where would I have to move to in order to find a job? California or BC? 4. What skills, if any, should I try to develop prior to attending post-secondary education? I currently have two years. 5. What is the average pay for a position in which I am interested? Thanks a lot for reading this far. I would appretiate it greatly if you could give me this information as it will help me greatly in making decisions in the my immediate future. AFransen

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#2 afransen   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 14 August 2001 - 12:46 AM

Awww, come on. Someone has to know something....

#3 Calibur as boolean   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 16 August 2001 - 04:37 AM

actually im 14! and i got a job already offered to me for a major netowork company.. lol they game me tonz of hardware and there catch was i have to apply for a job when im 16.. guess the average pay? 60,000$ A FREAKING YEAR! yeah. that means ill be making 1/2 of what my dad makes, and im like 1/4 of his age :D lol.. but see programmers make alot of money..

#4 afransen   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 August 2001 - 06:48 AM

quote:
Original post by Calibur as boolean
actually im 14! and i got a job already offered to me for a major netowork company.. lol they game me tonz of hardware and there catch was i have to apply for a job when im 16.. guess the average pay? 60,000$ A FREAKING YEAR! yeah. that means ill be making 1/2 of what my dad makes, and im like 1/4 of his age :D lol.. but see programmers make alot of money..


uwaterloo has a very good computer science programme (its said that no one can graduate the course without being approached at some point by Microsoft) but I am wondering if it is appropriate for the career field I want to enter. I''m just wondering if I have to learn all the design aspects of making games after I get a job.

I''m really hoping I don''t have to move to Cali or something.

Btw, is that $60k in US dollars?

#5 Anonymous Poster_Anonymous Poster_*   Guests   -  Reputation:

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Posted 17 August 2001 - 07:51 AM

Afransen, where about do you live in Ontairo? Anyways, I''m 16, and I''ve been offerred 2 50k+ jobs ... Unfourtantly, they assumed I had a degree, and was *slightly* older ;-) But I did program a game on contract for an inventor. The pay was ok (excluding my stake in the game) and it took about 6 months while attending school. Anyways this ties in to question 2 and 3, if you are writting small games, maybe for a portal page or value pak games, you might get all the input. Working for maxis will mean doing what the designer says from a creative stand point. Also doing what the lead programmer says from a technical stand point. As for working in Ontario on games, I don''t know of any software houses that create games...

As for question one, I tried to take university courses at Trent, but they won''t accept me until I''m at least in my OAC year, which is .... well, that''s another story. Every game programming postion I''ve ever seen wants you to have 1-5 years experience in the game industry and/or a publushed title. A CS or related degree is also usually a requirment. Besides, if you want to work in Ontario, you might need to take a job in *shudder* data bases or (even worse =) e-commerce. And those jobs are a dime a dozen if you have a degree. Waterloo has a reputation, but then again, so does MIT. Is your average above 90? Waterloo is out to keep it''s reputation =)

Pay in the game industry varies. Don''t believe the joke that game programmers are paid less then there counterparts. Take a look at Software developer magazine they publish salary statistics once a year. Game programmers (unless they are lying) make similar wages. Of course, you could always send an email to a couple deveolper houses, and ask them what the average wage is.

Finally skills... I take it you''ve already got some good programming background? I''d suggest working at making a couple complete games. Then work on some really cool demos that show off your talent. You might as well create a portfollio as you go ;-)

Anyways, I hope I''ve provided the little insight I have.

~Michael Sikora

#6 Remnex   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 17 August 2001 - 08:11 PM

Calibur, I am SO sure you got offered a job like that. But, since I have never heard of a netowork company, I bet they hire young



------------------------------
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"Oh now wait a minute. Look I''ll show ya. I''ll enter the same calculations using what we like to call ''The Right Way''."

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#7 afransen   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 24 August 2001 - 05:02 PM

quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
Afransen, where about do you live in Ontairo?

I live in the Niagara Region, south of Toronto.

...but they won''t accept me until I''m at least in my OAC year, which is .... well, that''s another story.

You''re sixteen? OAC is being phased out for my year, so I presume you were in Grade Eleven for 2000/2001 and you will be entering Grade Twelve in a week and a half?

Every game programming postion I''ve ever seen wants you to have 1-5 years experience in the game industry and/or a publushed title. A CS or related degree is also usually a requirment. Besides, if you want to work in Ontario, you might need to take a job in *shudder* data bases or (even worse =) e-commerce. And those jobs are a dime a dozen if you have a degree.

That''s what I was afraid of. I know of an individual who got a job with EA in British Columbia. He graduated from University of Waterloo''s Computer Science program. I am not sure how truthful the individual was, as he claimed to be involved in design as well as programming (he was working on a sports game... NHL ''99, I believe) and also claimed to be very generously paid (going by the numbers you listed... he claimed over 100k Cdn., which I found suspect) but since I did not speak with him directly I was not certain (hence my post here).

Waterloo has a reputation, but then again, so does MIT. Is your average above 90? Waterloo is out to keep it''s reputation =)

Yes. I would imagine they don''t get too many applicants that way, though. Since I will be graduating during the so-called "double-cohort" entry requirements will be even more demanding. I find a minimum average in the 90''s% to be a bit unusual. Are you certain of this?

Pay in the game industry varies. Don''t believe the joke that game programmers are paid less then there counterparts. Take a look at Software developer magazine they publish salary statistics once a year. Game programmers (unless they are lying) make similar wages. Of course, you could always send an email to a couple deveolper houses, and ask them what the average wage is.

I will do that, thanks.

Finally skills... I take it you''ve already got some good programming background? I''d suggest working at making a couple complete games. Then work on some really cool demos that show off your talent. You might as well create a portfollio as you go ;-)

Yes and no. I have been fooling around with C++ and Basic... is there anything else you would recommend learning?

Anyways, I hope I''ve provided the little insight I have.

I am just wondering if there is somewhere else that would be more appropriate than Waterloo given the field of work I want to join.


Thank you for your time.



~Michael Sikora




#8 Drizzt DoUrden   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 24 August 2001 - 05:12 PM

I also asked a question quite like this and was told that going solo is bad. What you should do is realy alot of books on C++ and OpenGL/Direct X and go to school for it, then build acouple games for a portfolio. I read this is a interview of gamedevelopers book so im sure its right. Then you should go to a company who is hiring, and give them your portfolio, your background with programming(like school) and your resume.




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