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Level Design and College Questions


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#1 travisfreese   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 09:59 PM

Every job posting I see about level design basically says the same thing: you need some experience using game engines to design good looking levels. Everything else you know is icing on the cake.

The level design jobs, compared to the game design jobs, have almost no requirements. General or specific designers need college degrees, years of experience, numerous shipped AAA titles... the list goes on. I don't see that list on almost any level design job requirements. Some of them even have experience under pluses but not required.

But getting a job at at any of the big companies shouldn't be that easy, should it? Take Bethesda as an example. I already meet all of the requirements for a level design job... I know how to use the Creation Kit and GECK. I have a huge folder of mods that I've spent quiet a long time on using their engines. I play their games, know 3D space, can communicate well, and know basic programming and scripting.

But I'm only 19 years old. I'm not about to send in my application because I know that I won't be taken seriously. But what do they actually want? I can't seem to tell from job postings like these.


On a side note, I'm currently enrolled in a 4 year school for an English Degree. But there is a very highly rated community college nearby that offers a game development associates degree. Would it be more beneficial to switch over to the associates degree? It'd definatly be a whole lot cheaper than the classes I'm taking now.

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8712

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:14 PM

But getting a job at at any of the big companies shouldn't be that easy, should it? ...
But I'm only 19 years old. I'm not about to send in my application because I know that I won't be taken seriously. But what do they actually want? I can't seem to tell from job postings like these.
On a side note, I'm currently enrolled in a 4 year school for an English Degree. But there is a very highly rated community college nearby that offers a game development associates degree. Would it be more beneficial to switch over to the associates degree? It'd definatly be a whole lot cheaper than the classes I'm taking now.


You do need the degree. The 4-year English degree is better than the game Associates. How about this, you could get the game Associates, then transfer to a 4-year school for your Bachelors in any topic you like. That way you save money on the first two years, and have both the things you were trying to decide between.
-- 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 travisfreese   Members   -  Reputation: 105

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 10:39 PM

Getting my associates in game development would have been great... if i wasn't already a year and a half into my degree. I guess hindsight beats out foresight again this time.

So let's say I graduate with a degree in English... Is grabbing a job in Level Design as easy as the job postings make it seem?

Edited by travisfreese, 04 September 2012 - 10:43 PM.


#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8712

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Posted 04 September 2012 - 11:55 PM

No. Nothing is as easy as it seems. But you should go ahead, make a portfolio, and try. See FAQs 24 and 27 (in this forum's FAQ, go back out to the forum main page, see upper right).
-- 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.

#5 slayemin   Members   -  Reputation: 2053

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:04 AM

I sincerely believe that the proof is in the pudding. What can you do? Show me!

A degree in something difficult is always a bonus but never a guarantee. I personally think certs are completely useless (ooh, you know how to study and take a test!). Can you design fascinating levels? Are you passionate about it? Have you made stuff already? It sounds like you have, so its time to make your demo reel and to start sending it out. Put your best foot forward by showing your best work and give narration on what you're doing, why you're doing it, the decisions you made, any influences, etc. Imagine yourself being a passionate artist walking a tour group through your first art exhibit. They don't know who you are, what influenced you, what your art is trying to communicate, why you used a certain brush stroke or method, the theme you were aiming for, etc. People like to have their hands held and be entertained at the same time, especially in new territory. Do that, show you have what it takes, and you'll have a really high chance of landing an interview and job.

99% of the time, your age won't be a factor. I know a friend from highschool who got hired on at Valve as an artist right after graduation. She knew her shit and had obvious talent, so hiring her was a no brainer. :)

Edited by slayemin, 07 September 2012 - 11:07 AM.

Eric Nevala

Currently a self-employed indie game dev


#6 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 6477

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Posted 10 September 2012 - 07:23 AM

The fact you have the min requirements does not make you the best available candidate. The company will receive applications, will select the most desirable candidates, meet them in person/skype/phone and choose which is the best fit.
Most likely, they will hire someone over their requirements if possible.




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