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Education and Preperation


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#1 ProfKrauf   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 12:25 PM

Hello all. Over the past few years I've been striving to prepare myself to work in the games industry. I have looked around the web for a while to find suggestions regarding education for this field. I am particularly interested in game design and writing, but I am now looking into animation and music. I've been in college for the past From a few people in the field I was told that I need a bachelor's degree of some sort and it doesn't matter what kind and while I'm obtaining that degree I should be working on designing/writing/drawing/composing whatever it is while I'm going for that degree. Others have told me how they got a job through relationships in their job as a video game journalist.

I was also suggested for the writing aspect to get msyelf known as a writer, then get a job specifically for it when I'm known. I was considering getting a degree in screenwriting and then working in the film or tv industry first to satisfy this, but I found out that I'll likely be set another 4 years just trying to get that degree when I've already been spending the last four years in school already with only a basic Associate in Arts degree. I was really wanting to get into a school that specifically teaches game design, but all these schools are really expensive, may have no housing, and/ or no meal plans. I really want to get into this industry more than anything else, but just finding the way there seems so confusing. A school specifically for it would be ideal as I can concetrate solely on that aspect. Currently, I'm finding it hard to find the time, money, and equipment to design while I'm busy with school assignments and as I was told by both school and this, I need to treat it like a 9-5 job which doesn't seem realistic to fit that many hours into both things.

I really need some advice.

Sponsor:

#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10164

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 01:49 PM

Prof,
If you can't afford the "ideal" degree, then:
1. You can't afford it.
2. It's not ideal for you.

So you need to eliminate that idea.

Here's a different idea: instead of asking what you should do, ask yourself what you want to do.
One way to find out what you want to do is to look at what you've been doing. You say you've been interested in writing, art, game design, and music. Consider those three bodies of work.
Art - can you put together a portfolio of your best art? How much stuff is in it, once you've done that?
Writing - can you put together a portfolio of your best writing? How much stuff is that?
Music - can you put together a collection of your best compositions? How much stuff is that?
Game design - can you pull together an organized collection of your best game concepts, treatments, game design docs?
The bigger collection (with the best quality stuff) is probably the thing you should be focusing on.

It's a little worrisome that you've spent 4 years getting an Associates degree. Hopefully you have transferrable credits, and can go to an affordable state school and get a Bachelors. Or maybe (given your history) school isn't right for you.
-- 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 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 22783

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 02:06 PM

1) I've been striving to prepare myself to work in the games industry.
2) game design and writing, but I am now looking into animation and music ... video game journalist ... I was really wanting to get into a school that specifically teaches game design

1. Why? What will happen when you get the job and you discover it is just a regular office job?
2. Which one, exactly is your passion? Designing? Writing? Animating? Music?

The industry needs designers. The industry needs writers. The industry needs animators. The industry needs musicians. The industry does not have very many jobs that call for a designer/writer/animator/musician individual.


I really need some advice.

My advice is to sit down with a copy of the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?" look up the appendix chapter about the flower diagram, and work through it very carefully.

Done correctly it will take about a week, don't just rush through it. Some people spend a day or two and feel that it is complete, or fill in answers that they hope are the correct answers to what they have already decided rather than actually searching their soul for the real answer.

When that is done you should really understand what your passions are.

You will know if your passion is game design. As a hint, most passionate game designers also play tabletop games, have built their own customized rules to games, and can both identify and critique the good and bad of existing games. They can get in fights about which version of the rules are the best, and so on.

Or perhaps you will know if your passion is music. As a hint, most passionate game musicians do more than just simple keyboarding, but also compose music and have a solid understanding of music theory. Talking about chord progressions gets them excited.

Or perhaps you will discover your passion is writing. As a hint, most passionate writers know about NaNoWriMo going on right now. Passionate writers tend to have their own fiction books that they work on as side projects at home, hoping to someday get published.

Unless you know what your passion actually is, you are likely to discover your dream job will make you miserable.

So discover your passions, either using that book or some other in-depth soul searching exercise.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I write about assorted stuff.


#4 ProfKrauf   Members   -  Reputation: 102

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

1. Why? What will happen when you get the job and you discover it is just a regular office job?

2. Which one, exactly is your passion? Designing? Writing? Animating? Music?


Why? Because I can't get the job if I don't make an effort to go for it and what will happen is that I'd finally behappy.

Writing and designing, but I've been told for the longest not to be so focused on just those two which is why I'm considering those others for an option.

Here's a different idea: instead of asking what you should do, ask yourself what you want to do.
One way to find out what you want to do is to look at what you've been doing. You say you've been interested in writing, art, game design, and music. Consider those three bodies of work.
Art - can you put together a portfolio of your best art? How much stuff is in it, once you've done that?
Writing - can you put together a portfolio of your best writing? How much stuff is that?
Music - can you put together a collection of your best compositions? How much stuff is that?
Game design - can you pull together an organized collection of your best game concepts, treatments, game design docs?
The bigger collection (with the best quality stuff) is probably the thing you should be focusing on.
It's a little worrisome that you've spent 4 years getting an Associates degree. Hopefully you have transferrable credits, and can go to an affordable state school and get a Bachelors. Or maybe (given your history) school isn't right for you.


Out of those the only thing I could really do right now is a portfolio for my writing. I am a lot better at drawing now, but I'm not sure if it's better than my writing because I don't have people who can judge both of those works. The common person would rather look at my pictures because it's less time consuming than reading a passage that you actually have to sit down and digest. I am working on a Bachelor's right now at a state school, but because I found out that none of the credits will transfer to the other school I was looking at for screenwriting, I'm thinking about changing my major here, but to what I have no clue. Not sure what would be interesting to me and provide a job, and in some way prepare me for my choice of career. I've already been going to school for so long, that I don't want to waste time by making another bad decision. What kind of degrees are they looking for a writer or a designer? If the answer to that is ambiguous like I expect it is, then would it be easier to answer if say I was going for a game composer or animator?

#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10164

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 01:34 PM

1. Out of those the only thing I could really do right now is a portfolio for my writing.
2. The common person would rather look at my pictures because it's less time consuming than reading
3. I am working on a Bachelor's right now at a state school,
4. but because I found out that none of the credits will transfer to the other school I was looking at for screenwriting, I'm thinking about changing my major here, but to what I have no clue... I've already been going to school for so long, that I don't want to waste time by making another bad decision.
5. Not sure what would be interesting to me and provide a job, and in some way prepare me for my choice of career.
6. What kind of degrees are they looking for a writer or a designer?


1. That might indicate that you should continue to pursue writing.
2. You cannot base the quality of your work on "the common person." You need input from readers. Why don't you join a writing club, or if there isn't one on campus, a reading club. If there aren't such clubs, try to start one. If you don't want to start one because that takes too much effort, then you aren't cut out for the game industry (we only want passionate energetic people).
3. Good.
4. Don't change your major.
5. You're adding too many variables to your decision choices. Just go for what's interesting to you. Do well at that, and a career will come.
6. Please read this forum's FAQs.

Edited by Tom Sloper, 07 November 2012 - 03:54 PM.
Misunderstood one of the questions

-- 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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