First off hello and thank you for your time in reading this post. I have a quick question mainly aimed at if there are any game programmers from big companies here such as microsoft, epic games, blizzard and more. How do you recommend getting into the game industry? Where do you start, and what do you need to learn from college in order to get here? What do employers look for? I would greatly appreciate if these questions are answered. Thanks in advance.
Quick question for game programmers
Moderators - Reputation: 31266
Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:17 PM
Yes, there are many professional game programmers on the board.
Most of your questions are answered in the Breaking In forum FAQ. I'm moving your question over to that forum since it doesn't really belong in the general Game Programming forum.
Edited by frob, 02 January 2013 - 06:18 PM.
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 occasionally write about assorted stuff.
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Posted 02 January 2013 - 06:54 PM
Although I work for a smaller mobile company, I have worked in research as a game programmer as well as received job offers from bigger companies like Blizzard. I was in your shoes 2 years and I am partly responsible for hiring/interviewing new programming candidates.
How do you recommend getting into the game industry?
This is easy, program games. Program games from scratch (C++, OpenGL/SDL) or using game engines (cocos2dx, unity, unreal). Some companies like to see games made from scratch, some prefer the pre-existing engine experience. Just make games and keep an online portfolio to display your games/source code.
Where do you start, and what do you need to learn from college in order to get here?
I have a masters in CS, which helps get your foot in door. Some companies love the college credentials and some could care less. I would say getting your bachelor's in Computer Science is the least you can do. There are a lot of discussions about "Game Schools" vs "Traditional Schools". I went to a tradition school, and I feel it was the right choice in the end.
College will teach you proper programming (i.e. memory handling, OOD, OO paradigms, design patterns, "nice" code structure, assembly, scripting languages, linux kernel programming, whatever else). I think traditional schools excel here because you get an extremely wide variety of knowledge. Just remember to make small, small games on the side of your schoolwork.
What do employers look for?
The ability to adapt on the fly. That you fit in their company culture. That you will be an aspect to the team. Solid work ethic. You enjoy games (sounds obvious). You have a wide knowledge of the current game programming landscape (read gamastura, gamedev.net programming sections, gamedev magazine, know the modern engines, know the latest techniques).
Outside of that you could become an expert in one specialized subject. Like being an expert in backend security. Or 3D processing on module phones.
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Posted 02 January 2013 - 07:22 PM
How do you recommend getting into the game industry? Where do you start, and what do you need to learn from college in order to get here? What do employers look for?
As frob said, these questions are answered in the FAQs.
Go back out to the Breaking In forum main page, and look for the FAQ link at upper right.
Mr. McConnell's answers above are good - the FAQs would supplement his answer.
Making games fun and getting them done.
Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.