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Will this strategy get me into the gaming industry?


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#1 ζeta   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 07:20 PM

Hi guys!
 
I'm a self-taught (C++ and C# Programmer/Software Engineer) who's looking to get into the gaming business, i heard that in order to get there(without any type of degrees) I need a portfolio.
So recently I've been working on building my own Game Engine, that will serve the purpose of being my portfolio and at the same time as a Game Engine that will be used to develop some indie games.
Anyway the engine will be a multi-platform one which will support the Android, Windows and Linux OSes.
And i'm thinking after i finish my engine of developing a game off of it, it'll be a Breakout like game, that is a small game that will show what this engine can do.
So the Breakout game will have some graphics and I'm thinking of selling it on Google Play Store and...(others).
 
So to the Questions...
  1. Based on your personal opinion Will that approach actually work and get me into the industry?
  2. How can i sell my games? do i need to create some kind of trademark or something(sorry this question might be stupid, i really don't have any idea about the legal side of the business)?
  3. How do you see my English? huh.png


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#2 Nypyren   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4031

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:07 PM

In my opinion, you would have a better chance in an interview if you reuse an existing engine such as Unity and make a game on top of it.  You need to catch the interviewer's eye, and to be brutally honest nobody has the patience to look through more than a dozen lines of code.

 

However, *don't just make a game*.  Implement complex things such as downloadable content, streaming level loading, online multiplayer, and cloud saves.  Those kind of things aren't QUITE down-in-the-depths engine-level, but their complexity and importance is repeatedly underestimated by real-world teams, and they're rarely things that engines like Unity bother implementing well.  If your interviewer understands this and you demonstrate proficiency in them with a portfolio you'll definitely catch the interviewer's attention.

 

But most importantly, be aware that whatever the interviewer thinks you're good at, likely will be what they make you do if they hire you.  So if you don't like working on a particular type of system, don't show that off! smile.png

 

 

BTW, your English is fine.


Edited by Nypyren, 13 May 2013 - 08:13 PM.


#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9196

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:41 PM

I'm a self-taught (C++ and C# Programmer/Software Engineer) who's looking to get into the gaming business, i heard that in order to get there(without any type of degrees) I need a portfolio.
So recently I've been working on building my own Game Engine, that will serve the purpose of being my portfolio and at the same time as a Game Engine that will be used to develop some indie games.
Anyway the engine will be a multi-platform one which will support the Android, Windows and Linux OSes.
And i'm thinking after i finish my engine of developing a game off of it, it'll be a Breakout like game, that is a small game that will show what this engine can do.
So the Breakout game will have some graphics and I'm thinking of selling it on Google Play Store and...(others).

 

1. Will that approach actually work and get me into the industry?

 

2. How can i sell my games?
do i need to create some kind of trademark or something(sorry this question might be stupid, i really don't have any idea about the legal side of the business)?

 

1. Nobody can foretell the future.  Your plan might get you into the industry, whether or not you sell your game once you make it.  (The portfolio doesn't need to include "and I self-published my game too.")  And it might not.  Depends on how many of the right things you do, and how many of the wrong things you don't do. See FAQs 24 and 27.

 

2. Please ask business questions in the Business And Law forum. This forum is about getting jobs in the game industry.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 13 May 2013 - 08:42 PM.

-- 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 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 28653

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 08:42 PM

So recently I've been working on building my own Game Engine ... after i finish my engine [I'm thinking] of developing a game off of it, it'll be a Breakout like game, that is a small game that will show what this engine can do.

In my experience, these "engines without games" projects do not go well. The list of things that an engine could do is endless, and the list of ways that you could solve any single one of those things is also endless. On the other hand, a particular game, like Breakout, has a very definite list of requirements.

IMHO, you should always build an engine alongside a game, so that you know exactly which things you should build, and you'll be able to concretely compare different approaches to any problem, by actually testing your engine's features in practice, by building a game that uses them at the same time.

 

I'm also a strong believer in YAGNI, and I've found that if you write some particular feature months in advance, without actually having a need for it yet, then you won't do as good a job of it. With these kinds of game engine projects, the entire project violates YAGNI! I've found that with these kinds of engines, when you finally decide to use them to make a game, you realise that many features don't quite work the way you'd like them to (or are buggy, because they've never been properly tested), and you end up doing a lot of re-work.

 

Also, a game like Breakout doesn't need a very complex engine. If you go and create a really complex engine and then use it to create Breakout, then both your game and your engine will be over-engineered.

It would be best to keep your engine as simple as possible while making Breakout, or to make a more complex game with an existing engine, or, make your own very complex engine but also make a very complex tech-demo to go with it.

 

The best course also depends on what kind of programming you want to do.

A breakout-from-scratch project is a decent project to show that you're a competent programmer in general.

A game with lots of particle systems or post-processing effects might show that you've an affinity for graphics programming.

A game with enemies that take cover and flank the player might show you've an affinity for AI programming.

A game with a GUI level editor might show you've an affinity for tools programming.

A game with a professional data-compilation pipeline might show you've an affinity for engine/tools/build-automation programming.

A game with 10000 enemies on screen at once might show you've an affinity for engine optimisation.

etc...

 

2 - Depends on your country. You likely need to register a business number and do your taxes correctly. Speaking to an accountant would be recommended.

3 - Your English is perfectly fine smile.png


Edited by Hodgman, 13 May 2013 - 08:52 PM.


#5 ζeta   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 09:01 PM

Thank Y'all for replying.
 
To Nypyren...
About using unity...
I'm really trying to get into the low-level stuff of the process of a game making, so i don't think using an existing engine will get me there, or will it?
 
Your second point of implementing complex(impressive) stuff is actually what I'm trying to achieve by building my own engine(I mean it would be more impressive to have a running engine that YOU have made!).
 
To Tom Sloper...
I wasn't asking for anybody to actually tell me the future i was merely asking for personal opinions.
And I'm sorry for putting questions where they doesn't belong, I'm new here so i didn't want to spam the forums with posts smile.png .
 
To Hodgman...
The Breakout will just be a start, like just a testing project.
In Time when the engine is able to stand on it's feet biggrin.png then i will start to make some real games and/or demos based on it.
And as i said to Nypyren I'm more interested in low-level stuff so i don't think that the YAGNI principle applies here.

Edited by ζeta, 15 May 2013 - 12:07 PM.


#6 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 28653

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 09:20 PM

 I'm more interested in low-level stuff so i don't think that the YAGNI principle applies here.

It always applies wink.png

If you don't need something, then building it is a waste of time, and worse, you can't evaluate whether you've done a good job or not.

I publish most of my low-level engine structures as open source, here, (there's a lot) and each of them has only been created in response to a need. They're all used directly or indirectly by the game project that's being developed simultaneously to the engine.

I'm really trying to get into the low-level stuff of the process of a game making, so I don't think using an existing engine will get me there, or will it?

It can still be useful, because to be any good at building any product, you should have experience as a user of that product. The users of an engine are basically every other department in a development studio, so it's very valuable for an engine programmer to have some basic experience in all those other departments.

Also, to build a great product you should be familiar with the competition already on the market so you can emulate their strengths and improve on their weaknesses  so having used a variety of other engines is always a perk.


Edited by Hodgman, 13 May 2013 - 09:48 PM.


#7 Buster2000   Members   -  Reputation: 1586

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 01:37 AM

So the Breakout game will have some graphics and I'm thinking of selling it on Google Play Store and...(others).



If you are already selling games on Google Play or some other store then you have already "got into the gaming industry".

 

On the other hand I expect what you mean is "could this get me a job at a AAA studio that makes console games?".   The answer is YES / NO / Maybe.   Different studios look for different stuff.  Some would like to see a polished game,  some would like to see lots of small demos, some would like to see something more technical like a games engine and some may even offer you a job without a demo (although you would need to proove that you can do the job some other way).

 

The only real answer is if you want to get a job making games then you better make some game.



#8 warnexus   Prime Members   -  Reputation: 1400

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 06:17 PM

If you are doing it to make money off of making games, I do not think you are in the right business. Passion drives games to be better not money.



#9 ζeta   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 14 May 2013 - 11:52 PM

OK guys, you got me into it biggrin.png.
 
Now I'll be making that Breakout game based on Unity first, Then I'll remake it but with my own engine.
That'll be a learning process for me and a Portfolio(the engine with another game), and I know about the "YAGNI" principle, but still I need to do that, I feel like I need to do it happy.png .
And the Breakout game will be just a starting point, it's not going to be the actual game that I'll provide in the portfolio.
 
And  warnexus,  I'm not really doing it for money, the whole selling thing is just a learning process.
Since I have little to no information about the legal side of the industry. I was actually trying to get some experience through that process. no more, no less.
 
And thanks to Tom Sloper's website I'm getting allot of that *knowledge without going through all that.
So now after reading some of his FAQs, I don't feel like going through all the headaches marketing needs tongue.png.

Edited by ζeta, 15 May 2013 - 11:41 AM.


#10 C0lumbo   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2167

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 01:15 AM

My $0.02 is that there are two ways to impress interviewers with your portfolio.

 

1. Show them something that looks impressive.

2. Show them something that is finished.

 

If you want something that looks visually impressive then use an existing engine. If you want to get down and dirty in engine code and Unity doesn't scratch that itch for you then look at Torque or Ogre or something.

If you want to get something finished (by which I mean completely finished, polished and available on an appstore or something), then use an existing engine.

 

The problem with spending your time on your own engine is that even if you do great work in there, it's just not going to be visible and your interviewers are never going to dig around the source code to appreciate the elegance of your file handling or shader uniform management code. And to be honest, you're not going to do great work writing your own engine, you're going to be learning a huge amount, but your code will be a bit of a mess, your second engine will be the good one.

 

Good luck, whatever you decide.



#11 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9196

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Posted 15 May 2013 - 09:07 AM

And thanks to Tom Sloper's website I'm getting allot of that experience without going through all that.

 

Experience? Are you sure? http://www.igda.org/games-game-october-2006


-- 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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