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The good way for a junior game programmer to start?


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#1 Spidyy   Members   -  Reputation: 177

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:16 AM

Hello everyone.

 

I'm right now in the process of thinking what I want to do and where I want to go.

 

I'm a "young" (29yo) programmer, specialized in C++, with knowledge of C# and Java. I don't have a field specialization like 3D programmer or IA programmer as I'm curious about all and about everything game related, even what is outside my range of proficiency (like art and music).

 

I have only one year of experience in a mobile game company (Gameloft), wichturned out producing game patch, bug fixes and stuff, and 2 years of... Self studies and filling out my curiosity on several ideas and project of my own I never really finished.

 

Now I'm fed up to work alone on those project that I will never be able to conclude by myself. I don't want to do all the game related jobs by myself, like thinking the game design, doing some graphics with my poor skills, and so on. I want to build a career as a game programmer, but I don't know how to really start.

 

- Should I start with a AAA company to earn my living and meet skilled programmers? I did it with my previous company, the experience was good, but not being part of a core team because I am a junior was kind of disapointing.

 

- Should I look for an indie based team/company? I think I would gain my experience drilling into the serious stuff, but would an indie team take the risk to hire someone without consistent background as me?

 

- What else could I do? My main flaw right now is I not really had to work on a full game with a team. I did work in my previous company and a personal project with two other people, but I feel I'm missing all the fun/fullfilling a game programmer could find in his job...

 

- Also, I listed my skills on my linkedin page here : http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=108161040, does it looks kind of appealing for a company, or do you think I lack something important to have/mention?

 

To have a better feel of what I did, here is a little blog about my personal project, wich is kind of old now : http://excellenceteam.wordpress.com/

 

So... That's it. Could you give me advice on how I should start a career?

 

Spidyy


Edited by Spidyy, 19 May 2013 - 11:43 AM.


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#2 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4688

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:31 AM

NOTE: I'm not a commercial or professional game programmer of any sort.

 

I think you should have a portfolio of polished work to show and explain. You don't need the next Halo or Call of Duty. But a body of work to present your skills and talents. And since the web is the big thing now, maybe some HTML5 games/apps as well.


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#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9049

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 09:39 AM

- Should I start with a AAA company to earn my living and meet skilled programmers? I did it with my previous company, the experience was good, but not being part of a core team because I am a junior was kind of disapointing.
- Should I look for an indie based team/company? I think I would gain my experience drilling into the serious stuff, but would an indie team take the risk to hire someone without consistent background as me?
- What else could I do? My main flaw right now is I not really had to work on a full game with a team. I did work in my previous company and a personal project with two other people, but I feel I'm missing all the fun/fullfilling a game programmer could find in his job...

I doubt your resume and portfolio can get you a job at a triple-A company.  Since you're 29, I don't see why you aren't simply applying for any game job (for which you are qualified and local) and see what you can get.  And sure, if you can get on an indie team in the meantime and build a stronger portfolio, why not.  But if you get hired, you'd have to leave the indie team.

Note that you and I might be using the term "indie" to mean different things. 

Just wondering how many of the Barrier Busters you're doing, and how many of the Stupid Tricks you're doing. Read FAQs 24 and 27.  http://sloperama.com/advice.html


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Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#4 Spidyy   Members   -  Reputation: 177

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:37 AM

@Alpha_ProgDes : For a C++ specialization, I don't think an HTML5 demo would be worth it, or would it? But yeah, I should do a port-folio. I have some stuff to expose that reflect how I am doing things. :]

 

@Tom Slopper : just... WOW, your FAQ is awesome, I have to respect you for this! ohmy.png

 

So I counted, I have done 5 barrier breaker so far. I don't have the right location right now, my network is poor, I'm not researching enough, I need to make a portfolio and I lake perseverance.

 

Well, as you said on your FAQ : 

If you are NOT doing something on the checklist, well, now you know what to do.

 

I listed 5 Stupid Tricks, but maybe I'm overrating myself. =p

 

I tend to be arrogant at work. I experienced it at my former (and first) job. I may have changed since, but I know I was back then, criticizing the work of my senior colleague about being buggy, dirty and all, but I couldn't say to myself : "Hey, it's dirty, the game is buggy, but for a one year development, it is awesome!"

 

I am blind, due to my lake of experience and buddies, I tend to see myself "as is", and due to my past, I tend to don't give a damn about what other are thinking of me. I need to do my research for this and find how the others see me. (It is one of my main worry since I started my former job, am I a competent programmer for him? Am I an unpleasant colleagur for her? etc..)

 

I'm in at a dumb location, in an averrage city of France. Now I have friends at Montréal, but my way of thinking right now is : "I won't hesitate to move, as long as I have a job there.", so maybe I should change my way of thinking?

 

I ask dumb question. Well, I have the feeling this topic was beneath the dumb questions category, has you gave me kind of a large covering answer, but it did the trick and here I am better defining what I am, what I got and what I should do, so... Maybe not that dumb? I don't know. But due to the lack of answers on most of the forums I ask them, I feel I'm asking dumb questions. tongue.png

 

I don't do my homework! Well, it might be linked on the fantasyland trick below, but willing to do my own game, I didn't felt the need to find a job into a company so far, so I didn't get that much research nor grown my network.

 

Also, so far I'm in fantasyland, wich bring the Stupid Trick count at 6..? I mean, for 2 year, I worked on project to perfect myself and maybe earn some cash on small games, but first, can I gain experience with myself and google? No. And second, did I ever do something worth selling so far? Neither. :/ Right now, I'm thinking about at least completing my most advanced project (the one I linked above) into a playable state, so that I could use it as a portfolio, but so far, I feel I have lost a lot of time while searching techniques and ideas for it...

 

It... Kind of scares me to see I don't have that much Stupid Tricks, not as it is a bad thing - or maybe 6 is way too much already? - but would that tells me I'm overrating myself? Or am I just paranoid?

 

Well, in any way, a lot of thanks for those precious advices!

 

(PS, in Stupid tricks, le two last tricks shares the same 24th place. tongue.png You might want to correct the number for the 25th. smile.png )


Edited by Spidyy, 19 May 2013 - 11:48 AM.


#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9049

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Posted 19 May 2013 - 11:51 AM

(PS, in Stupid tricks, le two last tricks shares the same 24th place. tongue.png You might want to correct the number for the 25th. smile.png )

 

How about I number then ALL 24? They're poorly organized anyway (it was dumb to arrange them alphabetically).


-- 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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