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Approaching career as a lead designer


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#1 Mr. Game Studio   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:24 PM

Introduction

Hello! This is my first time visiting gamedev.net & I want to start by introducing myself... I am 21 years old living in Syracuse, NY. I don't go to college but instead am utilizing my internet resources to learn. On my free time you can find me doing Web Site development, tweaking my computer (O.S. + Hardware), enjoying the outdoors, and of course playing some killer video games. I've been brought to a interesting stage in my life, that being - I know exactly what I'd like to do for a living.

 

History

When I started searching for methods of creating video games a few years ago I eventually came across 'game engines'. This was the point where I was getting a better vision of what it took to make games. Now that it is clear what I'd like to do, I've been spending time experimenting with different game theories, playing mixed genres and creating design documents. I want to be the one to create the story/gameplay and everything that falls in between.

 

Goal
Now that you know all about me, i'd like to ask for some community help in becoming a 'game designer'. So far, I have contacted a few people about starting a game. Due to certains things not being in place most of them have not been successful. If people could suggest the following it would be a great help:

 

  1. Some good book recommendations on this career
  2. How I can connect with other people that would like to use their skills to create game
  3. Lastly, anything that you would like to contribute would be great (I'd like to hear what others think about this career and how to approach it without attending college first)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


If I Design It, Will You Create It?


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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10157

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 04:54 PM


1. Some good book recommendations on this career
2. How I can connect with other people that would like to use their skills to create game
3. (I'd like to hear what others think about this career

4. and how to approach it without attending college first)

 

1. Read FAQ 8: http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson8.htm

2. Networking is FAQ 54: http://sloperama.com/advice/lesson54.htm

3. Becoming a game designer (and then a lead designer) is like, the "dream job" of so many people! You have a lot of competition, and you need to go about it the smart way. That means getting into the industry, learning how the industry works, working hard, impressing not only yourself but those around you with little snippets of ideas here and there, and eventually working your way up.

4. Attending college first is absolutely recommended. It's just harder to get there without it. Read FAQ 3. http://sloperama.com/advice/designprep.htm


Edited by Tom Sloper, 28 June 2013 - 07:28 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.

#3 Acharis   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3972

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:23 AM

I recommend making a game (preferably alone so you know all the stages) first. Also going to a college won't hurt and if you can afford it I highly recommend to do so.


Europe1300.eu - Historical Realistic Medieval Sim (RELEASED!)

PocketSpaceEmpire - turn based 4X with no micromanagement FB


#4 lithos   Members   -  Reputation: 413

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 04:38 AM

If you don't see more than 1 of yourself being useful to a 3-5 member team(Meaning 1 to 3 other people with different skill sets).   You're not going to be a designer for a small team.

 

Look at joining other teams.   There is a positive side about this that small-indy/hobby games fail frequently, and often.   Which means you're going to be able to get onto 2 to 5 of them in a year of time.   So this is going to get you two very valuable things: first you can learn from others mistakes, you also meet people that are actually useful(so you know who to contact later).



#5 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 14227

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 03:41 AM

4. Attending college first is absolutely recommended. It's just harder to get there without it.

You know I tend to offer advice that gives hope to people to beat the odds.
You can move across the world and still land a job with no previous experience! While having dropping out of high school and maintain nothing but a diploma!!

Okay, sure, as a programmer, artist, or sound engineer.
As a designer? Well, yes, since you can do all of the above without college you could eventually become a game designer. I switched to designer for a few projects, so as much as I want to use the word “impossible” I can’t.

But framed within the context of the original question, he is unmistakably asking how he can immediately jump into the role of game-designer without going through the intermediate roles first. He mentioned “everything that falls between,” but the overall context of his post makes it clear that he only intends to wheel people who are already programmers and artists, not to actually become those himself.

So I have 2 points to make.
#1: Give up on shortcuts. As lucky as I have been in life, having been exactly what you want to be (writer and designer) while having dropped out of high school, while being even luckier to be doing this all across the world, give me a break if you think I would ever agree to any possibility that that could happen to any human ever within 100,000 years who has tried to go directly to that position.
I wouldn’t even expect to go directly to that position even if I had graduated from whatever is the best game-design school in the world.
That does not happen. You can get there either through experience from another trade such as programming, or through experience from another trade such as programming and college combined.

#2: Anyone who wants to take shortcuts need not apply.
Why are you even asking this question in the first place?
You want to reach your goals without putting forth the effort necessary to obtain them?

#3: Or you can make your own indie company. Then you can be whatever you want.
But you sure better do it all right or your company flounders.


I am fairly sure #3 is ruled out, so it really sounds as though all you want to know is how you can take a shortcut to being a game designer.
There are none. Not even for the luckiest of us.
Even if your dad owned Atari Electronic Arts Zynga Activision shit, so many companies have sold out these days.

Look, your dad doesn’t own crap so don’t even think about it.

 

 

L. Spiro


It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
L. Spiro Engine: http://lspiroengine.com
L. Spiro Engine Forums: http://lspiroengine.com/forums




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