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Going from hobbyist to professional?


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#1 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1457

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:40 AM

Hey Everyone,

I was wondering what are the chances of one who programs games for a hobby/fun to actually turn it into a real profession? I'm just wondering because I have been coding games in C++ for more than two years now and have just been getting progressively better at it. I currently go to school and am getting a degree, just not in computer science (long story). Anyways say if I have a degree(just not computer science) and a decent portfolio, would it be a impossibility of turning this little hobby into something bigger?

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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10913

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 07:27 AM

would it be a impossibility of turning this little hobby into something bigger?


Of course not. Nothing is impossible except time travel to the past, and the Star Trek holodeck. Keep doing what you're doing. It's the recommended recipe.
-- 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 KamilKZ   Members   -  Reputation: 580

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:13 PM

How much harder is it without a degree?


Edited by KamilKZ, 12 March 2014 - 12:14 PM.


#4 Promit   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9057

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:23 PM

How much harder is it without a degree?

Harder. 

 

Historically, the game development industry values the ability to produce and build more than anything else. We're not sticklers for formal credentials, by and large. And most are fairly flexible with related degree (physics, math, other engineering, etc). Game devs really care about ability and intelligence most. However the last several years have seen a lot of rocky times, a lot of turnover, and a lot of job instability. What that means is there's a lot of engineers out there who have a degree -- sometimes even a master's degree -- and industry experience. So when some of the younger crowd are asking if they really need to get a degree to get a job? Technically no, but it's not a qualifications issue. It's an issue of how you look compared to your peers who are also interested in these jobs. If you don't have the degree, then you've got to stand out in some big way to compensate.

 

Speaking as someone who worked in the industry before getting his degree.


Edited by Promit, 12 March 2014 - 12:25 PM.


#5 KamilKZ   Members   -  Reputation: 580

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 12:36 PM

 

How much harder is it without a degree?

Harder. 

 

Historically, the game development industry values the ability to produce and build more than anything else. We're not sticklers for formal credentials, by and large. And most are fairly flexible with related degree (physics, math, other engineering, etc). Game devs really care about ability and intelligence most. However the last several years have seen a lot of rocky times, a lot of turnover, and a lot of job instability. What that means is there's a lot of engineers out there who have a degree -- sometimes even a master's degree -- and industry experience. So when some of the younger crowd are asking if they really need to get a degree to get a job? Technically no, but it's not a qualifications issue. It's an issue of how you look compared to your peers who are also interested in these jobs. If you don't have the degree, then you've got to stand out in some big way to compensate.

 

Speaking as someone who worked in the industry before getting his degree.

 

That's what I thought. Thanks for clarification.



#6 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 26740

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 01:14 PM

Cases in point: Disney just laid off 700 developers. EA had several smaller layoffs at individual studios. Sony's God Of War studio, Eidos Montreal with 27, Irrational Games, Eutechnyx, and the list goes on.

 

About a thousand skilled and experienced game developers have been laid off over the last few months. Employers have plenty of applications to sort through.

 

When an employer is sorting through resumes, imagine they will have applicants from the same studios and with very similar lists of credits. Most have a degree, a few do not. Guess which group gets called in for interviews first? Guess which group is more likely to be unemployed for longer? Guess which group is going to have a smaller salary in the job offer?


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.


#7 dragons   Members   -  Reputation: 189

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 01:37 PM

Start an indie game, then publish it. I if is creative enough it will get enough attention, thus the money.

Think for your next game and hire developers from the money you earned with your first game. Publish again and expect the same.

 

If you are creative enough, you can build your own company and be the boss.

The idea is to show that you can do more than the rest of the world and to think waaay out of the box so people can see you.

 

Thats my plan.



#8 ISDCaptain01   Members   -  Reputation: 1457

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 02:20 PM

Well I am getting a degree in Accounting(a very useful degree). Maybe I can become one of those business guys the gamers always hate lol. Im already a junior, I really wouldnt want to go back to uni just to get a CS degree. I want to move on woth my life. I would howeve, be interested in some sort of post baccalaureate CS certificate if it were to help give legitimacy to my programming skills in front of the HR drones.

#9 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10913

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Posted 12 March 2014 - 05:26 PM

Well I am getting a degree in Accounting(a very useful degree). Maybe I can become one of those business guys the gamers always hate lol. Im already a junior, I really wouldnt want to go back to uni just to get a CS degree. I want to move on woth my life. I would howeve, be interested in some sort of post baccalaureate CS certificate if it were to help give legitimacy to my programming skills in front of the HR drones.

 

You don't need two degrees. See if you can get a minor in computing.


-- 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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