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How do i become a game director someday?


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#1 GameDesign14   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 11:38 AM

My name is Nathan and i am 21 years old. I was reading about becoming a Game Director and this seemed like a really reliable link:

http://www.insidejobs.com/careers/game-director

 

I am going to school soon this October for media arts and animation with concentration in game design. And my classes look like:

-game programming for the artist

-game modeling and animation

-level design

-game environment art

-materials and lighting

-game prototyping

-character sculpting

-game production team

-observational drawing

-design fundamentals

-language of animation and film

-digital painting techniques

-life drawing and gesture

-storyboarding

-2d animation principles

-3d modeling

-backround and character design

-digital editing and audio

-hard surface and organic modeling

-character modeling and rigging

-visual effects

 

And they do have the advance portion of these classes I just did not list them!

 

I was reading this website and i wanted to know if insidejobs.com is a reliable source for my field. Game design/ game development has always been a dream of mine since my sophomore year of high school, it is not something i came up with just off the top of my head. I know becoming director of anything is not easy and requires extremely hard work and effort to obtain the position and to keep it. And i know you have have a lot of experience with game design and working in the industry. I mean like 10+ years in the industry not just experience itself like going to school.

 

I am a really imaginative person and i highly believe i can become a game director sometime in my life time. But i can't just say it have prove it and make it happen. And if i try really hard and don't get the position it was still worth the effort, because game design is something amazing to achieve to begin with!  

 

So to make it clear becoming a Game Director, I would have to be a game designer/game developer first correct? i want to make sure i was not being miss led!


Edited by GameDesign14, 12 July 2014 - 11:42 AM.


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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 10080

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 05:42 PM

1. i wanted to know if insidejobs.com is a reliable source for my field.
2. i know you have have a lot of experience with game design
3.a. So to make it clear becoming a Game Director, I would have to be a game designer... first correct?
3.b. So to make it clear becoming a Game Director, I would have to be a ...game developer first correct?


1. I never heard of it, and I don't feel like checking it out right now just to answer your question. Use that site. And use other sites. Don't base all of your thinking and planning on any one website.
2. It depends - how do you define "director"? There are directors of different specialties.
3.a. Not necessarily. How do you define "director"?
3.b. Yes (using the all-inclusive meaning of "game developer").
-- 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 Thinias   Members   -  Reputation: 139

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 06:50 PM

"Director" is typically a term applied to leadership roles within a game team.  You have Art Directors, Technical Directors, Development Directors, Creative Directors, etc... and it is good that you recognize that there is a lot of hard work involved in acquiring that title.  I would also suggest that there is a lot of talent and luck which goes into it as well.  As with anything worth doing, you need to be comfortable swallowing some risk to pursue your dreams!  I would also note that what you've linked as a "Game Director" sounds a lot like what some companies would call a "Creative Director", and you should look into those kinds of job descriptions as well.

 

The course load that you've presented sounds like a very well-rounded depiction of what producing a video game involves.  However, I would personally be a little concerned that it's maybe *too* well-rounded.  I see entries describing the following:

 

1. Programming

2. Modeling

2a. Environments

2b. Characters

3. Animation

3a. Rigging

3b. VFX

4. Concept Art

5. Audio

6. Design

6a. Storyboarding

6b. Level layouts

7. Production
8. Localization

 

Especially as an entry-level employee (in any industry... not just games), you aren't likely to be hired for your "general" prowess.  Entry-level candidates are more likely to be hired to accomplish a single, specific goal; as an example, my first job in this industry was specifically to provide engineering support to artists in building the UI for a single iteration of EA's Madden.  I had no other responsibilities, and any artistic/design/scheduling prowess I may have presented was irrelevant to my hiring decision.  Someone told me what they wanted built, I told them what artistic assets I needed and how much time it would take, and then I used/extended the technical framework they provided in order to build exactly what they asked for.  No more, no less.  The job was also a contract, which ended simultaneous to that iteration of Madden.  With my hire, no one was looking beyond an immediate need that could be filled by a low-level grunt with a specific skill-set.  That job gave me the platform to progress into the senior engineering role I enjoy today... but now I'm on the flip side of that coin.  Now, I make similar considerations when defining hiring opportunities for others.  Unless you want to start your own company and build your own games, you might want to consider narrowing the scope of your education and becoming very good at one single component of game development; no hiring manager is going to expect you to build an entire game by yourself.  Particularly as an entry-level employee, employers will want you to fill explicit needs on the teams they've already assembled.

 

This offers a convenient segway into my last point; becoming a "Game Director" is a great goal... but you need to also establish some smaller goals in order to get there.  Breaking into the video game industry as a "Game Director" is an unrealistic expectation; you will need to get some experience first.  Find a component of video game development you're excited about, and pursue that.  From the above, it sounds like you might be interested in game design.  If you think design is exciting, pursue design.  Understand what it means to be a designer and focus your efforts on doing things which will demonstrate your capacity for filling that role when it comes time to interview with a game company.  Understand that part of being a game designer is coming up with great ideas... but most of being a game designer has a lot more to do with communicating those ideas effectively.  The designers on my teams spend most of their days writing wiki documents which define exactly what should happen whenever a player does anything (or even what things the player can do in the first place).  They spend most of their remaining time either in meetings having people point out holes in the documents they've written (which must then be re-written to address the holes), or filling out the equivalent of spreadsheets which drive data that the games we're building will use.  To be honest, the role looks fairly tedious to me... but I'm also not nearly as interested in that aspect of game development as they are.  And that, I guess, is my whole point smile.png.


Edited by Thinias, 12 July 2014 - 07:05 PM.


#4 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31198

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Posted 12 July 2014 - 06:55 PM

Yeah I've never heard of a Game Director either.
The job in your link sounds like a combination of Art Director, Creative Director, Lead Designer, Producer and Studio Manager/Development Director... Titles and roles vary widely from company to company though - these things aren't standardized.

With those courses, you seem on track to become a game artist, able to go on and specialize in painting/illustration/concepts, environments, characters, animation, etc, afterwards (or concurrently in your spare time). Is this what you want to do first - be some kind of game artist?
If you excel at that, and had an eye for managing a team, then you may become a lead artist (or lead animator, or lead concept-artist, etc). The next step above that would be Art Director, who oversees all the art leads, and guides the look of all visual aspects of the game.

If you excel in management maybe you could move over to being a producer, and then on to Development Director.

At any point maybe you could fall into a game design role, and then on to Lead Designer. Producers and Game Designers actually have a lot in common - I've seen a lot of people transition back and forth between those two roles.

In my experience, people become Creative Director (basically the boss of art & design) by founding their own company ;-P

#5 GameDesign14   Members   -  Reputation: 124

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 04:32 PM

Yeah I've never heard of a Game Director either.
The job in your link sounds like a combination of Art Director, Creative Director, Lead Designer, Producer and Studio Manager/Development Director... Titles and roles vary widely from company to company though - these things aren't standardized.

With those courses, you seem on track to become a game artist, able to go on and specialize in painting/illustration/concepts, environments, characters, animation, etc, afterwards (or concurrently in your spare time). Is this what you want to do first - be some kind of game artist?
If you excel at that, and had an eye for managing a team, then you may become a lead artist (or lead animator, or lead concept-artist, etc). The next step above that would be Art Director, who oversees all the art leads, and guides the look of all visual aspects of the game.

If you excel in management maybe you could move over to being a producer, and then on to Development Director.

At any point maybe you could fall into a game design role, and then on to Lead Designer. Producers and Game Designers actually have a lot in common - I've seen a lot of people transition back and forth between those two roles.

In my experience, people become Creative Director (basically the boss of art & design) by founding their own company ;-P

Sorry i did not get back right away. Yes being a game artist is what i want to do first, because I am a very creative and imaginative person. I want to do concept art and make 3d models and animate an rig them, I think after going to school for this to go to school for game development and simulation to learn software engineering and programming with C++. There is a good school near me within driving distance. One of the people who work for the school came to my high school one year a few years ago said one of the students got an internship with epics games and got to help with some of the making in the gears of war series.

 

I love anything to do with games and gaming. Im the kind of guy that would sit at home and want to create a game from scratch all by myself on my spare time for fun!


Edited by GameDesign14, 14 July 2014 - 04:33 PM.





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