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Copywright

Member Since 01 Oct 2010
Offline Last Active Mar 30 2014 11:21 AM

Topics I've Started

Taking a Gamedev Gap Year

21 March 2014 - 03:54 PM

I've posted this question at TigSource, but just looking for more opinions. To preface, I've read the pinned forum topics here (especially the very relevant "mixed feelings at uni" thread) and Tom Sloper's guides were the first articles I read about the game industry. I do not want to come off as a know-it-all, simply as a young man looking for guidance on my future.

 

I'm in my senior year of HS with college approaching. When the year began, I was dead set on a CS/SE college education. I did my research and was sure that a degree, work experience, and portfolio would land me a job in the industry. To give some context, I struggled in HS for my first two years of HS and have since made a complete 180, going from 67 to 78 average in two years (80 as of thsi year), still nothing spectacular. My main goal this year was to get into a college with a strong CS department.

 

I've been rejected from the schools I really wanted, namely RIT. I'm an NYC resident, and the CUNY schools I applied to have rejected me. To give context, my ACT score was 25, I'm black, and I feel like I had strong extracurriculars (school gamedev club instructor, sports, volunteer) + strong essay.

 

Anyway, my acceptances for far have been my local CC's, UMass Lowell, and Univ. of Connecticut. Basically, out-of-state vs community college, pretty polarizing.

 

Which brought me to the idea of a gap year.

 

I've been thinking and researching more about where I want to be in the industry. Whether to look to land a job at an established studio or look to break into the indie scene. My goal has always been spearheading or being a part of an independent studio, however, I figured gaining experience in AAA was the ideal way to gain connections, experience, and financial security. Even now this seems to be the "ideal" option, since a CS can easily take me over to the rest of the software industry.

 

However, considering my collegiate options, I've been leaning towards taking a year off to focus solely on game development. I want to take the year to learn game programming (plan to branch into software and app dev), game design, and art (traditional, digital, and 3D). My plan is to renovate my room into a home office, buy a car, buy educational resources (classes both online and local, books, software, equipment, etc.), and spend a year focusing on game development. I would use strict time management and try to structure my time so I spend time advancing my programming skill, learning art, reading and experiementing with design, all while maintaining fitness, being active in gamedev community (both online and offline, meetups, game jams, conferences, etc.), maintaining a blog on my journey, and trying to keep a social life. My goal for the year would be to emerge with stronger programming, art, and design skills, and most importantly, experience developing and FINISHING games. I know the point of  "specialist > generalist" in terms of working in the game industry at large, but my reasoning is that I'd training more for the indie gamedevelopment scene, rather than work in the industry.

 

At the end of the year, I'd evaluate to see if continuing without college education or pursuing college education is the best course of action. I want to hopefully land an internship or mentorship with a local game company, but that seems like wishful thinking.

 

I don't want to take anything away from a college education, I definitely understand the value  and still think it is very important. Just at thsi stage of my life, I can't see another time where I have another opportunity to pursue being indie without much larger risk.

 

What do you think? Is this a viable option, do you have any advice? Also, what would be the best way to structure my gap year, if taken? What should I study, where should I focus on? Any advice or constructive input is appreciated!

 

(I should add that I have 2 years of experience with Unity and C#. Minimal experience with XNA and software. If I take the year, I'd opt to rather shelf anything I think I know and start over).

 

 


College for Game Production

03 September 2012 - 02:26 PM

Hey,

I see most of the college topics here are more tailored to programmers. My question is, what colleges would you recommend for someone who wants to step into a producer role and start their own studio?

The thing is, though I want to be a producer, I want to major in a program with equal amounts of programming and design, so I can wear many hats. What I'd find to be the important factors of the college are it's gamedev community within the school, the quality of the program, and a business management minor. I'd constitute an active gamedev community as regular submissions to the IGF, a large club, etc. A quality program in my eyes would be a great mix of programming and design, taught by professors with industry experience or equivalent.

The only college I can find like that is USC, which is definitely the top choice atm (might not be able to go since it's on the other side of the country) but no other. Any suggestions?

Starting 2D in Unity

03 September 2012 - 11:52 AM

Hey,

I've been using XNA for a few months now, and I've decided to switch over to Unity. I want to use Unity in 2D, instead of the default 3D. Basically, I'd like to first get an idea of how scripting works in Unity (I went over the manual, but I'd like to see a tutorial that goes through the process), how to effectively use 2D in Unity, and the recommended plug-ins for 2D in Unity. I'd appreciate any advice possible. Thanks.

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