Hello GameDev Community,
Ever since playing my first video game (Super Mario for NES) I knew that I wanted to try my hand at programming games. This was a primary reason I decided to major in Computer Science. After graduating, I took a job working on fighter jet simulators for the defense industry. I thought this might be close enough to game development to quench my thirst, but alas, I was mistaken.
I recently completed another degree, which my company has paid for. However, I am obligated to stay with my company for at least two more years (otherwise, I must repay them for my education). I plan to take this time to learn and expand my knowledge of the game industry and brush up on the required skills to work as a programmer in the game industry. I am currently working on a master two year schedule that will allow me to become a more sought after candidate. This schedule will ultimately be broken down into monthly milestones, and perhaps even weekly "inchstones", allowing for me to track progress and adjust accordingly.
I am looking for some guidance/suggestions from any veterans of the industry as to what some good tasks , exercises, and/or reading material may help me better prepare for such a transition and to help build a portfolio. I have recently started searching through job postings on gamasutra.com to get an idea of the requirements of game programmers. Below is a rough list of tasks/exercises I have currently come up with.
+ Become familiar with OpenGL Programming in C++ and Java
- complete NeHe Productions OpenGL tutorial set
- read at least 2 books on the subject. Also, look into how OpenGL is being used on mobile devices
+ Become more proficient with Java Development (primarily a C/C++ developer right now) and Object Oriented Programming in general
- perhaps port an older open source game into Java?
- read up on design patterns
+ Become more familiar with commonly used development tools throughout the gaming industry
- create a small, polished game using Unity3d / C#
- familiarize self with Unreal Development Kit / Scripting. Complete a small project/game using this toolset.
+ Brush up on algorithms related to AI and gain exposure to new techniques
- read one book on AI design specifically for games
- read a no less than 5 white papers on recent AI techniques used in modern games.
- Try to implement at least two algorithms from white papers
+ Review 3D Math / Linear Algebra
- read Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics
- pull out old college text book/files. Try to complete handful of questions from tests/homework
+ Better understand game design and what makes games fun
- read at least 3 books on game and level design
- create "complete" game design documents for two smaller game projects mentioned above
- complete David Perry's Game Challenge (play 100 games and write 1 page critique for each on their design, keep journal on "cool" ideas from games)
+ Learn more about the industry and network
- read daily blog update from gamasutra
- subscribe to and read number of RSS feeds for industry news
- attend at least one game development convention (next years GDC?)
- get involved with local game development enthusiast group.
- attend as many game jams as possible... (at least 2)
- if possible, try to make contacts with industry veterans using social media without being creepy or annoying.
Is there anything huge or obvious I am missing here? Is there anything listed that may be unnecessary? If anyone has any specific ideas for projects to help build a portfolio, I would be anxious to hear any/all suggestions.
Thanks for your time and all feedback is greatly appreciated!
SitioMember Since 12 May 2012
Offline Last Active Jul 12 2012 03:30 PM