New to these boards, although I feel I'm not completely new. You see I browsed these forums for countless hours about 8 years ago while I was at university. I did Computer Games Development (which was basically Comp Science until the third year where we specialised), and was doing what I loved. I'd always wanted to develop games, I loved playing games in fact, you could almost say, like many on here, I lived and breathed games.
So 3 years in uni resulted in me graduating with a First Class Honours, and all the motivation and enthusiasm in the world to go out and get that first job in the industry. I went to job fairs, expos, graduation shows for networking, I did the lot. I had several interviews, which unfortunately were unsuccessful. but I was undeterred, I kept applying and building up my portfolio.
Eventually, I was forced to look for work as money became a problem, so took a job as a software tester at a local software house. The job paid extremely well given it was a contract, and kept me going. But unfortunately, this is where it all went down hill...
Full time work tends to take up a lot of your time , and during this life adjustment, I found that the time I could devote to my portfolio become less and less, and my ability to make interviews less and less. And by the time my contract ended, I'd be offered another testing job at a much bigger company. This was kind of perfect though, it was a test automation role, so I'd be coding, learning C# too, and basically able to learn new things that could help towards my dream job in games. However, as I'm sure many of you who code for a living know, coding 8-9 hours a day means that you don't often feel like coding when you get home, not because you don't enjoy it, but because you feel burnt out. And the longer this goes on for the, the harder it is to go back. Until you get to a point where you feel like it's almost a distant memory.
Anyway, to prevent a case of 'TL:DR', fast forward to now, and I'm still in Automation, in my third job and have come along quite quickly in this career path. But I'm thoroughly miserable in it, I still think about how I almost gave up on my dream job and my childhood ambitions, except now I have that fire in my belly again. I don't want to look back later on in life and regret having never achieved my dream. I've started coding again, looking at the tutorials and working through updating my projects I left all those years ago (particle physics engine, lighting engine and my third year project, a crowd simulation). It's amazing how much you forget though, all these years of C# and scripting languages means my C++ knowledge feels all but gone.
So, I thought I'd come to the guys that know and ask for a bit of help
What's the language of choice these days? Could I potentially stick to C# and continue with that, or should I brush up on my C++ skills again? And what vital skills/tools should I be looking at that companies look for now? I previously used GLUT for OpenGL coding, is DirectX more the way to go now?
I guess I'm almost a beginner again when it comes to coding for games, so is there anything like online courses or resources that are worthwhile looking at? Other than the material that's on this fantastic site,
Thanks for your help guys, and sorry for those that found my life story a bit dull haha