Recently, I found out that my school is getting a minor in "Digital Humanities"
Digital Humanities - (n) a buzzword that shows you have a solid background in both liberal arts and technical literacy.
Normally, I don't care much about buzzwords, but for one, I've already taken a diverse array of classes, so it's a cinch for me to pick up that minor and show my potential employers that "I'm not a code monkee!"
More importantly, the person in charge of the program is doing a lot to both ensure that the minor is beneficial to students, and to arrange other opportunities for students to experience the intersection of art and technology.
Normally, the intersection of art and technology refers to video games, but if you look more broadly you'll see it in all kinds of places.
For instance, an English professor who uses code to express a deeper meaning (Gaffe/Stutter), or a programmer who makes something truly beautiful (Macintosh). A good GUI is just as much a work of art as a game.
Oh, and our club got into the school newspaper:
As a game developer, you have more work to do than you have time in a day. But even so, don't isolate yourself to get it done. Trying to make a game alone is like making a movie alone-- you can do some impressive things, but you'll never be able to compete with a functional team.
So stay social (or become social), talk to people, and keep growing. If you're not growing, you're probably stagnating. Either way, it will reflect in your games.
If nothing else, talking to other people will help prevent burnout by taking your mind off your game. Even though I'm an introvert, I absolutely cannot function without occasional conversation. (Okay, I might survive, but my motivation will tank.)
I noticed that after programming for many hours a day over a period of time, my programming skills got stronger. Even if I take a long break, I'll jump back in easily.
The same thing happens with other skills, i.e. sports, playing an instrument, public speaking...
So why wouldn't it apply to social skills?
My new years resolution is to be more social. Yes, it's a time sponge, but it's also allowing me to work with people I would have never otherwise met. I'm making friends who I'll remember forever, which is impossible to put a price on.
Perhaps most importantly, if this works, I will practice my social skills enough that even after spending 6 hours alone in a room, I'll still be socially fluent. I'll be able to jump back into it as quickly as I can jump back into an old video game, or a practiced sport.
So far, I have noticeably improved from last year. Here's hoping I'll be able to keep it up while simultaneously moonlighting on game dev.
- Don't be naive enough to follow every trend, but
- Be open-minded enough to accept new trends.
- Talk to a wide variety of people, it's amazing what stones you'll turn over along the way. Some of my best days have been spent doing more talking than developing.
- Don't be antisocial, it will reflect in your games.
- Practice your social skills at least half as much as you practice your trade. Nobody wants to hire someone who can't communicate.
- Great artists don't just steal from artists, they also steal from life.
- Never stop growing and learning. Whether you talk to Miyamoto or Meiers, you'll hear that they want people with experience and interests outside of gaming.
- If you're not growing, you're stagnating.
- Keep networking. If your network isn't growing, it's stagnating.