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Get paid to learn games programming?

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I''ve been thinking somewhat on the matter of those of us who are learning games programming, but don''t have the finances to back up our studies in this area. I personally have to learn games programming while holding down a "real job". This real job is more of a hinderance than anything so far as learning games programming goes. Now I am planning to possibly go to university next year, but its not a certainty yet. Then I got to thinking what if some kind of business could be made that were mutually beneficial to the investor and those running the show. What if someone such as myself were to set up some kind of company that allows people to get together in a physical location (as opposed to cyberspace) and work together on games. The resultant games could be produced as shareware or fully fledged games (dependant upon quality), a percentage going towards either the creators or to everyone involved in the company, and a percentage going towards maintaining the costs of such an organisation (and possibly a small percent towards profit also I guess). I''m certainly no business man, so I really wouldn''t know where to begin or if this idea is total rubbish or what, but it''s just an idea and I''d appreciate some feedback if anyone has any? The idea would be that members joining up to help produce games would pay a monthly or yearly subscription fee to get in, and they would gain a percentage of the combined return income from the games created. So basically the membership fees at first fund the company with no money coming back in to the company (ie no pay to the members) but as games start being produced and released all money is divided by some means and members may enjoy a share in the profits. This way once the company has gotten off the ground and produced a few games, it would be able to provide newcomers a basic wage which would enable them to focus on being a part of the company as more of a job than as something they''d do in their spare time. To reduce the chances of people joining solely to make a profit and then leaving without having made any significant contribution, candidates could be expected to produce something worthy to show before being allowed to join, and also to produce a full years subscription in advance to show their commitment. The payback over the long run would make it worth it, but would deter those who don''t really wish to contribute/show long term commitment. As I say in terms of businesses it could be an awful idea, I really don''t know but if something similar existed where I could learn games programming at first in my spare time, but eventually as my main job, I''d be right there in an instant! Basically I suppose it would be a kind of mini school where you were paid to learn, so long as eventually you produced something that would in turn help fuel the business growth in the future. Any comments? Ideas, anything?

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It wouldn''t work.

1. First of all your not getting paid to learn as you have to pay up front to be on the course (plus you have to have money to live on during that time).

2. Learning about making games is not the same as making games. Until you have learned you wont be able to make anything worth selling so you wont earn money at the end of it. You might be ready to start making a game (depending on the quality of the teaching and your ability to learn) but you would then have to finish that before making any money.

3. The income from games created would be no where near enough. If you had 10 people on the course you would be lucky if one of them produced something worth selling. Most of the programmers on here are happy to recount stories of just how lame their first programming efforts were One game being sold at shareware certainly wouldn''t fund the whole class for another round of game making.

4. Would all the programmers be able to do their own art? If not who would do it for them. You may not be able to get the right balance of pupils in the class (artists vs programmers).

If you want to learn to program then go to university, go on a course like Fullsail or spend you spare time teaching yourself. Just don''t expect to get paid to do the learning.



Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

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