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mightymike

Anyone switched from other software development?

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Greetings, I''ve got over 10 years software development exp'' but none of it to do with games. I''ve always wanted to work on games but never had the opportunity and I''m wondering if I should seriously look into it. I don''t know what to expect. I don''t know: - If I''m too old (33). I Don''t feel to old, I love games. - If the industry is full of kids. - If I''d need to take a huge pay cut. - If I''d like it after all. - Etc. Has anyone come from a software development background in another field to do games development? How did you find it? Regards, Mike C++, Java Developer and Application/Software Architect.

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Hey Mike,

Welcome to the world of games, you are doing better than me. I only lasted 5 years in traditional programming jobs before getting so sick of them that I thought I''d never code again.

I think you are primarily looking to become part of a company that is already thriving and I can''t really help you that much there. But I can say that producing games isn''t really that different from producing other software products and the quality control and team work you have already learnt will should put you in good stead. As well as your coding practices and alot of basic coding ideas.

But as with any major shift in the industry you will usually have to settle for a little less pay than your used to. Also start researching game tec now(there is alot to learn), having an area of game development you specialise in can really help(or so I''ve heard).

And it cant hurt to have a demo game.

But all that is just vague advise and I personally don''t have any experience in getting a job at larger already existing games companies. I''m taking the lone wolf road at the moment, though when my current title is finished I may choose an new direction.

This too is a reasonable option for an experienced programer, or perhaps attempting to start a small team in your area. I think alot of begining teams/lone wolf programmers never manage to finish a game soley because they don''t understand exactly how much effort is required to actually finish a commercial quality peice of software.

Of course this road doesn''t hold anywere near as much security, it''s more like trying to break into novel writing. You spend a lot of time and effort on your product in the hope that it will actually sell well.

But which ever road you take good luck to you, its good to see others taking up game development and I think the industry needs more seasoned developers in it''s ranks.

Jai

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Firstly, there is no such thing as being too old. Alot of developers range from 20 to 50.. just that alot of the developers in here, myself included (sort of) are of the younger generation.

The industry isn''t full of kids, just adults that are kids at heart

What you may want to do is continue doing what you are already doing and just start it as a hobby, or something to do in your spare time. Game Development companies/groups don''t exactly look kindly upon people with no experience in the industry lightly, but you never know.. always worth a shot.
As for a pay cut ? Possibly, but it all depends.

Most people like the game industry but it does have its ups and downs, depending on who you deal with, etc. Another downside is that it is *very* competitive so you are continually trying to produce better and more original games but once again that depends on each individual. I''m not very creative so.

Since you are already experienced in programming the gods will probably shine on you.

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33 myself and I wonder about the same things. I have done Security and Antivirus software up to this point, which is fairly interesting, at least more so than the Oracle project I supervised a few years ago.

I''d say you be a great asset on this site and it would be a fantastic way to start "networking" your name and abilities. Check the ''need articles'' forum and go for it. It would be sort of a win/win for everyone - GD gets some great articles, you get some experience and publicity, readers get some solid tutorials and articles on the subject that we all love - games..

And I agree - I am really about 23 at heart, it''s all about hockey, whitewater rafting/kayaking, skydiving, home theaters, and of course -> GAMES. Screw getting old!



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Thanks everyone, You fill me with hope.

I''m going to complete this game project I''m working on now and seriously consider paying to get my ass down to the next Australian game developers conference. Once I meet a few people in my local industry I''ll make a decision.

A big motivating factor me is to see the box in the store for a game that I''ve played a key role in building. I''d also like to develop the type of software that I love so much and experience the challenge of something new.

Maybe I''m better off going it alone or with a few like minded people who can take time off from a paying job for a while.

I''m also going to see how I can contribute in other ways, like the forums around here.

Thanks,

Mike

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The Dame Developers Conference in Melbourne isn''t all that great, but if you can get there.. then go ahead its always nice to "Get a feel" for things. What I would do is try contacting Auran located in Brisbane or Ratbag Games located in either Melbourne or Adelaide, can''t remember and just see if there are any positions going. There is also the Game Dev course for $6,000 at QANTM in Brisbane but the course is utter crap but if you say you''ve completed it you get a few more ears listening.

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