• Advertisement

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

switched from other software development?

This topic is 5758 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
I looked into switching industries about a year ago, I figured that I could Team Lead. (I am 36 with 14 years experience).

What I found was sorely dissapointing.

For a team lead I would get paid 60-80k a year and need to work 50-60 hour weeks.

Being a programmer is just not worth the pay (40k-60k), and 60-80 hour weeks.

Also, I would be compeating for the job with younger candidates that are 1) not married, 2) have no children, 3) have relatively few social ties/obligations.

If I were single I would probably do it, I sorely want to get into the industry, but the reality of the situation is that the pay sucks, the hours are shit, the benifits are nil (I don''t call a foosball in the company game room a benifit).

Besides most of the steady jobs out there are for studios with large affiliates that pump out one nintendo clone after another, not alot of creativity.

For a thirtysomething Software Engineer and gamer all of this is terribly depresing for me, but for a college grad, its quite exciting.


D.V.

Carpe Diem

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What''s bizzare is that the developers shell out a fortune for a project and yet most haven''t learnt the basics about staffing their projects.

There should be no reason for the long hours and they should want the professionals with the experience to deliver a project. But those that have moved on with modern development practice are but a handful (or so I can tell from conversations with those in the industry etc).

Anyway, I''m (just) a bit older than both of you and it simply wouldnt make sense for me more to game development either unless it is to start my own software house. So here I am developing an OS game

Obviously I have no sense left (figures the teenages will think its old age).

Good luck whatever you choose to do.

Regards

BaelWrath

If it is not nailed down it''s mine and if I can prise it loose,
it''s not nailed down!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Anonymous Poster
I''m a young developer(almost 30) in the industry and I am completely frustrated by the lack of professionalism I have to deal with.

People seem to think that ''game development'' is supposed to be haphazardly thrown together and subject to all sorts of problems, spec changes, ''impossible'' feature assignments and such, but it doesn''t have to be that way..

I worked 60-80 hour weeks to deliver my first pro title, and it wasn''t because it HAD to be that way..it was because the people I was dealing with(my company, our client, and their client) didn''t put any more thought into developing the product then they would ordering food from McDonald''s because it was a "game" and not "normal" development.

People in the game industry seem to feel that it''s ''acceptable'' to not know what the hell you''re working on, or to let the chips fall where they may in the course of development. Unfortunately, you get a lesser quality product that way. Sure, games are "art", and all that, but for some reason alot of people don''t feel that it deserves as much attention as ''regular'' software products.

I got frustrated when I was a studio musician for the same reasons..people seem to think that because "music is art" that they don''t have learn to play their instruments well, or read music. That''s all well and good if you''re doing it for fun, but when you do it As A Job, you NEED professional skills.

The industry and it''s reputation both suffer from this "lack-of-respect-by-default" from all the non-skilled workers that are just doing it because "it''s cool". This leads people to believe that game development is all about "pulling off miracles", etc., when it''s really not much different than any other software development. The standards are so lax that just about anyone can claim to be a game developer, which really lowers the bar for the rest of us.

I didn''t have a problem moving into the game industry, but I get severely frustrated with the lack of foresight that goes into development. I''m not saying that we should be totally business-like in the way we approach game development, but this whole "I''m gonna make a COOL game with just my attitude and no skills" approach that seems to pervade the industry is killing us. We need more talented, organized game developers that come from other areas to maintain some sanity level, otherwise we''ll just get lumped into this category of dope-smoking hippy wannabe hackers(sort of what happens in the music industry, you try telling people you''re a professional guitar player and they instantly assume that (a)you picked this career because it''s some sort of ''free ride'', (b) you are lazy and unreliable(despite the discipline and years of practice required to become a professional player), and(c) you don''t actually know how to play music).

Only when we populate the industry with people that have legitimate skills will we get the pay scale we deserve. Until then, the reputation of ''game developer'' will continue to attract the most inappropriate people for the job while leaving the most qualified on the outside, afraid to venture into such unstable territory.

I didn''t choose to be a game developer because I like to play Quake all day long or because I want to make big bucks with a single ''briliant'' idea(like that''s actually a career option that you would count on)..I did it because (a) I like the work, (b) I Have The Skill Necessary To Perform That Work, and (c) I don''t mind busting my hump for 60-80 hrs a week to deliver the goods.

If only the REST of the game development community was more like that then we wouldn''t have this negative reputation and pay scale that we do..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
If I were you I wouldn''t bother switching careers. I''m sure you have a steady job going right now. Not to mention that it would probably be difficult for you to crack into the game industry for a few reasons: 1) your older (I didn''t say old ) than most canidates. 2) you don''t have any experience in the game field. 3) the company might think you want more pay than a younger canidate, who is trying to crack into the business. In fact, I''m sure you would probably be looking for more than the entry level pay they would offer, however, that pay is great for a newly college grad.

Then again if you''re not happy with your job, and you are very passionate about making games then I''d say go for it. An important aspect of your job that has to be looked at is whether you enjoy it or not. Plus you could always make a few simple games before you decide to make the change, that way you can see if you like the challenge or not. Well, good luck on whatever your decision turns out to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by mightymike
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.


I''ve worked in both...so here goes my 0.02 worth:

- If I''m too old (33). I Don''t feel to old, I love games.

No, you are not too old.

- If the industry is full of kids.

Nope, not any more than any other tech company. (generally speaking)

- If I''d need to take a huge pay cut.

Probably not. It really depends on what you are capable of.

- If I''d like it after all.

There is no way I can answer this one. Its obviously up to your personal likes/dislikes.

Bottom Line: I have seen these threads before and am kind of perplexed why some peeps think the difference between commercial/business programming and game programming is that different. From my experience the only difference lies in the names of the people you work around/for.

Of course, this is only from my experience, I have no doubt others have different ones.

LostLogic
www.lostlogic.com
Author, Multiplayer Game Programming
Author, Strategy Game Programming with Direct X 9 (Not yet released)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Oh yes, I almost forgot. If you are going for a game job you better have a completely working game you have written.

It doesnt matter if its a PacMan clone, it just needs to be complete!


LostLogic
www.lostlogic.com
Author, Multiplayer Game Programming
Author, Strategy Game Programming with Direct X 9 (Not yet released)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for all your replies.

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.

Thanks,

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
mightymike,
I know what you mean about the age thing... back in 1997 I was 34 and had about 9 years of professional development under my belt. In my spare time I was coding games and all the while wanting to break into the industry. Not living in California, Texas or North Carolina there weren’t too many opportunities for game programmers - I''m in Indiana, just across the Ohio River from Louisville, KY. Then, I found out there was a game company in Louisville... I applied several times... even thought about going over an knocking on their door

Around 99, I was working for a startup software company and they were fortunate enough to work out a deal with a client to do some games... they got on the phone and called the gameco in Louisville. I met the CEO and he liked me. I went for an interview and they wanted to see a finished game (as LostLogic suggested)... Long story short, I would have been working with them if they had not gone out of business... one too many bad dealings had left them financially hurting and they couldn''t afford me to bring me on.

But from that, I met other professional developers that were interested in creating games... we''re now in business for ourselves (which, is how the one chap said you could get into the biz) and haven''t looked back...

I met a really nice fellow at GDC (USA) last March - he is from Australia - maybe I can give you some contact info and you could take it from there...


Dave "Dak Lozar" Loeser

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
quote:
Original post by DeltaVee

If I were single I would probably do it, I sorely want to get into the industry, but the reality of the situation is that the pay sucks, the hours are shit, the benifits are nil (I don''t call a foosball in the company game room a benifit).




Sounds like you looked at some immature game companies. The more mature ones have actual benefits and pay. At least the one I work at does. (Of course, it helps to be owned by Microsoft.)

As for being single, I got married before I made the jump, and I have to say it''s been alright. As long as you make priorities, it''ll be fine.

In general, getting into the industry is pretty easy. Hell, you can write books on game programming without ever shipping a game. Getting into a good company, however, takes some effort, and luck.

MSN

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Advertisement