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msmith

If you'd just given up a 20K programming job

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and wanted to be a games programmer, where would you start? This question goes out to people in the industry or people who are / have been in a similar situation. Brief history: I''ve been a commercial programmer for two years. I have C systems programming experience and web development experience. I completed a part - time software engineering degree last year and have my A level maths exams in June. I''m 28. I''m totally committed to a games programming career. I''ve just completed a ray casting engine and ray tracer, but know that it''ll take more than that to impress a prospective employer. I''ve got two months to put together a demo disk before I stretch my girlfriend''s good will to far. I appreciate that it dilutes the value of the site every time someone posts a "Where do I start?" question, but I''ve just jacked in a reasonably will paid job to pursue this, so I''d like to hear what you have to say. Serious responses please from those in the know. Much appreciated. Martin

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Hi,

I would suggest learning DirectX, cause most games are done in DX, plus it''s great. If you''ve done programming before you''ll have no problem learning DirectX. BTW, buying a DX book is no must, the SDK documentation is enough for most. Learn DirectDraw and try coding some small game, then go on with Direct3D. With D3D you can code pretty impressive thing in a short period of time, since it can do almost everything for you, lighting/transformation/rendering.

Good luck.

Greets Tobias

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Guest Anonymous Poster
well, judging by what you said, you have a fairly good math and programming background. if i were you, i''d start working on a 3d engine, or start working on *something* with the intent of ending up with a 3d engine. two months is plenty of time to end up with a half decent demo, and if you know the math, i''ve found that most of the obstacles are purely psychological ("but.. but.. ive never done this before"). keep it modular, think the design through and through before you start, otherwise it''ll take you a year instead of two months. hope this helps.

-goltrpoat

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hello.

If you already have the ray caster just use that as your demo. Don''t hesitate to start looking for job right away. Find out what game companies are in your area, do up a good resume and head on over, well at least to the ones you want to work for. While looking for the job, work on improving your demo, but that will end up being secondary. Your first priority should be making yourself known. Also remember to get a tour of the place, sometimes high profile studios have a crappy working atmosphere. The studio''s people and working atmosphere should factor heavily in your decision to work there. Nothing sucks more than going to a job you love at a place you hate to work.

You don''t have to be the crazy kick *** coder when you get hired. Hell I wasn''t! But I''ve learned a ton and can now crank out high out quality stuff. If you show enthusasim and a good ability to learn and innovate that goes far beyond a demo. Remember that if you haven''t made commercial games before no matter how good your demo is you probably won''t be made the lead of project, you''ll most likely start out under someone till you prove yourself.

I seen very good demos from people we didn''t hire, and I''ve seen medicore demos from people we''ve hired who have far surpassed all expectations.

Good luck!


Arn
Psx/Psx2 Coder.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I can''t believe you''ve been working for 2 whole years in programming and
only gotten 20k/yr? Damn, that''s only $10/hr. What''s considered poverty
level? Something like 15k/yr ($7h/hr) and under? I think you''ve been
screwed over royally by your previous employer.

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Much obliged for the responses folks.

Incidentally, I live in Manchester, England, so please don''t confuse the dollar with the pound.

Fortunatley, my girlfriend has agreed to support me over the next couple of monnths, so I''m going to use the opportunity to learn some techniques before starting work.

Regards,
Martin

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

I can''t believe you''ve been working for 2 whole years in programming and
only gotten 20k/yr? Damn, that''s only $10/hr. What''s considered poverty
level? Something like 15k/yr ($7h/hr) and under? I think you''ve been
screwed over royally by your previous employer.



Ok, so even at the conversion rate of dollars to pounds, that is still not so great in pay. Here in the states, a basic network support guy makes, starting, 45,000 U.S.

I would be curious to know what the standards are over seas and other markets. I have been fishing around lately. I have checked on Brainbuzz.com and they have target salaries based on years of experience and knowledge base. Only comprehensive thing I have found on the subject of money.







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Guest Anonymous Poster
well in manchester you have
Infogrammes , Warthog and Spiral House .
or try Liverpool .
Rage, Psygnosis , Magenta and Studio 33
also were i work @ Jester Interactive ( music and music 2000 psx )
send a cv and demos to me @
jed@jesterinteractive.com and we''ll see what happens

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Umm shouldn''t you''ve found out how to start in the games industry before quiting your job??

----------
Drago

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You may also want to look at gamejobs.com to see if there''s anything in your area. I''m not sure if it covers non-U.S. jobs or not.

Good luck! You''re gutsier than most, quitting without something to go into.

Breakaway Games

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