Sign in to follow this  

need some advice

This topic is 4867 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

I specialize in half-life levels/textures. now here’s where I need the opinions of not just half-life but as the whole genera in question. here’s three screen shots of some of my best work in my opinion, now what im having trouble with is this. there are 2 things in life I’ve always wanted to do. first, make video games, but I have also always wanted to be an archeologist. Woah talk about different right? well here’s the thing. I know if I goto the university of Oregon for archeology I will have full funding and will be able to get my PHD in 8 years. the thing is I can goto the art institute of orange county and get a BS in game design, fully paid. my dilemma is I am stuck and need to make a decision soon. now my question to you all is, as game developer and mod makers, judging by these screens, do you think the game design industry is something I might do well in. judge on my talent. and don’t worry bought archeology, I don’t expect and advice there. I am at a 50/50 in my choice, and I don’t really have anywhere to get advice on my talents in the game industry except right here. It will be my decision in the end, but any thoughts on my abilities would greatly help me. there are some veteran people in here, and if they think I suck, then I know school wont improve me much. well anyways take a gander and let me know your opinions. I really appreciate this. -Rick http://img24.exs.cx/img24/1489/pillar0004.jpg http://img46.exs.cx/img46/8374/Monistary0000.jpg http://img22.exs.cx/img22/2567/monistary0008.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The pictures are nice, but it's very hard to judge a leveldesigner on screenshots. You'd need to play through a few levels atleast, to get a feel for it. You must also think about that leveldesign is about more than just modelling, it's about deciding what happens where, and why. It's basically deciding the whole gameplay of a level, based on the rules implied by the overall gamedesign.
If i were you I'd post links to a few levels you've made so people can try them out, and see if they're any fun.
Also consider the fact that it's hard to land a job in the industry, and once you're in you're far from sure you'll stay. We've seen quite a few layoffs in just the last couple of weeks.
I don't know about archeology, but as long as you're not working out in the field, having to secure funding, it seems like a much less risky line of work ;)
Not that i'm trying to scare you off, but it IS hard to get a job, hard to keep it, and hard work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
...something of a big decision. :)

I like the pictures a lot, but I'm not familiar with half-life, so I don't know how much of that could be considered your work, and how much is the engine's or software.

Of course, it's always possible to find a group or a game that'll take your designs and models on contract, so you could be in school for a PhD and working on a game as a hobby of sorts.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Rick,

I might be able to relate to you in a way. Let me give some quick background info.

Since I was about 5 I've wanted to make games. I've dabbled on and off with it, and am now 23. I've never released anything official, but I've done some pretty decent work (if I do say so myself!). At any rate, when I began college I went into computer science, programming specifically, to more or less better myself for a position in the games industry. I had my eye fixed on things like Digipen or full sail.

Of course I had to take general education courses. History, humanities, philosophy, anthropology. After some realizations about who I am and what life is to me, I decided to switch my major to a more general, broad, and well rounded discipline. I didn't feel college should be a training ground for my financial future. Maybe I turned hippy, I don't know. What was important to me was that I be a well rounded, well educated individual.

Soo, I'm now at UC Davis as an Anthropology Major (quite related to archeology :). I'll be done here in about... two quarters (20 weeks worth of class). That will be my BA, of course.

Now, I'm not positive I am going to hit a gold mine and be super rich (not really aiming for that). People constantly ask me "what I am going to do" with anthropology (like, how am I going to make money with it). If I really want to get money being an anthropologist, I would surely need a PhD. But, I'm pretty sure I don't want to be just an anthropologist. And I know I'm getting tired of school :)

ANYWAY, that wasn't as brief as I hoped. The point is, I see a strong foundation in education, and a well informed and broad range of knowledge very relevant for game development. I'm an anthropologist at school and a game programmer and designer on my own time. Since these are two very important aspects of my life (knowledge and games), I try to fuse them together.

It's what makes me myself, you know. I see a similar decision for you to make. You can still be an archeologist and a game designer/developer. A PhD in Archeology wouldn't abridge your ability to get into the game industry, it might in fact, boost it greatly. If you continue to do work on the side, you'll advance greatly beyond the typical BS in computer science 22 year old who will work for peanuts.

I personally believe the degree in Archeology will suit you better, because it'll represent something no technology degree can represent, in my opinion. Since you'll no doubt go through a lot of anthropology, history, humanity, and other types of courses in that field, you'll become a well rounded and well educated individual, which will FUEL you in a great way for doing ANYTHING in life, games included.

It's about who you want to be. The technology degree will help you a lot, I think an equal degree in a well versed and broad discipline will aid you more. Because in life we do more things than just code, design games, and study dig sites.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sometimes I think these forks in the road exist to show us what we really want.

FWIW, I did about 5 years in the game industry, and funny enough I just recently went through your choice sort of in reverse (go into public policy or try to be an indie developer). Here are some things to consider:

- What does making games give you that you can't get in the profession of your interest?

- Is there any way to blend the two professions you are interested in so that you can put more energy and effort into the one that is more stable, more professionally flexible, and yeilds the best long term possibilities? Are there other archaeologists out there who also want to get into the interactive realm (surely you can't be the only one!)


- What is your tolerance for failure and what are your fallback plans? Could you stand to be with a development house that folds, or work on a project that never sees the light of day?

- Like with many "fun" fields you may come to hate game making when exposed to the politics, management and market forces of the game industry. Would you puke if you had to make much more mainstream games like a Big Game Hunter to stay afloat?

Some other issues to carefully consider:

I don't think the game industry is all that kind to mainline veterans. If you found a company or are a wunderkind I'm sure that there's a place for you. But as a rule I've met many 40 something ex-game industry vets that aren't in the industry anymore. I'm not saying that there's age bias outright, but the industry itself I feel likes to grind up new minds until they get exhausted and leave (which saves on benefits latter, I suppose). With so many people DYING to make games, this becomes an increasing competitive pressure you will have to deal with as you slow down.


As said above, it's hard to judge just by screens. Consider that your area of expertise is highly competitive. If you look at all of the above and still make the decision to join up you'll certainly have fewer regrets because at least you knew what the risks were and accepted them for the sake of your passion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 4867 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.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this