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Career in game development

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Hi I'm only 14 years old but I have a few questions... I'm from Australia and I want to pursue a career in game development. However I am concerned about outsourcing of work. Should I really be worrying about this? I've been learning C++ the last few months and this is becoming more and more worrying to me.

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It's been a while since I've been in the industry, so I'm not really up to date with the whole "outsourcing" fad. But here's my opinion (and take it only as an opinion, not as fact!)

One of the benefits of game developement is that as it is a creative process, it is harder to outsource. Nearly every development house that I know of will have its game coders in-house. They might buy some external libraries or get someone else to write really specific modules, but they don't outsource the programming entirely. It's not like animation where it's common to get artists in places like Korea to do the drawing for you.

Now I suppose it is possible to outsource the whole game development process to another country. However, if the country you are outsourcing do has a significantly different culture, the games that are being created will be too different from your target market; every country seems to have its own cultural "stamp" that adds to the feel of the game. This is actually a benefit for Australia, as we are much cheaper than the U.S. but have a rather similar taste in games.

The main worry for Australian companies (and again, this is just my opinion) is that as far as I know we don't have a large publisher based here. With the distance and time delays in communications between here and the U.S. and Europe, I don't think the publishers have that much of an attachment to Aussie companies. That's why I've seen many good companies been treated as disposable by publishers; they're there to create "filler" games and then the publisher cuts off support. Of course, that's the case in every country, but I feel that it happen in Australia more than it should.

Again, if someone within the industry has a different opinion, or if my view is completely wrong, please correct me.

P.S. Why aren't you watching the AFL Grand Final [grin]?

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What aspect of game development do you want to pursue: game design, programming, art, animation/modeling, QA? You mentioned C++, so I assume you want to be a games programmer. If you're new to programming, by the time you become learned enough, and have a sufficient portfolio built to show to game studios, I'm sure the industry is going to be much different than it is now.

Maybe somebody already involved in the industry can give their opinion on this matter, as I'm interested as well.

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You should never worry because i just started Cplusplus a couple of months ago (see I'm just like you) and here and their I do get discoraged. But I never question my abilities in programming, that could lend me a career in the game development industry. Also on a side note I don't think its you so much being you questioning your abilities 100% of the time. I think its the langusge your studying. Cplusplus is hard at first but once you get good at it you can move on to anyhting else.

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Original post by Trapper Zoid
One of the benefits of game developement is that as it is a creative process, it is harder to outsource. Nearly every development house that I know of will have its game coders in-house. They might buy some external libraries or get someone else to write really specific modules, but they don't outsource the programming entirely. It's not like animation where it's common to get artists in places like Korea to do the drawing for you.

I can see some reasons why programmers wouldn't be outsourced as much as artists, including revision control, testing and similar concerns that can cause problems with a 2500+ mile gap between development teams. But to what degree are these problems emphasized over long distances?

With high speed internet and video conferencing, in addition to all the developmental tools available today, do you think these concerns will become moot as development teams will eventually be able to communicate instantly, and with little to no miscommunication in the near future?

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Original post by stylin
I can see some reasons why programmers wouldn't be outsourced as much as artists, including revision control, testing and similar concerns that can cause problems with a 2500+ mile gap between development teams. But to what degree are these problems emphasized over long distances?

With high speed internet and video conferencing, in addition to all the development tools available today, do you think these concerns will become moot as development teams will eventually be able to communicate instantly, and with little to no miscommunication in the near future?


The communication problems between Australia and the rest of the Western World in games development (in this case Europe and the U.S.) is that our normal business hours don't overlap that much. When the Aussie developers are working, the publishers in the U.S. are asleep, and vice versa (although the developers often are still working, but they're not really in a fit state of mind to talk to the publishers at the stage of the day!).

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Original post by Trapper Zoid
The communication problems between Australia and the rest of the Western World in games development (in this case Europe and the U.S.) is that our normal business hours don't overlap that much. When the Aussie developers are working, the publishers in the U.S. are asleep, and vice versa (although the developers often are still working, but they're not really in a fit state of mind to talk to the publishers at the stage of the day!).

Good point.

What publishing companies are there in Australia, and do you know if they [have] outsource[d] human resources, if at all?

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Original post by stylin
Good point.

What publishing companies are there in Australia, and do you know if they [have] outsource[d] human resources, if at all?


As far as I know, the publishers don't have a presence themselves here, other than provincial offices. There are some developers that are highly integrated to specific publishers, such as Infogrames Melbourne House, but I'm not sure whether I'd consider them to be "in-house" or not, as from what I've heard they still pretty much just develop whatever the main office in Europe tells them to do (although my contacts have slowly dried up a bit since I moved out of the industry several years ago).

The publishers haven't really outsourced any teams, as far as I know. What they do tend to do is shut down the whole company once the title is shipped (or at least not sign up for a new title), but that's common everywhere; it's slash-and-burn for most of the little guys in the game developing business.

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Well I dunno... But I guess video conferncing with the guys in LA and Paris at 3am wouldn't be fun.

Quote:
P.S. Why aren't you watching the AFL Grand Final :D ?

Lol I'm a shocker at keeping up with the footy!

Quote:
What aspect of game development do you want to pursue: game design, programming, art, animation/modeling, QA? You mentioned C++, so I assume you want to be a games programmer.

Yup your right programming...

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I've worked for a couple of game developers here in Australia and so far I haven't heard of any work being outsourced. It certainly shouldn't worry you at this stage as the most important thing from here is to get a solid knowledge of C++ and concentrate on whether you want to persue a job in the games industry.

As you're only 14 you have a while before you'll be looking for work, so it's hard to tell what the demand for game coders will be. My advice is to get your C++ skills up as much as you can and start making some game demos.

Doolwind

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