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Getting into the industry, from abroad

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Hello there. I´m new to this forum, and i wanted to start out with some questions and doubts i hope you people can answer. I live in Argentina and im on my 4th year in Industrial Engineering. However, i realized some time ago that what i really want to do is make games. I have no doubts about this, i have thought it through very much, and this is what i would like to do with my life. I´m currently learning 3d modelling on 3ds max and soon i will start programming. As soon as i have time, i want to start making a MOD, probably for HL2 (source) or BF2 engines in order to gain some experience. Hoever, my decision is extremely risky, since i live in a country where the game industry is almost inexistant. Therefore, i have certain doubts: -What sort of programming degree should i be looking for to be able to get into the industry? -What are the chances of getting a job being a (future) inmigrant? These questions might seem a little odd, but in the next couple of months im going to have to make a decision about whether or not i can pursue this dream, and i am quite fearful of the risks involved. I see many job offerings in many diferent countries for various posicions in the industry, but i dont know what are the chances of getting a job coming from a country where my experience is most likely to be a limited one.

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Eduardo wrote two very frequently asked questions:

>What sort of programming degree should i be looking for to be able to get into the industry?

Wrong question. What sort of programming degree would interest YOU? You have to take a degree that's suitable to YOUR interests and abilities - not to please some hypothetical future employer. Go to any college/uni that sounds good to YOU.

>What are the chances of getting a job being a (future) inmigrant?

I assume you're talking about the USA. Your likelihood is very low. You're in Argentina, where there is no game industry at present. Why don't you start the industry in your country? See my August 2004 column at
http://www.igda.org/columns/gamesgame/gamesgame_Aug04.php


If you're not the businessman type, then consider if it might be easier to find a game job in Brazil - where the game industry has started to sprout up. It won't be easy (and of course you'd have to learn Portuguese), but that might be easier than getting a job in the US. Once you've gotten some experience, consider starting your own company, and where better to do it than Argentina where you feel most at home?

Good luck!
Tom

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Actually i was thinking more about Europe than the US. There is a growing industry here, 30 companies have established themselves over the last 5 years and are currently developing games for mobiles and the internet. I do have the posibility of moving to another country, i think that would be possible. My idea is to start of here and gain some experience, and then move to another country and hope to find a position there..... how many people have tried this?

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Hi Eduardo,

Europe, eh? Still difficult. Get your education in Europe - maybe that way, with contacts and proximity, you can manage it. Worth a try.

Good luck

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Thanks for your answers Tom. I have one more question for you: I read that its more important "what you did" than where you studied. Like, having something that shows what you can do. Is this still true?

There is a place called Image Campus here that teaches Game Development. The program is supposed to have been developed by local professionals and the IGDA. Would this title be worth something abroad?

Also, i would like to hear more opinions!

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Hi Eduardo, you wrote:

>Thanks for your answers Tom. I have one more question for you: I read that its more important "what you did" than where you studied. Like, having something that shows what you can do. Is this still true?

Where did you read that, and why do you not believe it? (Or why do you believe that the truth would have changed since that was written?) ... And you're welcome.

>There is a place called Image Campus here that teaches Game Development. The program is supposed to have been developed by local professionals and the IGDA. Would this title be worth something abroad?

Title? You mean degree? Let's go back to what I said before: "You have to take a degree that's suitable to YOUR interests and abilities - not to please some hypothetical future employer. Go to any college/uni that sounds good to YOU." That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

When you say "here," that's unclear. You're from Argentina, but you're not IN Argentina?

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I`m not sure about it, but have you checked if you need VISA to each country in Europe ? Most of the jobs in Europe are in UK, but I bet you need VISA there. Then, it seems that Germany and France has quite a lot of game-dev companies. But I`m not sure if you could speak English in France.

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Quote:
Original post by tsloper
Where did you read that, and why do you not believe it? (Or why do you believe that the truth would have changed since that was written?) ... And you're welcome.


I thought that maybe, since more and more universities and schools are offering a degree in game development, maybe things had indeed changed.

Quote:
Original post by tsloper
When you say "here," that's unclear. You're from Argentina, but you're not IN Argentina?


Yeah, I live in Argentina. I was born here and i would study here.

Since this is such a mayor change from what i´ve been doing (studying engineering), my parents are quite concerned with the risks involved, i.e. the chances I have of making a living out of this. I´m very troubled by what may happen if i decide to pursue my dream. On one hand, i know that´s what i like, and that I´d be really good at it. On the other, starting off in Argentina, getting experience here and then trying to get a job somewhere else seems very difficult and unprecedented.

I know a lot of people who traveled to another country looking for a job in more "convencional" careers such as advertising and they´re now living there, starting their career in another country. Would this be any different in the game industry?


About the Visa, yeah, i think you need one, but im not sure on the details

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