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I have no knowledge of ANY programming languages. I am taking my first computer class in the fall 06 (College Sophmore year). Is that too late? Should I have been learning earlier? What languages should I need to know for a job in the industry. C++,C, and maybe Python? Is that all? How many months our of the year do you work? If the game takes 9 months to complete, Will I be sent away for the 3 months and have to look for another job? What exactly does a finished project mean? I have to see it through to the end? If I don't I won't be looked upon as a "finisher"? How big are the teams generally? Do all the programmers/artist/designers works in one big room? Is there interaction in the workplace? Or is it a group of silent cubicles? Is it easy to change from a developer/programmer to a designer? What would you say the ratio is for African Americans in the industry? It's a bunch of questions, I know. Just couldn't find these on the sloperama site.

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Original post by lordmenace
I have no knowledge of ANY programming languages. I am taking my first computer class in the fall 06 (College Sophmore year). Is that too late? Should I have been learning earlier?
Too late for what? There is no time like the present. You can't change the past. And no employer will care if you started programming in college, high school, or at age 3. All they care about is if you can get the job done.
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Original post by lordmenace
What languages should I need to know for a job in the industry. C++,C, and maybe Python? Is that all?
You probably don't need C.
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Original post by lordmenace
How many months our of the year do you work? If the game takes 9 months to complete, Will I be sent away for the 3 months and have to look for another job?
12 months a year, just like every other professional programming job.
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Original post by lordmenace
What exactly does a finished project mean? I have to see it through to the end? If I don't I won't be looked upon as a "finisher"?
I think you can answer these for yourself. Finish your schooling -- get a degree. Finishing everything else is optional.
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Original post by lordmenace
How big are the teams generally? Do all the programmers/artist/designers works in one big room? Is there interaction in the workplace? Or is it a group of silent cubicles?
All of these vary. If by "team" you mean a team of programmers, those can be anywhere from 3 to 15 people. The total number of programmers, artists, designers, musicians, and others involved in developing a commercial game can vary from 15 to 500. Most games display the credits somewhere, those are all the people who worked on the game. Most people don't work in one big room, but cubicles are common. And of course there is interaction at the work place, otherwise no work would get done.
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Original post by lordmenace
Is it easy to change from a developer/programmer to a designer?
This one is answered Tom Sloper's article #7: Game Biz Jobs and the links inside that article. It is just like any other lateral career move.
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Original post by lordmenace
What would you say the ratio is for African Americans in the industry?
About the same as it is with programmers generally.

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these questions don't show much insight. If you ask me, this thread is a big joke...

@frob: C is a very important language and it's still used a lot in timecritical code.

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Original post by mf_83
these questions don't show much insight. If you ask me, this thread is a big joke...

@frob: C is a very important language and it's still used a lot in timecritical code.

Why the hostility? OP is obviously eager to learn and is curious where s/he stands and what it will take to catch up if need be. And as far as C goes, I was under the impression that was used for very low-level things like drivers where every instruction counts; anyway if OP learns to program it won't be a big deal at all to pick up C later if s/he ever needs it.

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ok, maybe I was a little to harsh, but I just don't understand why he asks those kind of questions. There are tons of questions you would ask about entering the business, but asking "Do all the programmers/artist/designers works in one big room" isn't one of them, or at least, I don't find it particularly useful. Everybody knows they put programmers in caves without outside contact 'til they finish the game ;)

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Original post by mf_83
these questions don't show much insight. If you ask me, this thread is a big joke...

@frob: C is a very important language and it's still used a lot in timecritical code.


[sarcasm]I apologize for not knowing the answers to everything. I also apologize for making this thread because it annoys you so much.[/sarcasm] :/

frob, thanks for the response. You have shed a big light on a grey area for me.

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this is a forum from what i have seen and this is where you ask your questions and s/he wants to know the answers to his questions. there is no need to tell him that this a worthless thread just because u might know the answer and he doesnt.

just my 2cents

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@mf_83 - There is no reason to be an ass. Not everybody is as "brilliant" as you are :(

@OP - There are some very good articles to learn about the game industry at IGDA Articles, including answers to your questions about quality of living and race. Good luck!

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Original post by mf_83
ok, maybe I was a little to harsh, but I just don't understand why he asks those kind of questions. There are tons of questions you would ask about entering the business, but asking "Do all the programmers/artist/designers works in one big room" isn't one of them, or at least, I don't find it particularly useful. Everybody knows they put programmers in caves without outside contact 'til they finish the game ;)


That just so happens to be the work enviroment I prefer. I prefer not to work in a cubicle but more in an open room. I like to interact with co-workers not be secluded/confined to a portion of the room.

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Ace Lordmen wrote:
>What would you say the ratio is for African Americans in the industry?

I don't know, you can find that on the IGDA site, but what does it matter? If you're African-American and you have the drive and the talent, just go for it, dude. I mean, what difference does it make what some ratio is?

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This is going to sound harsh.

The only way you're going to be able to catch up is if you devote your entire existence to programming. You will have to code hobby projects just to learn the nuances of programming that college courses don't have the time to teach you. College will teach you other important things, but it won't be enough to be up to par with good programmers.

There's no way you're going to be able to compete if you don't write code in your free time.

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There is no 'too late.' I transferred into my school's CG department (part of its school of art and design) from Architecture (part of the architecture school) half-way through my sophmore year, and in a year I was at the top of my class skill wise (I kept high grades regardless because I put in tremendous effort). If you want to do it, and the drive is there, you'll make it. Just practice and hard work.

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I apologize in advance if the post I am replying to was really, really dry sarcasm. Really dry.

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Original post by Nypyren
The only way you're going to be able to catch up is if you devote your entire existence to programming.


I would like to say, with respect, that you are wrong. "Catch up"? Let's follow that statement to it's logical conclusion: if you can't catch up to those who have already been programming, then a person learning now will never be able to compete with those who have been in the industry already. So the current generation will never be as good as the last, therefore the industry will die in less than 40 years. Is this correct?

Catch up? Give me a break. A person can always learn.

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You will have to code hobby projects just to learn the nuances of programming that college courses don't have the time to teach you. College will teach you other important things, but it won't be enough to be up to par with good programmers.


True, but this is completely different then "devoting your entire existence to programming". Theres more to life than being a troglodyte in a dark corner: I've been successful not only in my work AND my hobby projects, but I am married and have a life outside of games and programming.

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There's no way you're going to be able to compete if you don't write code in your free time.


That part is somewhat true. You need to have a wide range of knowledge, and much of this is gained from spare time programming. But this still doesn't explain the logic of "catch up" or "devote your entire existence to programming".

Really dry.

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Quote:

That part is somewhat true. You need to have a wide range of knowledge, and much of this is gained from spare time programming. But this still doesn't explain the logic of "catch up" or "devote your entire existence to programming".


I would also submit that the attitude of needing to devote every spare waking moment to programming or enhancing one's skillset is something that contributes to the industry's relatively high burn-out rate. While its true that most college courses don't teach you enough about programming (so you need to learn outside the classroom -- but this should be happening regardless of your major, field of study, et cetera), you do not need to be chained to your computer 24/7 to be successful.

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Quote:
Original post by lordmenace
Is that too late?

No.

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What languages should I need to know for a job in the industry. C++,C, and maybe Python? Is that all?

No. You need to learn programming.

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How many months our of the year do you work? If the game takes 9 months to complete, Will I be sent away for the 3 months and have to look for another job?

If the company is financially bouyant, in a good relationship with a publisher, or takes on sub-contract work, there should be year-round development. Otherwise, you may be laid off at the end of an 18- to 24-month project, simply because the company can't afford to keep paying you until it gets its next advance.

(Another reason why I'm in sales, not development.)

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What exactly does a finished project mean?

What exactly does a "finished movie" mean? What exactly does a "finished meal" mean?

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How big are the teams generally?

Depends on how big the game is and how much work is being done internally vs being outsourced/contracted.

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Do all the programmers/artist/designers works in one big room?

No.

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Is there interaction in the workplace?

Yes, provided that by "interaction" you don't mean a continuous stream of chatter. Most knowledge workers need periods of silence and concentration to put out reasonable amounts of work.

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Is it easy to change from a developer/programmer to a designer?

No. If you want to be a "designer," look into project management, not programming.

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What would you say the ratio is for African Americans in the industry?

Pitiful.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
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Original post by Oluseyi
Quote:
How many months our of the year do you work? If the game takes 9 months to complete, Will I be sent away for the 3 months and have to look for another job?

If the company is financially bouyant, in a good relationship with a publisher, or takes on sub-contract work, there should be year-round development. Otherwise, you may be laid off at the end of an 18- to 24-month project, simply because the company can't afford to keep paying you until it gets its next advance.

(Another reason why I'm in sales, not development.)


programmers tend not to be the first up against the wall though, the contracters go first, then the testers.

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Do all the programmers/artist/designers works in one big room?

No.

depends where you work, some places yes, some places no.

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Is it easy to change from a developer/programmer to a designer?

No. If you want to be a "designer," look into project management, not programming.

again it's not quite as simple as that. Of course you can make the change from programmer to designer, it might mean changing companies. There are such things as technical designers, who code and design.

Also project management would help you as a producer, I don't see what benefit it'll bring a designer.

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I know companies, now like to hire people who have had at least 4 years of college in C++. Maybe some companies use another language, but C++ is more common because of its power. A long time ago you could land of job without having even college experience, I believe, but now they have stepped up the boundaries. To find out which programming language you should learn you should look at the companies web site, they should have a job section and check out the requirements. Don't be surprised that the bigger the company the higher the requirements.

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