• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Game development my dream. Can this be achieved without relocating?

This topic is 4156 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

Hello gamedev community! This is my first post so I'd like to give a little background before I get into details (it might give a better idea of my situation). I love gaming. Simple. I was born in '83 and have been gaming since! Other than music, it is my greatest passion. I specialize in PC Gaming rather than consoles (that is playing, not developing :P ). My educational background consists of a Technical College Degree (3 year DEC) in Computer Science. For those of you who are not familiar with Quebec's school system, College is somewhere between High School and University (a 3 year tech DEC gives you the option to go out in the workforce right away with the option to continue education at the University level). I've completely specialized in web development, particularly PHP. I can pretty much settle down now with a great starting salary at a great company. However (there's always a However!), the passion is not all there. I've always been and will be passionate about gaming and I've been thinking for the longest time about getting into the industry. My main concern is, as the title may hint, if I'll be able to pursue my dream here in Montreal. I'm definately a family guy and have tons of family responsibilities here that restrict my career region. And I'm not just asking if it is possible, because yes I'm sure it is possible, I'm more specifically asking if it is feasible, realistic. Does working in the industry mean that I'll have to job hop from location to location or is there enough opportunity in one city like Montreal for a lifetime? I'd love to hear your thoughts, real life experiences and anything pertaining to my situation. Also as a note, Montreal does have some big names here such as EA and Ubisoft, which I guess would be my main opportunities, so if anyone studies or works there (specifically in Montreal) I'd love to hear from you. Montreal also has a Ubisoft campus which I'd love to get more information on from an insider who can tell me in English (since the site is only French and has an English coming soon sign; which has been there for over a year now) what I can do to get in. I had a friend who called in for more information on the campus and was rudely answered by someone who refused to speak English. And you'd think someone working in the service sector would be Bilingual. Any feedback from any of you here is much appreciated! Thanks for going through my painfully long post! I guess I could use a counsellor :P Also if anyone would be kind enough to IM me real time that would be awesome too. I'm up for quicker communication since I'm just stuffed to the rim with questions, inspiration and determination. Cheers! Lawrence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Hi!

When I started taking interest in game development almost 8 years back, I was in a similar dilemna since at that time gaming industry was literally non-existant in India. I wanted to leave it out as just a hobby, but I could not and continued pursuing it.

Luckily, as I graduated, the mobile game industry picked up and I found myself in a great position! Although its not as well paying as other IT jobs, its still the closest I can get to game development here :(.

Well, you are lucky that there are already well established gaming companies in your city! You have many paths you can follow:

- Get into a gaming company as a tester and work you way up (Assuming you have no game programming/art/music experience)
- Start indie development (Risky but fun!)
- Work in other IT companies and learn game development in free time. Switch careers when you think you are ready

One thing to remember which happens very often is that as soon as you start doing your hobby professionally, you start losing interest in that hobby! (It has not happened to me luckily :) )

Best of luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey,

Thanks for sharing your experience! I have a feeling I wouldn't loose interest in this upcoming venture, but only time will tell. I do know that I haven't shown this much passion in a long time for anything else other than music (which due to the great industry, parents do not consider it a great profession to get into) and of course my lovely girlfriend.

I went into web development because it sort of just fell through, I kinda like it, and am great at it (I do enjoy programming and design) but was never ever so passionate in it. The more I work in the field the more I know I can't do this for the rest of my life. I know that with the passion I have for gaming my fate will be much better so I'm really looking to get into it. My only restraint is location, which I'm hoping, with a little pep talk from everyone here at gamedev, will not be such a restraint at all.

Just waiting to break loose!

Thanks for the reply!
Eagerly waiting some more great advice and experiences :)

Cheers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You live in Montreal? There's no better place to be! I wouldn't worry about moving, there's a huge game dev community there you can get involved in. First step would be to head on over to the IGDA Montreal Chapter and find out when their next meeting is. Show up, mingle and start getting your name out there. Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Awesome, just the reassurence I needed. Much appreciated. I guess with a few big names in Montreal I wouldn't have to worry. I'll definately look into the Montreal Game Dev scene.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Heh, my dilemma is probably worse than yours -- at least you are in a major city. *lives in downtown Hobart in Tasmania, Australia*. Afaik, there are a few indy people down here (who in all likelihood never completed anything) and some ex-pros who work on contracted GBA stuff. I've figured I'll move to melbourne once I get some money from working in a regular IT job (read, programming some boring financial app). Either way, got to finish Honours first, then decide.

Good luck with your investigation!

~Shiny, in the boonies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Shiny, good luck to you as well.

I will let everyone know about my progress, well... as I progress.. Perhaps a blog might be in the works. Perhaps with a title as such: "The Mighty Adventures of Journeying Into The World of Game Development!". Actually I think that would be a great idea as it would probably be helpful to little nooblets in the future.

Thanks, Peace out.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by Shiny
Heh, my dilemma is probably worse than yours -- at least you are in a major city. *lives in downtown Hobart in Tasmania, Australia*. Afaik, there are a few indy people down here (who in all likelihood never completed anything) and some ex-pros who work on contracted GBA stuff. I've figured I'll move to melbourne once I get some money from working in a regular IT job (read, programming some boring financial app). Either way, got to finish Honours first, then decide.

Good luck with your investigation!

~Shiny, in the boonies.


Go to either melbourne or brisbane are my recommendations. Brisbane's companies are probably higher profile, but companies like IR Gurus, BlueTongue are all starting to get good projects in. IR Gurus are after their own intellectual property, Blue Tongue tends to do more kiddie licensed games like sponge bob etc.

Brisbane have Krome (who I work for, used to be IR Gurus), Pandemic, Creative Assembly, THQ (linked with Blue Tongue) and many other good studios.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hi Lawrence,

I am also from Montreal.

I just read in the paper that UBISOFT has just started looking for ~500 coders.

Also, even though Ubisoft DOES hire people with only a DEC, they usually hire people with Engineering Degrees.

Finally, to answer your question, Montreal is literally the “Silicon Valley” of Canada. In other words: Montreal is the bed of multimedia/gaming developing of Canada.

Of course, there are more opportunities in the U.S. … but assuming that you want to stay in Canada, Montreal is the right place to be.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just curious, would knowing french be a requirement to move to montreal? Or is that quebec? I remember hearing something about a place in canada where french is the main language. Anyway, my main concern is, if i want to move to canada, will i need frnech for some specific locations?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey,

Well you would definately be stuck if you didn't know French in most parts of Quebec. Fortunately Montreal is quite bilingual although you'll get some people who refuse to speak English, for the most part you should have no problem getting around. If you do decide to come over here I could probably help you get around a bit.

I've lived here my whole life and regrettably my parents didn't force me to learn French so I do feel I have a disadvantage. I know enough to get me around, but when it comes to jobs in most service sectors you probably wont' be able to get one. We do have a major english part of the city (West Island) where I believe there is a big majority of English speaking people.

As far as studying here, we do have great english schools. However, the gaming schools that I know do involve French (which really restricts me). Ubisoft has a campus here too which is quite affordable, however, the site is only in french right now so I really don't know much about it yet. I will look into it further real soon. (www.ubisoftcampus.com)

In short you don't really need to know french. For example, my current boss at my webfirm barely speaks the language. However if you plan to be here for a while you'll want to pick some up.

Have you looked into the scene in Ontario/Toronto? I'm not sure what they have there, but you definately wouldn't have to worry about language barriers.

Hope that's helpful.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
thanks dtportnoy69, yes that was helpful. I was just curious because i'm currently in "job application phase" and there's no game industry here, so I've been applying anywhere i feel there's even a remote possibility of relocation (this implies every country except for the US). It's figgin hard with the way things are these days :(

Anyway, was just getting myself more informed about locations. Thanks for the info.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I worked for a company ( which will remain nameless ) in Montreal about 8 years back. When that company went under and I applied for a few gaming related job, not being bilingual killed me. At the time, they would rather take a mediocre programmer that knew french, then an excellent programmer that didnt. This was directly from an HR persons mouth.

So just a warning, not knowing French in Montreal would be a serious hindrance. Dont even think about working in Quebec city. That said, since then EA set up shop, so its probrably improved quite a bit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Regardless of getting a job in the video game industry, if you can manage going to University, then you should do that. It will open up many more opportunities for you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Do you want to be a GD? or Programmer?
I want to show you some sentences said by Chris Crawford in the start of his book "Chris Crawford on game design":

"Game design shares nothing with game programming; they are completely separate fields of endeavor. True, a game designer must understand programming just as a game programmer must know something of game design. Yet as these two fields have progressed, they have diverged; master game designers focus their energies on mental challenges utterly different from those that bedevil master game programmers. This book is about the problems of game design; it has no truck with technical problems, for which a plethora of books await the reader."

How do you think about this ?:)

Some my thinking about the foreign language:
In some ways,I think the progamming language like C++,or Java,they are the same as the foreign language like French to us.The difference is the programming language is the language from Human to Computer.

You have to remember a lot of rules and words to master them.It needs time.
Because English is the second language to me,I have to spending more time than the people who only speak Chinese.

[Edited by - Join on September 23, 2006 8:48:58 PM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
*snorts at the irony*
I speak fluent english and french and yet I live on the other side of the world to Montreal (and knowing it here in Australia is not very useful at all :( ) -- as for comparing a human language to a programming one, I'd argue that unless the programming language allows for all sorts of terribly lazy syntactical structures, that a human language (i.e, one that we communicate in like English or French) is significantly more complex and many times more difficult to master. There's never a case in C++ where you have to second guess the nature of a particular language construct: if you know the details of the implementation and to what standards the particular flavour adhere to, you can presume to know the outcome of using that language construct almost every time.

Either way, good luck with the hunt again -- and to deepdene, thanks for your insight -- I suspect I will end up in brisbane; just seems like a lot of things are happening there right now :)

~Shiny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey all,

It has been a while. I have not yet given up, however, reality sets in. Time, money, decisions decisions decisions.

I have looked into Westwood College for schooling, however the tuition is way over my head, and getting a huge loan is not desirable.

So I've narrrowed down my options. I will either get my Bachelors in Computer Science here in Montreal while taking online courses at the Game Institute, or, I will enroll into non-accredit math and physics courses while taking courses at the Game Institute.

I'm getting advice from both ends.

One end says: "Get your Bachelors, it opens doors and it'll be easier to get your foot in the industry."

The other: "Don't waste another 2-3 years in general studies. Narrow down, take game development courses, build a portfolio, get your hands dirty. Experience is the best way to go."

I'd love to hear what you guys think!!!

I'll also be blogging my journey soon and I'll post when it's up.

Lawrence

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I dropped out of college after two years and I have yet to regret it. I've never been offered a job where the discussion of my lack of degree has come up. The industry is becoming more and more formal but it's not completely there yet. Having a degree doesn't make it any easier to find a game development job, however it does help you if you ever find yourself between jobs and need some money to keep you afloat. In terms of the games industry I pretty much see degrees and failsafes. I think they're good to have to fall back on, but they aren't of primary use when getting a job in this industry. For game development, a field that is advancing so rapidly, being able to demonstrate what you can do firsthand (demos, porfolio) is the biggest seller to a studio - that and your personality, whether you are able to work well within a team.

So in my opinion you're better off focusing on game dev-related courses for now, and work on that degree in yoru spare time as something to have - just in case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That's interesting. During my search for jobs in UK, I found that all the Junior Programmers, a lot of the companies wanted at least a degree in BSc, many of which wanted a 1st Honours as well. The strange thing is that not all the companies that I got interviewed by looked at my Portfolio which I found odd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Quote:
Original post by yaustar
That's interesting. During my search for jobs in UK, I found that all the Junior Programmers, a lot of the companies wanted at least a degree in BSc, many of which wanted a 1st Honours as well. The strange thing is that not all the companies that I got interviewed by looked at my Portfolio which I found odd.

That's an example of how things are becoming formal. It's not the case everywhere but it is slowly starting to take hold more and more.

I should also mention that a lot of jobs in the industry are filled by people knowing other people. I guess I should have pointed out that the jobs I was offered were from friends I know working at various studios in the area. I've never before sat down for a formal interview. So my further advice is to start meeting people. And I don't mean meet them to get a job, I mean meet them and get to know them and build real friendships with them, and they'll be more than happy to help you out when you need it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sorry, I did skip a few posts (I'm reading between builds)...

I'm French, from Montreal, with only a "AEC" degree (cegep without philosophy / french). I've been working for a little over 5 years in Montreal's game industry (2,5 years for Microids, 2,5 years for Ubi). My degree did impact the speed at which I was able to get to work on interesting stuff, but as soon as I proved them I could handle anything, degree wasn't ever mentionned again.

As for the Campus, its a graduate degree so you'd need to get a Uni degree to apply. In my opinion, its not worth it, unless you know next to nothing about how to make a game.

If you've got any question or anything you'd like translated about the industry in Montreal, feel free to PM / mail me.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement