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

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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

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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?

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