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Avont29

professional game programming career

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hey, im a junior in high schooll now. i want to be a professioa game programmer. i know i have to go to college and get a bachelors in computer science, its just getting into college is the prob for me. i don't have a college fund. i can't do financial aid cause my mom makes too much income, but she pays a lot of stuff, bills i guess. and a bank loan is the same way. and i probally wont get a scholarship, what can i do?

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How to make money is a topic for other forums. However you will improve your chances simply by writing games and demos. Good demos + no degree beats good degree + no demos.

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Original post by Kylotan
How to make money is a topic for other forums. However you will improve your chances simply by writing games and demos. Good demos + no degree beats good degree + no demos.


Not necessarily. If you can prove you know your crap in an interview, you can get a job without a demo. When all else is equal, a good demo is definitely a significant bonus. But all else isn't always equal.

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Original post by Troll
Not necessarily. If you can prove you know your crap in an interview, you can get a job without a demo. When all else is equal, a good demo is definitely a significant bonus. But all else isn't always equal.


Not at our company. We've hired people who failed out of uni with good demo's but never once have we hired anyone without a demo. If people don't have a good demo attached to their resume (or on a website/cd etc) then they don't even get an interview. Demo's > * as far as hiring at my particular firm goes.

As for money ... no idea, but doing your own hobby stuff and making a nice demo in the mean time definatly wouldn't hurt. Especially since you might find out you actually hate it :P programming isn't fun for alot of people.

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Original post by Avont29
hey, im a junior in high schooll now. i want to be a professioa game programmer. i know i have to go to college and get a bachelors in computer science, its just getting into college is the prob for me. i don't have a college fund. i can't do financial aid cause my mom makes too much income, but she pays a lot of stuff, bills i guess. and a bank loan is the same way.
and i probally wont get a scholarship, what can i do?


What do you expect us to do? pay your fees?

Why dont you get a part time job while at uni?
its not that hard you know. Worst case scenario you can definately get a job flipping burgers that allows you to pay for your bills!

and yes, im talking from experience... I paid my own Uni and my own accomodation and bills. It sucks knowing that after lectures you are going to work while your friend are going to the pub but its worth it... besides you dont need to work everyday.

And make sure you get demos running while studying AND working... its a hard life being a Dev.

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Original post by Troll
Not necessarily. If you can prove you know your crap in an interview, you can get a job without a demo. When all else is equal, a good demo is definitely a significant bonus. But all else isn't always equal.


It is very unlikely (although possible) that you can get a job as a game programmer without having a demo. As Kaysik said, without a demo you may not even get as far as the interview stage, and you'd have to bring something unusual and interesting to the interview to get any further (simply having a bachelors degree in computer science is unlikely to cut the muster).

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Just get a job, In my junior year I got a job and saved all my money and never spent any of it and in my senior year I'm still working and should have a good start of money for college.

There are hundreds of scholorships just ask your counselor or someone at your school. Normally it's as simple as writing an essay.

Or you can do what some of my friends did at work and take huge college loans and plan to pay them off.

If you can't program, then your already a little behind. From what I've seen most people start in 8th or 9th grade and start programming games. Also make sure your good at math. :)

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Original post by Sirisian
Or you can do what some of my friends did at work and take huge college loans and plan to pay them off.


Definitly start saving any money you can afford to.

If you plan on taking 12+ credits per semester then I would recommend student loans (In addition to any scholarships and your own money) and do not work. However, your should be able to work during your first two and maybe 3 semesters with this type of class load (12 to 15 credit hours). It will become increasingly difficult to maintain a job and your GPA as you move into your upper division classes. If you do want a job throughout your college life try and find a tech support job where you can do homework when you are not answering calls. You'll find this type of job at a place that is supporting old technology. I had a job like this supporting a product called Real/32. This was a operating system based on PC-MOS -> DR-MDOS -> Novel MDOS etc. A computer lab tech at your college is not bad as well. Usualy you can slack and get some homework in... they are (usualy) more understanding.

Your local community college is much cheaper then a university. Consider taking most of your lower division classes there, and then transfering to a university for your upper division classes. You're savings will be huge, and it also opens up the possibility you can get into a better college for your last two years (one you would have been denied based on your SAT scores).

College loans are not as bad as some people may tell you. I have a friend who took out a 60,000 USD loan for a BS and MS. His yearly salery is now above 100k.

Glad to see you are thinking of a CS degree. Great degree to have when your family does not want to move again.

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You don't have to go to college IFF you have a serious and insatiable need to learn and experiment in programming and game design. I got my first job without a college degree or a demo per-se, but I had lots of mod and other misc game-related programming work on my resume.

Oh, and always remember that a CS degree is only as good as you want it to be. I've interviewed people with CS degrees who seemed to have trouble drooling and talking at the same time (ok that's a little harsh). I've worked with a man who allegedly had a Master's degree, but somehow he couldn't draw a proper state diagram on the whiteboard.

Formal education is not a silver bullet.

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