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Am i on the right path?

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My main goal is to become a high level game designer, I am not talking about small java games and such but to get up to the games you see today For example: heavnly sword, gears of war, halo 3....you catch my drift. So my plan is to go to a local community college for my Associate of Applied Science(game development). I know that taking that will only get me the very minimum basics..from there i will get an entry level position in the gameing field if possible......but from there i am confused, How do i get to the level of game developers there are right now?? Any help would be appreciated! My Long-term future goal is to own a game creation studio.

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School is definitely a good start. You'll find differing opinions on whether or not you should get a game degree or a more general one, so I would just go with whichever one you want most.

One thing that a lot of game designers do is scripting. As such, it would be to your benefit to at least take a couple of computer science courses so you understand the concepts and can do some basic programming of your own. Then I'd experiment with scripting languages like Lua, Perl or Python. If/when you get Crysis and UT3, you can play around with Lua to see how it affects the game in Crysis, and Unrealscript to see how you can change UT3.

Being a designer isn't just about organizing and deciding on how things should be set up. You will be expected to implement your design as well. So my advice is to learn some programming in addition to standard game design.

Good luck!

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I agree that going to school is definitely a good thing. Some knowledge of programming / computer science is good too, but not critical. For instance, you may not be coding in your job, but understanding what the programmers in your team are doing to an extent is helpful.

Work on modding existing games too. That helps a lot. Especially if you make some sweet mods to games from companies that you plan on applying for in the future; that will make a good impression.

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Being involved as a lead designer on a huge blockbuster like Halo 3, or Gears is definately something you should consider a looooong term goal. You'll need to break into the industry pretty low on the totem pole. Luckily there are positions suitable to your interests such as level designers or other associate designer positions. You'll have to work pretty hard to get to the top though.

As others have suggested modding is very good practice (and good for a portfolio). Especially if you can create some really cool levels to a game that you enjoy. Something like Half-Life 2/CS Source is easy enough to mod. Most popular PC games have modding tools as well though.

Scripting as others mentioned isn't always required, but hey, the engineers will like you more if you can do it.

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Quote:
Original post by jcheath33
So my plan is to go to a local community college for my Associate of Applied Science(game development). I know that taking that will only get me the very minimum basics..from there i will get an entry level position in the gameing field if possible......but from there i am confused, How do i get to the level of game developers there are right now??


I agree pretty much with all the responses so far, but I'm concerned about your choice of education. Are you going to the local community college because it offers a game development degree? Don't make the mistake of short-changing your education just to get a game development degree. If you can go to a university and get a Bachelor degree, that will be much more helpful than an Associate degree even if the degree has nothing to do with game development.

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I will not try to sound spoiled and stuck up....but honestly I can go to any school of my choice, I am very lucky to have that freedom. But the universitys here in Kansas, are kstate and KU. Neither of which have a bachelor degree in computer science...Atleast that I know of. Also, my community college offers associates but I would like to get bachelors...work for a little bit..then start on getting more advanced training like a master's degree...Like i said my ultimate goal is to work on those big time games and in the end start my own company.

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k-state: http://consider.k-state.edu/majorslist/ComputingInfoSci.pdf ....Would that be an option???

KU: I have no idea what would be the equivilant to a game development degree here is the link..tell me what you think would be good to take..
http://www.ku.edu/academics/departments.shtml

[Edited by - jcheath33 on September 16, 2007 2:01:02 PM]

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Original post by jcheath33
...I can go to any school of my choice, I am very lucky to have that freedom. But the universitys here in Kansas, are kstate and KU. Neither of which have a bachelor degree in computer science...

Then perhaps you should think about going somewhere other than Kansas. If you really can go to the school of your choice, then why not choose the best? There are so many great places to go: Stanford, MIT, Carnegie-Mellon, RPI, Cal Tech, (and many others) ... why would you even think of going to a local community college??? Off the top of my head, I know that USC (a very well-respected university) has a games-oriented Computer Science program. There are others, but not many, but you don't have to go somewhere where they teach game development. It won't help you get a job and I don't really think there is a big difference between that and a plain old Computer Science program.

Now, as for your plan: Associate degree, then work, then advanced degree. I don't know your specific situation but I suspect that your goal is to spend as little time in college as possible and get a job at a video game company as soon as possible. That would be a mistake.

BTW, game programming and game design are completely different professions.

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I don't know your specific situation but I suspect that your goal is to spend as little time in college as possible and get a job at a video game company as soon as possible. That would be a mistake.

Well said.

Quote:

BTW, game programming and game design are completely different professions.

Completely, there is so much that goes in to game development you really have to decide pretty early on what it is that interests you... There's programming, level design, modeling, animation, concept art... the list goes on.

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Let me start by saying thank you to everyone for the help! This has been one of the most helpful forums i have come to. Alright, the reason I can go to any school is because my parents are covering it all. But that does not meen I want to go all out and spend so much of my parents money. Thus, the reason for me going to a local community college. Also, I know I made it sound as if I just want to speed through school to jump into my carrer but I was not meaning to do so. I would like to go and get a bachelor's degree...with the goal of becoming a game developer..not a programer sorry my fault for not specifying. But with that said I do want to know both sides of the industry. I would love to be just a developer with the meens to program...Which is hard I know. So would i still want to go and get a bachelors in computer science...work for alittle bit...then go and get a masters or just advanced training to get to the really proffessional level!?

Thanks again,
James

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Let me start by saying thank you to everyone for the help! This has been one of the most helpful forums i have come to. Alright, the reason I can go to any school is because my parents are covering it all. But that does not meen I want to go all out and spend so much of my parents money. Thus, the reason for me going to a local community college. Also, I know I made it sound as if I just want to speed through school to jump into my carrer but I was not meaning to do so. I would like to go and get a bachelor's degree...with the goal of becoming a game developer..not a programer sorry my fault for not specifying. But with that said I do want to know both sides of the industry. I would love to be just a developer with the meens to program...Which is hard I know. So would i still want to go and get a bachelors in computer science...work for alittle bit...then go and get a masters or just advanced training to get to the really proffessional level!?

Thanks again,
James

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