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hey fellas, I just registered for gamedev to hopefully attain some knowledge reguarding a career in games. I was wondering if anyone knows the right path I should travel to become a game writer or designer? Thanks a lot, appreciate your time.

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What do you think a game designer does all day? Why do you want to become one? :)

There are few people that are purely designing games - many more are actually developing them (which often is also a form of designing). Writing gamecode, drawing textures, creating models, designing levels, composing music, writing scripts, and so on. That's where the bulk of the work lies, and where you'll most likely end up if you're actively working on your skills in these area's.


Perhaps it's usefull to start modding an existing game, to see what sort of work goes into larger games. Or create some small Flash games to experiment with various gameplay ideas. Either way, it's important to get busy. Start somewhere easy, work your way up, gain insight. As you proceed, you'll find out what you like and what not.

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Games designer seems to be a popular choice atm, I don't think there is a direct route into games design I think most 'designers' generally start off in another field (programming, 2D/3D art etc) and then end up in a 'design' role.
I don't know though, I'm no industry buff I just code for pennies!

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Play as many games as you can, even if the game sucks from you point of view. Try to understand why it sucks, understand game mechanics, try to understand what the target audience is, etc. Write reviews, write design docs, implement some ideas if you can with some tools that do not require programming skills (or very few, be prepared to learn a few stuff though)

Be fluent in english if it's not you mother language, take care to your spelling and grammar.

Also don't be affraid to get into the industry through the small door, that is, not directly as a game programmer, but perhaps as a tester, or anything else. It's much much easier to get noticed once you're already in the company.

(not being a GD myself but I've seen a couple people promoted to that in my company, and that's how they achieved it)

Cheers
JA

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As has already been stated, there is no one direct path to becoming a game designer. At my company we have three dedicated game designers: one guy has a Creative Writing degree and used to work for an online gaming/review site, one guy doesn't have a degree but spent some time in QA and moved up, and I have a degree in Computer Graphics Technology and I did some Unreal modding in college.

You need to have a keen understanding of the English language (or whatever other language you'll be working in) and you need to be able to effectively communicate with others. A game designer does not just sit around all day designing game. He spends a good portion of the time doing that, but a good portion of time is also spend working with everybody on the team to get everyone on the same page. Problems will arise, people will misunderstand things, and you need to be the one who knows how to get things back on track.

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This whole site is pretty sweet and you guys are especially badass. Thanks a lot for the posts. Fast responses... i like that. Okay cool, you see i'm entering my 3rd year of college now and i plan on transfering schools to major and minor in journalism and game design and developement. I love to write and my entire life has been about video games. Ive taken creative writing and all that, I just don't know if i should try getting my foot in the door now, or later... zer0wolf.. you said that one of your co workers wrote for a review site? How did he like it? How can I get my foot into that door? Also, i've been messing around with microsoft XNA. I have no clue if thats the same format similar for coding most games these days. Im pretty sure its C# but i heard it was best to know C++ if youre going to go in the programming direction.

Anyways, I know this a lot of questions, but I finally feel like im talking to pro's and not some rookie advisor. Appreciate the time guys!

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also... i live in Texas and my brains about to explode thinking about which school i want to transfer too... i doubt yall do, but if any of you guys know of any schools that offer journalism and game design, please let me know!!!

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