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Serious games

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ld, your expectations are way too high. If you think you're going to find forums specifically targeted to QOL issues, serious games only, in Orlando only, you're wrong. You have to be satisfied with whatever you can find about QOL in games in general, then do your best to figure out how those might apply to serious games. You have to draw your own conclusions as to how applicable that might be among all the numerous (?) serious games companies in Orlando.

BTW, have you seen http://www.igdaorlando.org/?

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I would imagine that "serious games" in the Orlando area are going to fall under the simulation and training umbrella. I would say that starting salaries here will typically fall between $50,000-65,000 for someone with a BS and little experience--probably mostly in the$50-55k range, but that will of course vary and is probably negotiable. It also can be quite high for an experienced developer.

Generally speaking, the sim/training industry doesn't work the crap out of employees, if that's what you mean by quality of life.

BTW, I work in the simulation industry in Orlando, so you should also feel free to ask more specific general questions about the area or the industry, or even particular companies... I may know people. (It's an incestuous little industry. :-))

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Thanks a lot for the replies,
My goals are to learn more about the serious games industry (hopefully get in touch with people working on this area), and I was hoping to get some information about salary differences with the games industry, since I am interested in the Orlando, FL area I wanted to know if there was anything specific on that, but general information is welcome.
Thanks for the IGDA Orlando link.

I guess a better question is: where do developers that work on serious games hang out? I was wondering if there was an active forum somewhere where I could ask more specific questions.

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Well, in case I haven't made it clear, I'm **IN** the Orlando area, so if you have any general questions that are specifically relating to Orlando, ask away.

And, again, it would help if you define "serious games". That is more of a marketing buzzword that is thrown around by people in the simulation/training industry... which I am in. So, again, if there is anything specific you are wanting to know, ask and I will try to answer.

Regarding the one thing you explicitly mentioned (salary diffs with games industry)... there is not a lot of game industry in Orlando. There is EA Tiburon, mostly, where Madden, Nascar, NCAA Football, and some other titles are developed. If my info is still relevant--which I think it is--you're starting salary will be a bit higher at EA Tiburon, but you will be overworked and move on within 2-3 years most likely.

In the sim industry, you start a little lower in salary, but over the long term you will have more job security, make more money, etc., and typically you will work 8-9 hour days.

As for lists/forums/etc. relating specifically to Orlando, I know of nothing.