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Joshcereal

Thinking about a Career in video game industry need answers

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Hello, for the longest time ive wanted to be doing somthing with video games and wanted to go for college for it. it has come for the time in my life where i need to choose where i sould go and how i sold get ther. ive looked into the tv colleges for game design and they just dont seem right. so im woundering what would be a good 4 year college or good degree to shoot for if i wanted to prosue a degree in game design most importantly in charcter and level design. just to give a little back round info i live in ariazona and right now i design and build and script alot on a game called second life. well thanks for the info ahead of time and ask me any questions that would help you guys lead me in the right derection. joshcereal

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character & level design meaning art or meaning "design" (behaviors, functionality, etc).

The general fields of concentration in games are:

engineering (programming/scripting)
design (planning game mechanics, working on game systems, level layout)
various art disciplines( concept art, modeling [character/structure], animation, texture artist )
audio creation (sound editing mixing)

Then obviously within engineering there are sub-disciplines: network, AI, graphics, audio, gameplay, etc..

So what you study really depends on what you want to do. If it's programming then any CS degree at any 4-year institution is fine (though with anything there are better places: MIT, Caltech, etc). Design I've seen tons of different degrees (Math, History, Statistics amongst others)

I can't really speak to what degree you should get in the content creation side of games.

-me

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Quote:
Original post by Joshcereal
well i kinda wanna do the visual and the ai of characters so is ther a good school that would provide the art and programming part charcter and lvl design


In a professional position you wouldn't do both. You'd do one or the other; both are full-time positions.

Both are very different degrees (Art v. Computer Science). As such I'd suggest looking in to a good 4-year liberal arts college that has both strong art and programming departments. That way you can spend your freshman/sophomore years deciding between the 2 disciplines or pursuing a double-major.

A "good" degree won't generally focus on game specific skills. That's the difference between a trade-school and a college/university.

Generally the best pursuit is to get a "good" degree and teach yourself the game-specific skills on the side. However, your portfolio is much more important for getting an art job than for getting a programming job, so i may be off base on my art recommendations.

-me

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As Palidine said, at big companies, you'll either be hired for your artistic talent, or for your programming skills - rarely for both.

The only places where one person can design games, draw the art, and implement the code is either on hobby projects, or at very small studios where hiring a jack-of-all-trades can save precious cash.

If you're doing art and/or programming, the key to success is to practice outside of your studies.

If you want to learn programming, do a comp-sci degree.

I'm not sure what's the best approach for art - many of the artists I know don't have college degrees...
A character artist from Epic said to take up sketching/life-drawing and do it often - go to the park and do really quick sketches of random people - so that you get good at quickly being able to convey ideas/concepts. You'll also need strong foundations in classical art theory (whatever that is - I'm a coder...)

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You have to be very careful how you approach your chosen industry field these days, Hodgman's advice is spot on. Decide ahead of time what kind of studio you'd like to work in - either a huge AAA studio or a small casual/indie studio. Note that this decision may be made for you based on your location and ability to travel. If you want huge AAA, do not do anything but one thing. There are so many people and the job positions are so specific that you're battling against people who have poured all their effort into one specific discipline. If you're looking for smaller companies, broadening your skill set is a more beneficial endeavor since fewer team members means more shared responsibility. Can you get into a AAA studio with broad talent? Yes, after about 3-5 years of industry experience to back up your skillset.

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