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need help getting into the games industry...

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hi guys...i'm sending this message cuz i need some serious help ... im 16 and you know becoming a computer games producer has always been my dream.but it's really hard to decide what to do first. at first i thought that becoming a computer games programmer was the best way... i like math and programming and i've learned some object oriented programming in c++(my friends and i had a 2d-soccer team in our hometown's robocup competition ) and i was thinking of getting a computer science degree and then taking gameplay design courses in another country(there are no such courses in my homeland iran) .but after reading some of the topics here i was left wit mixed feelings.you see becoming a designer or a director is my real goal and i thought becoming a programmer was the best way of gaining experience but some people say that programming and designing are completely different fields and learning programming skills in order to become a designer is a waste of time...so i posted this thread to be enlightened!!!:D:D:D first could you tell me which of these fields are more demanding and have a better income and can a programmer become a designer in the future? and if not what should i do to become a designer? at last i am terribly sorry for the extremely long msg!!

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There are many success stories in the industry where people start as programmers and become designers/producers. Off the top of my head I think Jade Raymond (Assassin's Creed) used to be a programmer until she transitioned into a producer role. Peter Molyneux (Fable, Black & White, Populous) also started as a programmer and started his own company and turned into a designer/lead, in his case he actually preferred programming and stepped down back into a programming position rather than a company lead. Yes, programmers can become designers.

From what I've read elder programmers are some of the best paid people in the industry but thats because technically their job is much more demanding both physically and mentally because of the intense hours and complex code they write. They all are pretty demanding and require dedication until the end of a project.

I would suggest doing both programming and design and don't just focus on one unless you know for a fact that is what you want to do. You're already ahead of me, I didn't know I wanted to be a programmer until I was 18!

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Your question has many answers. There is no single golden road for becoming a director or designer, and no road is easy. They all require talent, skill, focus, experience and determination. I can, however, tell you how I intend to enter the business. Keep in mind that I know what YOU want to become, and also remember that I live in SWEDEN, not IRAN.


I have lots of experience with writing. Both litterature and technical writing. I have - I think - good communication skills, and I know how to speak with many different kinds of people. I have a passion for games and I have an insight of what the different members of a game development team does (modelling, programming, scripting, artwork, etc.) and I feel that I have a great amount of creativity.

That first part is all basically about preparations. Next thing I do (and am doing) is join an indie team. We're developing our own game. Through this experience I will be able to use this project as a point of reference of my work (writing and design). The experience of working with a team is also valuable, and I will learn a lot from the team leader (who's excellent, by the way).

In about a year, I'll be starting my own small team and design a couple of games. This will give me additional experience, but also add two more things to my portfolio: First of all: I successfully (I hope) lead a team to complete a project. The second thing is creating a game from scratch more or less (from the fetus stage of designing the game based on my ideas, to its release).

Once that's done, I'll be studying game design for a couple of years. Once I've done that, I'll have enough, I think, to be able to seek a job as a game designer. How it goes from there is up to me, if I want to work my way up as a producer or director or lead designer.


I know someone who studied programming for two years and applied for a game design position at Massive Entertainment (and he got the job). His portfolio included coding samples and some little game he had made, I think. He, too, mentioned the importance of being able to communicate and work well with different kinds of people and different parts of the team - designers or not. Having some understanding of what the other people do is also incredibly useful.

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You're right that intensive study of programming is probably not the best use of your time if you want a design or production position. Designers tend to be best served by degrees that give them knowledge they can draw on in designs - history, for example - the only subject I'd consider really close to 'core skills' is something like psychology. To be a producer, something like an MBA is probably a good idea.

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"K," you wrote:

>need help getting into the games industry...
>hi guys...i'm sending this message cuz i need some serious help ...

It's better if you don't go around sounding desperate. You don't need "serious help," you're just seeking information and advice. Although, maybe you do need serious help in the English department... (~_^) Oh wait, I see you're originally from Iran. I should cut you some slack on the grammar/typing thing, then.

>im 16 and ... becoming a computer games producer has always been my dream.
>but it's really hard to decide what to do first.
>at first i thought that becoming a computer games programmer was the best way... i like math and programming and i've learned some object oriented programming in c++

Programming is as good an entry pathway to becoming a producer as any other.

> i thought becoming a programmer was the best way ... but some people say that programming and designing are completely different fields

Yes, they are. And so is producing. But producers come from all other specialties: art, programming, audio, QA, marketing... Read my articles...

>what should i do to become a designer?

Designers also come from any of the other specialties. You just need to choose the best entry pathway for YOU. Read these:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson42.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/designprep.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson14.htm

>at last i am terribly sorry for the extremely long msg!!

It wasn't extremely long. Stop exaggerating everything! You constantly go around exaggerating everything so much, the universe is going to come to an end!!!!!!!!!!

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The first step as you've correctly identified is to get the hell out of Iran, not because of the lack of companies, those can be created but because of the horrible copyright situation there. A great way to do that is by going to a university outside of Iran, probably inside of Europe or in the UK. I'm not familiar with how hard it is to move and study in the US as an Iranian but I would assume it's a lot harder than the EU. If you want to you can check out Sweden, we have free university education even for non-residents and from there you can become a EU citizen and move to the UK. We currently import and create a lot of knowledge workers from your region.

A designer has to have an understanding of the limitations of the real world platforms you develop for so that they don't create designs that are impossible to implement. However as a designer a full software engineering degree is pretty wasted. As a software engineer you will have a much more focused education which will allow you to take jobs outside of the game development industry. It's the safer path. As a designer you have much more influence over the actual game itself which is more rewarding but higher risk as the number of positions are more limited than those for artists or programmers and the education is also not as clear cut which could leave you without a job.

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Quote:
Original post by asp_
The first step as you've correctly identified is to get the hell out of Iran, not because of the lack of companies, those can be created but because of the horrible copyright situation there. A great way to do that is by going to a university outside of Iran, probably inside of Europe or in the UK. I'm not familiar with how hard it is to move and study in the US as an Iranian but I would assume it's a lot harder than the EU. If you want to you can check out Sweden, we have free university education even for non-residents and from there you can become a EU citizen and move to the UK. We currently import and create a lot of knowledge workers from your region.

A designer has to have an understanding of the limitations of the real world platforms you develop for so that they don't create designs that are impossible to implement. However as a designer a full software engineering degree is pretty wasted. As a software engineer you will have a much more focused education which will allow you to take jobs outside of the game development industry. It's the safer path. As a designer you have much more influence over the actual game itself which is more rewarding but higher risk as the number of positions are more limited than those for artists or programmers and the education is also not as clear cut which could leave you without a job.


yeah man that copyright situation is a real mess !!! in fact , i'm thinking of migrating to some eu country like sweden after i get my bachelors degree...

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Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
"K," you wrote:

>need help getting into the games industry...
>hi guys...i'm sending this message cuz i need some serious help ...

It's better if you don't go around sounding desperate. You don't need "serious help," you're just seeking information and advice. Although, maybe you do need serious help in the English department... (~_^) Oh wait, I see you're originally from Iran. I should cut you some slack on the grammar/typing thing, then.

>im 16 and ... becoming a computer games producer has always been my dream.
>but it's really hard to decide what to do first.
>at first i thought that becoming a computer games programmer was the best way... i like math and programming and i've learned some object oriented programming in c++

Programming is as good an entry pathway to becoming a producer as any other.

> i thought becoming a programmer was the best way ... but some people say that programming and designing are completely different fields

Yes, they are. And so is producing. But producers come from all other specialties: art, programming, audio, QA, marketing... Read my articles...

>what should i do to become a designer?

Designers also come from any of the other specialties. You just need to choose the best entry pathway for YOU. Read these:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson42.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/designprep.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson14.htm

>at last i am terribly sorry for the extremely long msg!!

It wasn't extremely long. Stop exaggerating everything! You constantly go around exaggerating everything so much, the universe is going to come to an end!!!!!!!!!!


thanks for the info tom.your articles where very helpful.so considering all the replies and your lessons i guess it's still a good idea to break in to the game biz as a programmer and then switch to a designer after i gain some experience . and to be honest your lessons somehow made me more confident ,specially after reading the subjects that are necessary to break in ,i'm interested in many of those subjects like mythology,history,painting.in fact , studying myth\history\English and painting\music are all my hobbies and i didn't even know that they will help me in my career!

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hi,im on at malaysian university, and i take bachelor in computer science, with specialize in multimedia interactive,,, but i get confuse because there are anoher specialize that is software engineering.And to be a game developer is my dream,,what do i supposed to do??? i can't draw, i like programming, and wanna be a game programmer, what course should i choose???

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Quote:
Original post by crocketzzz
i take bachelor in computer science... and wanna be a game programmer, what course should i choose???

Stay in computer science, kid. You're on the right track.

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