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Reegan

A few general questions

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Hi, i have just few questions i would like to have anwsered, i was wondering: What is the average age people achieve a succesful career in the games dev industry? (I realise that the age may vary alot but im just curious) Other than education, which paths into the industry are considered good? (I was supposed to be taking a 2 year course next academic year, but i failed the course i was on previously and so im not aloud in, the tutor for the games development course and i were gutted >.<) Ive spent a small amount of time in a few indie game development teams, each of them failed to create a successful game, is this something to be worried about? Although the teams i was in were not very experianced, i often found myself leading them and trying to draw out thier best qualities as a game developers (even if there were very few lol). The games development tutor has recommended some ways to get into the games industry and given me some websites to look up. among these sites are: www.skillset.org/games/ and www.blitzgames.com has anyone else been through these two companies with good(or bad) experiances? Thanks for reading ~Reegan

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I got my first professional job as a game designer upon graduating college in '07 at the age of 25. (It took me a few years to getting around to getting into a decent 4 year school). Is that what you mean by "successful"?

The projects that never came to fruition for you aren't going to hurt you (as they were obviously all learning experiences), but I certainly wouldn't try to use them as part of my portfolio trying to get a job.

There isn't really a "good" way of entering the games industry other than working hard and working smartly. Get yourself a full 4 year degree in programming/art/whatever, work with some college mates or other people you meet online to actually get something done, and then apply. It is pretty simple, really, and it really isn't that hard to get a job. You just need to be able to demonstrate that you're competent and not completely full of yourself (I hate those people).

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Wow, thanks for the info
I would like to be a programmer because i really do love it!
I would also like to get myself into some sort of course like you said but i fear they will not even look at me because i didnt get any grades at school and have just failed a course at college >_< (im terrible). The reason i failed was because i left everything to the last minute (a whole years work) through boredom, i actually almost completed the course but i missed one unit (web development) and without that unit i cant even pass. Everything else i did in like the last month of college.
However, there is a BFD games development course quite near to me that MIGHT be startnig this upcoming academic year, i have been invited to that but thats stilll a maybe. The BFD course may not be ideal, but what choice do i have with no grades!

I suppose ill just have to keep practicing at home for now...

Thanks again!

PS: What is it like in the games industry?

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Original post by Reegan
I would like to be a programmer because i really do love it!

That is certainly a good reason, but will you still love it after being required to do it 40+ hours a week?
Quote:
I would also like to get myself into some sort of course like you said but i fear they will not even look at me because i didnt get any grades at school and have just failed a course at college >_< (im terrible). The reason i failed was because i left everything to the last minute (a whole years work) through boredom, i actually almost completed the course but i missed one unit (web development) and without that unit i cant even pass. Everything else i did in like the last month of college.

You can fear all you want, but you won't know until you try. I didn't get fantastic grades myself and I managed to get in the school (and an incredibly competitive major) I did as a transfer student from a community college. Once I actually did get into my university I almost universally failed my first semester and spent quite some time trying to make up for it. A big reason for it is the same reason you listed, procrastination.

The thing is though is that you need to decide what you really want. Getting a job in the games industry isn't what I would call difficult, but that is assuming you're putting the effort into being competitive is your pursuits. Do you want to work as a game programmer? If so, then you HAVE to get that degree. If you want it bad enough then you'll have to take it upon yourself to discipline yourself.

Quote:
However, there is a BFD games development course quite near to me that MIGHT be startnig this upcoming academic year, i have been invited to that but thats stilll a maybe. The BFD course may not be ideal, but what choice do i have with no grades!

I don't know what a BFD is (I'm American, so our system is a bit different), but I'd have to advise against a game development degree. Some people have great luck with them, but in general I think you're short changing yourself. What if after spending a few years getting your degree you realize that game development isn't necessarily for you? Trust me, it happens to a lot of people. It isn't all glamor and requires a hell of a lot of work and especially initially, a lot of time. I'd recommend getting a traditional CS degree and working on games on the side, or try to work it into your coursework. It'll allow you to experience a broader spectrum of studies.

Quote:
I suppose ill just have to keep practicing at home for now...

Definitely [wink] There is a shortage of programmers who are passionate and competent, so there is definitely room for you.

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PS: What is it like in the games industry?

Well, I enjoy it quite a bit. It is my dream career, but like anyone else I've got to take it one step of a time. Don't necessarily expect to be working on the next Halo or Assassin's Creed or GTA for your first game job. Don't be afraid to bolster your resume with the little companies, who may just wind up growing themselves and providing you with a ton of great experiences.

I chose to go with a company that didn't have the most impressive array of games in their catalog (as they're quite young), but it allowed me to move in a lead position VERY quickly. This has provided me with a ton of experiences that I wouldn't have gotten if I were just another designer in a big game assembly line.

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That is certainly a good reason, but will you still love it after being required to do it 40+ hours a week?


Haha, easily, i spend everyday of my life at my computer programming or designing CG's. As sad as that may sound, it is true, i spend many days and nights sitting at my computer programming.

Quote:
Well, I enjoy it quite a bit. It is my dream career, but like anyone else I've got to take it one step of a time. Don't necessarily expect to be working on the next Halo or Assassin's Creed or GTA for your first game job. Don't be afraid to bolster your resume with the little companies, who may just wind up growing themselves and providing you with a ton of great experiences.

I chose to go with a company that didn't have the most impressive array of games in their catalog (as they're quite young), but it allowed me to move in a lead position VERY quickly. This has provided me with a ton of experiences that I wouldn't have gotten if I were just another designer in a big game assembly line.


It is my dream also and has been since i was very young, To be honest i would rather work in a smaller company to start off, i think it would be far to difficult for me to work in a high-end games development team as my first "real" job in the industry.

Thanks for your replies, greatly appreiated! :)
~Reegan

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Usually the youngest is 21 since that is the age when someone finishes a degree assuming it was a 3 year course with no gap year. The average is early to mid 20's for someone new to the industry. I started at 23 after doing temp jobs for a year then moving onto a MSc.

Skillset is not a company, it is an education organisation that evaluate games degrees to see if they up to standard against guidelines formulated from the industry.

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