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Goole

A Newbie who wants to enter the Game Industry

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(Sry if this is the wrong thread, but I don't know where else to put this topic) First of all, I am new here so: Hello to all of ya! When I was 14 or so, I decided to teach myself C++, and I loved it. From that point on, I decided to join u guys^^.(I guess my knowledge about the language was advanced, but surely not Pro , but i even created a small game, which I deleted unfortunately ... :'-(). Now I am a bit out of practice... :-( So this June I finished school, and decided to study Medecine, because somehow, I didn't see a sense in making games... I just have always been fascinated by sciences and stuff, and in my eyes Medecine was the only Direction, where the question for a sense is answered by itself. Unfortunatelly now as time passes by, I see more and more, that I don't really want to study science... It simply is much more fascinating if u just read about it in magazines :-) and after I played Metal Gear Solid a few weeks ago, suddenly the expired fire began to brighten up again, and I just felt that this is what I wanted to do the whole time. I wanted to be part of something, I want to tell stories, develop them, and affect people with them, and after all this gives games (and other medias) a deeper sense, it makes u feel something, and this is wat makes life beautiful. And this is something that no science (except for philosophy perheps) can give u. They are cold, strict, don't leave space for emotions. They are more the contrary I think, they distance us from life. (Plz don't get me wrong I still love medecine and the Idea of becoming a doctor ;-)) So why did I write all my amazingly boring biography ? I don't know^^, perhaps You could consider it as a kind of motivation letter^^ Now I want to ask You guys, if it is usefull if I change from Medecine to Informatics, where I would afterwards concentrate on software development. Secondly, are Programmers also involved into the design of a game, or are they just dictated wat the designers want? Can he propose characters, story twists, etc? Then I want to know how the chances are to get a job in this industry. I informed myself a bit, and on nearly every game studios homepage, there were still many job offers for programmers. Mh, I think for the beginning this is all I wanted to know ;-) (and I apologize for my pretty horrific English ) Thanks a lot Guys!!

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I didn't read your entire post as it was quite long and I'm quite lazy, but by the sounds of it you love medicine and should probably stick with that for now. There's no reason you can't code a game in your spare time, its fun after all and beats TV hands down.

As a professional games programmer you do still get to influence the design of a game. The smaller the team generally the more influence you get. I sit next to our creative director and from time to time I throw ideas at him, and from time to time he likes one. :P

Medicine or games development in the long run? Hmm tough call. Keep both dreams alive for now. If you have some good games programming demos and a degree in medicine you could still break into games.

Make sure you code games and not engines though. :P

Good luck sir!

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Hi dude,
well pretty odd from Medicine to programmer...

but let me tell you something, those "tons" of programming positions are for experienced programmers (mostly within the industry) so it's almost impossible to enter the industry from a newbie perspective.

It's crap? yes, but that's life...

Secondly, computer science is just that, cold, strict and don't leave space for emotions (at least that's my point of view) and... I love it! just because of that.

I think you have the heart of the "Game Designer" part of the industry more that the "coder" part. However I don't know about that part, what does it take etc.

Last but not least, yes! why not move from Medicine to CS (I had a teacher who studied Biology, then moved to CS and got a Masters and PhD in Computational geometry!). But just take in mind that, CS is just like another field of science after all.

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As in any other kind of job, professional game development is not as exciting as you say.... many times you're asked to make games you would never buy, or don't feel appealing because you're not included in the target audience of the game you're doing.

In the long run, medicine is going to be probably as fullfilling and meaningful as game development, with a big difference: probably, you're going to earn much more money from medicine than from game development.

I know medicine does not give too much extra time, but, if I were you, I would keep with medicine, and leave game development as a hobby.

Good luck in whatever you choose to do!

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Quote:
Original post by Goole
Now I want to ask You guys, if it is usefull if I change from Medecine to Informatics, where I would afterwards concentrate on software development.

If you definitely want to become a software developer, then yes, it would probably make more sense to study something like software engineering. But I get the feeling you're still not sure what you want to do.

Quote:
Secondly, are Programmers also involved into the design of a game, or are they just dictated wat the designers want? Can he propose characters, story twists, etc?

In small teams like they can. Most indie startups start small and can not afford to have a specialist for every field. In a large team involving dozens of employees it wouldn't really work if everyone including the security guard has a saying in the design.

However, in my opinion a good professional relationship is based on mutual respect and the willingness to take other people's (good) ideas into consideration. Perhaps a certain level in the game will result in a technical nightmare, or perhaps a choice of a particular engine will cripple the original design. Good communication is key in any business.

Quote:
Then I want to know how the chances are to get a job in this industry. I informed myself a bit, and on nearly every game studios homepage, there were still many job offers for programmers.

Sure there are still jobs available in the industry, and there will be in the coming decades. But it's impossible for us to say if you're eligible for one of them.

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hi guys, thanks a lot for these quick replies ;-)

@VerMan: But as a software engeneer u create stuff, apps, games, etc. thats wat I mean :-)

Oh man thats just so hard to decide ^^
I guess I'll inscribe for CS on several Universities for the term from March-June, and then I'll decide wether I should do it or not....

Thx a lot!!

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Quote:

Now I want to ask You guys, if it is usefull if I change from Medecine to Informatics, where I would afterwards concentrate on software development.

If you have made your mind up about being a game programmer, you should focus on that with your whole heart and go directly for computer science. If you're not sure, or you want to have a good a backup job, Medical Informatics would be a good compromise.
Quote:
Secondly, are Programmers also involved into the design of a game, or are they just dictated wat the designers want? Can he propose characters, story twists, etc?

It depends on where you work. Some studios are very collaborative, others may have a design department that is somewhat exclusive. In general, you'll be working in a meritocracy... if you have good ideas, they'll be heard.
Quote:
Then I want to know how the chances are to get a job in this industry. I informed myself a bit, and on nearly every game studios homepage, there were still many job offers for programmers.

It's tough for anyone to get in. This of it this way: Game programming is a job that many, MANY people would do for free, just to get their foot in the door. On the bright side, few people have the combination of skills and personality that would make a good game programmer. If you have a passion for it, and you're willing to work and learn as much as you can, you can definitely become adept enough to get in.

Quote:
Mh, I think for the beginning this is all I wanted to know ;-)
(and I apologize for my pretty horrific English )


Your English was fine. :-)


PS: Look into the history of Bioware. They did med-school before they started a game company.

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Stick with medicine for a while. When you have been developing games in your spare time for at least a half year, you can reconsider whether you want to study medicine or compute/media-somthing.

When I first decided that I wanted to make computer games, I got disappointed when I discovered how advanced and non-creative it realy was (later I started to love it even more, because of that). If you already are studying medicine, it would be very stupid just to jump to somthing else, just because of a quick idea (but if you are sure that thats what you want, then do it)

Remember that what really matters is a great portfolio. A related education might help that, but it's not necersary.

Btw I've been talking to some guys from IO interactive, and I know they have both game designers and game directors, where the last one is educated at the film school, and the first one is a expirienced programmer, who has been at the companie for a long time. Futher more they have a box where everybody can post their ideas

[Edited by - VildNinja on December 1, 2008 10:59:59 AM]

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wow ur all incredibly quick^^

@VildNinja: What exactly do u mean with great "portfolio"? Ideas, Concepts and stuff? I already got plenty of them ;-) I even found out that I'm a much better drawer then I ever imagined^^

Well I think I forgot to write that down:
For 5 years I wanted to become a game programmer, designer or what ever now^^
just for the last year this wish was, not replaced, but "overgrown" by the medecine-idea . And now my old dream is resurected...
But during the period when I was really into games, I found out how great it feels to see an idea develop and work after a time.
So I know already a bit wat being a programmer means (70% frustration and 30% overwhelming joy^^)

And wat skills would be required to become Game Director, or something simmilar?


Thx a lot!!

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By great portfolio i mean small games and mods.
And it's better to have an uncool compleated game, than an uncompleted cool game.

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