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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Mulchie

Changing career path to gaming industry

5 posts in this topic

Good afternoon all and merry xmas. After a very long 13 years doing Java team leading, design and development I'm looking to switch career paths to an IT stream that I may actually enjoy. Games programming is something I've also wanted to get involved in having experimented a little with it over the years and I've loved gaming since the good old days of the original elite. What I'm wondering is if this is even vaguely realistic considering I've spent most of my time programming in Java with only limited C++ development. I appreciate I would need to get my C++ programming up to a decent level and create at least a basic demo of some kind before I could expect to get in at the bottom level but would my age (35) be a barrier to breaking into the industry? Assuming it isn't, once I've improved my C++ skills, would I need to specialise before attempting to get employment (e.g. focus on a specific aspect such as 3D graphics programming) or is the general knowledge demonstrated in a demo sufficient? Any information or advice greatly appreciated. Hope you are all having/had a nice xmas. Bri
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Hi Mulch, you asked:

1- Is this realistic?
2- Am I too old?
3- Do I have to specialize?

1. You can make it realistic if you build a spectacular portfolio. How many games have you worked on in your spare time so far? If zero, then the realisticness quotient is pretty low. But you can change that.

2. No.

3. Don't worry about finding a specialty. Your specialty will probably find you. Just build a portfolio.

http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm
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Your never to old to change career, I'm now 36, did terribly at school and gained few qualifications which led me into taking many dead end jobs over the last twenty years. And yet i have now Bull#@£$ed my way onto a game development degree course, and so far i am doing reasonably well. And as long as i continue to put in the work i can't see why i shouldn't at least gain an entry level place somewhere?
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Quote:

3. Don't worry about finding a specialty. Your specialty will probably find you. Just build a portfolio.

Agreed. There are many positions at a game company. Not all of them require you to know C++. Expecially the tools programming. Tools are made in all sorts of languages, including having to cludge together several languages to get from point A to B. Languages like Java, Python, and C# all provide a step up from writing a lot of tedious code in C++. Melscript, lua, python, and other languages end up being parts of the tools too.

Secondly, knowing a language means you can probably pick up most the languages like it. Knowing every common function in the book for C++ isn't going to help you all that much if 90% of the code that you are looking at is code attaching to some proprietary API.
There is a big difference between knowing how to code in a language and knowing all the functions you commonly want to use in a language. And knowing how to code is the hard part. The rest you can just bookmark some documentation to run to whenever you forget how to use object X. This is especially important considering in games programming you will be using a lot of closed-source APIs from companies that make the hardware (sony/microsoft/nentendo) as well as middleware and in-house code. Entry level positions expect that you will be looking at docs/source to get upto speed.
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Probably an equally important question, and this is not at all meant to discourage you, is whether you can take the financial hit that I can only presume you'll be taking going from a senior-level java coder with leadership experience, to a (lets be optimistic) mid-level game developer.

I don't know your personal situation, but someone your age may have certain responsibilities (Mortgage, retirement savings, loan payments, wife, kids) which have to be taken into careful and honest consideration.

Due to the poor economy, I recently had to take a job that pays only half as much as my previous one (after collecting unemployment for 9 months, which was a few weeks from going into "emergency aid" -- which would have meant I would only received 75% of the normal benefit for 3 additional months.) and I've gone from making large payments towards my student loans and still being able to make any purchase I wanted, to basically scraping by, living paycheck to paycheck and making little if any headway on my loans (not to mention the credit card debt I ran up during my unemployment to get by.) I'm supporting myself and my girlfriend, who is in college and recently started part-time work to help out, and I really can't imagine having kids or some other major expense on top of it all.

You can make a good living in game development, but salaries are typically less than what similar experience would net you in traditional software development and, in many cases, have you working longer hours or crunch-time fairly regularly.

Just be sure you are aware of these potential financial/lifestyle issues before making any big decisions.
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