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Game Designers and Scripting

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I am graduating in May with a game design and development BA specialization from Michigan State University. I have many key ingredients of a game designer (communication skills, technical ability, etc.) However, I must admit I lack a solid understanding of scripting. I've noticed that many Game Designer positions list "scripting" in their job duties. How much is this going to hurt my chances of finding a job in the industry? Needless to say, I don't expect to START as a game designer. (I'll start as a custodian if that's what it takes to break in!) But I would still like to know that I contain the necessary skills of a game designer. If I were to learn the basics of one scripting language, what should it be? Are there any general scripting guides or books you can point me towards? How thoroughly do I need to know any given language? I know it all depends on the specific organization, but I'm looking for a general consensus. Any advice or tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you! Timothy J. Holman

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Original post by TimHolman
I've noticed that many Game Designer positions list "scripting" in their job duties. How much is this going to hurt my chances of finding a job in the industry?

Well, you won't get hired for THOSE jobs, anyway. Other positions that don't require scripting may be less of a problem. But these days, game design often means level design and scripting, so you should start learning about that stuff in your spare time and after graduation.

If you have questions about scripting languages and stuff, you should ask those in the forum appropriate to that question.

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Thank you for your response Mr. Sloper. I'll post the second part of my question on a different forum. To follow up, you said that often level design and scripting are part of game designer roles. How often would you estimate scripting is a necessary skill to acquire a level designer role? QA?

Timothy J. Holman

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How often would you estimate scripting is a necessary skill to acquire a level designer role? QA?
On some of our projects, all LDs have to write simple gameplay scripts for their levels. There's also some LDs on other projects who resist this idea (fear of change perhaps?) and make programmers to do this work for them.
Guess which type of LD people prefer to work with / which ones get nicer remarks on their performance reviews ;)

By "QA?" are you asking if QA guys need to know scripting? Not at all where I work. Although, many QA people try to transfer into art, design, production, code, etc at a later point in time.

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QA can allow you to get closer to scripting. Not "entry level" qa, but tools qa or engine qa has its advantages. You may end up touching scripting...

Self-learning is also the best solution imo.

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