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paul jats

future designer...hopefully

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Hi. I am from Romania, Galati. I'm new to this game industry thing - I actually don't know much about it and right now I need some advice. About one year ago I got the idea of making my own game - I'm a cliche, right? I tried programming it myself, but I just can't get round advanced coding. So, instead, I've passed to another idea - to get a job as a game designer, or study game design. In the country I live in, however, there are not many possibilities for what I want to do. Since last year, I have found a lot of information, none of which seems to be useful: a game design class held once a week in a faculty from a city that is in the opposite part of the country; a one semester class in the third year in a university in the capital city - however I am not yet prepared to get in there; and the fact that most designers started in other positions in companies (artists, testers, programmers, etc). I've send mails to several companies, but just one answered and said they had no available positions. I've even e-mailed some current designers, but they couldn't help much. I'm even willing to work for free at this point. So, what am I doing wrong? I am running out of things to try and I'm very close to quitting. So far, the only thing I managed to accomplish is a blog with some of my ideas: http://pauljats.blogspot.com/ , but I don't think it's gonna do me any good. I even have enhanced ideas of those games, I even have some other ideas, some quite original, others just improvements. I'm starting to think that my ideas aren't that good and maybe the reason I'm writing right now is that I hope someone will put some sense into me and tell to come back to earth and be realistic by trying something else. So, can anyone help me in any way whatsoever?

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Quote:
Original post by paul jats
1. I actually don't know much about it and right now I need some advice.
2. I have found a lot of information, none of which seems to be useful:
2.5. a game design class held once a week [far away and I can't go take it]
3. and the fact that most designers started in other positions in companies (artists, testers, programmers, etc).
4. I've send mails to several companies, but just one answered and said they had no available positions.
4.5. I've even e-mailed some current designers, but they couldn't help much.
5. I'm even willing to work for free at this point.
6. So, what am I doing wrong?
7. a blog with some of my ideas... I'm starting to think that my ideas aren't that good

Hi Paul.
1. Then you should learn about it and read the advice. "View Forum FAQ" (above).
2. Then either you need to find better information or the problem is your perception of usefulness.
2.5. So what if you can't take that class? You might not need it.
3. How's that information not useful?
4. Why did you email those companies, what did you say in those emails?
4.5. What kind of help were you expecting from those designers?
5. Don't be silly. You can't volunteer at a professional game company, but you can participate in some amateur projects -- that's called good portfolio-building.
6. I don't know. Read FAQ 24 and you tell us how many of the Stupid Wannabe Tricks you've been doing.
7. Let's assume for a minute that your ideas are just fine. The problem isn't your ideas. It's not about ideas. It's about being realistic, and taking useful actions, and making a plan. Read those FAQs.

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You might as well ignore Tom Slope, he is pretty much well known to be an arrogant jerk. Don´t believe me? Just read some sections of his so-called valuable advice on his site. Actually just read the message above.

What you need is to grab a GOOD book on game programming and build your own ideas, I saw your game ideas and seem simple to implement in an SDL game.

Or you could just construct your own game by reading the Scirra documentation for its open source tool.

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Thanks for the help.

@Tom:

1.started reading
2.maybe a bit of both
2.5. that's why is useless
3. because i currently have no programming skills, minimum talent at art and getting a job as a tester seems to be just as hard as getting one as a designer
4.asked them if they had any available positions for training / internship in game design; one answered after about a month telling me to send a cv, and after about another month, I've replied, and after another month they said no.
4.5.maybe some kind of info about how to get started
5.from what I've seen most projects are started by designers who have an idea. so I'm just supposed to find some programmers and artists to start a team or is it good enough to just keep trying to make a game on my own?
6.the best thing applied to me is the one with the university. so doing a random one will just help me getting started?
7.the plan (i think...): go to a university, learn advanced programming while doing that, build my own games, finish university.....and then what? right...I'll keep reading the FAQs

@gasto:
I really don't care how he is as long as he's helping me.
so let's assume I start building my own games. After that I'm simply supposed to....what? sorry for being a bit pessimistic, I'm not having much faith in what I'm doing right now. the program you indicated does have an interface that looks pretty good, so i guess I'll try that one too.

@no one in particular: the problem is that I'm currently finishing high school and because of my final exams I don't have much time to learn programming. the other problem is that I don't know which faculty / university / college, etc is really the best for me considering what I want to do after - but I'm ready to go to almost any. However, I'm basically afraid I'm gonna do a wrong decision.
What I'd like to do is take several classes, unrelated to each other and learn a bit bout all kinds of stuff (creative writing, drawing, photography, mythology, etc.).

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Quote:
Original post by paul jats
3. the fact that most designers started in other positions in companies (artists, testers, programmers, etc). [is not useful information] because i currently have no programming skills, minimum talent at art and getting a job as a tester seems to be just as hard as getting one as a designer
4. I've send mails to several companies, ... asked them if they had any available positions for training / internship in game design; [only] one answered after about a month telling me to send a cv, and after about another month, I've replied, and after another month they said no.
4.5. I've even e-mailed some current designers, [asking some kind of info about how to get started] but they couldn't help much.
5.a. from what I've seen most projects are started by designers who have an idea.
5.b. so I'm just supposed to find some programmers and artists to start a team
5.c. or is it good enough to just keep trying to make a game on my own?
6. So, what am I doing wrong? the best thing applied to me is the one with the university. so doing a random one will just help me getting started?

3. That IS useful information. Just because the truth is inconvenient doesn’t mean truth is useless.
4. That’s SWT#20. Have you read the Stupid Wannabe Tricks FAQ yet?
5.a. No. That’s wrong. In the professional world, most game projects are started by producers who’ve been asked by the executives to make a particular game. Read the FAQs on the process and on game design. And in the amateur world, most game projects are started by small teams of enthusiasts who reach consensus on a group project.
5.b. No. They don’t want to implement your idea. They want to implement their own. But they probably do need somebody to document their idea and work out the details, and that’s where you can come in.
5.c. Nothing is good enough.
6. How old are you, Paul? You haven’t been to university yet?

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Original post by paul jats
3. because i currently have no programming skills, minimum talent at art and getting a job as a tester seems to be just as hard as getting one as a designer.

1. getting a job as a tester is hard but if your not willing to make the effort then the games industry almost certainly isn't for you.
2. Getting a design job is harder than getting a testing job because you will need higher level skills. To get a job as a tester you need good written and oral communication skills, a willingness to do boring repetitive work (because it will lead you to the position you want in the future) and the patience to keep trying to break in - because it does take time and luck to secure your first job.
To get a level design job (which is the closest to an entry level position) you will need to demonstrate that you have all the above and you can already make game levels - that means you will need a portfolio of game levels that you have made using existing game engines.
Quote:
4.asked them if they had any available positions for training / internship in game design; one answered after about a month telling me to send a cv, and after about another month, I've replied, and after another month they said no.

They said no because you are not qualified for a game design position and because (as mentioned above) companies don't hire designer wannabes to train them up - you have to show them that you can do the job first.
Many games development companies now release level design and modding tools so that the games community can create their own missions/levels/scenarios. This is what you will need to learn if you want to get a job as a designer.
Quote:
4.5.maybe some kind of info about how to get started

Join a hobby/modding project. Download level design tools and start learning how to make game levels. There are a host of web sites out there dedicated to game modding that have extensive tutorials.
Quote:
5.from what I've seen most projects are started by designers who have an idea. so I'm just supposed to find some programmers and artists to start a team or is it good enough to just keep trying to make a game on my own?

Having an idea isn't enough. Most of the projects started by people who [only] have an idea fail. To succeed you need an idea and also the necessary skill to be able to contribute to a project. You need to be able to contribute in a meaningful way to the level design (see above) or art or programming. Team members who do have programming, art or design skills are unlikely to want to work for/with someone who has no practical understanding of development and no applicable skills.
Quote:
7.the plan (i think...): go to a university, learn advanced programming while doing that, build my own games, finish university.....and then what? right...I'll keep reading the FAQs

Then either apply for jobs or just keep making games yourself. Your choice.

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@Tom:
19, last year of high school, don't know what to do after.
also, think I might try the thing with the documents...

@Obscure:
I've been "playing" with map editors almost since I got my first computer. I've never done anything too serious, though.

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@Obscure:
I've been "playing" with map editors almost since I got my first computer. I've never done anything too serious, though.

Well if you want to get a job you need to stop playing and start working.

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