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AndySike

Unsure about Video Games

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Hi everyone,

As an avid fan of games like Warcraft II, Warcraft III: RoC, and the Halo series, I have been interested in going into the gaming industry. The problem is I know making a video game isn't the same as playing one. I'm 16 years old and I'm not sure if I'd like any of the jobs involved in making a video game. I feel like I'm very lucky I live in Washington State, because of the great CS program UW offers. And not only that but Game Studios like Bungie(Halo) and Microsof which would be my dream place to work at are in the vicinity.

However, I live on the East side of Washington in a small town that offers NOTHING related to that field. Which means the HighSchool I attend, and the nearby Community College don't have anything to help me see if I would like a career in Video Games.

Finally, I just can't see myself Programming in front of a computer for the rest of my life.

Here are my questions:

1) I feel like everyone on the West side of Washington (meaning going to these big Highschool's in Seattle which have classes on computers etc.) have a huge headstart on me. How am I spose to compete against a kid that practically is programming in his basement and making games at the age of 10?

2) Since I feel like I'm at a disadvantage, are there realistically many jobs in the Gaming Industry that don't involve Coding/Design. I'm scared of Design because of the of low pay/outsource and I suck at drawing.

3) What things can I do now that will help me be prepared for getting into the gaming industry.

4) Is Project Management in Video Games a realistic?

Some info on me: Halo has really changed my life. I feel like if I don't go into the Video Game industry I will regret it or always wonder. I play competitive Halo in tournaments with my friends, and have been gaming since I can remember.


I know this is a lot, and I know I will be given the "FAQ PAGE" response to some of these, but I really want to know what people think. Thanks.

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1. Don't worry about it. Just do what you can.
2. Read the FAQ.
3. There's an FAQ on that too. http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson12.htm
4. Of course. Read the FAQ.

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Quote:
Original post by AndySike
I'm very lucky I live in Washington State, because of the great CS program UW offers. And not only that but Game Studios like Bungie(Halo) and Microsof which would be my dream place to work at are in the vicinity.

However, I live on the East side of Washington in a small town that offers NOTHING related to that field. Which means the HighSchool I attend, and the nearby Community College don't have anything to help me see if I would like a career in Video Games.
You started off well enough.

Programming games is nothing more or less than software development.

This normally means pursuing a Computer Science degree. That is benefited most by advanced mathematics skills, and can be helped by a strong basis in physics or other mathematically-strong sciences.

You should also work on your English language skills. You need to learn proper spelling and grammar.

Quote:
I know this is a lot, and I know I will be given the "FAQ PAGE" response to some of these, but I really want to know what people think.
Then you should understand that it really shows what people think. Read it, because it wouldn't be there if it wasn't the prevailing answer.

1) I think you misunderstand what other people are doing. You should not care so much about how they are following their paths. Focus on your own path.


2) You are mistaken; you aren't at a disadvantage.

If you are so concerned about pay, you probably should avoid the whole game industry. It pays less generally than other computer fields. The 2010 highest paid American jobs list shows that 14 of the top 20 highest paid jobs are in medicine. If money is your big concern (which is unfortunate) then change your career.

Other industry fields include art and animation, but I don't recommend going there unless you are an artist. You said you were interested in programming, so I doubt that is your path. There are needs for audio engineers, but do you love recording and editing audio, or composing music? There are needs for writers, but it looks like you need help there. The industry needs designers; do you ever design your own levels or your own complex rule sets? There are needs for marketers, accountants, lawyers, HR specialists, payroll, and more. You can even be a building custodian at a game studio.

The point is that you should focus on what you enjoy, not what you think will get you a specific job.

3) Read the forum FAQ, and all the documents they link to.

4) The industry needs project managers. They are generally promoted from those who have shown themselves to be skilled in the industry, but nothing prevents you from breaking in without industry experience.


Quote:
Finally, I just can't see myself Programming in front of a computer for the rest of my life.
Find your path and follow it.

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Thanks guys for the informative replies!


To Frob: I'm not concerned about the pay or salary. But I just think being any kind of GFX artist is to much of a risk for me personally.

And another question: Do you think game companies prefer a BA or a BS.

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Okay, well I think I'm going to have get a BS as I don't think UW offers a BA in computer science.

Secondly, I'm trying to learn more about programming. I'm trying to start with C as from what I'm reading C is easier and helps when you move on to C++. Correct?

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Quote:
Original post by AndySike
Okay, well I think I'm going to have get a BS as I don't think UW offers a BA in computer science.

Secondly, I'm trying to learn more about programming. I'm trying to start with C as from what I'm reading C is easier and helps when you move on to C++. Correct?

Andy, if you want to ask programmers for advice about self-learning programming languages, you should ask those questions on the For Beginners forum. Since you seem to be done asking questions about education (a Breaking In topic), maybe I should close this thread... You can always start a new one anytime, on any forum.

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