Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
Kiat

Game Design Degrees

This topic is 2795 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I read the sticky about the designer wanting to break into the industry, but I feel that it didn't answer my own question regarding it. I am currently a Freshman in College in Vermont attending Champlain College and majoring in Game Design. However, I am beginning to have mixed feelings about it, especially as I read more and more about the lack of credibility for this type of degree. I am also planning to move back to my home state, Washington, and I'm looking at other choices there.

What would be a good option to major in if I want to enter the industry as a Game Designer? I know that I will probably have to do 1-2 years as a QA for a company before I even begin working on a project (though I plan to make games along the way, and I'm currently in the process of working on one for a competition, and another small one in my spare time), and that it is VERY unlikely I'll be thrust into the role of a designer from day one, but I was curious as to what major would benefit me in becoming one.

I am set on the idea that I want to become a lead designer, and not a level designer or a writer, and I feel that with the right studies, I will no doubt be qualified for the role.

I have looked at schools in Washington, but I can only really see Digipen as a viable option for me. However, it contains the same majors that I fear will not be beneficial in the work place.

So, after my really repetitive post, I would like to sum it up by asking what I should major in to become a game designer, and if a school like Digipen is a good idea, or if I should go to a more traditional school?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
Quote:
I am set on the idea that I want to become a lead designer, and not a level designer or a writer, and I feel that with the right studies, I will no doubt be qualified for the role.

That doesn't make any sense. 'Lead Designer' is a position appointed to someone with industry design experience under their belt. It doesn't matter how much education you have; you simply wouldn't qualify for Lead Designer. It doesn't matter if you have 1-2 years of QA experience under your belt; you still don't qualify for Lead Designer.

There are a crap ton of links provided in the FAQs. Definitely check out Sloperama.com. A 'good major' is really, really hard to quantify. Like I said, you don't walk in as a lead designer. Some 'entry level' designer jobs are level designer, gameplay scripter, and writer. Pick a major that will help develop your skills to get yourself into one of those roles, and then you work your way up within a company. A level designer could use a psychology, architecture, or computer graphics background. A gameplay scripter would definitely benefit from a computer science background. A writer would benefit from well, a lot of majors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It is more or less impossible to become a Lead Designer without having had around 5+ years of experience as a Level Designer or Systems Designer. Typically Systems Designer also has the pre-requisite of Level Designer experience.

Basically, if you want to be any type of senior designer you need to have a successful career as a Level Designer first. Perhaps at a startup studio composed of your friends you could leapfrog into a Lead position, but that's really the only exception I can think of.

I don't know of any Lead Designer that hasn't followed the above path.

You are only qualified to be a Lead Designer on a AAA title if you have shipped a bunch of professional AAA games in more junior roles. Education will not prepare you for a lead role, only experience will qualify you.

-me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hello Kiat, you wrote:

>I read the sticky about the designer wanting to break into the industry

Not specific enough. Which sticky was that?
- Need some tips on getting into the field
- Breaking into Game Design
- Do I need a degree?
- View Forum FAQ

And did you View Forum FAQ yet? (I'm guessing not, because if you had, you wouldn't have written the following)

>What would be a good option to major in if I want to enter the industry as a Game Designer?

Read FAQ 3. You should major in whatever you want to major in.

>I know that I will probably have to do 1-2 years as a QA

If you're not going to break in through programming, graphics, level design, marketing... then yes.

> (though I plan to make games along the way, and I'm currently in the process of working on one for a competition, and another small one in my spare time)

"Make" in what sense? Expand on this.

>I was curious as to what major would benefit me in becoming one.

Anything.

>I have looked at schools in Washington, but I can only really see Digipen as a viable option for me. However, it contains the same majors that I fear will not be beneficial in the work place.

Wow, this is weird logic! "The only school that makes sense to go to doesn't make sense because the stuff they teach is wrong for me." I think you need to look at more schools, after you've read the FAQs. Scroll up and click the tiny blue "View Forum FAQ" link atop this page.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I guess I did not read the stickys as clearly as I had previously believed, and I sincerely apologize for that.

And I understand now that a lead designer is not a position that one can simply educate one's self to become.

As I look at the options, it appears that I would be most interested in Level Design out of the possible candidates.

I thank you for guiding me to some of the FAQs, and giving me links regarding what I can do, and what I should be looking at.

I am under a lot of personal emotional and psychological tension right now, and I appreciate that you guys were respective to my post, even if it was a little convoluted and didn't make any sense.

Again, I apologize for not reading the other threads very clearly, and I thank you all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wait, so you're majoring in game design, want to be a lead designer and don't think it's right for you? I guess I'm a little confused, wouldn't that type of degree be quite good for future designer positions?

Maybe you're talking about you'd rather do more art related things and the program is more technical.

This is just the route I'm taking, but I'm taking technical classes and pursuing design outside on my own more or less. Basically, I want to develop a portfolio on my own in addition to obtaining my degree in programming or something like that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!