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Hodgeka

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I'm beginning my path to hopefully becoming a game designer and programmer. My dream is to be an indie developer making just enough cash off of my games to support myself.

What I'm curious about is this: What path did you take to get where you are now as a game developer? (books,tutorials,jobs,projects,etc)

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[quote name='Hodgeka' timestamp='1298516627' post='4778260']
I'm beginning my path to hopefully becoming a game designer and programmer. My dream is to be an indie developer making just enough cash off of my games to support myself.

What I'm curious about is this: What path did you take to get where you are now as a game developer? (books,tutorials,jobs,projects,etc)
[/quote]

That's a loaded question... One day, when I was...13, I was walking around Books-a-Million. I saw a book called Dark Basic. I read the back, saw that it was a programming language for making games, and sat down in the store to read it. After a while, my mom came up and said we had to go. I didn't get the book. But that Christmas, she had apparently bought it for me when I was in the car.

After that, I started teaching myself C++. It was really difficult, and I didn't get past pointers at first. Never even got to OOP. Then, my junior year I got accepted into my local MagnIT program. I got to take IT courses at my community college while I was in High School. I loved programming so much that my junior year, on top of taking 2 programming courses at my CC, I took my high school's VB course. While everyone was learning loops and arrays, I was using them to make games. I made a little "game" in which you ran around as an animated sonic, collecting animated rings. It had a score counter in the top left of the screen. It was my first "game" really. The teacher saw it and the next day forced me to print my code and teach the class.

After I graduated. I took Simulation and Game Design, Advanced Simulation and Game Design, 3D modeling, C++, and Perl at my CC. It was loads of fun. I decided to try my hand at a 4 year university. I applied, was accepted, moved into an apartment with my girlfriend, and didn't make it even a year. The stress of bill and living on your own sucks.

We got evicted a couple months ago and had to move back to our home town. I was looking for a job around town when my girlfriend's mom saw that the game she was playing was made by a guy living in my town. I quickly contacted him and set up a meeting. The meeting went well and I offered to port his game to the Xbox. He told me to show him some of my work and he'd think about it.

I went home and uploaded what little I had to him. But I was stubborn and really wanted to do something professional that I could put on a resume. So I went on to the website where his HTML5 game was, ripped the sprites, and started the port. I uploaded to him, at the end of the day, a working main menu with graphics and controls and the background images for the first level. I informed him that he was in no way obligated to use my port, but that I would offer it to him free of charge if he'd like. (Free work, crazy I know. But I want something on a resume)

Anyway, it's been a week now and he's offering me 50% of the profits. ^^ It's very exciting. This will be my first time being payed for programming.

I plan on going back to school this summer at my CC to get my associate's degree. After that, I'll try living on my own again. >.<

Tips if my story's boring:
[list][*]Always have a project to work on. Seriously, don't go months without programming / designing.[*]Finish your work. No one cares if your sprites look like crap.[*]Don't keep doing the same thing. You'll never learn new things if you keep repeating yourself.[*]Learn a bunch of languages. You'll thank me later when someone says "Well... we're looking for a java developer, not a C++ developer for this project"[*]Buy reference books. I have books on languages, libraries, Math, Physics, Game Audio, and a crap ton others.[*]And last. NEVER get discouraged. Don't let someone make you feel stupid. Have confidence but admit when your wrong, and learn from it. No one starts off doing this stuff correctly. Everyone, even the pros, are still in the process of learning.[/list]

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Thank you so much for the full, thoughtful response! That is exactly the kind of response I was looking for. I wish you the best of luck with persuing your associates! I'm currently in a CS program at a 4 year university myself, but have only just begun really trying to persue programming on my own time. ( for other than school projects, etc )
Also, thank you for the tips. =D

Anyone else want to share their story?

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[url="http://www.gamedev.net/topic/595008-road-from-college-undergrad-to-game-producer/"]http://www.gamedev.net/topic/595008-road-from-college-undergrad-to-game-producer/[/url]

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