Sign in to follow this  

Advice on choosing 3D Modeler or Game Designer

This topic is 2115 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've been trying to focus my attention on something specific and as I throw out more fluff, I'm now at a place of trying to figure out do what I want to focus on being a game designer or 3D modeler?

My dilemma is that I enjoy both. Naturally, when I play games I don't naturally look at the graphics from a modeler point of view but from a game designer's point of view. I look at games in general from a game designer's perspective. I also enjoy leading. Not being a bossy prick but someone motivating and encouraging to team members and people I work with to create something awesome and the teamwork.

As a 3D modeler, I enjoy the creation and the finished product. I enjoy the problem-solving and the attention to detail and love the feeling of being satisfied with something. I'm not sure if there is much collaboration involved in this position but if there is, then it would be that much more enjoyable.

I also have a wife and a family but I am 25 so I'm not at then end of my life. :)

Thanks for any opinions and thoughts y'all have. Just trying to get some focus so I can sink my teeth into something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Here is how I see your choice. Which can you tolerate for the next few years:[list]
[*]Game Designer: Filling out spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations all week to justify game designs you probably think (and are possibly) are horrible but your lead designer thinks are the next big thing. Then getting brow beaten by the members of your team that "your" designs can't be done.
[*]3D Modeler: Modeling rocks over and over and over again. And being told at the end of the week that you did not model enough rocks, so you have to work the weekend.
[/list]
I might be exaggerating a little, as I know some juniors that were allowed to be creative right from the start. But most of my friends who became game designers or 3D modelers fell into the above descriptions.

From your description of yourself, my guess is you would enjoy game design more. As every 3D modeler in the industry I know has an eye for the graphics quality, the color balance, whether the art style is consistent, etc. I do not know if this is something that is taught or if it comes naturally to those who managed to get into the industry though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Focus on doing the modeling -- it's more likely to turn into a job, and you should find opportunities to help with design aspects once you're in the job.
[url="http://www.igda.org/games-game-april-2006"]This article[/url] might offer some insights into "upgrading" to designer.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Funny. I was just reading many of your articles. Thank you for the advice.

And you're right Bear Soul. I definitely have a bent towards game design but getting into the industry is important and I enjoy modeling so it's not like I'm making a enourmous sacrifice. That bend will never go away anyway.

Thank you both.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd say for practical reasons 3D artist (or artist in general even) is a much more convenient way into the industry.
It's a very well defined job with clear expectations. Unlike game designer, it also has a better worked out education path.
Getting into the industry as a game designer is hard, but Tom Sloper's FAQ already covered most of this.


On many development teams everyone is a game designer.
A few hold the actual title and do the actual game design work, but often the entire team is queried for input and thoughts.
The entire team is expected to be somewhat of a game designer and for many this is enough to get their "game design fix".
Taking the artist path you'll be able to do both to a certain extend if you're with the right company.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I would not go with the (directly) above advice. You can’t choose arbitrarily because the jobs are not arbitrarily chosen by companies.

When it comes to programming or art, or even sound, the quality of your work is fairly easy to measure. The assets you provide to a potential employer are quantifiable in terms of quality, and if you are good it is easy to separate you from others.

Game design?
Firstly there is no way to quantify the quality of design. Major corporations spend millions on games that end up flopping.
Even when they thought their designs were good, it turned out to be hit-and-miss.

Secondly everyone and his or her dog thinks his or her ideas are gold, or are immature enough to simply want to make their own ideas because [i]they[/i] like them, and expect a company to pay them to do so.

Overconfidence and misunderstanding contribute heavily to the competition through which companies must sift to find the jems in the rough. This puts them on high guard when hiring a designer who has never proved him- or her- self as being a competent designer.

Not only that, but small companies don’t have the budget for making their own games. They take outsourced games from other companies.
They have no need for a designer, so you have already shut the doors on your best-chance opportunities.


Aiming for an entry-level designer position is fairly futile. Looking at my other posts you will see I usually try to tell people to beat the odds and go get them, tiger.
But even I have my limits.


As Tom rightly points out, you need to get into the company first, then let them get to know you, and let them get to know your sense of game design.
If the existing designers agree that you have a strong sense of what good design is, they can vouch for you with the upper-ups if you ever request a change in position.


L. Spiro

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='Azgur' timestamp='1330077178' post='4916156']
I'd say for practical reasons 3D artist (or artist in general even) is a much more convenient way into the industry.
It's a very well defined job with clear expectations. Unlike game designer, it also has a better worked out education path.
Getting into the industry as a game designer is hard, but Tom Sloper's FAQ already covered most of this.


On many development teams everyone is a game designer.
A few hold the actual title and do the actual game design work, but often the entire team is queried for input and thoughts.
The entire team is expected to be somewhat of a game designer and for many this is enough to get their "game design fix".
Taking the artist path you'll be able to do both to a certain extend if you're with the right company.
[/quote]

If I ever found a company like that, I would be very satisfied. That's what I prefer and perhaps that is a hopeless desire but that would be ideal.
[quote name='YogurtEmperor' timestamp='1330261601' post='4916713']
I would not go with the (directly) above advice. You can’t choose arbitrarily because the jobs are not arbitrarily chosen by companies.

When it comes to programming or art, or even sound, the quality of your work is fairly easy to measure. The assets you provide to a potential employer are quantifiable in terms of quality, and if you are good it is easy to separate you from others.

Game design?
Firstly there is no way to quantify the quality of design. Major corporations spend millions on games that end up flopping.
Even when they thought their designs were good, it turned out to be hit-and-miss.

Secondly everyone and his or her dog thinks his or her ideas are gold, or are immature enough to simply want to make their own ideas because [i]they[/i] like them, and expect a company to pay them to do so.

Overconfidence and misunderstanding contribute heavily to the competition through which companies must sift to find the jems in the rough. This puts them on high guard when hiring a designer who has never proved him- or her- self as being a confident designer.

Not only that, but small companies don’t have the budget for making their own games. They take outsourced games from other companies.
They have no need for a designer, so you have already shut the doors on your base-chance opportunities.


Aiming for an entry-level designer position is fairly futile. Looking at my other posts you will see I usually try to tell people to beat the odds and go get them, tiger.
But even I have my limits.


As Tom rightly points out, you need to get into the company first, then let them get to know you, and let them get to know your sense of game design.
If the existing designers agree that you have a strong sense of what good design is, they can vouch for you with the upper-ups if you ever request a change in position.


L. Spiro
[/quote]

Thank you for this. Good advice. I appreciate this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 2115 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.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this