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How to get into the industry for a working adult?

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[color=#222222]What path do you think is best taken for getting into the industry as a designer/level designer/scripter, knowing that I have no college degree and that I am unable to attend a traditional college due to work and family commitments? And what Pro/Cons do you see with each path?

[color=#222222]The two paths I'm thinking about are the following;

  • [color=#222222]Get heavy into the modding community for games like Skyrim, SC2, Etc. and develop a body of work to use as a resume.
  • [color=#222222]Attend an industry school (online preferable) like FullSail to learn the skills needed for such positions.

    [color=#222222]My main concern with industry schools like FullSail is that I've read that some companies blacklist such schools. And I would hate to be applying to a company like Blizzard (not that they blacklist) and not get a chance just because of the school I went to.

    [color=#222222]Any suggestions?

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Those paths aren't mutually exclusive. You're going to need a good portfolio regardless of schooling.

In the end, knowing someone is your best foot in the door to any job.

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Mighty,
You need to build a portfolio, and you need to live within commuting distance of game companies. As was said above, read the FAQs please.

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Got family you want to spend time with? Don't bother.


I did it when I was young and kidless and the poor management, poor pay, poor hours of an entry level position were offset by my youthful exuberance to be working on games. That was a long time ago, and things may have changed massively since; but now, that my priority are my wife and kid, the last place Id want to be is back in the game industry, especially at the entry level where you are so incredibly disposable because of the legions of people lining up to take your "dream job"


There are a few shops I hear of that are 9 to 5 and well enough managed to have little crunch, but these are very much the exception to the rule.

WIth the rise of so many indie opportunities, I would recommend pursuing your dream that way.


/EDIT:
Just want to be clear, I am not discouraging you from bettering yourself because of your stage in life. Getting a degree, changing careers, find a position that makes you happier, these are all noble goals. I am just trying to discourage you from picking the game industry in general. Or at least, look before you leap. Try to interview some (older) employees at game companies and think to yourself if the lifestyle they describe is really compatible with having a family.

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Well, if you can make any money off any of the items in that portfolio, or just get them "out there", congratz! you're in the industry!

With all the methods of delivery and payment available today, "in the industry" is a more expansive term than ever before. Now, "employed solely by the industry" is something different entirely.

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skills are important, a portfolio is important and also knowing people inside the industry. I can help for the last part, as example with my Network on LinkedIn (I've got more than 28000 direct contacts).

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