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Semiz

(UK) College, A-Level's, Btecs, and it seems i've made a fatal mistake too soon

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Hey guys, I just joined the site and hope to be an active member, but however through reading the posts I've discovered that getting a specialized qualification in Games, Isn't such a great idea.[/font]

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Knowing this too late, I left school at 16 knowing exactly what I wanted to do with an unrelenting passion to do a Level 3 Extended Diploma in Creative Media studies (Game Development) in which to learn the basics and what I thought would be me getting ahead in the game (No pun intended.) The qualification is directly equivalent to A Levels, and whenever I finish this course in May, I will be getting a AAA. It's allowed me to find out what i'm good at, and it appears I have a knack for game design and level design.[/font]

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But anyway, back to the point. Once I complete a degree, I will come out with a full long list of game specialized qualifications, Because now it's my only choice to really do a Game Design oriented degree as that's what my portfolio suits. So now i'm panicking at the fact of what I thought would be a great idea to build my portfolio and skills up more has just royally screwed me in the future.[/font]

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Would you find my education more unsavory, Or would it be a good thing to have double whammy? I know if any potential interviewers ask why i did that course at 16, it's because I had such a passion already and knew exactly what I wanted to do. (Which is a good thing, I think (I hope) for a 16 year old.)[/font]

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Hi Semiz,

Personally I think the most important thing you can do to help promote yourself as a games developer, regardless of which educational route you decide to take, is to make a quality mod or game that shows your skills first hand. Modding a popular game like Skyrim or building and launching an iOS game will do more for your chances of getting a job in gaming than the exact configuration of education / degrees.

Best,

- Destin
www.ineedtomakegames.com

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Hi Semiz,

Personally I think the most important thing you can do to help promote yourself as a games developer, regardless of which educational route you decide to take, is to make a quality mod or game that shows your skills first hand. Modding a popular game like Skyrim or building and launching an iOS game will do more for your chances of getting a job in gaming than the exact configuration of education / degrees.

Best,

- Destin
www.ineedtomakegames.com


I agree with you. I'm making a demo currently now on UDK. The demo will be released then on my blog. Over the summer I'm planning to put together a small project with a few of the talented guys in my class. It just worried me whenever I read the countless suggestions about 'Don't pick this type of degree!' etc.

Thank you for the response.

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I agree with you. I'm making a demo currently now on UDK. The demo will be released then on my blog. Over the summer I'm planning to put together a small project with a few of the talented guys in my class. It just worried me whenever I read the countless suggestions about 'Don't pick this type of degree!' etc.

Thank you for the response.

Generally the advice not to take a game degree is related to the fact that the overwhelming majority of them are trash compared to related degrees outside the field. That's the largest problem.

Game/Level design is also a very tricky position to break into. It's not really an entry level position. I'd work on establishing the skills you need to create a game on your own or at least be helpful enough to gather a team of people with those skills around you to make a game. The latter being difficult because, to be quite honest, a lot of artists/programmers don't really want to work with a designer with no experience who's generally just telling them what to change while they're up all night working. Just make sure you bring tangible skills to the team.

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[quote name='Semiz' timestamp='1332956894' post='4926070']
I agree with you. I'm making a demo currently now on UDK. The demo will be released then on my blog. Over the summer I'm planning to put together a small project with a few of the talented guys in my class. It just worried me whenever I read the countless suggestions about 'Don't pick this type of degree!' etc.

Thank you for the response.

Generally the advice not to take a game degree is related to the fact that the overwhelming majority of them are trash compared to related degrees outside the field. That's the largest problem.

Game/Level design is also a very tricky position to break into. It's not really an entry level position. I'd work on establishing the skills you need to create a game on your own or at least be helpful enough to gather a team of people with those skills around you to make a game. The latter being difficult because, to be quite honest, a lot of artists/programmers don't really want to work with a designer with no experience who's generally just telling them what to change while they're up all night working. Just make sure you bring tangible skills to the team.
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I've thought about doing some sort of psychology related degree, as that's the reason why I love doing any sort of design work, I love figuring out people and how they react, as well as having artistic visions. But then, I doubt i'd into a decent degree of that subject.

I have been building up my skills surrounding the game design part of it, I can model averagely, I know my way around a good selection of engines, the only thing I struggle with is code. I also read as many books as I possibly can on the theory behind it.

I understand what you are saying about the rest of the team not wanting to work with someone who has any no credit, It seems i'm in a sticky situation then if I want to gain any merit.

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I have been building up my skills surrounding the game design part of it, I can model averagely, I know my way around a good selection of engines, the only thing I struggle with is code. I also read as many books as I possibly can on the theory behind it.

You shouldn't worry about modeling at all unless you want to be an artist, not a designer. Even though you struggle with it, you need to know scripting/logic flow. If you don't like specifically coding, try doing some creative things with kismet in UDK. It's more graphical, so you might have an easier time with it.

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Writing games in your spare time such as Windows or Symbian is a good way to practice your skills, as well as something to talk about in your interviews. On the flip side, in my interviews they seemed more concerned about good academic qualifications than actually looking at any portfolio I'd made...

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[quote name='Semiz' timestamp='1332967202' post='4926113']
I have been building up my skills surrounding the game design part of it, I can model averagely, I know my way around a good selection of engines, the only thing I struggle with is code. I also read as many books as I possibly can on the theory behind it.

You shouldn't worry about modeling at all unless you want to be an artist, not a designer. Even though you struggle with it, you need to know scripting/logic flow. If you don't like specifically coding, try doing some creative things with kismet in UDK. It's more graphical, so you might have an easier time with it.
[/quote]

I'm not too bothered with modeling..Doesn't really appeal with me, Just I know how to model average things, As I was taught a section of it in the course I've been doing, Which I guess helps with understanding the artists.

And I'm totally fine with learning scripting, I find kismet actually quite fun when figuring out stuff. It's just hard lines of code, I can't really function too well with it, as for visually based things such as Gamemaker, I find a lot more easier to handle. I guess that's just the way my brain works.

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Writing games in your spare time such as Windows or Symbian is a good way to practice your skills, as well as something to talk about in your interviews. On the flip side, in my interviews they seemed more concerned about good academic qualifications than actually looking at any portfolio I'd made...



That's my worry.... Did they look long and hard at where you got educated first before even touching your portfolio?

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Semiz, if you don't mind me asking how old are you and where are you at with regard to choosing/starting/completing your degree? It sounds like you are still deciding what degree to take, but from your posts I’m not too sure.

Either way, bear in mind there is no defined degree for game design. There’s no defined degree for game programming or game art either, only more generally accepted routes. But there really is even no generally accepted route for design, so don’t be too worried about your past choices just yet.

Generally, most designers I know of took one the following routes:

Computer Science Degree -> Game Programming - > sidestep to Game Design
Art Degree –> Game Art -> sidestep to Game Design
Game Degree -> Game Design
Seemingly Random Degree -> Game Design
Seemingly Random Degree -> QA -> Game Design
Off the street -> QA -> Game Design

You can mix these up a bit. Most would have got into some sort of hobbyist game design at some point (such as modding for example) and would have had something to show for it. Make sure you do that.

The seemingly random degrees…I’ve known people who’ve taken English, History, Film and Media types of degrees, all of which might be held up to have had some relevance to the eventual career path. An English degree for example, where the person has plenty of talent for creative writing is entirely relevant and useful...if you can show it as such.

Without knowing your exact position, but knowing you don’t want to program or do art…have you considered going through the ‘foot in the door’ routes such as QA? There’s a lot of competition down those routes, but those who are good at QA, demonstrate a knack for game design and are keen gamers do generally make it through to either junior production or design jobs, even if it takes quite a few years.

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