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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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travisfreese

Level Design and College Questions

5 posts in this topic

Every job posting I see about level design basically says the same thing: you need some experience using game engines to design good looking levels. Everything else you know is icing on the cake.

The level design jobs, compared to the game design jobs, have almost no requirements. General or specific designers need college degrees, years of experience, numerous shipped AAA titles... the list goes on. I don't see that list on almost any level design job requirements. Some of them even have experience under pluses but not required.

But getting a job at at any of the big companies shouldn't be that easy, should it? Take Bethesda as an example. I already meet all of the requirements for a level design job... I know how to use the Creation Kit and GECK. I have a huge folder of mods that I've spent quiet a long time on using their engines. I play their games, know 3D space, can communicate well, and know basic programming and scripting.

But I'm only 19 years old. I'm not about to send in my application because I know that I won't be taken seriously. But what do they actually want? I can't seem to tell from job postings like these.


On a side note, I'm currently enrolled in a 4 year school for an English Degree. But there is a very highly rated community college nearby that offers a game development associates degree. Would it be more beneficial to switch over to the associates degree? It'd definatly be a whole lot cheaper than the classes I'm taking now.
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[quote name='travisfreese' timestamp='1346817569' post='4976681']
But getting a job at at any of the big companies shouldn't be that easy, should it? ...
But I'm only 19 years old. I'm not about to send in my application because I know that I won't be taken seriously. But what do they actually want? I can't seem to tell from job postings like these.
On a side note, I'm currently enrolled in a 4 year school for an English Degree. But there is a very highly rated community college nearby that offers a game development associates degree. Would it be more beneficial to switch over to the associates degree? It'd definatly be a whole lot cheaper than the classes I'm taking now.
[/quote]

You do need the degree. The 4-year English degree is better than the game Associates. How about this, you could get the game Associates, then transfer to a 4-year school for your Bachelors in any topic you like. That way you save money on the first two years, and have both the things you were trying to decide between.
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Getting my associates in game development would have been great... if i wasn't already a year and a half into my degree. I guess hindsight beats out foresight again this time.

So let's say I graduate with a degree in English... Is grabbing a job in Level Design as easy as the job postings make it seem? Edited by travisfreese
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No. Nothing is as easy as it seems. But you should go ahead, make a portfolio, and try. See FAQs 24 and 27 (in this forum's FAQ, go back out to the forum main page, see upper right).
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I sincerely believe that the proof is in the pudding. What can you do? Show me!

A degree in something difficult is always a bonus but never a guarantee. I personally think certs are completely useless (ooh, you know how to study and take a test!). Can you design fascinating levels? Are you passionate about it? Have you made stuff already? It sounds like you have, so its time to make your demo reel and to start sending it out. Put your best foot forward by showing your best work and give narration on what you're doing, why you're doing it, the decisions you made, any influences, etc. Imagine yourself being a passionate artist walking a tour group through your first art exhibit. They don't know who you are, what influenced you, what your art is trying to communicate, why you used a certain brush stroke or method, the theme you were aiming for, etc. People like to have their hands held and be entertained at the same time, especially in new territory. Do that, show you have what it takes, and you'll have a really high chance of landing an interview and job.

99% of the time, your age won't be a factor. I know a friend from highschool who got hired on at Valve as an artist right after graduation. She knew her shit and had obvious talent, so hiring her was a no brainer. :) Edited by slayemin
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The fact you have the min requirements does not make you the best available candidate. The company will receive applications, will select the most desirable candidates, meet them in person/skype/phone and choose which is the best fit.
Most likely, they will hire someone over their requirements if possible.
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