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ErkeyTurkey

Where to start?

14 posts in this topic

So here is the deal. I'm in my junior year in high school and have always been fascinated with how games were created and how they work. I want to work in the field of video games as a career. I want to make sure that I can do whatever I can to work in video games.

So my questions are:

Are there any tips that people have for me?

What I need to know before I go to college?

What is the best way to go through college to work in video games?
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[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349635346' post='4987736']
So here is the deal. I'm in my junior year in high school and have always been fascinated with how games were created and how they work. I want to work in the field of video games as a career. I want to make sure that I can do whatever I can to work in video games.
[/quote]
I felt the same way, which is why it happened. If you know your own passion and determination, there would never be a reason to ask, “how to start”. For the people who are determined enough and full of real passion, getting into the industry is simply a matter of fact.


[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349635346' post='4987736']
Are there any tips that people have for me?
[/quote]
You haven’t even specified whether you want to go into design, programming, art, music, testing, receptionist, coffee maker, janitor, etc.
Even if you did, you will have to be more specific if you want any suggestions.


[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349635346' post='4987736']
What I need to know before I go to college?
[/quote]
With the information you provided, there is only one answer that has any chance of being universally helpful: Pick a field. Programming, design, art, music, etc.…

[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349635346' post='4987736']
What is the best way to go through college to work in video games?
[/quote]
By picking courses related to whatever field you want to do and finishing those courses.
But I think you are under some kind of misunderstanding. Unless you live in Japan, formal education is only impressive once you have a Masters or Ph.D (and even that doesn’t help you much).
Employers in the game industry look much more closely at what you can [i]actually[/i] do (demonstrations of your skills, demo projects, etc.)

This is why, after I dropped out of high-school and got a 1-year GED at a community college, I [i]still[/i] never questioned whether or not I would end up in the industry.
It is not really about education. It is entirely about your own personal drive and determination. Your passion to make video games (in whatever field you choose) will keep you working on personal projects every night after school instead of going out to the mall or parties. By the time you are out of high school you will have 4 or 5 little projects to your name that demonstrate to employers what you can do, and that is the most important part of getting a job.

I would hire a drop-out with 5 good-looking projects and the ability to pass my test before I would hire a 4-year university student with no projects to show, even if he passes my test. Even if the graduate has 1 or 2 projects to show, if they were class projects it doesn’t impress me so much since doing those projects was just part of getting a grade, not passion.


L. Spiro
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I'd gotta agree with L. Spiro, you should have some projects under your belt to get noticed.

But I gotta add something. Try to get experience in everything you can. It's incredibly useful in the industry, not only for design, but great referencing for programming, asset creation, sound design, level design; everything. Say you have two nearly identical pocket knifes, but one has a saw in it, you'll get that one instead, right? You may never use that saw, but at least now you have that extra tool.

And even though you think you want to be in the game industry now, it might change once you actually go through the process of making a game. Like L.Spiro said, you need to have projects you're passionate about and once you really get into the nitty-gritty of making some game, you might find that you like games more playing them than making them. And there is nothing wrong with that and there are still positions in the industry that might interest you more.

Guess I'm saying all this because you're still in high school and have a big bright life ahead of you. Don't try to narrow your career goals too much before you taste whats out there.

Oh, before I forget, read all of [url="http://www.sloperama.com/"]Tom Sloper's series on the game industry[/url]. That guy really knows his stuff and it really helps to get some insight!

Good luck!
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[quote name='DaveTroyer' timestamp='1349715759' post='4988039']
And there is nothing wrong with that and there are still positions in the industry that might interest you more.
[/quote]

Like what?
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[quote name='L. Spiro' timestamp='1349691665' post='4987936']
You haven’t even specified whether you want to go into design, programming, art, music, testing, receptionist, coffee maker, janitor, etc.
Even if you did, you will have to be more specific if you want any suggestions.
[/quote]

I would like to work as a video game tester if at all possible i dont know how i could be more specific than that
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[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349732581' post='4988135']
I would like to work as a video game tester if at all possible i dont know how i could be more specific than that
[/quote]

That was not clearly specified in any of your earlier posts.

Working in QA Has one of the lowest barriers of Entry. However It is deffinatly nothing like Playing Video Games, And is ALOT of work.

There is a plethora of resources online to get information about it. A simple google search or looking at the FAQ's should suffice.
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[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349732581' post='4988135']
I would like to work as a video game tester
[/quote]

Then you should read FAQ 5. Twice you've been pointed to the FAQs. Have you looked at the FAQs yet? FAQ 5 is about getting work as a tester.
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[quote name='L. Spiro' timestamp='1349691665' post='4987936']
Employers in the game industry look much more closely at what you can actually do (demonstrations of your skills, demo projects, etc.)
[/quote]

I think that's mostly true after you get your foot across the door. Your sole chance of reaching higher will depend on stuff you did, whether at that workplace, or prior.
That said, the barrier to entry in some places also heavily relies on degrees (at least, in my location).
I consider myself extremely lucky to have been hired as a temp QA/Tester initially.
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[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349732235' post='4988133']
[quote name='DaveTroyer' timestamp='1349715759' post='4988039']
And there is nothing wrong with that and there are still positions in the industry that might interest you more.
[/quote]

Like what?
[/quote]

That you might not like actually working on a game as much as you like playing them. I'm saying that because I've met a few people that start their journey into game development, but end up hating it and move on to something else, like network engineering or system test engineering.

But if you want to be a tester, give it a shot. Reading Tom Slope's articles will help you make a more educated decision in how to get started and where to go.

Either way, don't get discouraged if you end up not enjoying the first path you take; there are plenty of different paths to take in the game industry and you can always try another route; be it a year from now, or 20 years.

Not much of an answer; more of a prep-talk, but I hope it helps. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img]
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My 2 cents on game testing:
It can be an immensely rewarding or tremendously shattering job depending on 2 factors:
- The way you approach the job, how much you give into it, how far you're willing to push things and how focused you are on the product as a whole, etc.
- The culture of the company, how programmers at the studio approach QA/testers, and how the company is willing to compensate you (generally, salary is where a lot of very talented QA/testers choose to change branch).

Wish you luck!
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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1349748218' post='4988184']
[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349732581' post='4988135']
I would like to work as a video game tester
[/quote]

Then you should read FAQ 5. Twice you've been pointed to the FAQs. Have you looked at the FAQs yet? FAQ 5 is about getting work as a tester.
[/quote]

I have in fact looked at them
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[quote name='theflamingskunk' timestamp='1349741249' post='4988159']
[quote name='ErkeyTurkey' timestamp='1349732581' post='4988135']
I would like to work as a video game tester if at all possible i dont know how i could be more specific than that
[/quote]

That was not clearly specified in any of your earlier posts.

Working in QA Has one of the lowest barriers of Entry. However It is deffinatly nothing like Playing Video Games, And is ALOT of work.

There is a plethora of resources online to get information about it. A simple google search or looking at the FAQ's should suffice.
[/quote]

I realize that you think im one of those who thinks video game testing is an easy job and all you do is sit around and play video games with empty monster cans everywhere. But im not i actually think it's one of the more difficult jobs in the industry because you have to do EVERYTHING in the game. You dont chose based on what you like you just do it.
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