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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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Savalric

Young Life Crisis

4 posts in this topic

So, I know there are a lot of sites on this but my research has been rather varied in results. I just finished my first year of college and I'm wondering if I should even continue. My end goal is to Design games. I was thinking that I should learn programming and use that as an in-route into designing, but I recently found out that it's not necessary. So I was thinking of getting a degree in Game design and studying programming on my own time to known the limitations. But tbh, I'm rather confused on what the best avenue would be. Like I said, the end goal is design. I know that potential employers look at your experience (mods, games, etc...), but I don't want to invest myself needlessly. As in, I don't want to waste 4 years of my life for a CS or Game Design degree (or certificate if employers would accept that), not to mention about 100 grand, when I could simply learn on my own in a year, and arrive at the same place.

 

I guess what I'm asking is: Do I need a degree to validate my knowledge? Should I just focus on creating work, mods, and games (flash/java games) and learning programming languages? If I write a few GDDs, would that be adequate enough to get me a junior designer gig? (and I mean like some really great GDDs because, like all gamers, I have some really good ideas lol).

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Have you read all of Tom Sloper's FAQ's? He has insight on precisely these questions and lately I've been finding myself reading them more in detail. Here:

http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

Hope that helps smile.png

PS: this might fit better in the "Breaking into the Industry" subforum (don't repost though, a mod will move it if deemed necessary) Edited by Bacterius
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I second the idea of reading Tom's advice.  It is good stuff.

 

 

"Game Designer" is not a career path with an entry level position.  Most game designers are hired from the ranks of existing game developers. Tom has much to say on schools that claim to help you get started in a career as a designer.

 
 

I don't recall reading it in his FAQs, but there is something important to know:

 

 

The only positions that you can rely on for jobs are for programmer and art positions.  

 

Strong career paths can include gameplay programmer, tools programmer, network programmer, and so on.  For art, they can include concept artist, 3D Modeler and texture artist, animator, pixel artist and so on.  These jobs are reliable to get in you in to the game industry.  People are hired at all levels, including entry level.

 

Other jobs, such as designers and producers and such, those jobs are extremely rare, are frequently hired from the ranks of the other jobs, and are more like the lottery than a career path.

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I've said it before, I'll say it again. Finish the degree. If you don't, you'll spend the entire rest of your life explaining to potential employers why you think you didn't need to get a CS degree when they think you did.

 

Seriously; it's an easy filter for them to apply to the incoming CV flood. They just go "2.1 or higher from a good uni" and that's half the pile binned.

 

Also, uni is fun. I went back to mine last weekend actually. I was invited to a free psychology conference just because I graduated a couple of decades ago. I'm still friends with people I graduated with -- I met my husband on campus. You miss out on all these sorts of things.

 

And worse, if you started a degree and don't finish, the next question is "why" and you better have a good story. And when you're applying to 'real' software companies[1] a story of 'I wanted to make games' isn't going to cut it.

 

Also, the interesting courses on graphics and stuff aren't in the first year... they come later.

 

 

 

[1] By which I mean the boring ones which can pay the salaries which support a family and which won't go bust in six months when their AAAAAAAAA title turns out not to even be A.

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1. I just finished my first year of college and I'm wondering if I should even continue. My end goal is to Design games
2. I know that potential employers look at your experience (mods, games, etc...), but I don't want to invest myself needlessly.
3. I don't want to waste 4 years of my life for a CS or Game Design degree (or certificate if employers would accept that), not to mention about 100 grand,
4. when I could simply learn on my own in a year, and arrive at the same place.
5. Do I need a degree to validate my knowledge?
6. If I write a few GDDs, would that be adequate enough to get me a junior designer gig?

1. You absolutely do need to continue. Read FAQs 3 & 4, and read http://web.archive.org/web/20091116093803/http://advancedu.org/CAREER_NEWS.htm
2. That sounds like you're saying you don't really have a passion for game creation, and you're kind of lazy, too.
3. Those 4 years are absolutely not a waste. Read FAQ 51.  But you really should not spend more than you can afford. Choose wisely. Read "The High Cost of College" and "The Cost of Education" - there are links in the forum FAQs - http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16
4. No way could you teach yourself everything in 1/4 of the time.  You're not a teacher, and you don't know what you have to teach yourself.  It'll take you at least 4 years, probably longer.  Don't delude yourself.
5. Aside from how much value there is in the learning, the degree also helps you avoid being filtered out (as Katie said). Read "Get Through the HR Resume Filters" in the forum FAQs.
6. Nothing is "adequate enough."  Read FAQ 49. And those rare junior designer gigs are not open to industry outsiders.  You'll need industry experience before you'll qualify.

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