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cdjensen94

Where do I go from here?

8 posts in this topic

I just recently left College for multiple reasons. I was attending IADT Vegas, and found out that I was more advanced then what the school could teach me. I have been davelling in Game Development since I was 10-years-old. I have a great knowledge of the design aspects. My only problem is that I need help with programming. I am working on that so no need for help on that. What I need is to know, is how should I go about getting into the Gaming Industry? I live in Las Vegas, so that kills one problem. Their are over 50 gaming companies where I live. I need some advice on where to go from here.

Should I start dropping resumes off to the companies? Also, should I start putting together a porfolio?

I've been an Indie Game Designer so long, I just don't have the slightest clue what to do.

Edited by cdjensen94
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1. I just recently left College...
2. how should I go about getting into the Gaming Industry?
3. Should I start dropping resumes off to the companies?
4. Also, should I start putting together a porfolio?
5. I've been an Indie Game Designer so long, I just don't have the slightest clue what to do.


1. That's too bad. On your resume, it looks like you're a quitter.
2. A degree would help, if you don't have industry experience. Without a degree or suitable experience or portfolio, QA remains a viable option.
3. You shouldn't go to the companies and "drop off" resumes. You can try applying -- it wouldn't hurt to do that. It likely won't get you hired, but it'll highlight the problem. And it still might get you hired (not applying definitely won't get you hired).
4. Why do you have to ask that? Are you that lazy?
5. Then you ought to be able to make a portfolio.

Have you looked at this forum's FAQs yet?
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Well, I would suggest getting a degree and then apply to game companies, but I would imagine that's not the answer you're looking for.

 

Without a degree you have a few options.

 

1) Apply for QA positions and struggle your way up from there. This is not as easy as it sounds. Most QA testers never make it beyond being a tester, especially if they are working directly for the publisher rather than the developer. More common tester career paths are to become test leads, or specialized testers (such as compliance or online), and then to QA managers.

 

2) Build a really good portfolio and try to use that to leverage an interview with a game company. The easiest way to get noticed and avoid getting your resume thrown out by HR would be to have friends working in the industry who can refer you and show your portfolio. The other ways are to have professional quality work already (think the original Counterstrike), and to network like crazy with those in the industry.

 

3) Build your own game (or join up with others) and try to make money off of it. This isn't easy for obvious reasons, and is the most risky if you are jumping all in. You will likely need to work for free for an extended period of time, and if your game doesn't click at market then you are no closer that you were before. While this is the most risky, it also offers the most reward on the off chance you have a hit. You would benefit from business knowledge if taking this route.

 

 

What sort of role were you interested in?

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What sort of role were you interested in?

I am looking for either a design role or programming. I have 6 years of Game Design Experience. My reasons for leaving College, where simply that I was told by the Academic Advisor that I should look for a job, as they where an excellerated school and it would be a waste of time and money to stay. She told me I should find a job, and just start working. Even the Chair of Game Production said the same thing. They just said I was too advanced for the School.

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Hmm, I see what you mean. I guess it does seem rather strange. I just haven't worked in the "Triple A field" before. Indie game Dev, is the main thing I've worked with.

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Let's look at a few of those details.
 

I was attending IADT Vegas

The school offers a "Bachelor of Fine Arts in Game Production".  It is accredited as a trade degree.
 
That is NOT the degree normally used for game programmers, which is a traditional Computer Science degree.
 
It looks like you unfortunately picked up a school that wants your money by offering something popular rather than wanting you to get a solid education.  Sadly of the over 4000 schools offering bachelors degrees in the United States, some of them are like that. 
 

I have 6 years of Game Design Experience.

When employers use the word "experience", they mean time spent as a full-time employee with that job title. You have six years of personal projects. Your personal projects may be impressive and noteworthy, and if that is the case an employer would consider them as evidence that you can do the job. Even so, it is not what employers mean by "experience".

My reasons for leaving College, where simply that I was told by the Academic Advisor that I should look for a job, as they where an excellerated school and it would be a waste of time and money to stay. She told me I should find a job, and just start working. Even the Chair of Game Production said the same thing. They just said I was too advanced for the School.


It is quite likely that they are correct, although that probably says more about the school than the student.

Just looking over what the school covers makes me doubt that a student with those competencies would succeed in the industry. It looks like they lightly touch on some art subjects and don't cover any programming topics in depth. 

Do you have a solid grasp on all the core CS algorithms and core CS data structures? Could you explain the inner workings of a linked list, dynamic array, heap, stack, kd-tree, and a hash table? Could you implement any of them in less than an hour? If I asked you to implement at ten different sorting methods, could you do it in less than a day, and also explain cases when each sorting method would be the best? Do you have at least a passing understanding of how compilers and linkers work, how operating systems work, how computers communicate, how grammars and formal languages work, and what is meant by algorithm complexity? Could you explain when an O(n^4) algorithm or a factorial-time algorithm gives acceptable performance, and a case when linear time algorithm may be too slow?

Do you have a solid understanding of linear algebra? That is the basic underpinning of 3D mathematics, so you better be able to not just explain matrix multiplies, vectors, dot products and cross products, quaternions and Euler angles, but also explain why each would be important in games, with examples. Do you have at least a passing understanding of discrete mathematics and calculus? Everything in computers is discrete mathematics so there is no avoiding the subject, and calculus is useful although often ignored by gameplay programmers.

I can tell from reading your forum posts that you are either lacking skills in communications and written English, or you are choosing not to apply them. Proper spelling and grammar are important in written communication.

These are only a few things you should know. Getting your degree means more than just knowing the topics. Having earned the degree implies that you have reached the point where you are able to learn on your own, or at least with minimal guidance. It also means you have the tenacity to finish a long project even when parts of it may be difficult. It generally means a person has other competencies, such as the ability to work.

 

 

There was a time when you didn't need a CS degree to succeed at making games and be competitive in the marketplace.  Today it is rare to find self-educated programmers who can compete effectively.

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I live in Las Vegas, so that kills one problem. Their are over 50 gaming companies where I live.

 

Where did you get this number from? Does it include gaming in the gambling sense? That might be a viable way to get some experience, but it isn't direct industry experience.

Does it include 1 man indies such as yourself? 

 

Not to offend anyone working out of Las Vegas, but I think Petroglyph is the only major studio in the area.

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I live in Las Vegas, so that kills one problem. Their are over 50 gaming companies where I live.

 

Where did you get this number from? Does it include gaming in the gambling sense? That might be a viable way to get some experience, but it isn't direct industry experience.

Does it include 1 man indies such as yourself? 

 

Not to offend anyone working out of Las Vegas, but I think Petroglyph is the only major studio in the area.

 

yes it's mostly gambling. I got a job now though

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