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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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Veteran Needs Advice

4 posts in this topic

As an active duty Marine Corps Officer, graduating with a BS in Computer Science in 2009, I have had limited** application of the technical aspects of my degree.  I have had a blast getting to work with and lead Marines in and out of combat, but am worried now that I am going to transition back to civilian life next year that I won't have the skills necessary to break into the game industry.


After reading Break into the Game Industry (Adams 2003), I think that I am best suited for a position in game design.  Working with different people to assemble a game with a coherent vision seems challenging and fun.  The main question I have is more of a philosophical matter for those who are in the industry and have worked with level designers and lead designers.  Should I focus on re-gaining my diminished technical skills or double down on the leadership and management skills I have acquired within the military?


I have been trying to teach myself C# to get myself "back in the game," but I realized that I wasn't even sure how technical a position a level designer is.  Any advice would be great.  Should I continue trying to regain technical skills?  If so, where would be a great place to start?





**absolutely no


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Go read the articles linked to in the forum FAQ, including all of Tom Sloper's excellent "Sloperama" lessons. 


The "game designer" job title is not an entry level or breaking in job. It is also a fairly low demand job, in that one designer can work with perhaps 10 programmers, 10-15 artists (assorted concept/modelers/artists/animators), team leadership, and a small team of QA. That's roughly 1 designer for every 30 to 50 other workers.


Since you have a CS degree I would begin the search for any available programming job. Then once you are in the industry consider moving up to design.

Edited by frob

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My question is, "If a person like myself was going to break into the industry, is there any demand for management positions for people with limited/rusty technical skills?" 


Oh wacky quote system.  Anyway, they have those positions, they tend to vary in name:

Product Manager or PM

Producer, Assistant Producer.


Limited technical skills is helpful there, as you can understand better what it is an engineer/developer is talking about (and possibly bullshitting you.), and perhaps even foresee things the engineer may not think about.


AP positions might be a good starting fit for you.


Also, for game design, the best thing to do is make games using existing engines.  Mod a game, make levels, etc.

Edited by ferrous

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but am worried now that I am going to transition back to civilian life next year that I won't have the skills necessary to break into the game industry.


Hi, Thomas!


May I suggest some really great reading?  Pick a book retailer and purchase:


Koster, Raph.  Theory of Fun for Game Design (2nd ed.).  2013

Rogers, Scott.  Level Up!  The Guide to Great Video Game Design (2nd ed.).  2014

Schell, Jesse.  The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses.  2008.


You'll be glad you did.  These books are encouraging, informative, and often just plain fun reading.


As far as your skills go, if you plan on being a team leader you should try to familiarize yourself with the duties of everyone you work with.  Download and play with Blender and make some horrible but educational models.  Edit some waveforms in Audacity and create custom sound effects.  Draw something with GIMP and figure out how texture atlases (What is the plural of atlas?  Anyone?) work.  Put your crappy texture on your crappy model and say "Wow!"


There are loads of tutorials on all of the above, as well as C# and other languages, many popular game engines, and even the theories and practices behind game design:




I would encourage you to be more than what many call the "idea man".  Sharpen your writing, editing, and communcation skills.  Know enough about programming, 3D modeling, animation, sound and level design to communicate with your co-workers.  Read lots of books, play lots of games, and get inspiration from outside of the game industry.  Use your life experience and leadership skills the best way you can and Make a Game NOW (even if alone)!

Edited by GoCatGo

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