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Prot

Please give me some advice for future plans.

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When I had my first encounter (8 years old) with a PC I was pretty damn sure that I have to study this stuff and make it my profession. Many years later I finished studying computer science. You can't even imagine how big my disappointment was when I started looking for jobs.

 

In germany there is almost nothing to find and if you do find something it is mainly about developing browser games. My main topics in university were .NET with C# and I had plenty of time to learn XNA. But now I had to realize that nobody is looking for C# or XNA developers in the (german) gaming industry especially not for junior applicants. So I had no choice but to apply for a boring Sharepoint job (and I got it).

 

Still I did not want to accept this, so this is my plan for the future. I will go on with my current job for several years. Mainly because I think that getting a job with several years of experience is always easier. Meanwhile I started learning OpenGL.

 

Still there are some issues I am wondering about.

 

  1. It seems that nowadays nobody really needs that many game programmers (developers). I mean there is Unity, CryEngine, Unreal Engine...Does that mean that the game programmer is dying out and only the very best will find jobs in Engine developement?
  2. What are the best things I can do in order to meet the requirements for a game developer job, let's say in 2 years? By game developer job I mean everything but those freemium titles that pop everywhere! I mean want to do some real graphics/game logic programming. I hope you get the idea, it still do not have to be AAA titles but titles one can put his entire love for the medium in.

I really look forward for advice especially from people who are already in the industry.

 

Btw: The fact that I worked with C# for the most part, does not mean that I am not capable of anything else. Java, C/C++ are also languages I am pretty comfortable with. I also have experience with tools like 3Ds Max, Maya, Blender, Photoshop....

Edited by Prot

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I was under the impression that programmers were the most wanted guys in the industry.

 

Isn't it true anymore?

 

If by industry you mean all the industry then the awnser is yes! I found it hard to find jobs in germany (and world wide) that target C# developers in the gaming industry though.

Edited by Prot

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Hum yes that's more what I was thinking too, C++ is more important than C#.

 

You need to do some C++ project Prot.

 

The new Unreal allow you to code in C++, I don't know if it's good enough for a programmer job or if you need to do the game from nothing tho.

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XNA is pretty dead, but it was not a waste of time learning it.

 

^^^ This.  No matter when or where you start learning to make games, you're going to be behind before you even start.  But the things you learn about making a game (the stuff that isn't language or platform specific) will stay with you.  

 

Right now, if you were to find that perfect job with the perfect startup, are you ready?  Would they hire you on the spot?  If the answer is no, then keep learning.  Make games, and get a job to support yourself in the process.  

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Ok guys thank you very much for your replies!

 

@ Tom Sloper: I think you got me wrong. But this is my fault. I didn't make it clear enough. I did not assume that programmers are dying out and that is the reason I do not get a job. It should have been another point/question in my post. I am pretty aware of what I am capable of.

 

One point I find very interesting, the Portfolio. What do you guys think what is it about such a portfolio that could convince a AAA (or not) developer to hire a person? Note here I am only talking about the portfolio not the social skills. Let's say I want to apply for a 3D-programmer job. Things I can think of:

 

  1. Clean code/coding technique.
  2. Visible understanding of basic concepts in 3D programming.
  3. A good code documentation.
  4. Something like project plan?
  5. Maybe how you create and implement concepts?

 

What else should I be aware of when creating such a portfolio? Would you completely agree with this article or is he/she missing something?

Edited by Prot

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Its not really that hard to pickup a new language once you understand how programming works. You should be able to pickup javascript in a week, i would suggest looking at learning this one as there are tons of jobs it can be used with. Server side, web, games, html5 uses it ( this is a great thing to have on your resume atm as there are lots of emerging companies at the moment who are starting to use this, its a growing technology)

C# is used in games quite often all our server guys program in .net but as for xna I don't know a single "company" other than indies that use it.

If you want to apply for a 3d programmer job i would suggest making a simple game engine that uses directX or openGL but from scratch. 

Add things to it like;

- custom pipeline imports( models, animations, skeletal animations)
- custom lighting

- shaders

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Its not really that hard to pickup a new language once you understand how programming works.

 

Amen.

 


C# is used in games quite often all our server guys program in .net but as for xna I don't know a single "company" other than indies that use it.

 

I also see a lot of C# lately, but I'm guessing Unity is to blame.

Haven't heard of XNA in years...

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Haven't heard of XNA in years...

Try hanging out in the Mobile and Console area.

 

XNA is the only sanctioned tool for hobby X360 development. With an install base of over 75 million, it is still quite relevant even if MSFT is scaling back services for the older console.

 

True XNA hasn't changed for years, but neither has the X360 hardware. It was a cross-platform library for DX9-era cards on PC, X360, and certain phones.  The library and the API can remain fixed when the hardware is also a fixed target. 

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Strangely enough, our mobile teams have mostly all switched to Unity over 2 years ago, and whatever work we do on MS consoles doesn't use XNA. 

Possibly not the norm though.

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Are your mobile teams doing hobby development, or are they a licensed developer?

I'm guessing the latter, in which case a major engine is likely the best choice.

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Are your mobile teams doing hobby development, or are they a licensed developer?

I'm guessing the latter, in which case a major engine is likely the best choice.

 

Bit of both actually (as strangely as that might sound).

That being said, I fear we're derailing this topic, so my apologies for this tangent.

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Oh yeah, sorry.

 


What do you guys think what is it about such a portfolio that could convince a AAA (or not) developer to hire a person? Note here I am only talking about the portfolio not the social skills. Let's say I want to apply for a 3D-programmer job.

 

The things on the list are good, but really the employer will likely only care if you appear to be able to do the job they need done.

 

If your portfolio shows you are specialized only in writing shadow volumes and similar code, that won't help much if they're looking for someone to improve their terrain system or someone to work on network code. Similarly if your portfolio shows you specialize in networking and communications it won't help much if the employer is looking for gameplay programmers. Put in stuff that showcases what you have done and want to do more of.

 

The point of a portfolio is do provide evidence that you can do the job.

 

Show that you can make games by actually making games.

 

 

If you have a few years of experience in the industry you can just say "I did such-and-such on each of these games." That is strong evidence that you can do the job of making games.

 

If you haven't done the job before then you need to find another way to demonstrate you can do it. If your portfolio is a bunch of half-finished school projects with source that won't compile and have major structural errors, that is bad evidence.  If your portfolio is a completed 3D network game that includes both an  executable game that is fun to play and good-looking source, that is good evidence.

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