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Michael_Curley

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Good Afternoon Everyone!

 

I am in the process of changing careers.  I have been working in luxury hospitality for the last 10 years and am finally taking action into the game world.  I am in the process of finishing a degree in Game Design and would love some suggestions on how to keep a step ahead.  I would love some tips on how I can make the transition a little easier.  Thanks in Advance!

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HI Michael,

 

What is your end-game with this decision?

What are you "running from" (why are you leaving your current field)?

What are you "running to" (think you'll get in video games, through game design)?

 

Answering the above might help us steer you more efficiently.

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Start working on a portfolio now. I would also suggest that you learn some scripting or basic programming. This will give you am advantage over designers who can't.

Look into making a small game in unity or python.

Your going to need Something to shine over the other candidates when you apply for jobs. Game design is tricky to get into because there are not that many positions but a lot of people trying to fill them.

Not to get you discouraged but I went to a game school and out of the 34 designers graduating the same year as my programming class only 6 of them ever got a job in the industry.

Have you made any board games? Fleshing out ideas in the formatting of board games is an easy way to know if your idea is fun. Then you can showcase these on your portfolio.

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Thanks for the feedback everyone!

 

I am currently in the luxury hospitality field. This will be my 20th year in the hospitality business and while it has been very rewarding from a personal and professional level, I am starting to feel like the Dunkin Doughnuts guy.  I have always been a passionate gamer.  I am drawn most to the creative aspect of the business.  I have a photography business that I run, so I am familiar with Photoshop, but am just getting started with programming and 3d software like Maya.  My ideal situation would be to get a foot in the door doing game art and work my way up to a lead design position from there.

 

DerekL:  Would you say that most of the failure rate is due to an over saturated market or a lack of effort on the candidates themselves?

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DerekL:  Would you say that most of the failure rate is due to an over saturated market or a lack of effort on the candidates themselves?

I would say probably 25% of them are from lack of effort. The rest lack of jobs and giving up after a year or so of not finding one. The ones that did make it into the industry have stayed and I keep in contact with them. But game designers have the lowest ratio of jobs open compared to artists and programmers and usually designers aren't a foot in the door position but there are junior positions for hire, just not as many.

The game industry is one of those things thats hard to get into but once your in its a lot easier to find jobs. Over 50% of game jobs probably go to someone somebody knows that they have previously worked with. I know any openings that are available here, employees get asked if they know anyone who would be able to fill the position and we bring them in for interviews first before we ever publicly post a job opening.

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Sounds a lot like Hospitality Derek.  Do you have any specific networking sites you would recommend?  I am on the usual social media sites like Facebook and Linkedin etc.  Getting a foot in the door is usually the hardest part, but I am not exactly a single 20 something either.  Having to care for my family will be cruicial in this transition as well.  I do appreciate the feedback.  It is all very helpfull.

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Depending on where you live there are tons of development/design meetups where people from the industry get together, discuss games, personal projects and just have fun.

Here is the site where people host these types of events and you can join groups so you get notified. I'm not sure how popular it is around the world but here in Vancouver Canada there's at least 30 different gaming meetup groups here.

http://www.meetup.com/

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Do you have any specific networking sites you would recommend?


IGDA - join local chapter. LinkedIn. Twitter. Networking is more a local thing than a WorldWide Web thing. Get out in person (more effective than Liking or retweeting stuff).

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