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Hello chaps/chapesses 

Just looking to get some feedback from those more experience on a couple things here.
Bit of a rant, but I'm not looking for formal feedback.
-Feel free to skip things

Brief history
_
So my background is in Electronic /electrical Engineering from college - got equivalent to A*A*A (Which i'm not proud of BTW); and received offers from : (York,Kent,Sheffield,Bath and Hallam -Got some interest from Cambridge also but they wanted more tests (screw that)). - all in Electronics related courses (Specifically IC design/Nano tech)
Oh and all these electronics offers are in some part funded by the military, so no thanks.

Side note: was in hospital for 1.5 years and have had chucks of my life just missing prior - doesn't help.
___

Now-ish
__
At the last minute I switched to software game development 
Other than the above, the main reason for this switch is that due to my lack of challenging work at college.
I published a game on steam (Homeworld : MIX) ,took 11 months to make, with 16K users within first weeks of release and still ranked one of the best mods on the workshop /forums etc.
I'm also now working on a few fairly complex projects with Mjoilnir Software
__

So I get to uni and it's mind numbingly slow, worse than College

.I was expecting this..to a degree (Pardon the pun) , and am told it get's better.
.Soo I pick up some second year  maths assignment work and find it quite depressingly easy (Projection Matrix Transform)
__

This leads me to assume that by the time I will be at the second year; the same soul crushing effects will occur (No Joke, this is causing serious psychological problems - coupled with other externals). 
- I know this just isn't sustainable for me.
___

The questions:

1.Given the info above: is this experience enough to be successful without a degree (hell even an ok wage will do) -very vague I know, apologies.
2.Is the Debt/Depression worth the reward in this or related fields ; comparing to people who are on both sides of the playing field.
3.if 2 == yes; Any suggestions on how to cope?.

Many thanks for your time.
 

Edited by Jamie Shelley

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First, you mention a lot of health concerns, depression, and stress.

 

If you are experiencing psychological issues, get those dealt with.  They will persist regardless of your other life choices.  

 

When depression is caused by chemistry it will follow you everywhere until you get the chemistry issue resolved.  When depression is caused by an emotional trauma or other psychological injury, it will persist until the injury is addressed and sufficient rehabilitation has taken place.  In either case they are just as real and just as threatening as their physical counterparts.  After the trauma of a broken leg, having bone sticking out through the skin, no sane person would suggest you just walk the injury off but instead rush you to a hospital and expect several months of care and rehabilitation before your leg is stable again; the same for an emotional or psychological trauma, get it fixed and allow for rehabilitation.  For a chemical concern it is more like a long-term illness like diabetes where you can look forward to a lifetime of management; the same for a psychological chemical imbalance, you can look forward to a long term management.

 

 

Second, it seems you are asking if you can get a job without a degree.  

 

The answer there is a qualified yes.

 

You probably can work in a game development career with out a degree.  However, you do not compete in a vacuum.  It will likely be more difficult to find a job when all the other applicants have degrees and you don't.  A degree is evidence that you have studied topics you may not have had interest in, and evidence that you have a broad (yet shallow) exposure to a wide range of topics. It is evidence that you can stick through a project to completion.

 

After several years when you have a long list of completed games to your name it will be less of an issue in finding a job, but it may very well come up any time you are looking for a new job after a layoff or when looking for a career transition.  It may be brought up during salary negotiation.  It may be brought up when discussion promotions.  

 

The number of people without degrees will vary based on location on the globe.  In the companies I've worked with I'd estimate between 5%-10% do not hold degrees.  Most of them that I've had in-depth talks with have mentioned that they regret not having a degree, a few are proud that they do not.

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I voted up frob's post - wholeheartedly endorse what he said.
 

1.Given the info above: is this experience enough to be successful without a degree (hell even an ok wage will do) -very vague I know, apologies.
2.Is the Debt/Depression worth the reward in this or related fields ; comparing to people who are on both sides of the playing field.
3.if 2 == yes; Any suggestions on how to cope?.


1. Is it enough? Nothing is enough. Will you get a job without a degree? Nobody can foretell the future. Can you get a job without a degree? Yes, if you build a solid portfolio and don't project negativity during a job interview and are lucky.
2. The debt/depression you're referring to is the debt due to the cost of going for the degree, and the depression due to is the stifling nature of going to school based on your past experience (I assume). Is it worth the reward, you ask - worth is subjective. Only you can determine if something is worth it to you. In my opinion, your description of your reaction to college suggests that you would feel stifled and depressed if you got a job at a game company, too. Working in games is a job. It's a fun job compared to other industries, but you have to work as part of a team, striving to achieve the goals that are set for the team by clients or customers or bosses. It doesn't sound to me like a lifestyle that works for you. You could wind up calling that "soul crushing" too.
3. Maybe you should work solo as an independent, making mods and more of your own design. Just going by what you wrote. Edited by Tom Sloper

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Game development as a career choice is stressful. 

 

You have to deal with constant risk of unemployment at the end of each project and will move from studio to studio often.

 

I've kept away from doing it as my 9-5 as I need job security for my family so I work in business software development and do indie development in my free time.

 

Follow your heart as well as your head and do what feels right, and it won't feel soul crushing or stressful. 

 

A wise man once said "do what you enjoy, and you won't ever work a day in your life". Note that an equally sarcastic person once added to the end of this phrase "because you'll be unemployed" but I am an optimist and have found that if you do what you enjoy you'll have a better quality of life.

 

Not a psychologist or a careers advisor,  just offering my own 2P worth... 

 

Good luck!

 

Edit: my opinions about the industry come from friends who have worked in it as developers and testers, and based on information I've read here and elsewhere. YMMV.

Edited by braindigitalis

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Really appreciate the feedback guys and I'm gladly surprised just from a quick once over , I'll reply to each point when I have time later this evening.

Cheers
-Jamie
 

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Yet more work got dumped on me last Friday sigh.

Anyway.

I took these comment to heart and very much appreciate the realisation that I'll be depressed to some degree, either way.

So in conclusion:
Stick with uni for now, if a better offer comes along; i'll snap their hand of, and in the mean time continue developing smile.png.

Just wanting to add based on other comments: I'm quite happily working in a team with Mjolnir with everyone from artists to writers to accountants.
So that aspect of depression doesn't apply, thank god.

If I were to quit at some point in the future; it would with conviction and certainly mean I wouldn't in anyway be ashamed ; just disappointed University structure didn't suit me.
And again chaps, if I did it for stability/Money I would of continued electronics and be designing missile tracking systems smile.png.

Edited by Jamie Shelley

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