Sign in to follow this  

Aspiring Game Developer straight outta College

This topic is 676 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

I am a college student nearing the end of my study date.

 

I know this may sound like a very broad topic, essentially I am asking for tips and advice for someone heading into this industry. I've been playing video games since the SNES (most likely, like all of you) and have the passion as well as ideas (Again, like all of you) and as a young student I feel very overwhelmed with the concept of starting my career.. Any advice for the newbie would be greatly appreciated! biggrin.png biggrin.png biggrin.png

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Cody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Tom, ideally I want to go Indie, me and a fellow student are planning on utilizing our colleges "Incubation Program" to start our own start-up. 

 

@ Hodgeman I have made numerous 'proof of concepts', little apps that demonstrate certain mechanics, as well as one simple browser based game and currently working on a Binding of Isaac-esque game. Again these are all proof of concept.

 

@Phantom I am learning Javascript for 2D gaming, as well as beginner-level skill with Unity for 3D and I am advanced with Photoshop and Flash(Only for game asset creation, sprites etc).

 

Thanks for the quick and numerous replies!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Tom, ideally I want to go Indie, me and a fellow student are planning on utilizing our colleges "Incubation Program" to start our own start-up.


Okay. Then moving this to the Business/Law forum, where you will find a LOT more advice than you ever expected.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know this may sound like a very broad topic, essentially I am asking for tips and advice for someone heading into this industry.

Advice: ask better questions. Narrow your question, and tell us what kind of advice you need most.

ideally I want to go Indie, me and a fellow student are planning on utilizing our colleges "Incubation Program" to start our own start-up.

Advice: have a collaboration agreement in place before committing any work to any startup. http://www.sloperama.com/advice/article58.htm


I've been playing video games since the SNES (most likely, like all of you) and have the passion as well as ideas (Again, like all of you)

Advice: never again tell people this. It is EXPECTED that this is the case, otherwise you wouldn't be in video games. It's useless information and a waste of words and we get bored hearing it all the time (precisely because we hear it all the time and it's boring useless information).

as a young student I feel very overwhelmed with the concept of starting my career..

Of course. Especially since you're going to go indie right out of school, jumping not only into "the deep end" but the Sargasso Sea Bermuda Triangle of waters.

Any advice for the newbie would be greatly appreciated!

I bet you won't appreciate this advice: get a job in games first, before you go indie. http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#1 tip: Start SUPER simple. Make an asteroids game. Make Pong. Or Breakout. If you get more advanced, make Pacman. Look at a lot of the old atari games and create them, but add your own art and design one or two variations to the rule set. At the best, this is what you should expect to be able to make straight out of school, and its a lot harder than it sounds.

 

#2 tip: Never quit, never give up. You'll get frustrated. You'll feel like you suck and you'll never be able to do it. Acknowledge that feeling, but keep working at it. When I first started programming C++ in high school, I got a low C in my course. I felt disappointed and as if I could never get it. I kept trying my best though, and eventually got better. I also needed to take lots of math. Math was never my strength in school. I performed poorly in pre calc 2 and took it about 4 times. I must be a slow learner. A lot of people would give up, but I didn't. As a consequence, I got four times as much practice as anyone else at pre-calc. Today, if I have to do math, I jump right in with excitement. I love it and I'm thirsty for more techniques and appreciate the beauty which hides beneath it. Perserverance is one of the secrets to success you must have. If you want to be a game developer, you have to make a life long commitment to do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes.

#3: you'll get lots of rejection early in your career. Deal with it. We all get it at first. Don't give up. Keep working.

#4: Bring something valuable to the table, in terms of a skill which directly contributes to the production of a game. Do you do programming? 3D modelling? Animation and rigging? textures? website design and marketing? finance? project management? game design? How do you help push the game out the door? Do NOT be an "idea guy". Fuck that guy, he's utterly worthless.

 

#5: Manage expectations and manage scope creep.

 

#6: Keep the morale of your team high, because morale is the steam which pushes the production forward. To keep morale high, make lots of visible progress as fast as possible. Every day, something new should be visible. New people need that fast feedback loop (including yourself) between work done and reward received.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

#1 tip: Start SUPER simple. Make an asteroids game. Make Pong. Or Breakout. If you get more advanced, make Pacman. Look at a lot of the old atari games and create them, but add your own art and design one or two variations to the rule set. At the best, this is what you should expect to be able to make straight out of school, and its a lot harder than it sounds.

 

#2 tip: Never quit, never give up. You'll get frustrated. You'll feel like you suck and you'll never be able to do it. Acknowledge that feeling, but keep working at it. When I first started programming C++ in high school, I got a low C in my course. I felt disappointed and as if I could never get it. I kept trying my best though, and eventually got better. I also needed to take lots of math. Math was never my strength in school. I performed poorly in pre calc 2 and took it about 4 times. I must be a slow learner. A lot of people would give up, but I didn't. As a consequence, I got four times as much practice as anyone else at pre-calc. Today, if I have to do math, I jump right in with excitement. I love it and I'm thirsty for more techniques and appreciate the beauty which hides beneath it. Perserverance is one of the secrets to success you must have. If you want to be a game developer, you have to make a life long commitment to do whatever it takes, no matter how long it takes.

#3: you'll get lots of rejection early in your career. Deal with it. We all get it at first. Don't give up. Keep working.

#4: Bring something valuable to the table, in terms of a skill which directly contributes to the production of a game. Do you do programming? 3D modelling? Animation and rigging? textures? website design and marketing? finance? project management? game design? How do you help push the game out the door? Do NOT be an "idea guy". Fuck that guy, he's utterly worthless.

 

#5: Manage expectations and manage scope creep.

 

#6: Keep the morale of your team high, because morale is the steam which pushes the production forward. To keep morale high, make lots of visible progress as fast as possible. Every day, something new should be visible. New people need that fast feedback loop (including yourself) between work done and reward received.

"Scope creep" I have a basic idea of scope. The overall idea of a game, correct? Care to elaborate if at all possible?  Thanks for the great response! :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Scope creep" I have a basic idea of scope. The overall idea of a game, correct? Care to elaborate if at all possible?  Thanks for the great response! smile.png

 

 

Scope = overall size and complexity of your project.

 

Scope Creep = Original Plan was to make a 2D Pacman game. During testing and learning the engine you wanted to use for your pacman game, you found out the engine also does 3D, and hey, its not as complex as you thought it would be. Or so you think at first, looking at the example project. Now you build a 3D Pacman, only to find out you now need to learn how to rig and animate 3D models. Then you read about all that new physically based shading thing.... you wanted to do your 3D Pacman in simple vertex colors, but hey, why not create full PBR textures for the model so it shines and sparkles? You start to build the simple blocky 3D pacman level, but then you find all these example level props in your engine, and you get the brilliant idea to build the pacman level with full 3D foliage instead of blocky walls. Now you are on the hunt to get more trees and bushes, only to find out that you can download this awesome tree creator that lets you create your own trees. How cool is that? Then you start to get interested in AI... how cool would it be to create really intelligent ghosts that follow more Complex AI?

 

Before you know it, your simple Pacman clone has evolved into an almost AAA project that could keep an expierienced 10 man team busy for a year or more... would it be the ultimative Pacman ever and cool as hell? Yes of course. But a) you will never finish it, unless you find the 500k$ or more needed for the escalating scope you have there, and b) even if you finish it, you didn't build what you planned to do.

A common mistake in the software world, still an pretty grave one. Nobody will pay you for your shiny 3D pacman if he invested the money in your studio to build a common 2D pacman.

 

Unless you are Tim Schaefer, and Double Fine Studios. Then you might get away with it. Barely....

Edited by Gian-Reto

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 676 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this