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Masters Degree in Video game design

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Hi everyone,

 

My name is Lachezar Zanev. Just graduated bachelor of marketing but I am more interested in doing masters in video game design than specialising in the field that I have been now. I am very interested in that type of master and eventually a career. My question is it rational to change fields so late in my education and do you think it is worth it? I would love to get all kind of opinions - even more critical.

 

Thank you in advance. 

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Pretty much what frob said. The answer to your question really depends on what it is you want to do at a game dev studio.

 

For example, artists would benefit from a different degree than programmers/developers would. It all depends on what position(s) you are looking for.

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Thank you guys for the comprehensive answers. Really appreciate that. The Idea guy sounds good but I was thinking a position more like of director-type. I have particular skills in storytelling and writing and outlining the main storyline. I've noticed that some famous game designers are coming from fields like art, film-making and other not directly related with programming and animation.

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The Idea guy sounds good but I was thinking a position more like of director-type. I have particular skills in storytelling and writing and outlining the main storyline. 

 

If you want to write the storyline for games, David Gaider wrote an excellent piece recently: https://medium.com/@davidgaider/i-want-to-write-video-games-d83da40fdf8e#.8jekzqaiy

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  1. Ok, can somebody answer to the last question of mine? :)

 

 

Which last question?  The last item I see on there is "is it worth it?" so I'll assume that's the one you mean.

 

Value is a highly personal question, what is worth it to one person is not worth it to another.  Each person has their own unique values and goals.  Each person has their unique life choices and experiences.  The experience may be amazing to one person, so-so to another, and terrible for a third.

 

 

I have known many people who returned to school, or went for the first time, while they were already mid-career.  Often they are going for an MBA or similar degree to augment their existing career paths and open new doors.

 

 

 

You have a marketing degree.  You can probably use your knowledge and skills to enter a marketing role, or even better if your goal is to be a designer someday, enter as an associate or assistant producer by touting the benefits you can offer them with your marketing background. Producers generally work to link people together and make sure schedules are hit; often this includes communicating and marketing both internally and externally. Associate and assistant producers often work with external marketing companies and social media as part of their job, and a marketing degree could be helpful there. Producers work very closely with various design aspects of games, and as you gain experience you could likely transition to doing more design than production.  At smaller studios it is somewhat common for someone to wear hats of both production and design. 

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The Idea guy sounds good ...

 

I would make sure you understand the term correctly before using it around here...

 

"The idea guy" is kind of a snotty term used by some game developers for people who do not seem to do any kind of work, but are trying to make others do the work for them. Think of the guy who has this awesome idea for a new game, and tries to assemble a team that should make his vision a reality. When asked by potential team members on what his role on the team is, or what he can do, he answers "I have the ideas"... which for most expierienced game developers is an instant no-go.

It means the guy will do nothing but command you around to do his bidding. Most probably while being overprotective of his "awesome idea".

 

 

Now, Frob tried to say that Game Designers are NOT just "The idea guy"... they are expected to do way more than just have a vision and make others realize this vision.

You should feel quite comfortable with Excel, and should be good at math because these are some of the most used tools of Game Developers. They are, after all, also responsible for crafting and perfecting the rules of the game, balancing them, and working with the gamelogic programmers to have them properly implemented.

And then often Game designers are also responsible for additional tasks like project management and stuff like that like Frob has laid out.

 

 

I guess if you want a job at the helm of producing a game without having to get "your hands dirty with game development stuff", you could look at the producer role, which is to my knowledge more of a project lead / management position that is used in larger game development projects.

Don't know, but I guess trying to get into a Producer role might be just as hard as getting into a Game Designer role, as there aren't that many of those positions compared to programmers or artists.

Edited by Gian-Reto

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If you are interested in the game dev industry in general, I would really recommend looking at what entry level roles entail. There really aren't too many director/producer type roles available as entry level roles afaik.

Do some research, look at some job postings, see what you like. Most entry level roles will require at least some programming knowledge, or 3D art knowledge. But that research will give you a more specific idea of what it is that appeals to you so that we can advise you better.

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When I said that the idea guy sounds good I was just joking. Sorry for not making it clear. My thought was actually the guy who conceives the idea, clears it and starts working on it. The guy who builds the concept. Do not get me wrong. I am fully aware that there is no such entry level position. However, I am also pretty sure that there something like it. I do agree that if people have to listen to me I must have some degree of experience and some projects behind my back. My question was more like from where to start in order to transition to something like that because I do not have art nor programming background. 

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Thank you. Your advices are important to me. I think that would be something that I would really enjoy doing. I have been into games, book and creative writing since I can remember myself. I've created games (not video games though) for my friends. I wrote whole stories. I can imagine whole worlds in my heads with different characters with their personality and physics. When I was in middle school I used to draw and my paintings were given to ambassadors. Another thing to mention is that I used to create artificial languages with my own alphabet and syntax. Though I disliked maths at one point it was because of my teacher. Now I do not think there can be something that can stop me in learning whatever I put my gun at. 

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