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sleepypixie

Getting Cold Feet | I need advice.


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Hi!

 

I was recently accepted to College for Creative Studies. I'm majoring in Video Game Art Design.

 

I did this quite suddenly, without as much research as I should have, and I'm worried I'll be missing out on basic programming and game design because this is an art school. Plus, I don't know of any local game developers I could intern for. I will also be missing out on networking with students studying other parts of game development. Will this school still give me what I need to break into the industry? If not, are there other options (college, free courses, or otherwise) that I should be pursuing?

 

Any advice is appreciated,

Sleepypixie

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Artist.

 

My traditional art skills are at professional level in several mediums. However, my digital art skills are minimal. I have used Illustrator and Photoshop for graphic design, but beyond that I have no training in 2D or 3D digital art.

 

As far as programming goes, I have taken a semester each of Visual Basic and Java. It would be fun to learn programming to create small games on my own, but I'd rather be part of a team in which someone else handles the heavy programming.

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Do you want to be a programmer or an artist?
What are your current programming/art skills?


Artist.

My traditional art skills are at professional level in several mediums. However, my digital art
skills are minimal. I have used Illustrator and Photoshop for graphic design, but beyond that I have
no training in 2D or 3D digital art.

As far as programming goes, I have taken a semester each of Visual Basic and Java. It would be fun to
learn programming to create small games on my own, but I'd rather be part of a team in which someone
else handles the heavy programming.


If you want to be an artist, an art school is the right place for you. If they offer programming
classes, take some if you want. If they don't and you do, then maybe you can take evening extended
education classes in programming (if those exist).

On a team, it would be extremely unusual for anyone to expect an artist to do any programming (you
should absolutely expect that there will be others to handle the programming). Edited by Tom Sloper

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Each person has their main discipline.

 

There are some programmers who have moderate art skills, there are some artists who have moderate programming skills.  Those skills are valuable as a secondary asset, but not so valuable that they are likely to get you a better job or a higher wage unless it grows into something more.  Having the art degree will help.

 

However, inside the career, those abilities will occasionally add value.  An artist who can also script together a simple level is useful when programmers are swamped but people want a beautiful-but-quick visual demo.  It can also help if you have a need to write code for your art tools as Maya and most other major tools have scripting functionality.  Again, having the art degree will help.

 

An artist with programming ability also enables career paths like "technical artist" which is an art role that bridges across with the programmers.  The ability to write code isn't enough by itself, but it does open the path if you want to follow it.  The degree is basically essential.

 

 

If you are in the US a college degree is virtually required to get hired.  A relatively small number of people are hired without degrees, but they tend to require amazing portfolios and some desperation from the employer. 

 

If you are outside the US the situation varies by location.  Some places it is a requirement, other places it is not.

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If you are in the US a college degree is virtually required to get hired.  A relatively small number of people are hired without degrees, but they tend to require amazing portfolios and some desperation from the employer.    If you are outside the US the situation varies by location.  Some places it is a requirement, other places it is not.

 

Having an idea of where you are looking to go to school could help in the direct feedback. 

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Having an idea of where you are looking to go to school could help in the direct feedback.


CCS is in Detroit (USA)

 

I guess I should mention that I need to stay within a couple of hours drive of there, so whatever is decided should be something I can do from Southeast Michigan.

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Well,

Given the above info,  you should be on the right path.

Just getting the degree won't be enough to break in tho.

 

A bachelors level degree is what a high school diploma used to be,

You will need a good portfolio as well.

 

It also depends what your aspirations are?

 

Do you want to:

A. just be an artist in a team/ department?

B. Be an Art Director one day?

C. Be a creative director one day?

D. other? (specify)

 

Knowing the principles of programming, and some languages will help you if your goal is B or C, since you will need to know how to get your assets into the engine and get them working, it's all the better if you can do it all yourself, than have to wait on a coder to help you.

 

On my team, we combine creative and Art Director in one person, and he knows the entire pipeline for not just art, but all other assets.

 

If you can major in art, with a minor in programming, you would stand out above other artists in your class. (knowing programing in any regard will help you problem solve better)

 

I'm not sure if you understand how rare it is to have a fully competent person who knows and can produce art & code very well. My former project co-founder was one of those, but he came more from the Code side, and went to a tech school. 

 

As for the networking diversity concern, it's valid, but don't think too much on it, your training to be a specialist, at a trade school, your bound to find those similar and different to you enough.

 

The question would be, what's your other options?

Edited by GeneralJist

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