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vorayako

Go do a 4 year university course dedicated to game development in london or learn and do game development at home?

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Just now, vorayako said:

Well programming and game design are my main ones, an indie game developer is a jack of all trades right?  How do I acquire business knowledge? Surely there are unpaid internships I can undertake?

Some indie teams are one man shows, others have different team members. Usually the smaller the team the more crossovers you'll see, and those teams greatly benefit by being very experienced.

My business knowledge came from working my way up in several companies from a junior all the way to an executive role. This took many years to do, and from there I went and opened my own companies (not all related to Game Development). This happened by being at the right place at the right time in my life, knowing the right people by making the right connections. I don't think anyone can blueprint a guide for you on this, there is a lot of "luck" involved in getting someone to take a chance on you early on is very crucial. There are different skill sets involved as well on the business side, just like there are different skills involved in development; It takes a lot of hours to acquire these skills, so you're not going to find any short cuts, you'll have to put in the time.

I really would suggest you go to school and obtain a degree, then get hired at a company and see exactly how things really work. If you're into the business side, then this would be a different educational path, so you'll have to make that choice. I learned the business side of things by sheer luck, but was self taught in programming way before that.

Don't put too much on your shoulders because everything takes time, and life can change up on you at a moments notice.

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2 hours ago, vorayako said:

Well programming and game design are my main ones, an indie game developer is a jack of all trades right?  How do I acquire business knowledge? Surely there are unpaid internships I can undertake?

You failed right out of the gate with that one.  Time is money and you are willing to trade your time for no money to have someone tell you just that. 

Also, I'd venture to guess graphic design and music composition are skills that are more important to actually making a good game, you're kind of counting your chickens in the egg here.

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I used to agree with the advice of not getting a specialized degree e.g. game development, but in all honesty most companies which would be a "backup plan" don't care that you've got a degree in game development, and just care that you've got a degree. For example I work as an IT manager and intranet web developer and the guy that works for me has a degree in game development. He's just as competent and has the same abilities as someone with a computer science degree as far as programming and IT goes. Your mileage may vary.

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I am a mobile developer for my job. I never went to a 4 year college for computer science. It started out like a past time just like game development has. But if you put enough time into learning it you'll become just as knowledgeable as someone who did. There are a lot of free online learning alternatives to going to an expensive 4 year degree. As long as you know enough to do good at interviews you should be set. Some companies have hard requirements that people have a degree and some places do not have that requirement. I spent a few years doing it as a pastime, before anyone considered hiring me as even Jr level positions require at least some knowledge of programming. But I still do not have a computer science degree and I now have 6 years of professional mobile development under my belt. Now that I have been dabbling in game development for a few years, have 2 games released and working on a third I will be starting to apply for game development jobs as well. Hopefully I will be able to turn another pastime into a career.

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3 hours ago, HunterGaming said:

I am a mobile developer for my job. I never went to a 4 year college for computer science. It started out like a past time just like game development has. But if you put enough time into learning it you'll become just as knowledgeable as someone who did. There are a lot of free online learning alternatives to going to an expensive 4 year degree. As long as you know enough to do good at interviews you should be set. Some companies have hard requirements that people have a degree and some places do not have that requirement. I spent a few years doing it as a pastime, before anyone considered hiring me as even Jr level positions require at least some knowledge of programming. But I still do not have a computer science degree and I now have 6 years of professional mobile development under my belt. Now that I have been dabbling in game development for a few years, have 2 games released and working on a third I will be starting to apply for game development jobs as well. Hopefully I will be able to turn another pastime into a career.

Once you have experience it doesn't matter so much, but to get that first job and get your foot in the door you have to pass a companies HR filters where their policy may be to discard any resume that doesn't have a degree, regardless of outside of work experience.

If you don't have that degree for the first job finding your way in can be pot luck.

Don't give up!

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I think it very much depends. University provides a structured learning environment and gives you the time to build a portfolio but I personally feel if you don't want to pursue anything overly academic then there isn't much of a need. 

skipping university and learning at home will all depend on your own ability to self-teach and stay motivated. No body will be there to check you are doing things correctly and to push you to challenge yourself but you. 

Either way though the decision should be made by you and what you feel is best. 

Edited by dr3w

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People here seem to be missing the point. 

The question here is not "Is going to University going to make OP a better game dev and help them get hired?". The question is "Is getting a loan to go to an expensive University going to help an indie game dev (that OP wants to be) be able to return that loan and more?".

For the first question, you will get an "obvious yes" from anyone who went to University, "yes if you can afford it" from anyone who went to a University in the US, and a "well it's not really necessary" from anyone who didn't :) 

The second question is more complicated, it has to do with factors such as how much you know already, how quickly are you able to learn, how expensive is the University compared to how much money you have, and how much money do you expect to make in the future with or without the University (Indie devs generally don't make much money, Notch is an exception rather than the rule. And I don't think formal education will affect much in that case)

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I'll just chime in with the same answer I give to this question every time it comes up in this forum (which is often).

You are not a career.

Go to school.  You learn more outside of the classroom than in, and in the classroom you get exposed to the things you didn't know you didn't know.

Don't think that because you've followed some celebrity personality portrayed on social media that you can lead a fulfilling and successful life by emulating their potentially fictionalized biography blurb.  Write your own story, make it deep and wide.

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As someone who went  to university, I have to say it was one of the best times of my life, 

There you learn all sorts of things regardless of if your interested in it or not, and that is very important. That would be one of the biggest lessons you will learn about life, that sometimes you need to learn thigns you don;t have any interest in at the time.  Whos to say it won't b relevant down the road, now if you just lern on your own, this effect won;t happen. 

The other thing is it takes a massive amount of self motivation to learn everything on your own. I'm not saying it can;t be done, but it;s much harder. 

The 3rd point of school is to learn and socialize with your peers. Learning by yourself at a computer won;t be able to replicate hat. 

If your goal is indie development, jsut do that on the side when your at school, it can be challenging, but I did it, and it was every efficient time. 

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