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Building up experience in other specializations???

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I am currently enrolled in Game Programming and Development and I have been jumping around between multiple specialties, including programming disciplines and graphic design. I just wanted to gather some perspective on the Game Design specialization and if you think it's prudent, as a beginner finishing up school, to start out in QA or a similarly related field as I expand my portfolio before I try to dive into game design? After reviewing some of the qualifications for game design jobs, I noticed that the majority of studios want 2-3 years of experience, so I wanted to gauge the best direction to jump-start a design focus as I wrap up my academic terms. Any advice is very much appreciated!


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Game design is such a broad field that it is hard to give advice, but ultimately you need to focus on that. QA work can give you some insight into game design, but so can many other things.

Additionally, QA has its own skillset and it's not guaranteed that any prospective designer can simply walk into a QA job - and one sure way to fail your QA application is to go in making it clear you really just want to be a designer. Worse, a lot of QA is now done externally so there isn't necessarily a direct route from QA to Design anyway. So you'll want to learn more about what QA staff do and see if that is something you are really interested in.

Personally I would argue that it's more prudent to work on improving your design portfolio, whether in breadth or in depth.

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