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Getting into Concept-Writing, Strategy or Consulting

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14 hours ago, CanvasBushi said:

Programmers are usually the grunts in most software company

To the contrary, the programmers are the highest paid, because their work makes it all possible. 

 

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5 hours ago, Tom Sloper said:

To the contrary, the programmers are the highest paid, because their work makes it all possible. 

 

We're just going to have to disagree on this one. Its true you can single out a programmer with the highest salary, but on average this won't be the case.

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On 6/17/2019 at 1:40 PM, CanvasBushi said:

most of this is just useless prattle, any game designer doing all this is not a game designer(if that makes sense xD). This guy is probably just stroking his ego with this comment.

I understand why people feel this way about the idea guy(among indie devs), it usually represents a slacker, someone with no real technical skill, a leech that benefits from everyone's hard work, etc and i could say more but i think thats enough. Despite all this, the idea guy is usually someone high up in the business, like an investor, founder, sometimes even a director or manager.

The professional idea guy(game designer/ideation expert(writer)) comes in with years of experience working on several projects, theyre responsible for developing many of the documents that describe the game before it makes it to a programmer or artist.

If the Idea guy did not exist, programmers and artists couldnt function properly, theyd all have conflicting ideas and basically nobody would even have an idea of what theyre making.

 

PS: frob plz dont mute me T_T

PS PS: Programmers are usually the grunts in most software company(games are software just in case you were wondering).

Sadly, a lot of this is just wrong.

1. Most designers will be doing many of the things Frob listed, plus more besides. I had a non-exhaustive list here.

2. Most companies don't have "a professional idea guy". Sometimes there is a lead designer or creative director who gets to choose the project and the high level aspects of it. But not all projects work that way. And they don't just get to "solely focus on the idea/concept part of a game". That is not a full-time job. They'll either be balancing that with more low level design, or with management, or with production, etc.

3. I've worked with several companies that not only had no "idea guy", but they had no designers at all. They shipped games.

4. In the games industry programmers will typically be paid more highly than designers, artists, or producers of a similar seniority.

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On 6/17/2019 at 7:40 AM, CanvasBushi said:

PS: frob plz dont mute me T_T

You're fine expressing your opinions that way. They may be downvoted or corrected when they're wrong, upvoted and supported when they're right, but as long as the posts stay civil the posts are safe from moderation, mutes, removals, or bans.

We save those other tools for when people are truly raving, or when it descends into personal insults.

On 6/17/2019 at 7:40 AM, CanvasBushi said:

any game designer doing all this is not a game designer

I don't usually mention this, but I'm curious if you realize the background of the people you're debating against. Every one of us are industry veterans. In my two decades working in the industry those are what I've observed at company after company.  Posts from Tom and Kyloten (also multi-decade industry veterans) and Orymus (still a single decade veteran, I think) shared similar lists and beliefs from their many years in the industry.

Or you can read about the role at sites like this or this or (comically) this

You are certainly free to think the job is different. We won't stop you. We're trying to educate you that you may be in for a shock if you find a job in a design field and discover what designers really do. Coming up with creative designs is one of the least of the game designer tasks, just like how actually producing things themselves is one of a producer's least common tasks.

Many of the lesser job titles in the design field will do more day-to-day creative work than the person with the job title "game designer".  Character designers, level designers, combat designer, systems designer, associate designers, writers, and other job titles often do more "idea guy" work during the work day than the person bearing the title "game designer". But even those roles don't spend their days thinking up brilliant ideas for games; brilliant ideas are an occasional part of their job, and all the jobs are great, but much of the work is still grunt-work applying other people's vision with mundane tasks.

Game designers typically straddle the line between business management and creativity, and most daily tasks involve management.

10 hours ago, CanvasBushi said:

We're just going to have to disagree on this one. Its true you can single out a programmer with the highest salary, but on average this won't be the case.

The 2019 annual salary survey disagree with your opinion, and has since they started back in 2001. (You can check the years in between yourself.)

Since the dawn of the industry, programmers have always been the highest paid role.  The company owner pulls out profits that are in a different category, but when it comes to regular paychecks and salaries the senior programmers typically have higher wages than everyone including studio management.

 

 

Now, trying to get back on track to the original topic ...

For the person looking for a mix of your business and marketing experience, plus the computer science degree you're pursuing, the game industry can use both sets of skills.  None of those skills are the "idea guy" job (because it doesn't exist), but with a few years of experience it could work out.

Your background playing games doesn't help much for what you described. Everyone plays games. Listening to classical music doesn't make you a concert violinist, watching racecars zoom around the track doesn't make you a driver or a mechanic, and eating food doesn't make you a chef.  Just because you enjoy listening to violin music, watching fast cars, eating delicious food, or playing video games doesn't mean you would enjoy or be skilled at playing in concert halls every day, driving the cars for hours on end, plating dish after dish every day, or building games. They are fun jobs, but consuming and creating are different.

Computer programming is one of the easier ways to break in to the industry. Leadership roles require the business and marketing experience coupled with the technical experience, but they also typically require 5+ years of non-leadership experience.  Those are great skills, but except for programming, they're not typically available as entry level jobs.

 

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a huge wall of text... all the downvoting and comments. I have learned, no point in replying anymore ^^''

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Decades ago, I was a freelance designer: the industry was much smaller then and so were the budgets. That vanished, I learned upgraded my programming skills to still get the odd freelance work. Two thoughts:

1. If you've worked in business, as a consultant, you probably have some good communication skills. I often found myself working as a bridge between senior designers and senior coders, helping them communicate with one another, communicating my own ideas where I could.  

2.  If you're new to design, as you learn tools and read up on design and programming, also spend some time in the tabletop world. Lots of crossover with top designers and electronic prototypes often begin in cardboard. Until you know basic coding and tools, you can learn more at an Unpub or protospiel than you can by slogging through early access games.



 

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If you want the idea guy game designer job, there is one place where this exists; solo indie dev.

If you like to take risks, work for 40 hours a week to see your dream come to life with the understanding that you may still not break even, you can do all the roles including this role that doesn't exist in the AAA space. You'll also be the marketing guy, PR team, programmer, art director, sound director, and all the other roles you don't outsource.

Enjoy and good luck!

(Sarcasm aside this is what I do alongside a non-gamedev full time job, I find it fun to do this way)

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You could always try to leverage your background in marketing and do marketing or fundraising for games. Your best bet to start out would be to find a partner who is making games and in need of more publicity or funding. Most indie games don't have a lot of funding and could always use more publicity. 

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