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Kevind313

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I'm brand new to this site and relatively new to game development. I have been taking college courses in game programming and will be done soon. I'm spending my spare time when not doing coursework and working (job is not relevant gaming experience) working on games and artwork to put in a portfolio. I feel like I need more things to include before I create a portfolio that could be shared with potential employers. My career goal is to eventually be in the programming end of the industry, but I know those jobs go to people with experience, of which I have none (other than what I am trying to create on my own). Are there people who have been in this position early in their careers that have any advice for the best way to proceed? I'm not a young guy (35). Not sure that affects a career search.

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You are where I was a couple years ago, start networking yesterday, if you still have time apply to every game internship possible in your area, if you have the means, also anywhere in the country. If there are game development meetups in your area go to them.. most important, and I am learning this the hard way, do not move anywhere without a signed job offer. If you want to do stuff on the programming side, unity and unreal aren't a huge help, unreal c++ is okay, but they are mostly about assets as the hard programming stuff is in a lot of cases done for you. Make small games, stuff like old school Nintendo titles, arcade type games, things you can show you have a good understanding of the core competencies needed to not be a liability. Quality coding practices in C++, class structuring, memory management and allocation, data structures, and object models, be sure to be clear on the tradeoffs of using composition or inheritance (essentially abstract classes or something like the entity component model).

 

This is all information I have gathered since finishing school based on advice from those currently occupying roles at Bethesda, Retro, Arkane, and Daybreak.

 

Also, Game Programming Patterns is very helpful available free online, as are the books Game Engine Architecture, Mathematics for 3D Game Programming and Computer Graphics by Eric Lengyel, and of course this forum and Google.

 

Practice, practice, practice some more...

Good luck.

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Thanks for that.  I'm kind of pleased with the summation of what is needed.  I am spending a bit of time coding to better my skills and avoiding blueprints with Unreal and feeling it's not going to be worth the time I'm putting into it if the place I work doesn't use it.  I'm working on some old school ideas and enjoying the heck out of doing that.  Internships (not much pay) and relocating isn't a problem at the moment, but I see networking as the ultimate test for me.  I like to work, but meeting people, getting my name out, making connections, getting the foot in the door is something that will be tough for me.

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One other thing, become very comfortable with Linear Algebra, I mean comfortable enough where you can explain the topics to a child. Gotta get that fundamental understanding where the language used is irrelevant.

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