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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.


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  1. [quote name='Shippou' timestamp='1342367919' post='4959291']( 100% self taught )[/quote] That actually tends to scare potential employers somewhat. Self taught programmers can for example be oblivious to code quality or obsessive about code quality. Getting a programming related job (in any field) is probably the best thing you can do for your 'training'. Real world experience is much more valuable than self taught experience. This would be a better way to invest your time than spending more on self-teaching trying to land a job in the games industry right away. Of course, after hours you can still spend your time on learning c++ or other languages commonly used in gamedev.
  2. [quote name='Moonflow449' timestamp='1338135993' post='4943741']You said "too time consuming and too technical to efficiently spent your time honing your game designer skill". I am interested in knowing what kind of work you are referring, I know a little bit of design, but more about the theory then actually the practice.[/quote] What I mean is, making games is hard. Thus, making games for the purpose of honing your skill as a game designer is not particularly efficient, as you'll be spending most your time learning programming, etc. This is mostly the reason I suggest creating games outside of the realm of digital entertainment. Prototyping and play-testing a board game only takes some paper, glue, markers and a few friends willing to put up with a probably initially bad game. Of course, don't disregard level design, as it is good practice, although slightly more narrow on scope (imo).
  3. [quote name='Moonflow449' timestamp='1338066675' post='4943561'] [quote name='Azgur' timestamp='1338007470' post='4943406'] Proving yourself as a game designer is generally a bit trickier than the other professions (like artist, programmer, etc). While level design demonstrates a certain skill, it doesn't really demonstrate particular game designer skill. Personally I find there's a really good solution to this outside of the realm of digital entertainment. Designing, balancing and play testing table-top/card games is an excellent way to hone and prove your skill as a game designer. The assumption here is that you do attempt to go out of the box a bit [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] [/quote] Thank you for the sugestion [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] it seems a good idea to improve skills as a designer but maybe it would be a little bit hard to get the job with that kind of work, how do you show to a company that your game is fun? in person? [/quote] It's a hard thing to show, but being able to explain design decisions and the results they get goes a long way. You could even record play testing sessions if you wanted to. Though, the former is more likely what would happen . At the very least, record your progress. What problems did you find, which decisions did you make to fix them, that's great stuff to show off. I guess half the issue with game design always is proving/showing your skill before you have released titles on your resume. Some companies will give you a design test. Having done board games or other games will have prepared you for these tests more than having done level design. Unless your intention is to get hired as a level designer. Either way, generally it comes down to sounding like you know what you're talking about at the interview. In order to reach that point you need practice and a ton of it. And making digital games can be a bit too time consuming and too technical to efficiently spent your time honing your game designer skill. However, that said. It will still be worth it to make games in Flash or other lower entry technologies.
  4. What do you intend to get out of this course? Judging by the list on that page you'll get somewhat of a decent introduction to various programming languages, but that's about as far as it goes. With the skills learned you should be able to enter web development or application development if the company isn't too picky. As a preparation for game programming the course is below the minimum you'll need for an entry position. If you're lucky and their math classes are decent, it might still be worth while if you spent the rest of your free time to polish up your programming skill.
  5. Proving yourself as a game designer is generally a bit trickier than the other professions (like artist, programmer, etc). While level design demonstrates a certain skill, it doesn't really demonstrate particular game designer skill. Personally I find there's a really good solution to this outside of the realm of digital entertainment. Designing, balancing and play testing table-top/card games is an excellent way to hone and prove your skill as a game designer. The assumption here is that you do attempt to go out of the box a bit
  6. [quote name='Pjolly10' timestamp='1337547195' post='4941715'] 3D animator by profession [/quote] Perfect. Start making a portfolio and apply to studios. Animators are in heavy demand.
  7. [quote name='golergka' timestamp='1336306022' post='4937752']and finding a company that would want to relocate a game designer is extremely difficult.[/quote] I'd first have to ask you, have you tried? It probably also would help us to know where you're from. Here in Montreal at least just looking around the office I see several designers which have been relocated. You may not have to change career at all, it simply may take applying to more companies.
  8. [quote name='Thought2Finish' timestamp='1335999894' post='4936912'] I want to be able to create my own games, with my own ideas, with my own studio. What should I do? Please Help! [/quote] There is no difference between having that as a goal and having working for a large studio as a goal. You will, regardless of which direction you pick, have to go put in your time at an existing studio. Yes, there are these success stories of people that went indie right off the bat, they're also only a fraction of successful indie developers. You need to learn the craft and master it. The best way of doing this is at a decent game studio. The real education starts after you get hired. Also remember, it's a job. It's not always going to be fun. You may get boring and repetitive tasks, but many still make this work and find their own fun. Running your own studio is not going to change this. You'll just be doing more boring management tasks instead. As for how to get into a studio, the FAQ largely covers this. Don't head straight for indie, it's an efficient way to fail fast.
  9. [quote name='KenjiSenpai' timestamp='1335465834' post='4935162'] [quote name='Azgur' timestamp='1335437939' post='4935031'] Or it simply could the course is wrongly labelled and they actually aim to educate you as a game programmer. The course is way too programmer heavy for a game design course. If this is the case, the fact they mislabeled it should be a major warning sign. You'll have to worry about what else they're mistaken on. [/quote] Considering the fact that designer is rarely an entry position in the game industry im guessing that the expect people to become game programmers first. Also its a 4 years program not one year like the art institutes, full sail or something else. Lastly, the course has been designer in cooperation with Ubisoft Montreal (I Think its the largest studio in the world) Since the Quebec industry is growing very fast. Be aware im not trying to sell this program but I have difficulty understanding whats wrong with it. except for the part where you say its too well rounded and that you are introduced to too many things. But again, its 4 years to have all these classes not 1. [/quote] I'm very much aware it's a 4 year course. I've written everything with the assumption it's a 4 year course. As for designer not being an entry position. This is not entirely true. There are game designer entry positions, you just may not find them at [large studio of your choice]. It's the same with entry positions in different professions in the industry. I personally work with several designers without a programmer or art background. I'll still state the course seems way too heavily focused on programming for a game design course. But then considering the course as a way to educate you as a game programmer, the balance still seems off. If your goal is to become a game designer you might want to see if you can find something with a heavier focus on game design and related subjects. An introduction to programming is fine, going all the way to neural networks is a waste of your time. Whenever they include "neutral networks" among other subjects I highly suspect them to just list everything they thought was cool to attract new students and completely disregarded making a well balanced course. Like I previously mentioned, there's a strange heavy focus on AI and programming in general that is very much out of place and out of scale with the rest of the course. You may also want to note, if you'd enter the industry as a programmer and switch designer, you'd likely be taking a pay cut. You really need to take a skeptical look at the course and see if they can back up their claims. If possible, see if you can somehow talk to some graduates. You can't become a game designer, artist and programmer at the same time. A course that aims to do all of that will leave you with a skillset that won't get you hired in any of those 3 positions. That's what I fear the most when reading the descriptions.
  10. Overall my impression is that the course is too well rounded. Now this is not entirely a bad thing, but I get this feeling this course will get you introduced to many components of game development but makes you a master of none. For a game designer it is certainly useful to know and have some experience with the other professions such as programming and art, but only to a certain extend. The one thing I can tell, the course doesn't seem focused towards making you a decent game designer. Or it simply could the course is wrongly labelled and they actually aim to educate you as a game programmer. The course is way too programmer heavy for a game design course. If this is the case, the fact they mislabeled it should be a major warning sign. You'll have to worry about what else they're mistaken on. Subjectively, this may be translation errors, but it comes somewhat across as a lot of babbling about things they don't really understand or realize the scope off. The AI course lists several high level topics that could take the entire course to teach you in a meaningful way. Which would lead me to believe they either don't realize the scope or will just give brief introductions. AI is strangely enough also the only subject where they seem to go into this much depth. Meanwhile there's several other areas of programming that would be essential for your game programmer toolset they don't even mention. You'd best see if they have something like an open day and talk to students, see how they feel about the course. My impression is that the balance is completely off and based on that likely more is wrong with the entire course.
  11. [quote name='BitwiseShifted' timestamp='1334609181' post='4931869'] Ok, so what I did understand so far: 1. Theoretical experience is nothing. This is something I was quite aware of. I have seen how true this sentence is when I got employed for the first time ( also last time ), and I realized that I actually knew nothing ( I might exagerate a bit ) 2. Field experience is nothing unless is related to games. Somehow, I did not expect this. As I said, I work for a year as an embedded software developer, which I find related to games somehow, at least in the sense that both of them have real-time constraints, and the project I have been working on for the last year might be considered by many persons quite interesting. I thought that this experience might help me somehow and give me some sort of advantage. It's heart breaking [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] 3. Doing little programs and demos at home helps a lot. I have a hard time accepting this, and while I do such thing quite often, I do them just for fun, and I never thought that they could actually mean something for an employer. In fact, most of the projects made at home have been deleted from my hard drive for a long time. I never actually considered them real projects. 4. A little bit of self confidence never hurts. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] 5. The game industry is not the best industry to work within. While this might be real, the desire to be there is too strong, at least in my case. Anyway, I got a lot of time ahead to convince myself if this holds true or not. Bottom line: I should hold my horses for now, and improve myself for a while, before attempting to enter the industry. Thank you for sharing your opinions. [/quote] 1. It's the basis for practical knowledge. While it doesn't really "count" for studios when hiring, it does count for you personally to be able to develop your skills to a point where you can apply this knowledge to build your portfolio. 2. This is not entirely true. It just counts less. Previous work experience shows you're experienced in keeping a job and have more experience in actually "working" than a fresh graduate. 3. Projects help a ton, but do finish them. Many have dozens of small demos, very few have a polished finished project. A single [b]finished [/b]project is worth more than a dozen different tech demos. 4. Never hurts, but don't be over confident [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning%E2%80%93Kruger_effect"]http://en.wikipedia....g–Kruger_effect[/url] is a trap many fall into. 5. Honestly, many paint it in horrible ways, but how many people can say they wake up in the morning and look forward to heading off to work? I know I can. It's not an industry for everyone, but it's an amazing industry if it's for you. I'm surrounded by clever intelligent people who teach me something new every day. And you don't even hear me complaining when I dive into our 12 year old legacy code base written in crunch time. Finally, game programmers are in very heavy demand. Now is a pretty good time to jump the bandwagon [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]. Many studios have open programmer positions they just can't fill, many are willing to hire juniors to train instead.
  12. Making games and studying are not mutually exclusive. In fact, you'll likely have more opportunity to make games while studying than while flipping burgers. You'll be in an educational environment surrounded by other students with a similar goal. That alone will teach you a ton you won't get from hacking away on your own. You'll have people to review your work, you'll have people you can bounce ideas of and brainstorm with. Finally, the content of a CS course is not as irrelevant as you think. It'll prepare you a ton better for the industry than only slaving away using those free evenings. If you want to make games right now, just do it. But keep studying. You can do both and you'll be a better developer for it.
  13. Hi Valdimir, I'd can the "links" section. It really is irrelevant to your portfolio. Your target audience is potential employers, they really won't care about a few forums or sites. On your resume my OCD sense is tingling. The content of the left column quite often doesn't line up with the right column. (In Chrome at least). As for the projects, looks good overall. No particular criticism atm.
  14. I can personally recommend the programming track of "International Game Architecture and Design" at NHTV Breda in the Netherlands. The course is taught in English and goes significantly in depth to prepare you for a job as game programmer. (do stay away from the "indie game development" and "design and production" courses, these are fairly terrible and serve more to make money off those who don't make it on the programmer/artist track) [url="http://made.nhtv.nl/index.php"]http://made.nhtv.nl/[/url] contains quite a bit of info, though I feel it still doesn't entirely do justice to the accomplishments of the course. I do wonder however, have you taken a stab at different entry level positions? Given your list of accomplishments you probably should be able to find work already in the industry.
  15. I'd say for practical reasons 3D artist (or artist in general even) is a much more convenient way into the industry. It's a very well defined job with clear expectations. Unlike game designer, it also has a better worked out education path. Getting into the industry as a game designer is hard, but Tom Sloper's FAQ already covered most of this. On many development teams everyone is a game designer. A few hold the actual title and do the actual game design work, but often the entire team is queried for input and thoughts. The entire team is expected to be somewhat of a game designer and for many this is enough to get their "game design fix". Taking the artist path you'll be able to do both to a certain extend if you're with the right company.