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  1. FightingMan

    Have I taken a useless course?

    I've read all three links that Tom Sloper posted. I was aware that I'm not going to work on my ideas and initially I won't even get to have a say in major characters. Thankfully, I think I have something to add at every level, weather I'm only designing a room and an encounter, a few spells and items or if I get to have major impact on the overall game play. I've understood for a while now that I won't have a major impact on the creative aspect of the game I'm working on in the first half of my career (unless I happen to be even better than I think I could be). Having read what you all said about what a designer actually does...while it's not as exciting as I fantasised about it when I was 18, it's no particular surprise at this point. The actual writing part sounds easy, the hard part is no doubt to communicate your ideas with others and convince them that you know what the hell you are talking about (see the bit where he talks about being second guessed from both bottom and up). Just to clarify: If I was a junior designer at From Soft for example, I wouldn't get to design bosses or major NPCs, but I might get to chip in with designing a level and placing the enemies and traps, MAYBE design a few bad guys/weapons/spells of my own. Am I getting it right? I would also need to do a lot of paperwork and writing, although I still don't fully understand how can I be writing so much that it takes up 5-6 hours a day. How long can it take to write about my limited contributions? My ultimate dream is to ascend through the ranks to the point where I have a name for myself, then either get one of the top positions or found a small company of my own with a team of something like 5-20 depending on how much money I can scrape together. I imagine I could get to do this by my late 40s, 50s if everything goes well. The latter sounds more appealing to my current young self, but by the time I get there I might have different priorities. So let's say I finish this course. This is a level 5 college degree in the UK, I have somewhat of a portfolio...then what? Get into Q.A. or start a uni degree? What, if anything, I should be doing on the side that my degrees won't cover? To be clear, I'm willing to move all over the world. I also know that this is an immensely competitive profession and that I have to work a lot. I also know that I don't *really* know just how competitive and how much work exactly, but that's part of the fun, right?
  2. FightingMan

    Have I taken a useless course?

    What about lead designers? Do they have MBAs too?
  3. FightingMan

    Have I taken a useless course?

    I know it isn't just ideas or the big initial idea and I do understand what you are talking about. I could go into more detail about that concept of mine for that asymmetric game, and I do pursue them further than just the initial idea. What's going to be the objective of the fps team? Is the RTS guy going to build buildings, if so from what resources etc, etc. So I'm aware of that. What I'm not aware of is what a designer actually does for let's say 50-60 hours a week. What's their day-to-day 'legwork' so to speak?
  4. FightingMan

    Have I taken a useless course?

    Thank you for the responses guys. The reason why I'm obsessing over the various 'C's is because you can't be 'just' a designer, especially alone or if you are in a small team. I know the differences between the disciplines, so I actually knew what I was getting into, to a certain extent and they did tell me that this is just a starting point, but it feels like it's a bad starting point, or it felt like until I opened this thread. I'm definitely 100% designer material. I've been dreaming up video game concepts since I was a kid, and I consider my main potential strengths to be: innovative and creative gameplay, player-centred design (thanks to the fact that I delved into a lot of challenging video games like Starcraft, Tekken, EU3-4, Souls games etc.), complex, mature and deep plots and settings, deep, interesting and meaningful characters. One of my favourite ideas is an asymmetric online game where 1 person plays from an RTS perspective and about 13 players are up against him from an FPS perspective. It takes advantage of the fact that way more people play shooters than RTS and also creates a PVE-like environment where you still struggle against the skills of another human. (in the shape of them sending hordes of monsters against you). My top 5 would be, in order from 1 to 5: Bloodborne, Undertale, Child of Light, Asura's Wrath and Europa Universalis 4 (this one stands out quite a bit) HOWEVER as I'm sure you know, you can't just be an idea guy. So I must take on either programming or art, especially for the start of my career. Once I've become the second coming of Miyazaki it won't matter so much, but up to that point I'll have to prove myself and to the world that I can make my ideas happen and they work and people pay for them. So I have to choose between programming or art and I would chose programming any day over art as I always sucked at drawing, but I'm quite good with languages. I'm also more interested in the mechanics and architecture of a game than it's visual aesthetics. So I have to learn programming, but this course gave me the impression that they are just being 'too soft' to us and aren't pushing us to bite into the challenging bits of the industry, without which you will sink into the oblivion of free mobile game 'designers' which to me is a version of hell. It also feels like they care more about ticking bureaucratic boxes and fulfilling a certain criteria and they don't acknowledge the needs of the industry. That 1 year on theory felt like such a waste. Playmaker? Come on. There are also next to no resources available about it on the internet, so every single question or problem I have to go straight to my tutor. I come from a humanities background: I did drama at school, I love literature, politics, psychology. I'm sick and tired of bland and boring plots for games, such as 'here come the overwhelming, pointless evil guy in black armor and glowing red eyes and the blond haired blue eyed heroes will stop them' versions of which are waaay to common for my personal tastes. I also delved into religions and spirituality so I think I could create more mystical or transcendent environments (think 'The nightmare of Mensis' from BB) and I have a knack for symbolism and archetypes. I'm also very strong-willed and ambitious, so I want to be as close to the top as possible, which means I must work my ass off to get there and call the big shots. So I must be very valuable so I can 'climb the ladder' quickly. I'm more interested in major games than indie projects, although I do like me a good indie game too (such as Undertale). I hope this clarifies what I want.
  5. Hello guys! With the intent of fulfilling one of my childhood dreams I decided to start a lvl 5 course in 'creative media and video game design' in the UK. That was last academic year. My financial circumstances have forced me to have a gap year now and I'm starting to question weather or not it's a good idea to continue. The first year was about 80% theory, which was very disappointing. All we did is learn bare-essential modelling in Maya and using Playmaker in Unity. Not a single line of code was written the entire year. The only project I managed to finish was a field where 3 'adventurers' are fighting a group of zombies. I was trying to create RTS/moba-esque controls for your 3 characters, such as independent movement (which proven to be a lot more complicated than I imagined), auto-attacks on a certain target, spells, cooldowns, range indicators for both spells and auto-attacks, target indicator for the latter, the zombies moving towards the players and hitting them with light/heavy attacks. It was 1 basic fight, and all the visuals were just ripped off from the free section of the asset store. My tutor said that my project was the most complex in the class (of 7). Next year they are planning to introduce all the practical stuff such as C#, more animating, more modelling and finishing more games but they are literally going to ram everything into one year while still having to do some theory. I've seen previous year students, they are overwhelmed by how much they have to do and none of them seemed like they are headed for a job making games. I did my research and found that nobody gives a toss about your formal qualifications in the industry and all serious projects are either Unreal or in-house engine and the most used language is C++. Compared to that, we are about to be taught C# and Unity, and even that will be rushed. I've seen what previous year students were creating and they seemed like weak and basic projects that were made just to tick the boxes to pass. In my opinion we should have had a foundation year in C++ programming,, then 2 years of 80% practical work. When I raised this concern at a students board meeting I was given this pretentious answer about how this is higher education and how we must be educated on theory to such and such a degree. They don't seem to care weather our course is going to put 'bread on our table' so to speak, instead they want to fulfill bureaucratic criteria above all else. Even our own tutor said that he thought the theory was too much and a lot of units were useless (the guy has his background in art and as far as I can tell he's a very competent modeller/animator). I'm seriously concerned that I took a useless course and that I shackled myself into a ton of debt, but I'm even more concerned about doubling that debt for no good reason. To you guys, does it sound like this course is worth pushing? Am I missing something?
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