$15 ### Image of the Day Submit IOTD | Top Screenshots ### The latest, straight to your Inbox. Subscribe to GameDev.net's newsletters to receive the latest updates and exclusive content. Sign up now ## Breaking into Game Design 33 replies to this topic ### #21/ Orymus Members Posted 03 January 2010 - 03:58 AM Quote:  Original post by snake5Very nice! I like your answers. :)I can say without doubt that the way you're going is right. (Actually, I can't wait to play a game that you have designed)I'd suggest finding a programmer (or doing most of it yourself) and making some simple but good games for the portfolio. I think that one big game + many small games would be more than enough, if all of them are very good. As I said, I have an indie ($ financed, but not from within a known company) game coming up Q4 2011 where I was lead design. You might want to start there if you trully wish to play 'my' games, though, as you can probably figure, this game is just so much 'mine' as the room I was left to develop ideas. I actually wanted in onto that project where I had 'only little margin' because it forced me to work like in the biz. It wasn't about me and my big ideas, but me trying to please a customer and/or a producer. I love that challenge far more than just laying out 'cool ideas' because now, these cool ideas need to fit a greater scheme and this means I need to read between the lines of what the producer asks, and force answers out of him that he doesn't necessarily know are relevant.

I have a few tech-demos, or prototypes that I have programmed myself too, this of course fails in so many ways (I may be good at conceptual drawing, as far as technique is concerned, but never leave it to me to do the final artwork of a game: placeholders it shall be). But I will keep that advice and work on 'different' games. Perhaps rethink over Pong or Tetris and bring about slight changes in favor of gameplay (though I have a severe admiration for Tetris' sheer near-perfection when it comes to playing directly with human emotions through the use of such a simple and elegant design!).

To Obscure:
The point is quite clear. I'll just have to deal with that flaw and compensate otherwise. Luckily enough, I can boldly say I never fail at interviews (and as I write this, I seem to realize this isn't such a good thing as it is either because a) I got lucky and thus b) I cannot evolve from my own mistakes because b.1) I simply refuse to see them to satisfy my ego and/or b.2) They didn't turn up in interviews but may turn up once I have a job which exposes me either to break the integrity I have (as Tom underlined) or simply get fired later of a job I managed to get in. With my salesman background, it frightens me that this could've slipped into my personality :S But that is beyond the point right now.

I do understand the focus I need to put on my portfolio, and if it is the only thing I can use to impress and make them forget the missing line on my portfolio, then I shall work more. Speaking of which, I've had a little too much writing over here already and not enough actual working. I'll go use these hands and put them to better use.

Thanks all again for helping.
Especially you, Tom, for the patient replies.

### #22Tom Sloper  Moderators

Posted 03 January 2010 - 10:43 AM

Quote:
 Original post by OrymusI can't be mistaking about the wording) that he claimed they were looking for people with as many minors as possible instead of a major. He examplified someone who'd have a minor in cooking, history, etc. The context was answering the question what is most desirable as a background to get hired as a game designer, I suppose it doesn't get any clearer than this. From what you wrote, I am guessing you are in disagreement.

Did you read my article 3?
I don't disagree that a broad education is appropriate for game designers. I don't equate that with having "a dozen minors."

Quote:
 I've had a little too much writing over here already and not enough actual working. I'll go use these hands and put them to better use.Thanks all again for helping.Especially you, Tom, for the patient replies.

Good idea - back to work!
And you're welcome.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

### #23/ Orymus   Members

Posted 25 January 2010 - 04:42 AM

So it has gotten itself stickied?
Great.

Why?
Because most of the advice you will see here (most of which is directly associated with Tom Sloper) will actually help you out... It did help me out at least.

Thanks again Tom, I hope people can turn this dialogue into something profitable to their own needs. You have answered several of my questions, and given quite a handful of links to your own lessons, which are, all in all, very informative.

Check sloperama ;)

### #24Dragonsdale  Members

Posted 27 January 2010 - 12:39 AM

what if you're not the coding kind but the storywriting and artsy kind? How do you get your foot in the door?

### #25Tom Sloper  Moderators

Posted 27 January 2010 - 04:40 AM

Quote:
 Original post by Dragonsdalewhat if you're not the coding kind but the storywriting and artsy kind? How do you get your foot in the door?

If you "View Forum FAQ" (see link above), you will find answers to this sort of Frequently Asked Question (get it? Frequently Asked Question... FAQ...)

### #26Dragonsdale  Members

Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:12 AM

Quote:
Original post by Tom Sloper
Quote:
 Original post by Dragonsdalewhat if you're not the coding kind but the storywriting and artsy kind? How do you get your foot in the door?

If you "View Forum FAQ" (see link above), you will find answers to this sort of Frequently Asked Question (get it? Frequently Asked Question... FAQ...)

right, sorry. feel like such a noob now

Posted 27 January 2010 - 09:48 AM

Quote:
 Original post by ObscureBecause they are not as dumb as you seem to think - they realised that a degree is useful for their career ...

You could be right about some students, but a lot of them are just studying because they don't know what else to do and don't want to work yet. Even in university/master's. At least that's how it is where I come from. History is a popular choice for those students.

### #28Tom Sloper  Moderators

Posted 27 January 2010 - 11:01 AM

Quote:
 Original post by Schildpad1. a lot of them are just studying because they don't know what else to do 2. and don't want to work yet. 3. History is a popular choice for those students.

1. A lot of us were like that in college, myself included.
2. That was me too, I guess.
3. History is an important subject for game designers.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

### #29Katie  Members

Posted 27 January 2010 - 08:07 PM

"what if you're not the coding kind but the storywriting and artsy kind? How do you get your foot in the door?"

Art people turn up with portfolios.

OK, recruiting works like this.. if you want to get hired into job X, you have to convince the person signing the cheques for job X that you have two attributes. You don't have to convince people on this board or strangers in the street, just the person with the money. Or someone else, who will convince the person with the money for you -- like a hiring manager for instance.

The two things hiring managers want to know are;

1) Can this person do the job?

2) Do I want this person doing the job?

So here's how you get hired;

1) Be very convincing that you can do the job -- that gets you into the interview. Qualifications, portfolio, track record, kick ass CV are all part of this. That sort of thing. Your CV is a *SALES TOOL*. It's not merely a list of jobs/universities you were at for a while.

2) Be personable -- someone that other people won't actively not want to be around during one of those stressy ten or twelve hour days. It's amazing how many people don't smile during a job interview. I tend to conclude that if they don't smile once during a couple of hours they probably never will...

There's only two other ways to get a job I can think of. One is to be recommended by someone the money person already trusts -- if you can set this up, you pass #1 by recommendation and you merely have to meet #2.

The other is by nepotism, bribery or other mechanism like that. The advantage of this route is that you don't need to meet either of the requirements, but there may be a lot of "up front" arranging to do... :-)

### #30/ Orymus   Members

Posted 29 January 2010 - 05:31 PM

One good way I've personally found to convince that I can do the job is to actually do it.

Say you apply for a said job, ummm, name whichever you'd like.
The whole point of the interview will be about what you'd do if you had the job, because they don't want just someone who is qualified but also someone who has an idea of how this will work out.
If you think you're ready to apply for a job, actually stop and do the job. I personally recall asking for a job in QA with an actual test plan in hand for an hypothetical project that they were working on. I had layed out everything, even statistics about the potential customer targets.
The line from the interviewer that probably got me the job was simply "I see you came well prepared"
That's the kind of line you want to hear in the interview, as it will make you and the interviewer much more compatible. More often than not, the interview will go deeper into the details of the actual job, and they will comment on your plan, etc... Usually, when this happens, if you did things the right way, you already have the job. You and the interviewer just don't know it yet ;)

### #31green0410  Members

Posted 03 May 2010 - 06:19 PM

What would be required for an undergraduate graphic designer to go into the field of game design?

I am finishing up my undergrad in graphic design and I am interested in learning more about game design. Possibly a Masters Degree. What should be the first step in the exploration process?

I know one of the requirements ultimately is drawing. Does anyone know of a great self taught book to improve skills?

### #32Tom Sloper  Moderators

Posted 04 May 2010 - 02:31 AM

The first step in the exploration process would be to View Forum FAQ (above).
http://www.igda.org/games-game-april-2006
Drawing is not a requirement for game designers. I'm surprised that as a graphic design major you'd be expressing concern about that.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

### #33Obscure  Moderators

Posted 13 January 2011 - 11:13 PM

You could be right about some students, but a lot of them are just studying because they don't know what else to do and don't want to work yet. Even in university/master's. At least that's how it is where I come from. History is a popular choice for those students.

In which case continuing their education would be a really smart thing to do. It keeps them off the streets for a few years and exposes them to a host of information and experiences they would not otherwise have. During that time they may discover something they are passionate about and may mature enough to make difficult life choices. Dropping out of school because you don't know what you want to do would definitely be the dumb option.
Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

### #34/ Orymus   Members

Posted 26 July 2011 - 10:00 AM

I was surprised to see this post is now being pinned as reference.
In all regards, I'll give an overdue update on my status.
I have now achieved over 6 months as a Project Coordinator.
I am still working on my side project which should hit online distribution platforms in Q1 2013.
If I'm lucky enough, I should be able to land in a job in Game Design after that.
The fact you were there before they invented the wheel doesn't make you any better than the wheel nor does it entitle you to claim property over the wheel. Being there at the right time just isn't enough, you need to take part into it.

I have a blog!