Hello everyone! I live in Colombia, and I am interested in moving in to the USA and find a job, hopefully in the gaming industry. So right now I'm the process of scratching my head and thinking: "How the hell am I supposed to do that?". But first, a bit of a backround; (You may skip the following backround paragraphs written in italic and get straight to my questions if you'd like).
I am what you would call a 'college dropout'. I began studying physics like a century ago, did well until mid-career then things suddenly declined until I ended up leaving the university (college) for several reasons. That experience left me with a bit of all around knowledge. This includes of course programming; I have some experience in java and Matlab, and basic knowledge of C#/C++, Fortran and Mathematica.... After leaving college I began pondering what I wanted to do. Getting a job is was the first thing. Going back to college... not so much. The one thing that I still felt passionate about in my state of depression was games and the idea of creating them.
So about 3 months ago, I started learning how to make flash games in AS3. By now I am pretty fluent with the syntax (it’s pretty much java with graphics) and with CS5. I'm working on a platformer to learn a bit about collision handling and animations. I have lots of unrealistic ambitions and platonic fantasies about this game (its still in 2D though). So I won't be finishing this any soon and will probably work on another simpler parallel project to get "the whole experience" as is often suggested by many gamedevs. So far, I feel like I have the prerequisite knowledge and mental skills to the programming side of things. Maybe not so much on actual game designing, I’m still planning 'on the go', so I may need to read a few books on that.
I spent this summer vacation traveling the USA, and although I previously thought I wouldn't like living there, the trip changed my perspective on many things and I think it would be lovely to make a new life there.
Alright, that’s a brief summary of my sad life. I hope It didn't make you sleepy.
So the question is, how is the best way for a noob like me to get in the industry? One option is getting into college again and studying a related career like software development or get a straight-out game design bachelor in science. The first option seems long and somewhat unrelated in many aspects. On the other hand game design careers seem to go straight to the point. If possible I would like some input on what makes a good college for this industry. Incidentally, while I was researching colleges I became quite interested in Westwood, for some time. But then I found out there were some scam accusations!! and a few bad experience anecdotes!! Now I can't trust what the colleges say on their websites anymore! I'm a little confused here, any advice on that?
The other option is to get a starting job at some gaming company and work my way up as I brush my skills up by myself. But this does not seem easy since I am a foreigner and don't have a degree (even though I have a good "full-degree" education). Does such an entry level even exist?! I mean, I'm alright with serving the gamedevs some frikkin colombian coffee if I can get my hands on their codes
Thanks for reading, I appreciate any insights you may give.