I've been recently very interested in learning more about the gaming industry as its always been a hobby of mine (playing, not designing). I'm sure most of you just laughed at me for saying I have no experience, which is understandable and why I'm here.
I'm 22 years old and I have a Bachelors in Environmental Design (Architecture) and am 1/3 of the way through my Master of Architecture program at UCLA but I'm getting tired of the state of architectural discourse. Everything seems too strict and political for something I believe should be more grounded in design. Obviously there are reasons behind that, and I don't want a debate. I'm just saying, each day that goes by I'm less sure about my career choice. I'm not looking for something easier. I'm no stranger to the overnight design charette, trust me. I just want something more fun and casual.
What's it like in the gaming design industry?
Is there freedom of expression in your job (or, like architecture, unless you own your own firm you're really just detailing someone elses work)? After getting a degree, are you forced into a ridiculously long, low-paying internship path?
Most importantly, are you happy with your career choice? What are the downsides of game design?
How can someone in my shoes get into the industry/courses/etc?
TLDR: How do you like game design? Tell me your experience.