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Game Industry: Is it worth trying to do something new?

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#1 Flyverse   Members   

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 06:08 PM

EDIT: I just noticed I posted this into the wrong sub-forum, I'm so sorry!! Might there be a possibility of moving this thread instead of deleting/closing it? Thank you very much!

 

Heya!

This question I have might turn out to be a little weird.

First, let me give you a little background about myself so the context can be understood more easily (I know that this will be very boring and annoying, but I believe that my question will be way too unclear if I don't add this information.):
I'm turning 18 soon, and am currently in the process of applying to different universities. Mostly in Germany. I'm interested in a lot of very different things - And game development happens to be one of these interests.

Now, game development most certainly is not going to be what I will study. I've thought about either going for a mixed Informatics/Business or a mixed Physics/Business degree (Focusing on the more entrepreneurial side of things). Not because I don't want to eventually get into the gaming industry (Why would I ask the question here if I didn't want to), but because I believe that I'll get the most out of my studies that way.
In terms of programming, I started around 7 years ago and am now "OK" at it in general, I guess.

I'll now try to explain what I optimally would like to do later on, what problems I believe stand in the way of it, and then well... I guess I'd like to hear your opinion about it :)

If I could just snap my fingers and wish for an optimal future, I'd absolutely love to be putting the few game ideas I have into reality without having the restrictions of being an employed programmer, but more or less by coordinating whole projects themselves (Ideally in a well-doing start-up)
Before anyone points out how utopic this is, I just want to say: I know that. I know that ideas alone are worthless. Without proper funding, you'll get nowhere. Without a proper organized team, you'll get nowhere. Without X, you'll get nowhere. X being literally one of so so many things. Especially since what I'd optimally like to do wouldn't just be to release a snake or pong game.

That alone isn't the only problem, however. Not only do I have no capital whatsoever, but I've also never managed to actually finish one of the countless projects I've started. In terms of real project management, my experience is near zero. Even in terms of programming, I only have the experience I acquired through seven years of trying and failing and reading articles (I haven't had anyone review my code yet, but I really don't think that the outcome would be anything less than eye cancer. I'm exaggerating, but I've felt as if I did not progress at all these past 1-2 years.). I have bits and pieces of knowledge in this and that, but nothing concrete: In other words, to the industry I'd probably be completely worthless. No one in his right mind would join someone without any capital and concrete and profound knowledge on specific topics.

And this still isn't everything. Thing is: I don't actually want to be a programmer. As I said above: I'd like to put my own ideas into practice, all the while being able to at one hand manage the project and on the other maybe still contribute something on the technical side.

Again: Yes, this sounds utopic, and yes, it absolutely is.

However, I still have to ask: What do you think? What do you think of the combination of my kind of "dream job" and path of study? Ideally, I'd obviously like to use the time and lack of constraints I have during my studies to be able to make progress on such projects. I know that everything I've said is far-fetched, but the thing is that I'm actually not quite sure how far-fetched it is. Is it far-fetched in the sense of hard but attainable? If that were to be the case, I think that I'd go for it. If it is far-fetched in the sense of you're wasting your life, I might choose to go down another path - I have quite a few project ideas in completely different disciplines as well, some of which may arguably be easier to attain, especially by going to a research-driven university.

 

TL;DR: I'm not sure what to do. I have project ideas for completely different disciplines some of which are related to game development. However, those related to game-development sound like the "I don't know programming and am alone and want to code an MMORPG in 2 months" threads (No, this is not my case, yes, this is an extreme example)

Any opinions :)? Anything is welcome! Thanks a lot.


Edited by Flyverse, 18 March 2017 - 06:12 PM.


#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 08:04 PM

I just noticed I posted this into the wrong sub-forum

I don't think so. You're in the Job Advice forum, and you're seeking advice on your career goal.

I'm turning 18 soon, and am currently in the process of applying to different universities.

Perfect! Get a bachelors degree in any subject you like. Then follow it up with an MBA. You'll need a business masters degree to achieve your career goal.

If I could just snap my fingers and wish for an optimal future, I'd absolutely love to be putting the few game ideas I have into reality without having the restrictions of being an employed programmer, but more or less by coordinating whole projects themselves (Ideally in a well-doing start-up)

This is total feasible. It's just going to take time. 6 years for the education, and then maybe 6 or more years until you can start your own company.

I don't actually want to be a programmer.

You don't have to be.

Yes, this sounds utopic, and yes, it absolutely is.
... I'm actually not quite sure how far-fetched it is.

It's not far-fetched at all. Get those degrees, then take any job in the game industry except programmer, and work in the industry and save your money and build a network of contacts. I wrote an article on how to achieve this goal (it is not a far-fetched or uncommon goal), at http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm
-- 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.

#3 Tom Sloper   Moderators   

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 08:31 PM

By the way, Flyverse. I just noticed a total mismatch between your post and your
subject line, "Is it worth trying to do something new?"

It's not clear what "something new" you want to try to do. Is there something you
want to add, something you forgot to ask?
-- 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.

#4 Flyverse   Members   

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 04:08 PM

don't think so. You're in the Job Advice forum, and you're seeking advice on your career goal.

Okay, great! 

Perfect! Get a bachelors degree in any subject you like. Then follow it up with an MBA. You'll need a business masters degree to achieve your career goal.
What do you think about a joint science/business degree, or joint degrees in general?

This is total feasible. It's just going to take time. 6 years for the education, and then maybe 6 or more years until you can start your own company.
Those 6 years after my studies, what exactly will I be using them for? Gaining experience in already established studios, I assume? (I know that such an experience-gaining step is obviously compulsory, but I'd preferably like to cut back that step as much as I can possibly can - In order to gain time. The older I get, the more responsibilities I will have (Maybe a family, maybe this maybe that, etc), and thus the less risk I'll be able to take.)

What do you think about using my free time while studying to already build up my idea in more detail, including a full game design, business plan and some thoughts about how to implement everything? Basically, for every single one of my projects (Not only those related to game development) I've thought about efficiently using my free time in order to be able to (a) cut on expenses later on (Getting some work done in advance) and (b) get closer to the product I myself imagined. (The biggest problem here is that up to now I've pretty much used all of my time either dreaming or procrastinating, so "using my time" is pretty abstract here.)

It's not far-fetched at all. Get those degrees, then take any job in the game industry except programmer, and work in the industry and save your money and build a network of contacts. I wrote an article on how to achieve this goal (it is not a far-fetched or uncommon goal), at http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson29.htm
Great! Thanks for the link, I'll read it all! The articles seem really awesome. In fact, I remember reading a few there already a few years back.

It's not clear what "something new" you want to try to do. Is there something you want to add, something you forgot to ask?
Actually, yeah, I did forget to add something in there! Unfortunately though, I kind of feel as if I've forgotten most of it. It was planned to be a bigger part of my post, but, oh well - I'll post it when I remember.

One part of it had to do with the fact that you don't see new technically challenging and bigger games releasted too often from different developers than the usual big ones, and that the chances of doing so are thus quite low. Something in that direction - I'll post when I remember correctly!

In any case, thank you very much for the help!

 

PS: Does anyone happen to know how I could get some of my current code reviewed? I know that I'm far from being a good programmer, but I think that I'd be able to progress much faster if I knew what was lacking in the first place.



#5 Tom Sloper   Moderators   

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Posted 19 March 2017 - 05:14 PM

What do you think about a joint science/business degree, or joint degrees in general?

I think if that's what you like, you should do it.
 

The older I get, the more responsibilities I will have (Maybe a family, maybe this maybe that, etc), and thus the less risk I'll be able to take.)

Yes, I'm sure it's only single twentysomethings who start businesses. :rolleyes:
 

PS: Does anyone happen to know how I could get some of my current code reviewed?

The For Beginners forum, here on GameDev.net. But I thought you said you don't want to be a programmer.

Edited by Tom Sloper, 19 March 2017 - 05:16 PM.

-- 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.

#6 Kylotan   Moderators   

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 04:08 AM

Those 6 years after my studies, what exactly will I be using them for? Gaining experience in already established studios, I assume?


Yes. Without that, you won't have the contacts, respect, or experience necessary to succeed in what you want to do.
 

The older I get, the more responsibilities I will have (Maybe a family, maybe this maybe that, etc)


These are your choice. Families don't appear by accident.
 

What do you think about using my free time while studying to already build up my idea in more detail, including a full game design, business plan and some thoughts about how to implement everything?


Your problem is that nobody cares about your idea, and you're not experienced enough to make a reasonable business plan.

Your choices are pretty much either (a) start making the game, or (b) start down the route to get other people to make the game. Tom's link looks pretty accurate to me. I don't see a way you can cut corners unless you have hundreds of thousands of $/€/£ in the bank.
 

PS: Does anyone happen to know how I could get some of my current code reviewed? I know that I'm far from being a good programmer, but I think that I'd be able to progress much faster if I knew what was lacking in the first place.

You can ask about your code in the For Beginners forum, but be warned that few people want to take the time to read through hundreds of lines of someone else's code. Critique on short snippets is common, however. Besides, there's no good alternative to taking proper programming courses.



#7 Flyverse   Members   

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Posted 20 March 2017 - 03:57 PM

I think if that's what you like, you should do it.
Okay, great!

Yes, I'm sure it's only single twentysomethings who start businesses.
Nonono, don't get me wrong, that's not what I meant at all! I may have misformulated it a bit. I just had quite a few people I spoke with tell me that they'd like to take the risk of starting their own company or something similar, but can't take the risk anymore because of too many dependencies they created with time. What I basically meant with it was that I'd like to try gaining experience as fast as possible. But yeah, I know that this is kind of like saying "Give me free stuff", so it doesn't really work that way. Anyway.

The For Beginners forum, here on GameDev.net. But I thought you said you don't want to be a programmer.
Okay, great! And yeah, I can see how my statements seem contradictory - However, what I meant by it is that I don't want to be a programmer professionally, but instead keep it as a hobby as it is now - It's a skill I'm trying to get better at over time, and put to its best use without losing it. Basically: I want to do as much as I can by myself, and I do think that programming is quite interesting. Actually getting my skill to be somewhere that could be considered for professional work would take way too much time for something that I don't really want to do as a job.
Oh god, I think I made this sound even more confusing than before. 

These are your choice. Families don't appear by accident.
That's true, haha.

Your problem is that nobody cares about your idea, and you're not experienced enough to make a reasonable business plan. Your choices are pretty much either (a) start making the game, or (b) start down the route to get other people to make the game. Tom's link looks pretty accurate to me. I don't see a way you can cut corners unless you have hundreds of thousands of $/€/£ in the bank.
Yeah, I know. That's also the reason that I'm working on a small platformer game with a friend of mine right now - I'm trying to gain some more experience regarding multiple aspects of game development, from coding to art to releasing and advertising it. Everything's obviously very beginner like and it won't amount to much either, but I do hope to get some experience that'll at least help me understand what kind of "things" I could try to learn in my free time while studying to progress faster.

You can ask about your code in the For Beginners forum, but be warned that few people want to take the time to read through hundreds of lines of someone else's code. Critique on short snippets is common, however. Besides, there's no good alternative to taking proper programming courses.
I'll start a topic in there soon, then!

 

Thank you both for your advice, I really appreciate it!

 

Have a nice evening.