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Jaybell

I would like to become a Video Game Designer

27 posts in this topic

...but I have no idea how to go about doing this?

I am currently in my last year at high school with no real idea of where I am headin' afterwards, apart from the above. I know this is incredibly vague, but does anyone here, perhaps, have any inkling as to what is required or needed or whatever to break into the industry?

Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated.

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...but I have no idea how to go about doing this?

I am currently in my last year at high school with no real idea of where I am headin' afterwards, apart from the above. I know this is incredibly vague, but does anyone here, perhaps, have any inkling as to what is required or needed or whatever to break into the industry?

Any advice would be greatly greatly appreciated.

I am not a game designer, but still, I will tell you this: make your college stats flexible. Basically, be able to do things like write, do math, draw, program, etc. Show them that you know more than just video games. Edit: it's probably not good to make the above your major.

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Keep drawing. If you do it a lot, you will figure out who you are.

Read as many books as possible, listen different kinds of songs, watch tons of movies. Make different things; it will help you to have good ideas.

Fall in love with writing. Programming is fun. Quite. When you learn a coding language such ActionScript, you will be able to learn other languages in a easier way; because they are very similar.

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I'm currently enrolled in a game design program at Durham College in Ontario, Canada. The ONE thing that was mandatory going into this course was the ability to draw. I needed a portfolio to prove I had artistic ability. That was it.

If you can draw, give it a shot. If you can't draw, you're better off looking into raw programming or business courses.

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Design is the one area that really *has* no clear professional roadway. People who've worked in Gamestop are designers. People who were the bottom of the foodchain in QA are designers. People who've gone to game design schools are designers. It's really all over the place.

But here are a few things that will never, ever steer you wrong:

Find somebody in the Industry and make him you bestest buddy in the world. Games and Hollywood have many parallels, and chief among them: it's all about who you know

Make an indie game. Why would anyone hire you? For your ideas? FUCK YOU, SON. Show initiative and show a quality product. Make the game. Don't know how to program? Learn or hire somebody (the latter works .01% of the time). Make that game, keep the scope childishly simply, then build off of that, and challenge yourself to do better. Build up a portfolio of games that says, "I'm pretty hot shit"

Blog about games. Not just, "I don't like teh GTA!". Really deconstruct games. Read post-mortems and comment on them. Compare themes in games people might not have ever known. Doesn't matter if anyone reads your blog. You will have an actually *intellect* behind your game design decisions.

Know the business. Games are 33% creative, 66% industrial, and that is a conservative estimate. Understand the business aspect, because it is directly related to game design. Know why trends ride and fall. Understand why sometimes it's better to sell well than to actually be a good game. Know why good games can bankrupt a company.

that's about it. Go forth and conquer you crazy diamond.

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Wingless just basically stated everything I wanted to say. If you want to make games, THEN FUCKIN' SHOW THE WORLD THAT YOU WANT TO!!!!

-Work on an indie game

-Build a portfolio

-BLOG about game design and blog abotu what you want to see in gaming, blog about where do you think the industry is going!

Since Wingless just say everything I wanted to, I got nothing more to say EXPECT don't believe the bullshit colleges like DeVry, Standford-Brown, ITT Tech, etc. GET NETWORKING GODDAMMIT!!! Go to trade shows, talk to the ones in the business and MAKE FRIENDS AND CONTACT WITH THEM!!!!

EDIT: Here's some books that I think you'll enjoy:

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-Video-Games-Essential-Introduction/dp/0415977215

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As far as a major I would suggest Software Engineering, Computer Science, or some art degree if you want to get right to the chase. Im pretty sure youd want to get into the industry first, and CS or SE would help you the most there.

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See, thats what Im doing, Getting into Software Development. which does has Computer Programming, and Visual Basic. and i think some networking wired in. From there, im going to get into some of the trade shows, and TRYING, to get the money to start a blog <_<. Moneys pretty tight atm.

None the less. Its a pretty tough industry to get into. Show the fuckers what you got, Dont be some guy that just expects a job cause you went to college. like they said build a portfolio. Go buy a C++ book, so a Java Script, Get the ball rolling ASAP. Look into the local conventions. Get out there, get noticed.

I just recently dropped my online C++ class. simply for the fact. I CANNOT Code with out a hands on teacher there. I need someone to base it off, e-mail to e-mail doesnt really work out the best <_<. I self taught myself HTML easily. and some CSS,

LEARN AS MANY CODING LANGUAGES AS POSSIBLE!!

Almost all coding languages base off of each other in some way or form. iv had a number of programmers tell me to learn as much as I can now. Get the ball rolling.

Im a kid who wants to be a Programmer, But I suck at math ^_^. But thats something i will over come to get to where i want to be.

Work your ass off. Challenge your self. Learn and build as much as you can for that portfolio, Iv talked to guidence counslers, College teachers, they all tell me the same thing, come to college prepared. Thats all i have to say.

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Maybe, I should elaborate..haha. Last year at RIT we introduced a Video Game Design Bachelor's Degree. If they had had that when I graduated high school in '05 I would have applied to that instead of CS. But Computer Science, then switching to IT, killed my ambition for designing games and love of computers.

I'm still at RIT but now I am a Hospitality - Restaurant Management major.

I hear good things about the VG Design major though. So look into it.

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Design is the one area that really *has* no clear professional roadway. People who've worked in Gamestop are designers. People who were the bottom of the foodchain in QA are designers. People who've gone to game design schools are designers. It's really all over the place.

But here are a few things that will never, ever steer you wrong:

Find somebody in the Industry and make him you bestest buddy in the world. Games and Hollywood have many parallels, and chief among them: it's all about who you know

Make an indie game. Why would anyone hire you? For your ideas? FUCK YOU, SON. Show initiative and show a quality product. Make the game. Don't know how to program? Learn or hire somebody (the latter works .01% of the time). Make that game, keep the scope childishly simply, then build off of that, and challenge yourself to do better. Build up a portfolio of games that says, "I'm pretty hot shit"

Blog about games. Not just, "I don't like teh GTA!". Really deconstruct games. Read post-mortems and comment on them. Compare themes in games people might not have ever known. Doesn't matter if anyone reads your blog. You will have an actually *intellect* behind your game design decisions.

Know the business. Games are 33% creative, 66% industrial, and that is a conservative estimate. Understand the business aspect, because it is directly related to game design. Know why trends ride and fall. Understand why sometimes it's better to sell well than to actually be a good game. Know why good games can bankrupt a company.

that's about it. Go forth and conquer you crazy diamond.

Re-read this post. It's as good an answer as you're going to get.

Every account I read points to the same fact: there is no one route to a game design career. Having great ideas, a fundamental understanding of good design, basic sketching skills and some programming knowledge will help, but there's still going to be some luck involved.

I also believe I recall hearing that almost no one starts out in the industry as a designer. They tend to start elsewhere and eventually cross over. I don't recall where I read this, so take that as you like, but getting your name out there and knowing people will swing the odds significantly in your favor.

I have a feeling that "Game Designer" might be the hardest position to attain in this industry.

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It's good to have those dreams and you should by all means pursue them :). One piece of advice I'd give is have something to fall back on. Something solid that you can still enjoy and something that keeps bringing 'teh dollarz' in.

Start off broad and see where your strengths lie. Sure everyone wants to be something, but not everyone is meant to be that certain something.

I gave up on videogame design because it was simply not a realistic, attainable future for me (for various reasons). By doing a somewhat broad creative college, I eventually learned that I've got tons of potential as a graphicsdesigner/webdesigner so now I'm sticking with that.

My dreams of having a videogame based on a novel I'm writing are still with me, only I'll find other ways to get it done :D

So in short: it's important to keep pursueing dreams without losing touch of reality: know what you CAN and CAN'T do.

Good lucks :)

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I'm currently enrolled in a game design program at Durham College in Ontario, Canada.

Which campus is that at? The one on Simcoe in Oshawa? Just curious (I grew up in Ajax and live in Newmarket).

TRYING, to get the money to start a blog.

There are free services out there. Try www.wordpress.com or www.blogger.com.

I just recently dropped my online C++ class. simply for the fact. I CANNOT Code with out a hands on teacher there. I need someone to base it off, e-mail to e-mail doesnt really work out the best <_<.

Programming isn't for you then. There are very few courses in a university CS program that will actually teach you programming. I took 2; my school offered a maximum of 4 (you started in one of three courses depending on how much programming experience you already had). In upper-year courses and when you're out in the industry, they're going to assume you know a lot or can figure it out on your own. Programming languages and libraries evolve rapidly enough that you're expected to keep up, at least with what you're working in. Not to mention that most places will have their own libraries of code that you'll need to figure out and use.

LEARN AS MANY CODING LANGUAGES AS POSSIBLE!!

Definitely DO NOT do this. If you want to be a programmer, it is in your best interest to be proficient in a small number of languages and prove that you can readily adapt to new ones than to show that you know enough in a wide variety of languages to be dangerous but not enough to be truly useful.

If you want to be a game programmer, learn C++. Start with C, sure, but make sure you understand how memory allocation works in C++, how to properly design classes, use templates, use the C++ I/O streams, and so on. For a beginner, I'd recommend Java. Don't waste your time with Visual Basic; you'll pick up too many bad habits that will stick with you unless you're perceptive enough to realize, upon looking at a better language, what's wrong.

Learn HTML and CSS if you want, but they're not programming languages and aren't worth putting on a resume if you're applying for a programming job. They're useful in creating a website, but if you want to be a web programmer (as opposed to a web designer), you'll want to learn one or more of PHP, Perl, and Ruby on Rails.

In summary, focus on C++ or Java and don't bother with anything else, at least until you have a solid grasp of one of those. And put in a lot of time making some substantial programs (make a simple game like Pac-man, a windowed program with a full GUI with menus and dialogs, something that does useful stuff with files, that kind of thing). You'll learn a lot that you won't be able to pick up with little toy programs like finding your weight on Mars. Of course, those toy programs are useful when you're first starting to learn to code; don't sit down having never coded before and try to do something massive.

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If it's actual game design that you would like to pursue, it's probably in your best interest to build your craft by creating games (see sephire's the wingless quote). You can use any number of game engines (most of which allow you to download a demo version). If coding is not your thing, there are alternatives. I've actually dabbled in making my own game several times, but lost patience with code and errors.

If you have the drive, you can do it. I agree that it's important to network but I think, if you are serious about this, you need to do the research.

Here are a few good sites:

http://www.3dgamestudio.com/ - I've actually used this one with some success.

http://www.devmaster.net/engines/list.php - A list of game engines.

http://www.viciousengine.com/ - This shows promise if you have financial backing and a team.

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Making a bunch of really badass Little Big Planet levels probably won't hurt your portfolio either.

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Definitely look into creating a mod or working on a team to create one. The mod itself may not receive much attention, but it shows that you can put your ideas into action, provides a playable example of what you can do ... at the very least, it's good practice.

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Unfortunately, everything that I had in mind has already been said. And that's not much! I just wanted to say, to everyone here trying to get into the business: Good luck. It's really, really, hard work.

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Erm. Its not that coding isnt for me. Its that Teacher to Student Communication Sucked through the virtual school It was going through. id ask for him to help me out with a delema with my Code. he would either, A: Tell me something completely Different. Or B: Just tell me to keep trying. (Im sorry, but im not going to spend hours on a beggining project, when You can show me and I can learn from my mistakes)

I get the general Idea of C++, once i work on the Arithmatic Expressions, ill be somewhat good to go.

The tech school im going too, will have support people there to assist me in the class. Plus, im going to pick-up a book on C++ and take some tutorials.

Plus, i was told by a guy going into this feild to learn as many Coding languages if your going into any programming. But, I see thats wrong.

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If it's actual game design that you would like to pursue, it's probably in your best interest to build your craft by creating games (see sephire's the wingless quote). You can use any number of game engines (most of which allow you to download a demo version). If coding is not your thing, there are alternatives. I've actually dabbled in making my own game several times, but lost patience with code and errors.

If you have the drive, you can do it. I agree that it's important to network but I think, if you are serious about this, you need to do the research.

Here are a few good sites:

http://www.3dgamestudio.com/ - I've actually used this one with some success.

http://www.devmaster.net/engines/list.php - A list of game engines.

http://www.viciousengine.com/ - This shows promise if you have financial backing and a team.

What if I made my own engine? Is that sort of thing hard?

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