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FFSamurai

College-Related Question

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I don't know if any of the people in charge will read this but I figure I've nothing to really lose by posting my question. I'm currently a student working on a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Studies looking to work for a mid-range developer like Double Fine and was wondering if my current focuses of Computer Programming, Creative Writing, and Digital Media would make me qualified to eventually become a game designer. Also, do you guys have any advice on getting an internship or service learning experience? Thanks for reading.

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In my experience, what you make and how you present yourself are more important than what degree you have.

*But* going to a project-focused school where you'll learn to code and then put that code to use to make unique creative projects is a great way to learn and build up a portfolio that can get you a design job after graduation. Colleges may also have industry connections for internship placement, which is another big boon.

All those focuses are great for being a game designer, but the degree itself (unless it comes from a very prestigious university, and even then not much) isn't critical as long as you end up designing and making a bunch of rad games. I'd look at senior-level students from the program - what are they making in class? Does the classroom experience lead to them making awesome games? If not, do they have time to make awesome games outside of class? If you go through this program, will you dedicate yourself to learning and working hard to make awesome games? How much of a self-starter are you?

Anyways, in my experience, the ways to break in as a game designer are:

- go to a game-project-focused program, work your butt off to make the most of your projects so you have an awesome portfolio at the end

- get a non-games degree and make games outside of class

- learn on your own and make indie games / mods any way you can and hope one makes a splash

The key is having something great to show that you can speak passionately about, then going to GDC, career fairs, friends, family, anything you can do to get hiring game developers to check you out.

Personally, my college program (Computational Media at Georgia Tech) helped me create a diverse portfolio of game projects and gain a lot of experience in the meantime. I also lucked into an EA internship though my college recruiting office. After that, all of my jobs have been through personal recommendations from people I've worked with that will vouch for me. So college was totally worth it in my case, but it was hard work and some right-place right-time that got me into the industry.

Good luck and make awesome!

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In my experience, what you make and how you present yourself are more important than what degree you have.

*But* going to a project-focused school where you'll learn to code and then put that code to use to make unique creative projects is a great way to learn and build up a portfolio that can get you a design job after graduation. Colleges may also have industry connections for internship placement, which is another big boon.

All those focuses are great for being a game designer, but the degree itself (unless it comes from a very prestigious university, and even then not much) isn't critical as long as you end up designing and making a bunch of rad games. I'd look at senior-level students from the program - what are they making in class? Does the classroom experience lead to them making awesome games? If not, do they have time to make awesome games outside of class? If you go through this program, will you dedicate yourself to learning and working hard to make awesome games? How much of a self-starter are you?

Anyways, in my experience, the ways to break in as a game designer are:

- go to a game-project-focused program, work your butt off to make the most of your projects so you have an awesome portfolio at the end

- get a non-games degree and make games outside of class

- learn on your own and make indie games / mods any way you can and hope one makes a splash

The key is having something great to show that you can speak passionately about, then going to GDC, career fairs, friends, family, anything you can do to get hiring game developers to check you out.

Personally, my college program (Computational Media at Georgia Tech) helped me create a diverse portfolio of game projects and gain a lot of experience in the meantime. I also lucked into an EA internship though my college recruiting office. After that, all of my jobs have been through personal recommendations from people I've worked with that will vouch for me. So college was totally worth it in my case, but it was hard work and some right-place right-time that got me into the industry.

Good luck and make awesome!

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