Jump to content
Double Fine Action Forums
Sign in to follow this  
ProtoSaura

HELP! I need somebody!

Recommended Posts

Hello my dear Adventurers

I have a problem! I'm 21 and i just passed my state-exam, that allows me to go studying in a university.

Now, my dream is to work one day in the game industry as a developer. I want to create worlds to explore, storys to be told, battles to be fought, etc. you get the idea.

I live in Switzerland, where we have a QANTM-private university, then a Design-School where you can study Game-design, and then there's the ETH Zürich (dunno what it's called in english) where you can study computer science.

QANTM is expensive as hell. Not really an option.

The Design-School wants a Portfolio with my artistic work, plus you have to complete an artistic homework. On top of all that, you need one year of practical expirience of roughly what you want to study.

Problem is, i'm not really the artistic type. I don't draw or paint, i don't have any expirience in 3-d modeling, i don't do Photoshop and blargh you get it. I have no Portfolio whatsoever, and to get a year of practical expirience in a design-job could prove difficult, because every male in Switzerland needs to go trough a 21-week military thing, so i'm flat out not available for 21 week from october until march. Si this seems even less available than the QANTM.

Lastly, the ETH. Problem there is, that there's not really an emphasis on game design and stuff. There's just a little project-thingy, where you learn to create a simple game and then do it in a small group. This would be the best to reach for me, but i don't know if that's what i really need and want, if i want to work in the game industry.

I'm kinda desperate now, i seriously feel like crying. My dream seem to have jumped away from me and i'm unable to grasp it.

Maybe there are great Universities in other countries. Do you know about them? What's the situation in America, Germany, France? I really could use a helping hand right now.

Is there maybe another way than studying? Are there studios that help people like me getting into the buiseness via practica or something like that?

Like i said, i could really need some help and a cheer-me up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off: Do you want to be a developer as in programmer?

If yes then don't go to a uni that teaches game design.

Go to a uni that has a computer science degree or similar, as long as it's very focused on software programming and understanding how computers work. In most cases a game design course is tacked on and leaves you in a bad spot after you finish it. With a computer science degree even if you don't get into a game job right away you still have opportunities for jobs outside of gamedev, where you can build up experience and then finally find a gamedev job (this is actually what I'm doing).

Second: I really hope you're spending a lot of your free time making games and small programs. Even when working full-time at a programmer job you need to make games in your free time as well, which leaves little time for social activity (it's one of the sacrifices you'll have to make).

Now: Can you get a gamedev job without university? Of course you can. Just make games, and build up a portfolio. But University grants you faster learning, access to very smart people, gives you resources you wouldn't have had otherwise, and you get to meet a lot of awesome people while you're there. So, even if you're a dropout, the experience itself is worth it.

But, above all, the most important thing is making games. If you don't make games before working at a game studio then don't expect anyone to pick you up, since the people that really love making games make them no matter what, and that's the sort of people game companies are looking for.

If you're not yet working on your own project I'd recommend joining a gamedev community like Ludumdare or Tigsource. There's a lot of cool people there, from complete newbies that never saw code, to professional programmers that work on games likes Bioshock, and also the people that work on their own releasing small games and living from it. Spending time with people with the same interests as you will inspire you to work harder on achieving your dream, so that alone is worth the effort.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What spliter said. :)

The barrier of entry to making games is pretty low these days. Find some simple games you'd like to do and do them.

Do pick up an art program or two and learn to use their basic features. There's a term called "programmer art", because programmers often need to test things and even though most are pretty bad at art they at least need some proficiency in creating something to test with. Be it Paint.NET, Blender or whatever you want, it's not bad to have an idea how to create some art to use in your projects.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As these other chaps have said, get onto a comp sci course and make games in your spare time. Start off small on text games like hangman or an ascii version of noughts and crosses. Then get into some basic games with graphics like Pong or Breakout. Follow this with a simple 2d platformer an so on. if you build your portfolio with these small games that get increasingly complex you are not only showing your potential employer that you are willing to learn new concepts (graphics, ai, physics etc), but you also show your passion for games development. This is widely touted as the best way to land a job. Good luck to you and hope i've helped a little.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good replies from people so far.

The most important thing: MAKE STUFF.

There are plenty of tools now like Game Maker, Game Salad, Unity, and Unreal Development Kit that are free or very cheap to start using to make an incredibly wide array of games without needing a team or a high degree of art and programming expertise, as long as you scope carefully. There's just no substitute for demonstrating experience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First off relax, unlike what you're led to believe at school there is no one set way of doing things :). Do get making stuff it will teach you a lot about how games are made. Also keep up as much as you can with sites like Gamasutra, Gamesindustry.biz, Edge Magazine and Develop. Not only do those sites often have really neat articles on how games are made, you'll often find out about new opportunities. Once you read a bit more and have made some stuff perhaps you'll have a clearer idea of what you want to actually do and what you need to do it.

If you're not able to find a course that starts before October, have you thought of trying to find QA work over the Summer before you head off to do your military service? I work in QA and have done now for almost 5 years, and I did a history degree! I got into QA quite randomly by doing some work experience at a nearby dev, and from there I got told about a vacancy at another company which got me going. I learn so much about how games are made, and meet a lot of nice people. It can be hard work, but you'll get industry experience. The downside is that the hours can make it hard to work on portfolio stuff at home, but as I say you can learn a *lot* .

Some helpful links:

http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

http://www.gamecareerguide.com/

http://www.creativeskillset.org/ ( UK Based but might help you)

http://www.gamedevmap.com/index.php?query=sweden&Submit=Search

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys are awesome!

I followed this thread (ofc) and i just want to thank you a thousand times, now i kinda have an idea what i need to do.

I'm even surprised that Chris posted on here! I'm going to follow your advice as good as i can and try to start making games. :D

I really really was a bit depressed at first, but you guys sparked my flame of hope again.

Thank you for that.

I think i'm gonna save this thread in some form. As a reminder, and maybe for when i stumble upon other people with the same problem.

Again, thank you very much.

Keep on being awesome.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...