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Getting Into the Games Industry Isn't Easy 84

simoniker writes "Lots of people want to be game developers — but it's not as simple as it sounds, as the Game Career Guide website explains in a new feature on game schools. Game professor Peter Raad: 'The number of job seekers who are seriously pursuing this field is staggering. It used to be the case that studios had the liberty to take bright, fresh, new employees with no specific game education background and train them in the methods, tools, and style that are required to make games. This is no longer true.'"
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Getting Into the Games Industry Isn't Easy

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  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @12:26PM (#16000503) Journal
    I see these advertisements on television all the time at obscure hours of the morning. I sure would like to program games, that sounds like an interesting career. But I'd imagine the industry isn't as huge as they make it out to be and that there has to be a lot of frustrations/complications when trying to deal with licensing and hardware.

    Why are these 1 year game programming schools a bad idea? Because they're highly specific. Even a 2 year technical college would give you more options than a tech school.

    I am currently a developer but I went through a four year liberal arts program at a state University. I would recommend at least that experience and I value those classes above everything else I have learned. My number one fear is that people sign up for these game academies and make the mistake of investing a lot of money (through loans probably) while coming away with only the potential for working on games. This isn't a good decision, the results can be quite devastating.

    I think that game emphasis should be something only sought after a four year degree at a respected university. If you don't have at least a bachelor's degree, you're setting yourself up for some big time risk.
    • by Skynet ( 37427 )
    • by p0tat03 ( 985078 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @12:53PM (#16000699)

      Moreover, I do not see game schools as providing coders with the education they need to be game programmers. We're talking about strictly intermediate, cursory knolwedge of C++, little to no education in algorithms & data structures... These guys are the VB programmers of the industry, their education covered none of the CS basics that are wholly necessary in apps as optimized and low-level as performance 3D apps. the only good coders I've seen come out of game schools are the ones that went in experienced programmers already, and drove themselves to learn everything on their own, the school can take little credit for that one.

      I disagree with TFA that there are an astounding number of people trying to break into the industry. Game development is the 20-somethings' equivalent of "I wanna be an astronaut!". A lot of people say it, a lot of people fantasize about it, but mostly everyone has no hope in hell of doing it, nor would they stay if they got there. In terms of the real contenders, I think we're doing just fine.

      • I am a developer at a bank. I have my masters degree. Earlier this year, a co-worker from another part of the bank took me aside to ask what it would take to become a game programmer. This was ~20 year old kid, that never went to college, and now sits around processing loans at a bank. He's tinkered a bit with Excel macros, but isn't even a wiz at that. Yet, he's job shadowing my position and asking all these questions about becoming a game programmer. I had to break it to him that, although the game
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by RingDev ( 879105 )
          You realise that Human Head and Raven software are both located in Madison, WI right?

          • Nope, thanks, didn't realize that. But still unless he moved down there, that would be a heck of a commute :-) There are 2 cities in Wisconsin where I definitely would not want to live IN. Madision & Milwaukee. I could perhaps see living in a suburb of Madison though, but I would never in my life resort to living anywhere within shouting distance of Milwaukee. It's just asking for trouble!
            • by RingDev ( 879105 )
              Madison is a pretty nice place to live. Downtown and south for liberals, East and West for conservatives. A solid entertainment scene for pretty much any genre. Some of the top public schools in the nation. I live in a small town (~7000 pop) 1/2 an hour out side of Madison. It's nice to be out of the hustle (I used to live just south of DC), but still close enough to a major city to be able to have a solid employer, night life, higher education, and other facilities.

              I think there is a dev studio or two in M
        • I think people often confuse "game developer" with "game designer." The game designers have all the fun, they get to create the storyline, characters, design the graphics, allt he fun stuff. The developers get to make the game engine work with 10^320931329 different PC configurations.

          I don't think anyone really wants to be a game developer, as its just developing software and tedious at that. I think most people want to design the games.
          • Agreed, cause Game Programming can be about as low level as Assembly language programming. You're trying to squeeze milliseconds of performance out of the console in order to make your rectangles move faster. Zzzzzzzzzz.
          • I actually do enjoy that kind of stuff, I think it takes a just the right type of mental disfunction to enjoy it. I'd like to start doing some game programming on the side and see if I can release something fun. I'm not short on ideas for games, but I need to find one that doesn't end up sucking and get it finished. I'm graduating in December with my Bachelors in Accounting Information Systems and I'm planning to stick around and get my Masters in Comp Sci.

            On a side note I just got my first computer with
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        Moreover, I do not see game schools as providing coders with the education they need to be game programmers. We're talking about strictly intermediate, cursory knolwedge of C++, little to no education in algorithms & data structures... These guys are the VB programmers of the industry, their education covered none of the CS basics that are wholly necessary in apps as optimized and low-level as performance 3D apps.

        I don't know about that. I go to a school with an accredited CS program, and somehow we hav

      • Yes, in order to be a graphics engine designer you need to have a substantial amount of knowledge in advanced technical fields of software development. But look at what game development is turning into, scripting and high level coding. Most game studios aren't building their own engines from scratch, they are buying existing systems and building their games on top of them. So yeah, they'll need a small team that can work on expanding the engine, but there are significantly fewer jobs in engine development t
        • by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

          At the heart of it technology is still at the core of video games. While it's true that practically all major studios buy into middleware, this doesn't remove technology from the equation, nor does it open the door for incapable coders to create games. Even your average UnrealScript guy needs a heck of a lot more programming expertise than he is likely to gain from a game school certificate. A strong understanding of code, even if the coder is not operating at a very low level, is absolutely necessary. The

          • by RingDev ( 879105 )
            As you mentioned, there is a large difference between game (engine) development and game design. Most of those "certificate" educations are for design, not development. And when it comes to design, knowledge and experience with C++, assembly and low level code optimization becomes significantly less important.

            A mesh editor doesn't care, and isn't expected to care about how many bits he can crame into a signle FP opperation. A Level designer doesn't need to understand how a lighting engine claculates surface
      • by LKM ( 227954 )

        It's not only that I have "no hope in hell of doing it" (although that may be true, I simply don't know since I've never tried), but also that even though programming games is kind of a dream, it would mean that I'd have to work twice as much, work crappy hours and receive half as much money as I do now.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well, as someone who works in this industry, I'd like to say the industry is quite small - and thanks to market forces, it's getting smaller all the time.

      This industry started out with a bunch of small companies making games. Some of those grew into larger companies, some of those grew larger still, and then some of those either went public (EA) or got bought up by megacorps (too many to mention).

      Given the amount of cash required to make a game these days, the small players are virtually all gone - they hun
    • by SQLGuru ( 980662 )
      I think I agree with you. 4yr degree in CS from an Engineering School. 12yrs in the business application realm. Looking for something new and different, so I started the ACC Video Game Development program (they are on the list of schools on the referenced web site). By far a cheaper option than most (~$450 per class), I think that having a background in programming puts me much further ahead of anyone else in the program in terms of sheer capabilities. The real benefit of the program is networking with
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Most of the television commercials you are referring to, as well as the article that was posted, refer to game design training. This is completely different than programming.

      A designer needs to have an introduction to programming so that he can script, and know the technical limitations of a computer.

      Programming positions still require 4 year degrees, or comparable experience. Computer science is such a large field. And game programming (at least for consoles, which I do) requires a quite in depth knowledge
      • Of a group of 12 friends going to ga Tech and getting a computational media degree, i am the only one with a Mapping protfolio and a few of my own tools for making maps. Their experience with games is still completly limited to playing. I'm activley trying to find a mod team to join. They don't even think they need to do that. They all seem to think that the degree is all they will need. They are staying for 4 years. Im staying 2 more and getting a masters in CS in case the games industry doesn't work out f
    • I have a love/hate relationship with Herzing college. They have some of the best instructors imaginable that have helped shape my life and the direction of my career, and they have some of the worst instructors imaginable that make you wonder whether the tuition payment was worth it. But they do have a Video Game degree that Is not nearly so limiting.

      First off (last I heard) their gamers degree was a bachelor's level degree, and the way their education is set up, it is much easier to complete a technical as
    • You watch to much TV at night and hang out on slashdot all afternoon.
  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @12:35PM (#16000570) Homepage Journal
    You just hjave to tighten up the graphics. [joystiq.com]
  • by kinglink ( 195330 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @12:36PM (#16000578)
    So yes, there's "colleges" that teach people the game industry. And yes they have decent tools. But the problem with those schools is a lack of discipline. I'm not talking S&M but coding discipline. When I left my college after 4 years with a CS degree, I knew Java, C, C++, the differences between the two, Lisp, and Prolog, as well as SQL, and how to connect and admin a database, I also had a great understanding of Networking and some exposure to XML.

    Out of all those things they all have helped me now that I'm in the industry, these "schools" are basically 16 month programs where if you really work you can learn a lot however there's not a huge drive to work hard, you can pass with a little work or you can excel if you push yourself.

    That's not to say they are useless, one guy I work with went through these programs and he actually said that because he had a lot of drive he really went far, but that doesn't mean the school did anything other then give him people to learn from. It was his own personal push that got him through the school and got him a job at our company.

    The only problem is that if he doesn't like the game industry it would be significantly harder for him to leave and get a job in IT or programming outside the game development world. The degree is so precise in what it teaches and so fast that with out experience it becomes null and void much faster then even basic CS degrees. But I guess you get what you pay for, my friend got the cannon which he loaded with the blasting powder which shot him up to our level (a decent sized studio making blockbuster sized games), while others in his class barely had enough to blow their own nose with.
    • by bsd4me ( 759597 )

      I think it goes beyond even the nuts and bolts of a programming. A good CompSci/CompEng program teaches the critical thinking skills necessary to be a good programmer. It is not enough to know how to do something; you really need to know why you are doing something and why that thing works.

      For example, I don't think there were any programming assignments in the senior/grad data structures course I took. That's the easy part. Knowing why the algorithms worked the way they did and being albe to really r

    • by DingerX ( 847589 )
      I hate to point you to the article, but hte "schools" they talked to were DigiPen and Guildhall. Can't speak for Guildhall, but DigiPen is a 4-year institution, and they do teach a broader curriculum then simply Video Game vocational training. And people do "wash out" as well.

      Of course, with a few changes, what you say could be applied to State Universities: I've seen a lot of people go through them without any real effort or motivation, and go into something they're not particularly interested in. But the
      • Digipen doesn't suffer from the "daycare" problem as much, I also work with a guy from there and he's a great programmer (the other guy was from fullsail.. mock away). He does talk about that school and it does sound to be focused more like a CS degree for game programming, though he doesn't have a well rounded degree like mine, he does at least have more knowledge in CS than should be needed for the industry and knows how to learn well (recently he had to tackle C# with out knowing it or java. He passed
  • Duh. Wha? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @12:42PM (#16000616)
    "The number of job seekers who are seriously pursuing this field is staggering."

    Right... It's called 'every teenage boy wants to do this with his life.' It's the next generation version of 'rock star.' It also means that not everyone who is 'seriously pursuing this field' is even remotely competent at it. They just want it really bad.

    "It used to be the case that studios had the liberty to take bright, fresh, new employees with no specific game education background and train them in the methods, tools, and style that are required to make games. This is no longer true."

    What? Sure it is. They are totally at liberty to take completely unknowledgeable people and try to expensively train them while ignoring semi- and mostly-trained people that also want that job. They'd be fools to do it (in most cases), but hey, that's their right.

    I don't think there's any news here at all. Especially since there have been school entirely dedicated to this for quite some time. (I won't bother to advertise for them, as I feel they are all scam artists. "We promise to get you a job" etc etc. My sister's boyfriend just went through one... $80,000 later he's still looking for a job as a clerk.)
    • Right... It's called 'every teenage boy wants to do this with his life.' It's the next generation version of 'rock star.' It also means that not everyone who is 'seriously pursuing this field' is even remotely competent at it. They just want it really bad.

      All these fly by night gaming schools are tapping into this market, but there is another way. A few really competent developers could clean up by grabbing one of the open source gaming engines out there, getting some venture capital and building it out

      • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
        I wish somebody would, but not because I think it'd work... But because I'd like to use it ;)

        There's been tons of 'program games quickly' apps out there and none of them have every produced a game worth selling... And I haven't met any that I felt were worth playing, either.

        I would guess the best you could hope for with this is that a huge mega-company saw your efforts and thought 'wow, we would use that on upcoming game x' and hired you. Like Narbacular Drop. Except a game that was meant to have tons o
        • FWIW, the Narbacular Drop team didn't come out of a "program games quickly" school, they studied for four years and earned their BS's. Not saying that's what you meant, but those two phrases so close together makes it sound like they were just tooling around with this game idea and got lucky.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I wish somebody would, but not because I think it'd work... But because I'd like to use it ;)

          I've seen similar models work to build mod communities, even around relatively obscure games. Back in the 90s I remember the Macintosh only game "Realmz" which shipped with really cheap dev tools and had a built in service for downloading and selling these new modules. People were happy to pay $15-$30 for more content, some from the original author and some from other people. The key is to build a game that has l

        • by mikael ( 484 )
          There's been tons of 'program games quickly' apps out there and none of them have every produced a game worth selling... And I haven't met any that I felt were worth playing, either.

          That's been going on since the early days of the home computer in the 1980's. Back then, it was text based adventure games and pinball creation kits; "Build the ultimate pinball machine".
          • by Aladrin ( 926209 )
            Hah, I had one of those pinball games... I created some really nice table, too. -sigh- The memories.
      • A few really competent developers could clean up by grabbing one of the open source gaming engines out there, getting some venture capital and building it out into an open source gaming virtual console. Here's the basic idea. You build an open source, cross-platform gaming engine that takes modules, just like neverwinter nights, but a bit more versatile.

        Just like being a game developer, in theory it sounds easy and simple. In practice, it's tedious and complex.

        But... look at Crystalspace - it's maybe the cl

        • Just like being a game developer, in theory it sounds easy and simple. In practice, it's tedious and complex.

          It doesn't sound easy or simple, but it is doable and something of the sort has been done before. Look at the easy to use editing tools in Neverwinter nights or Warcraft 3, or any number of other games. Something with that level of sophistication and ease of use, but integrated with a delivery service and open source.

          But... look at Crystalspace...

          Cystalspace is an engine and one that has some

    • by snard6 ( 990260 )
      It's the next generation version of 'rock star.'

      Yay! That means that wanna-be rock stars like myself will have more chance because everyone else'll want to be games programmers. Wait! I want to be a games programmer too... Which means i now have less chance of getting in the field... Life is rough!
  • He's constantly trying to get me to switch jobs. Unfortunately, my current job is paying me quite ludicrously, so I'm not switching for now. But the games industry in general is desperate to hire right now. The problem is that most 'game dev' schools are churning out utter crap for candidates. They haven't really done much development, they can barely code at all, or their art skills are crud. The game school programs just don't produce the kind of candidates the industry wants. You're better off goin
    • by MBCook ( 132727 )

      This is sort of what I'm thinking. I'd love to program games. I just graduated and got a job doing programming and it's quite nice. As much as I'd love to work on games, I know it isn't going to happen. My job pays well and has great flexability. If I get a job in the industry I'll be worked until I'm about to pass out for semi-reasonable pay.

      I also think those kind of degrees are useless. That kind of thing is best as a minor with a real CS degree at most. I came out of DeVry just as they started rolling

  • If you want to break into the gaming industry, sign up for the Guildhall at SMU [smu.edu]. If memory serves, its an _intense_ 18 month program. I believe somewhere around 96% of the graduates end up with jobs in the gaming industry.
  • Being a game designer is not all fun and games. Works the same in many industries. A lot of people want to do it basing their desire on what they see at the end of rainbow. If you totally ignore that climb to the top it makes many any job look great.

    It really is part of the instant gratification, I deserve everything, entitlement attitude too many come out of schools with. Reality sucks and it hits many of them hard. Most who never had to do anything harder than whine to two parents to get what they wa
  • I mean no offense for anyone enrolled in such education and might be interested in hearing what exactly it entails, but...

    I don't know whether to cry or laugh when I see mentions of these schools offering specific game programming courses and "degrees" that last for a year or two. Who are they kidding? Even colleges that offer 3-4 year programs with some kind of game programming specializations would, in my view, hardly prepare a person to actually develop games. Design, maybe, from the user's point of view
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      Maybe I am out of the loop and game programming has indeed turned into some drag and drop excercise, but I am of the old skool where we used to optimize inner loops in assembly to get our pixels onto the screen as fast as possible when me and my friends were coding some crappy little games in high school.

      So here's the deal. To make a fun game, you don't need really fast, impressive graphics. You need gameplay. You absolutely need some good coders to develop good gameplay, but you also need people with v

  • by PIPBoy3000 ( 619296 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @12:57PM (#16000727)
    I develop Neverwinter Nights modules [adamandjamie.com] for fun and have done so for the last few years. My modules have been included in gaming magazines and I've won several awards. For awhile, I was getting quite a few job offers.

    Now, don't take me wrong. I love games and I love making games. The main problem is that I seem to love them when I can develop games on my own terms, something of a rarity in the gaming industry. The pressure in the game industry is intense, with crunch time and publisher demands and an uncertain career path. Plus, if you falter, there's a dozen other people ready to take your place.

    I opted for a much more stable and lucrative position in the healthcare industry. The work is interesting (web application development) and I like the people I work with. In what seems like a rarity these days, I can easily see myself spending the bulk of my career where I am. Already I've been here for 10 years and another thirty sounds just fine with me.

    Making games as a hobby seemed to be the best choice for me. I enjoy the creative aspect of the work and the freedom to make the story I want to tell. It's fun to be able to give my work away for essentially free and bring a bit of joy to the world. There are occasional frustrations, such as debugging and post-release tension, but for the most part it's an enjoyable pastime that I hope to continue well into the future.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Profound ( 50789 )
      I used to work for EA, 80+ hours a week.

      Now I work 37.5 hours a week doing financial web apps, and code games at home.

      I make more money, have less pressure and get to spend more time on doing innovative, interesting games development.

      The only downside is that I'll never have 6+ million people play a game I worked on, and young boys don't say "wow you have the coolest job ever!"
  • ... and during the last 5 months, than at other times, because many companies are still ramping up for their next-gen teams. That doesn't necessarily mean, however, that it's easier for candidates with little experience and qualification. Long term, it pays for a company to be picky about who they hire; That means, that finding people with the right qualifications for a job opening is difficult from the hiring company's side as well. I can't even begin to tell how difficult it is to find a truly qualified e
  • I attended a Classic Gaming Expo recently, and heard an Activision employee talk about what he says to people asking for advice about how to get into the industry. He says, "don't." In his day, a single programmer could creata a game that sells millions. Today, a game that sells millions also costs millions, and that means lots of anonymous cogs and testers working slave hours.

    It's never been like those commercials that run on G4, with those two guys in recliners looking at a big screen TV. "Which way d
  • by MiceHead ( 723398 ) * on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @01:13PM (#16000846) Homepage
    One of the largest benefits of many of these programs is that they bring a student through the entire development process, from concept to polishing.

    Take De Blob [gamedev.net], created by nine Dutch students for (I believe) the city government of Utrecht, in The Netherlands. I think it's a fine game; not perfect, but well-polished and (most importantly) complete. This means that the team has seen both the great and nasty aspects:

    * "Let's create a great concept! This is going to be so rad!"
    * "Prototype's done. Let's kick the tires."
    * "I know we have the same machine. I'm saying it's not working on my machine."
    * "That prototype sucked. We need to re-design our core game mechanic."
    * "What do you mean we created our art assets too early and have to discard them?"
    * "Time for the alpha. Our programming lead just left to become a nun?"
    * "This game is so much fun that we play it for hours on end instead of working."
    * "We have a bug where the game crashes if you move the mouse too much."
    * "Why does everyone outside the dev team not like our game? We love it."
    * "I want to quit. I want to quit. I want to quit. Rrrrr!"
    * "Okay, now more artwork. Someone tell the artist to stop using 4096x4096 textures."
    * "Everything's running smoothly. Beta time! This should be cake."
    * "What do you mean, 'nobody can run the beta'?"
    * "It's finally done! Hahaha!"
    * "Wait, what do you mean it's not done?"
    * "I'm so freakin' tired. Damnit, if I quit, I'll fail the course. Can't quit. Gotta keep going."
    * "Finishing the final 10% should only take us 10% of our total dev time, right?"
    * "Our playtesters are smashing their controllers against the walls."
    * "Okay, our playtesters are finally happy."
    * "Time to ship. That wasn't so bad. What's that yellow thing in the sky called, again?"
    * "I need a drink."

    Presumably, folks who have been through a project of any reasonable size have some idea of how development goes, and can recognize some not-so-obvious mistakes. And the ability to stick with it through a grungy project (and they're all grungy at one point or another) is a plus.

    While that's not enough to recommend these programs outright (and there many be many other points that make them not worthwhile), I view it as a big benefit.
    Dejobaan Games - Bringing you quality video games for over 75 years [dejobaan.com]
    Indie Superstar - Indie games news in an exciting video webcast. Woo! [indiesuperstar.com]
  • Take a page from software developers...
    There was a time when it was impossible to get a job working on a kernel until open source came along. Open source has enabled alot of developers to cut their teeth and prove their skills to be able to get a job.

    You can always develop for Linux (even a paid for project) using openGL and should your project go well, you will get the attention you deserve. It may even be possible that you could start your own company should it get popular enough.

    It's a great wayto cut yo
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Tuesday August 29, 2006 @01:31PM (#16000977) Journal
    I found a problem that games people were having - a 3D rendering issue. Figured out a solution. Posted it to USENET. Was contacted about a job interview the next day. I wasn't even looking for a job in the business. But it does suggest a possible strategy: you need to try to find time to work on some project that'll impress people. Pick up Game Programming Gems M or GPU Gems N and look at the kinds of algorithms people are using. Many of the articles point out limitations or suggest future avenues for research. Try tackling one of these problems, and when you have a solution, tell everyone.

    PS I got back out of games a year later...

  • All this talk about game design schools, etc. reminded me of this funny commercial:

    http://tightgraphs.ytmnd.com/ [ytmnd.com]

    Reality is that it is not what you know, but who you know. Not only do you need skill to be successful in the industry but know those that are already in that can help you get in, but only if you're worthy enough.

    My buddy got his job as a level designer without going to school whatsoever. I mean he's a highschool graduate, went to Devry, dropped out of there cuz he didn't like it - then attended a
  • I get these monthly emails of job openings from SIGGRAPH and they run into the hundreds. They include other types of graphics too, but a fair number of games stuff. Some are more artistic and others are more software, but a decent games person should know some of the other side.
  • ...straight out of college - I studied CS with an emphasis in graphics & networks - I landed the job more out of luck than anything else, one my friends was tester in college and helped me get an interview - Initially wrote exporters for 3D studio max, memory card management stuff and bug fixing - I finally worked my way up to producer, managing our external development teams in Italy, Russia & Japan

    It was a great job while it lasted - long long hours, passion to make fun games, learned so so mu
    • by buhatkj ( 712163 )
      thats pretty hilarious. I ALSO went for a 4 year CS degree, and ALSO chose the Graphics and Networking tracks, although I did AI as well. Not that it has in any way helped me get a game dev job (I have applied to a few..). I think the trouble is im a pretty dedicated east-coaster. I really dont wanna move out to Cali with all the wierdos out there :-P
      I think I'd just rather do some more interesting business programming. I doubt I'd actually enjoy game programming full time, so perhaps it IS best I just
    • I also got into the industry right out of college. I was actually a summer intern, passed the full-time interviews at the end, and then spent the last year of my CS Master's program knowing I had a nice job waiting for me by May. :)

      I agree there is a ton of BS to deal with, mostly dealing with business and marketing. I don't think gamers realize how hard it is to balance quality with all of the money and time aspects of the business. I'm the believer that almost anything can be solved with technology, ingen
  • The ad's for the game programming schools make the jobs look cool but fail to tell you about how much time that you spend at work working 80+ hours a week is not fun even more so when you don't get overtime for it.
  • Lots of people want to be game developers -- but it's not as simple as it sounds

    In other news, lots of people want to be top models, famous singers and actors - but it's not as simple as it sounds

  • I wish I knew what my chances are when I'm an animator/modeler as opposed to a programmer. I keep seeing articles like this, but they're never about what I'm trying to do. Curses.
  • Wait a minute... game DESIGNERS shouldn't be programmers, in fact, I'd say that knowing a programming language would just get in the way of the creative concepts that go into making games. Shouldn't game designers have more of a background in human psychology, literature, problem solving, drama, cinematography/videography, and the arts?

    I think the worlds of the developer and the designer, at least in terms of the larger, mainstream markets, should be kept completely separate. Designing and developing are

  • Game programming is what you might call a "sexy" field, and it's not the only one. It's not that there is anything special or different about coding games that makes it so difficult to get into--you just have to be good at it. Companies want to hire you because you have what it takes; it's not like you have to be "in" or anything.

    The biggest problem is that a lot of people have delusions about what they need to do or what they can do--they are infatuated with the concept of creating games because they lo

  • Like everything out there, some of these programs are good, and some aren't. I was a member of the first graduating class from The Guildhall @ SMU, and managed to get a job right out of the program coding at NCsoft. I left there and went to Sigil Games to work on Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, just over a year ago. For me, the program really worked, and got me on track to work on exactly what I wanted.

  • Does not have to mean working for EA or any of the other major players. I teach a game programming class and I think the #1 misconception that students have is that to be in the industry they must get a job with a major player. To be in the industry you need to write a game and sell it. Then you *are* the industry. The only way you will have the freedom to develop the games you want to develop is to do it on your own. Look at the number of recent /. articles about major game designers going indie! Why are t

Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it. -- William Buckley