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What would it take to be a video game developer?

#1VisualPendulumPosted 2/25/2013 8:55:31 PM
I grew up playing video games (born around the first PlayStation's release). Mainly platformers and adventure games. At some point I considered making games for a living because I felt it would be a nice way to earn money while having fun. I came to ask the enthusiasts what it would take to get me on the right track. However, I have one problem that I feel might derail this plan. I am completely mortified by the horror genre and cannot even work up the nerve to play a horror game, let alone consider making them. Would this be a huge setback for me?

Looking forward to feedback. Please don't burn me too hard.
#2LinkinLawgPosted 2/25/2013 8:59:12 PM
You need to be good in either 3D art or programming. Also a degree in Computer Science or Graphic Arts can help, you don't need those "Game Design" degrees, which most are expensive scam schools and don't guarantee you a job. Your local community college can do.

You can try experimenting with the Unreal Development Kit which is free to download.
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#3VisualPendulum(Topic Creator)Posted 2/25/2013 9:05:44 PM
That's good to hear. If I were to join the industry it would most likely be as a programmer. Do you know what languages devs use today?
#4SCCAN85Posted 2/25/2013 10:52:44 PM
It's a lot of hard work and long hours. You can do fine as the other poster said but some schools can be helpful. Do your research and find out what you want to do and then where you can go to best learn the skills. I'm assuming you are around 15-18 which is good to know ahead of time.

You don't necessarily need to be a technical nerd/wizard since there are so many different types of jobs and skills. You could also look into programming for mobile games and therefore make your own but either way there are tons of books on how to get started and what to look for.

Best of luck!
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#5mogar002Posted 2/25/2013 10:53:23 PM
Nothing to lose
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#6Thor61Posted 2/25/2013 10:57:46 PM
The game industry is not a good business to get into in this day and age. Too high risk and low reward. And with the shift to casual games and rising budgets it's getting harder and harder to find a good job in the industry. Companies are going out of business left and right and it's getting harder to make a good video game studio. What you'd likely get is a lifetime of doing gruntwork for some shovelware EA game.
#7NoelXYeulPosted 2/25/2013 11:00:51 PM
Math.
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#8VisualPendulum(Topic Creator)Posted 2/25/2013 11:23:09 PM
Thor61 posted...
The game industry is not a good business to get into in this day and age. Too high risk and low reward. And with the shift to casual games and rising budgets it's getting harder and harder to find a good job in the industry. Companies are going out of business left and right and it's getting harder to make a good video game studio. What you'd likely get is a lifetime of doing gruntwork for some shovelware EA game.


I'm noticing this too. I was thinking about this after I made the thread. I still want to major in CS but I think video games should only remain a hobby for me. I can lay a childhood dream to rest peacefully knowing I dodged a bullet.
#9VisualPendulum(Topic Creator)Posted 2/25/2013 11:23:30 PM
Also, thanks to everyone above for making the time to leave feedback.
#10flintzPosted 2/26/2013 12:25:59 AM
VisualPendulum posted...
That's good to hear. If I were to join the industry it would most likely be as a programmer. Do you know what languages devs use today?


I'm a programmer and got into it cos I loved games as well, and was fairly good at maths. But I work on airline software than games. What I do know is that the most common programming languages for games would probably be C, C#, C++ or Java. They're all fairly similar but Java would be easiest imo - yet Java games tend to be restricted mostly to web games and Android development.

Games nowadays make use of pre-programmed engines, and even gfx cards, which are used by game developers to create their games, so most of the maths is now processed in the background, although knowledge of how the rendering pipeline works using linear algebra and simple geometry would be useful in understanding how things work and polygons are created.

The other thing u can consider is to start with developing a game app on iPhone or Android since they can be lightweight and free(lol not for apple), and plenty of open sourced game engines ard.

That said, I have a software engineering degree, and while not necessary, becoming a programmer requires lots of effort and time. Passion would help ease the pain, but I've seen plenty of gamers who try to become programmers and fail after a short while. Same goes for graphics artists, who mostly end up designing websites in the end.

Best of luck
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