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floofyscorp
Feb 12, 2007



Marbs McWaffles posted:

I'm probably gonna sound like a big stupid ninny, but this seems to be a relevant thread, and I have to get this off my chest. In the past, I've heard people say that game companies usually won't hire you if you have an unimpressive portfolio.
Does this mean that if you brush up your skills at home and put together a really impressive portfolio, you could get work even if you never got a relevant degree at College/Uni?

Yes. With an impressive enough portfolio, it doesn't really matter if you went to school at all. That said...

quote:

I live in the UK, and finished school at the age of 15. Over the summer holidays, I turned 16, and like most of my classmates, I enrolled into college, where I did A-levels in Drama, Film and Eng Lit). I didn't really know what I wanted to do, or what I was getting out of going there. I stayed for the full two years and found it a draining experience that I almost thoroughly hated. I underachieved, and decided to enroll into a different campus, once again doing A-levels, this time in ICT, Fine Art and Graphics, as I decided I was interested in working in the video game industry, and thought that these courses seemed relevant.

I've been there for over a week, and I already hate it, and want to drop out. Perhaps I could wait another year, and then go back when I feel more prepared, but I'm sure. I guess it just bugs me that most of the people I knew from school have finished College and are going to Uni soon, whilst I'm left in this position. I also get put under pressure by my dad, who trys to govern my life sometimes.

Considering I'll be 19 next year if I go back, and should probably be looking for a part-time job as I have no means of financially supporting myself and rely on my parents, I just want to know if 'not going to College' is a valid option.

Why do you hate it? If you hate the work then well, that's not really a good sign. If you hate the people then suck it up because you will likely end up working with/for people you dislike eventually anyway. You're only 19; you have time to make better decisions for yourself, but why are you hating what sounds like a perfectly reasonable selection of courses relevant to what you want to do with your life?

'Not going to college' is a perfectly valid option. Going to college and studying something completely different that has nothing to do with games, while also teaching yourself games stuff and making a totally kick-rear end portfolio is also an option. Not going to college and not teaching yourself the necessary skills or making a totally kick-rear end portfolio is not an option if you want to get into games.

[edit] I'm not hugely familiar with second-level education here in the UK but I believe there are other options besides A-levels like BTECs and the like(someone who knows wtf, feel free to elaborate here) which might feature more practical/interesting coursework to get you motivated?

floofyscorp fucked around with this message at 18:06 on Sep 16, 2012

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ZealousQuakeFan
Feb 13, 2011



Spike: Flash shooter I've been working on.
Uploaded it here:

http://www.zealousquakefan.com/test/Spike_Alpha2.swf

Here's a video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_IRfdaIjW8k

And a not at all cherry picked screenshot of exciting action



You have three weapons, colour coded, and each has three fire modes (well, one only has two at the moment). Bit ikargua/Radiant Silvergun like that I guess.

The more powerful attacks require ammo, and ammo is refilled by hanging around these white node things...

Would really appreciate some gameplay feedback.

Oh, if it runs slowly there is an options menu where you can turn off the paralaxing backgrounds, which seems to help. You can also do that if you're finding the visuals confusing.

Shalinor
Jun 10, 2002

Can I buy you a rootbeer?


floofyscorp posted:

Yes. With an impressive enough portfolio, it doesn't really matter if you went to school at all. That said...
In addition to the above: you said UK. The game industry isn't great there right now, so moving is most likely in your future.

My understanding is, that is much easier with a degree. Like, much much easier.

So between that, and you seeming to want out of school for unclear reasons, I'd probably say you need to buckle down and just do it. If you can't hack that, then I don't see you doing any better with self-motivating yourself into making a kickass portfolio.

GC_ChrisReeves
Dec 16, 2004



"You're going to be...amazing."

ZealousQuakeFan posted:

Spike: Flash shooter I've been working on.
Please someone play this and give this guy some gameplay feedback, I've been trying to get this jerk to post his stuff online for goddamn ages

floofyscorp posted:

[edit] I'm not hugely familiar with second-level education here in the UK but I believe there are other options besides A-levels like BTECs and the like(someone who knows wtf, feel free to elaborate here) which might feature more practical/interesting coursework to get you motivated?

Warwick College around here do a btec-level Games Art course, but you remember how out of date Teesside was for following what is current gen? Yeah, that, but for 16 year olds :/ Nothing that can't be learned off your own back.

GC_ChrisReeves fucked around with this message at 19:17 on Sep 16, 2012

HelixFox
Dec 20, 2004

Heed the words of this ancient spirit.

Most games education in the UK is pretty shocking. We were taught VRML at Sheffield Hallam Uni. In 2007.

Marbs McWaffles
Aug 11, 2011


floofyscorp posted:

Why do you hate it? If you hate the work then well, that's not really a good sign. If you hate the people then suck it up because you will likely end up working with/for people you dislike eventually anyway. You're only 19; you have time to make better decisions for yourself, but why are you hating what sounds like a perfectly reasonable selection of courses relevant to what you want to do with your life?
Well, I mentioned hating the two years I previously spent in college, and although I don't want to waffle on about irrelevent things, it's because I found it draining. I lived far from the campus, and had to catch a bus each morning. Although my parents picked me up for most of the second year, during the first year I often caught a bus to get home too.

I realise that this is something that a lot of people go through, but for someone like me, who didn't really know what he was doing, and was going to college purely for the sake of going to college, it took it's toll on me. I lost the energy to do things outside of college. I would go home and sit in front of the laptop looking at irrelevant crap.

I lost touch with a lot of my interests, and had a non-existent social life, so I became a bit depressed. I actually wanted out before I was even halfway through the first year, but mum said no, so I stayed. I could've left after the first year was over, but I didn't, and told myself that I would do better at college and time-manage more efficiently. That never really happened.

Whilst I think I'm a bit better now, I'm think that going back to college was a stupid decision, as I'm still a socially awkward dork who's not really doing much with his life. I should probably learn how to drive, develop a healthier social life, and find a part-time job instead. I guess it boils down to the fact that it's not really the college, the specific courses, nor the people. It's me. Maybe college just isn't for me, but I need to sort myself out before I come to that conclusion.

Also, I tried transferring to BTEC ICT, but the course was full. A space did become available, but it was on the campus I used to go to, not the campus that's a 10-15 minute walk from where I live. Besides, I have a feeling that college is worth forgetting about for the time being.

Shalinor posted:

My understanding is, that is much easier with a degree. Like, much much easier.

So between that, and you seeming to want out of school for unclear reasons, I'd probably say you need to buckle down and just do it. If you can't hack that, then I don't see you doing any better with self-motivating yourself into making a kickass portfolio.
I suppose you're right. I'll give it a year, try to learn stuff at home, and then likely go back to college if it seems necessary. I'd like to thank you guys for the input. I know what I've gotta do.

GC_ChrisReeves
Dec 16, 2004



"You're going to be...amazing."

Bear in mind being at university is a shitload different than college*. Even just moving away from family and bunking down in halls of residence with dudes from all over the country is a totally different experience and if embraced, a social explosion (Some tend to lock themselves in their room, their loss). I saw people who used to commute from home to Uni and they always themselves felt like social outsiders.

Uni is another life, College in the UK is basically High school for another two groaning years only with skaters and poo poo. I was such a painfully awkward person when I first started at Uni at 21 and five years of study after, I was a whole new man. Then I spent a further two years bollocking down on my portfolio because I needed to and now I've been working as a 2D Artist for a year.


*(disclaimer that College in the UK serves 16-18 pre-uni level, also known as Sixth Form and University courses are taken after that)


What's the age now to be considered a mature student? I've often seen mature students get on to games related courses, even technical coding courses with a portfolio of work rather than needing a bullshit UCAS score.

GC_ChrisReeves fucked around with this message at 20:48 on Sep 16, 2012

The White Dragon
Nov 14, 2007

すご▞い!
君は働か░い
フ▙▓ズなんだね!


Aliginge posted:

Bear in mind being at university is a shitload different than college*. Even just moving away from family and bunking down in halls of residence with dudes from all over the country is a totally different experience and if embraced, a social explosion (Some tend to lock themselves in their room, their loss). I saw people who used to commute from home to Uni and they always themselves felt like social outsiders.

So kinda similar to community college in America, then? How are the instructors in UK College, generally? In the US, they can range from fuckin' garbage in suburbia to amazing in the boonies because good teachers head out there to get away from all the poo poo. My experience in community college before real university taught me the different between a Bad Teacher and an rear end in a top hat Teacher. I had the roughest, toughest, meanest motherfucker for a 100-level CS course ever who graded like we were going for a master's degree, but god drat, the method she taught gave me a fantastic basis for understanding other poo poo that wasn't covered in the class.

This guy's right, you wanna get out and experience the university curriculum--I consider "university life" part of that, honestly--before you say "nah I don't like school any more, I'm gonna teach myself." The more learning techniques and teaching styles you expose yourself to (and you get exposed to a lot of them in the uni level, some of 'em good, some of 'em abhorrently bad), the easier it will be to learn subjects by yourself in the future.

But I'll stop at that because this thread is heading into "dear dr. ian i don't like college i don't like people" territory and out of "I am making a nintendo look at this"

Actually, you know what, that's not a bad idea, I like the sound of Spritesheet Sunday, I'd be down for posting a piece of what I'd been working on that week. To keep myself on track for the thread, I'll put up the full right-facing iteration of one of those breath loops I was so proud of yesterday.

yeah, that is 3440px long, I was kinda cuttin' it close and I just learned the other day that XNA doesn't like sprites longer or taller than 4098px

As for the slow-on-hit suggestion, thanks. I got to thinking, though, and it'll be a little more work but I'll probably add an effect to Fire too, I'll probably make the Bolt Breath stun mechanical enemies and make the Fire Breath damage-over-time to enemies wearing non-metal clothes.

The White Dragon fucked around with this message at 21:00 on Sep 16, 2012

floofyscorp
Feb 12, 2007



Aliginge posted:

Bear in mind being at university is a shitload different than college*. Even just moving away from family and bunking down in halls of residence with dudes from all over the country is a totally different experience and if embraced, a social explosion (Some tend to lock themselves in their room, their loss). I saw people who used to commute from home to Uni and they always themselves felt like social outsiders.

Uni is another life, College in the UK is basically High school for another two groaning years only with skaters and poo poo. I was such a painfully awkward person when I first started at Uni at 21 and five years of study after, I was a whole new man. Then I spent a further two years bollocking down on my portfolio because I needed to and now I've been working as a 2D Artist for a year.


*(disclaimer that College in the UK serves 16-18 pre-uni level, also known as Sixth Form and University courses are taken after that)


What's the age now to be considered a mature student? I've often seen mature students get on to games related courses, even technical coding courses with a portfolio of work rather than needing a bullshit UCAS score.

Agreeing with all of the above. I could have stayed at home and gone to my local art college a 15-minute walk away, but I moved away to a foreign country for uni instead where I knew absolutely nobody, then made loads of friends, learned a bunch of stuff, and became an adult at some point apparently.

Whatever about the courses maybe not being the greatest(although I do keep hearing Teesside has improved a lot since we were there), moving away to uni is a great chance to have your own space and figure out the person you want to be.

Also with the Canadian brain-drain and the continuing slow collapse of medium-sized studios in the UK leading to a whole lot of experienced candidates scrabbling over any job going, having a degree is really, really useful.

Mature students are 21+, from what I can tell from UCAS's website. Their entry requirements are generally much more relaxed than younger students, but it varies from institution to institution.

Oddx
Sep 9, 2005



The White Dragon posted:

Some bratty kids who think that an SNES is a grandpa's toy might find it jarring, but I like the hard colors and edges. It reminds me of Out of this World. Did you have that in mind when you were making it?

Haha thanks. My artist buddy made this, and even though it's obvious now that you mention it, I never thought about Another World. Our original discussions were me thinking about polygonal/psone style environments, and my friend really wanting to do something inspired by the Group of Seven (check out Lawren Harris's paintings to see some strong inspiration http://www.groupofsevenart.com/Harr...n_Harris_4.html).

For school, I moved half way across the globe for university and did something pretty unrelated to games but the greatest thing I took away from it was how to be a functional and sociable person. It helped (duh) in terms of making friends and getting into actually making games with cool/talented people.

Orzo
Sep 3, 2004

IT! IT is confusing! Say your goddamn pronouns!


Oddx posted:

Here's an updated shot of the environment with the camera pulled back a bit. It's really coming together quite nicely! We're planning on having 4 seasons with 4 sets of different audio samples/generative soundtracks. This is fall:


This looks pretty cool, I like the style too. Here's a hint for placeholder music for the seasons: Spyro the Dragon 2

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE7rSc6__2M

Shalinor
Jun 10, 2002

Can I buy you a rootbeer?


Aliginge posted:

I saw people who used to commute from home to Uni and they always themselves felt like social outsiders.
Pretty much, yep. You are alienated from any kind of social stuff, the professors look down their noses at you when you mention that perhaps you need to work in the evenings instead of go to their spur-of-the-moment no-planning study groups, you get blank stares if you mention how bad the commute was, etc.

The life of an "alternative" student: it basically sucks.

BUT! You have your own apartment, and your own life, and you've assumedly got your life figured out, when almost no one else around you does. Advantage: alternative student.

field balm
Feb 5, 2012



Oddx posted:

Here's an updated shot of the environment with the camera pulled back a bit. It's really coming together quite nicely! We're planning on having 4 seasons with 4 sets of different audio samples/generative soundtracks. This is fall:



This looks great, is the background pre-rendered? Is it a shader or hand colored? I really like the effect, reminds me of interstate 76.

Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

Just tell me I'm exotic.


I've had a similar experience in post secondary myself. As soon as I finished High School I spent a month in California (I live in Florida) and then moved to Orlando to go to Full Sail (a for profit Uni) for Game Development (Math / Programming heavy). I had the same problem where I was spending most of my first few months going from school straight to home and doing nothing outside of that besides smoking weed with my roommate. Failing Pre-cal twice and being told I couldn't continue game dev really slapped me in the face with a pretty lovely case of depression that has just been spiraling since then. It also probably didn't help that they didn't bother having any sort of mental health assistance at the school because they "weren't legally required to" (what they told me).

After that I spent a few months hanging out at a local game store, smoking and drinking with other college students and just trying to get my mood up before switching to Game Design.

None of that matters though because I just ended up dropping out and doing nothing since then, not even socially. poo poo sucks.

OtspIII
Sep 22, 2002



Ularg posted:

Full Sail

This may be your problem. I used to live right across the street from Full Sail and that place absolutely destroys its students. If you go into it looking to make a portfolio it can do you some good, but it's pretty infamous for taking people with a casual interest in game design or sound recording or whatever and chewing them up and spitting them out again with a backlog of sleep deprivation, a decent chunk of debt, and not much else to show for it.

On the plus side, its late-night labs and early mornings meant that I could always just pretend to be a Full Sail student rather than a bum when I was living in my car for a few months and sleep in their parking lot without getting hassled.

UCF is another terrible school, but their animation program actually seems pretty drat nice. I had a pair of friends who were in it during its first year or so of operation and one of them got a lot out of it, managing to break pretty drat well into the game industry afterwards. You just gotta focus on your portfolio and make sure you keep a professional attitude from the start with this poo poo, otherwise you fall way the gently caress behind. Creative industries are terrible, and game design doubly so.

Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

Just tell me I'm exotic.

OtspIII posted:

This may be your problem. I used to live right across the street from Full Sail and that place absolutely destroys its students. If you go into it looking to make a portfolio it can do you some good, but it's pretty infamous for taking people with a casual interest in game design or sound recording or whatever and chewing them up and spitting them out again with a backlog of sleep deprivation, a decent chunk of debt, and not much else to show for it.

On the plus side, its late-night labs and early mornings meant that I could always just pretend to be a Full Sail student rather than a bum when I was living in my car for a few months and sleep in their parking lot without getting hassled.

UCF is another terrible school, but their animation program actually seems pretty drat nice. I had a pair of friends who were in it during its first year or so of operation and one of them got a lot out of it, managing to break pretty drat well into the game industry afterwards. You just gotta focus on your portfolio and make sure you keep a professional attitude from the start with this poo poo, otherwise you fall way the gently caress behind. Creative industries are terrible, and game design doubly so.

The problem was I couldn't even get to the point where I was being overworked like the rest of the students. I failed the entrance exam, spent a couple of days running around campus doing paper work and did College Math, retook the entrance exam and went into Pre-cal. Worked my rear end off for a month, failed with an 82%, worked even HARDER during the second month only to fail with an 83.4/5%. Also didn't help that near one of the middle exams one of the people I met at the game store thought it'd be funny to anonymously send me death threats during class.

But now I'm out of school, with an interest in programming, design, art, music and some film with nothing to show for it but a mental illness and a story about how I dropped out of school not 2 months into a course.

seiken
Feb 7, 2005

hah ha ha


Ularg posted:

Worked my rear end off for a month, failed with an 82%

I don't understand, are exams in the states way easier or something? Here in the UK it's usually something like 70% for an A and to fail you gotta get under 50% or even 40%.

The White Dragon
Nov 14, 2007

すご▞い!
君は働か░い
フ▙▓ズなんだね!


seiken posted:

I don't understand, are exams in the states way easier or something? Here in the UK it's usually something like 70% for an A and to fail you gotta get under 50% or even 40%.

drat, that's a generous A. In the states, it's 10% increments, so <90 = B, <80 = C, etc. Less than a 60% is a failing grade, but yeah, that program he was trying to get into is some poo poo if they don't want him at ~85%. Just like how it sounds to be in the EU, for-profit private institutes that aren't big name ivy league deals are probably just scammers with PhDs. Public universities are the way to go fo' sho'.

Serenade
Nov 5, 2011

"I should really learn to fucking read"


seiken posted:

I don't understand, are exams in the states way easier or something? Here in the UK it's usually something like 70% for an A and to fail you gotta get under 50% or even 40%.

From what I've seen, it can vary wildly globally. Here in New Zealand, a 53% was the third highest grade on a recent exam. By the standard of most United States courses I've taken, that's a failing grade, ignoring scale.

You're also not 'supposed' to get 100%s in New Zealand, from what I've been told.

Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

Just tell me I'm exotic.

85% is the passing grade. I have 100% in every portion of the class except the exams themselves.

TheOrange
Jan 11, 2007

!


Is it that much of a detriment of having a degree that isn't that related to gaming if you can prove experience with related tools and projects in a portfolio?

I'm finishing mine in IT from a local technical school, but I've wondered if that would hold me back if I wanted to pursue something like Programming in the future.

Is there any merit to QA being a good entry point? I keep hearing all kinds of mixed opinions on the matter.

xzzy
Mar 5, 2009

wakey wakey to
this bowl of tasty


Yams Fan

Veteran programmers tend to trust results.. if you have some previous work that proves you know how to code that should be good enough. It may be hard to get a foot in the door without a degree though. Getting past the HR screening can be a challenge.

IT is a useful stepping stone. If you're good at it you'll have lots of idle time to work on your programming skills.

Juc66
Nov 20, 2005
Lord of The Pants

TheOrange posted:

Is it that much of a detriment of having a degree that isn't that related to gaming if you can prove experience with related tools and projects in a portfolio?

I'm finishing mine in IT from a local technical school, but I've wondered if that would hold me back if I wanted to pursue something like Programming in the future.

Is there any merit to QA being a good entry point? I keep hearing all kinds of mixed opinions on the matter.

A degree only really matters for working internationally. The portfolio is by far more important.

Also qa is nice as an entry point to More qa, and production. If you want to do anything else you'd be better served spending your time on making a good portfolio.

QA is not the dream job people usually assume it is and in 9 out of 10 studios you're treated like trash, don't aim for it unless you hate yourself or are crazy...or both.

I was lucky to work at a good studio, most people aren't that fortunate.

TheOrange
Jan 11, 2007

!


Thanks for the advice, I should at least have my degree finished in less than a year, but in terms of making a programming portfolio what kind of things should I be focusing on? I figure that at least being able to show completed projects or things like gamejam stuff or even tech demos might help.

As mentioned before, one of the things I'm really trying to focus on right now is mobile development, so I'm at least hoping that I can have a app or something to my name by the time I get done with school.

Senso
Nov 4, 2005

Always working

I have a high school diploma, went to study Literature in college, dropped out. I've been learning programming and Linux all by myself since I was 17 (I'm now 30) and I have now been working for this international game company for over 4 years, I'm even in charge of a small team in a foreign country.

Not saying this is the usual track but if you can prove that you're passionate enough to pull yourself by your own bootstrap, sometimes you can get the job you want.

Grace Baiting
Jul 20, 2012

Audi famam illius;
Cucurrit quaeque
Tetigit destruens.





The White Dragon posted:

The HUD is greatly improved as well. I added in an Actraiser 2-style border to the HP pips and brightened them up to increase their visibility. I also put in an indicator next to the fire bar that shows you that yes, this is definitely where you see how much fire you have left, and also to indicate the element currently in use. I had symbols drawn that were going to be in the middle of the flame, but I went with a color scheme setup instead. My bro who actually knows art (unlike me) suggested that the simpler the interface is, the better.

I also got the Ice Breath to work properly:
Having the current element clearly indicated is great, but you could probably go a bit further on that front -- I'd at least palette-swap the "fire breaths remaining" symbols to be current-element symbols, matching the ice-breath evident just next to them (and likewise for the thunder/acid/flowerpower breaths).

Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

Just tell me I'm exotic.

I think I'll see about community college programming courses. It's still something I want to do, if only so that I can make something myself and not rely on others. Still worried that my general lack of trying outside of school means I won't really do well or anything at all.

farfromsleep
Sep 16, 2012

space cat wannabe

Disclaimer: most of this stuff isn't first hand, just gleaned from interviews with pros and the occasional personal chat with indie devs. It's an area I've always been interested in, so I've picked up quite a lot over the years. None of this is gospel or anything, but seems to be a reasonable account of the 'typical' attitudes you'll encounter.

Feel free to prove me wrong, of course.

TheOrange posted:

Thanks for the advice, I should at least have my degree finished in less than a year, but in terms of making a programming portfolio what kind of things should I be focusing on? I figure that at least being able to show completed projects or things like gamejam stuff or even tech demos might help.

Above all else, the ability to finish a project seems to be the big one. Get as many released titles with your name on them out there as you can. I've seen this repeated time and time again in 'what do developers look for' topics. If guy #1's got a stunning grab-bag of stuff with little practical application and gal #2's got a few released games, she'll win out every time. Doesn't matter so much if it's indie work, mods or apps, just go for it. You're going to be putting in some gruelling hours getting things beaten into shape, you need to show you can get it done.

Depending where you are and what your workload's like, College assignments probably won't cut it. You should be putting in serious work in your own time getting your stuff into shape. If nothing else, it's as good a time as any to see if you're going to be able to hack the kind of hours that'll be expected of you.

quote:

A degree only really matters for working internationally.
Okay, now this is one I've got some close experience with, between me and my friends. If you're going to the U.S and have a degree from elsewhere, in anything, your degree is close to useless. It will literally have next to no worth. A strong portfolio with good examples of past, proven work goes a lot further.

Note that almost every dev would advise not to get a specifically games-related degree and to have a 'fallback' instead, due to the industry's reputation for such grim working conditions, compared to business software development and the like.

farfromsleep fucked around with this message at 06:11 on Sep 17, 2012

Peaceful Anarchy
Sep 18, 2005
sXe
I am the math man.



farfromsleep posted:

Okay, now this is one I've got some close experience with, between me and my friends. If you're going to the U.S and have a degree from elsewhere, in anything, your degree is close to useless. It will literally have next to no worth.
Except it helps a lot in actually getting a visa to work in the country.

farfromsleep
Sep 16, 2012

space cat wannabe

Peaceful Anarchy posted:

Except it helps a lot in actually getting a visa to work in the country.
Yeah, very true. I'd forgotten about that as I'm married to a U.S citizen and so ended up taking a different route there. And of course any degree is going to look better on an application than none. I'd just argue that it doesn't really matter a lot if it's a relevant one.

Edit: vvv Re-reading it I see that now. I was coming at it from a whole different direction, sorry for confusing things.

farfromsleep fucked around with this message at 07:15 on Sep 17, 2012

Juc66
Nov 20, 2005
Lord of The Pants

Peaceful Anarchy posted:

Except it helps a lot in actually getting a visa to work in the country.

That's what I was talking about for how it's only really useful for working internationally.
Degrees make visas easier to get, but portfolios are what're needed to land a job.

Mug
Apr 26, 2005


tl;dr: This post isn't helpful at all I just wanted to post my story about progamming and jobs.

All my school-aged friends/family are at the point now where they're deciding what to do about their further education; a few of them want to make video games for a living. I don't associate "making games" or "programming" with school at all. I learned to program and basic game design theory from those little cartoony "How to program your MICRO" books by Usborne. I still have them all on my book shelf. I never studied anything to do with computers at school and I didn't go to uni, either.

I'm Australian and I completed my VCE which is "High school"; you do VCE at ages 17 and 18 which is school-year 11 and 12. Your results in VCE work towards determining what you can do in University.

In my VCE, I studied marketing, visual communication (the graphical side of marketing), and a heap of music classes so I could bum around playing bass guitar for my final school years and drawing pictures. Then my exams came around and I ate a bunch of ecstacy, got really average results (on the exams, not the drugs) and decided I didn't wanna to go Uni ever.

I got a job as a tech-support jockey at an internet provider that was going out of business really slowly. Between phone calls, I made a 2D game engine for DOS on my laptop (this was like 2005, not actually the days of DOS). That company went out of business and now I'm a full time software engineer at another Internet provider (mostly PHP stuff) and I'm working on my first actual game.

I don't really know anything about getting a "job" making games, but I know about getting a job doing programming, and I know about programming to make games; I can't imagine doing both at the same time. There's a thread in the OP about Game Industry Jobs where you'd probably get way better info.

Mug fucked around with this message at 07:57 on Sep 17, 2012

omeg
Sep 3, 2012



Does anyone know a good skinnable, easily extendable (custom controls) GUI library for C#/OpenGL? Most libraries seem to use C++ and I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon than try to interface with C++ from C# (plain C is easy). In the end I just said "gently caress it" and rewrote Garry's GWEN in C#. It's a bad port though, still has some annoying rendering (and functional) bugs, event system sucks balls (needs overhaul) and I didn't really update it while Garry still worked on GWEN.

Juc66
Nov 20, 2005
Lord of The Pants

omeg posted:

Does anyone know a good skinnable, easily extendable (custom controls) GUI library for C#/OpenGL? Most libraries seem to use C++ and I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a rusty spoon than try to interface with C++ from C# (plain C is easy). In the end I just said "gently caress it" and rewrote Garry's GWEN in C#. It's a bad port though, still has some annoying rendering (and functional) bugs, event system sucks balls (needs overhaul) and I didn't really update it while Garry still worked on GWEN.

Scaleform?
...the unity one is c# I think. Not sure about the main version.

Communist Bear
Oct 7, 2008



I want to bulk up my portfolio because I've already got the degree (Computing - Software Engineering) but I have real trouble trying to figure out where to start. Either my ideas are too huge, or I feel overwhelmed whenever I look at the program (ie Unity).

As stupid as my problem might sound, can anyone help? Should I just start off with small art-based 2d things (even if I absolutely suck at art)? Or should I concentrate on specific area - ie map design?

I need help finding my feet so I can make stuff. I reckon If I can develop a few individual projects before the end of the year I might have more luck getting employed within the games industry.

Red Mike
Jul 11, 2011


WMain00 posted:

I want to bulk up my portfolio because I've already got the degree (Computing - Software Engineering) but I have real trouble trying to figure out where to start. Either my ideas are too huge, or I feel overwhelmed whenever I look at the program (ie Unity).

As stupid as my problem might sound, can anyone help? Should I just start off with small art-based 2d things (even if I absolutely suck at art)? Or should I concentrate on specific area - ie map design?

I need help finding my feet so I can make stuff. I reckon If I can develop a few individual projects before the end of the year I might have more luck getting employed within the games industry.

If you're getting overwhelmed, and you can't work your way through it, consider changing tools. If Unity seems impenetrable even with tutorials, try an XNA or Pygame game to get you started.

If you're not confident in your art, you can try one of the following: getting someone else to make you some simple art, finding some free graphics on the net, just going with your own art however horrible but not wasting an enormous time on the art itself.

My recommendation would be very simple games. Prototypes, if you will, but the point is that they have to be actual games. This means having them be 'fun' at least mildly. This is probably harder than you'll expect, and coming at it from a software engineering standpoint, you may fall into the trap of making a game application, rather than an actual game, getting too focused on actually solving the programming side while ignoring the fun value of it all.

I'd say the initial few should be straight up clones of typical games, that only once you finish them you can add simple gimmicks to. Like, making a simple Pong clone. Once that's done, you can add a gimmick where you can shoot bullets towards the other paddle from your own. Something like that.

farfromsleep
Sep 16, 2012

space cat wannabe

Like Mug mentioned, there's a great jobs topic in the OP that covers a lot of this really well.

Even just as an exercise, I think completing some small projects is an experience you'll get a lot out of. It's hard to realise how much work goes into even a simple game until you finish your first one.

quote:

I'd say the initial few should be straight up clones of typical games, that only once you finish them you can add simple gimmicks to. Like, making a simple Pong clone. Once that's done, you can add a gimmick where you can shoot bullets towards the other paddle from your own. Something like that.
I'd say that was as good a place as any to start. You might think it's too simple or slight for you, but you'd be surprised.

Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

Just tell me I'm exotic.

I agree with that. My first game was a space invaders game where you play as a Starcraft Overlord fighting protoss AA Planes. You shot creep .

high on life and meth
Jul 14, 2006

Fika
Rules
Everything
Around
Me

WMain00 posted:

I want to bulk up my portfolio because I've already got the degree (Computing - Software Engineering) but I have real trouble trying to figure out where to start. Either my ideas are too huge, or I feel overwhelmed whenever I look at the program (ie Unity).

As stupid as my problem might sound, can anyone help? Should I just start off with small art-based 2d things (even if I absolutely suck at art)? Or should I concentrate on specific area - ie map design?

I need help finding my feet so I can make stuff. I reckon If I can develop a few individual projects before the end of the year I might have more luck getting employed within the games industry.

Making a small game would be my advice. I mean, making and releasing a game, be it a small 2D game or whatever you're capable of. If you're bad at art, do something stylized or minimalist or just go balls-out with your bad art. But do it.

I used to tool around with half-finished games while dreaming about bigger and better things and having all these big plans for the future, but nothing ever happened. One day I decided to actually finish something, and even though it was a terrible game, it changed everything. Suddenly it was like, "...oh. I can really do this."

Since then I made more games, got into flash sponsorships, met a whole bunch of awesome people, and now I'm working on my first iOS game together with Ambushsabre. And if you had told me 8 months ago- before I decided to release that stupid game- that I would be doing all this stuff right now, I wouldn't have believed you.

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HelixFox
Dec 20, 2004

Heed the words of this ancient spirit.

Echoing the sentiments of actually finishing and releasing stuff. My current day job is a contract developer spending most of my time working on flash web apps (usually advergames, etc) and I got it pretty much entirely on the strength of the two lovely Flash games I made during my final year of university.

Even if you get a job, don't stop finishing things in your spare time. If I was to put together a portfolio now I'd have 10+ finished games, plus everything I've worked on at my job - a pretty good advantage if I wanted to go after another development role somewhere.

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