Originally Posted by lordikon
I'd been programming off and on since I was 8 years old, always wanting to make video games. After high school I went to a community college to get some core classes out of the way to make it cheaper to enroll in the state university here, but right before I was going to enroll there I found out that a private college nearby was offering a degree specific to video game programming, so I enrolled at that college instead. It was accelerated so I finished a 4 year degree in 3 years. During my time at the school a local game studio decided to have their technical director do a mentorship program where we had 12 weeks to make a game and present it to the studio. I ended up doing about 80% of the programming for the project, which impressed them enough to get me an internship there before I graduated, and they hired me 3 months later.
If you're looking for a programming job my advice is to not go the route I did with the private college, it was more expensive and many of the credits are non-accredited so I cannot easily go somewhere and get a masters degree (which I would still like to do).
If you're wanting to be an artist then a major college isn't as big of a deal, there are art institutes out there that will be enough to get you a job. Designers come from all sorts of places, there aren't really many places that offer game design degrees, so most designers just have 2-4 years of some kind of college under their belt.
Those are just development positions, which account for about 60% of all positions. The rest are positions like producers, assistants, executives, and QA (quality assurance). Still, most of them will have college degrees too. Many producers moved up the ranks from QA or development positions, so that usually isn't the type of position you start at for your first job in the industry.
So yea, I guess I would get a 2-4 year degree, do some research to find out which field interests you the most, then start learning as much as you can about that field. If you're doing programming or art start making a portfolio and website to showcase your skills, some good demos might at least get you some interviews, and if you impress there then you're in.
This post is very much the truth, if you are trying to break into the game industry, please read this post lol
Coming from a fellow game developer. I am an artist, not a programmer, but I have many programming friends and even share an office with one of the lead programmers at my studio. It is a cold blooded industry, one that can be very very inviting from the outside, but it is an all or nothing job. Its actually more than a job... WAY more, it is my life. I work about 25hrs a week right now part time and I am also attending art school about 40+ hrs a week (including homework which makes up a lot of that 40hrs). In this world of rapidly advancing technology and internet, ANYTHING is possible, I got a full time job at a game studio as a 3D modeler, Designer, and Producer (its a small studio so we have people who do a lot of different roles), as well as Lead Artist of a team of 5 other very talented artists, RIGHT out of high school, literally like a week after I graduated I went in for the art test and the next day I was getting briefed for the current project and given my team (all of which are at least 2-6yrs older than me
Making games may seem all fun in games, but its full of blood, sweat, and tears (lots of tears, I swear I am gonna have a stroke or something from all of the day to day stress of working about 60ish hrs a week...). It becomes your way of life, I fall asleep of dreams of new ideas and different ways to solve problems at the studio and with my studies at school, and wake up in the morning after a good 4hrs of sleep, and immediately roll over to my computer and keep on chuggin. I enjoy every minute of every single day, because I love my job, and if you have that passion to make games like me, lordikon, and all other game devs that frequent this site (as well as others around the world), then go out there and do it. Nothing is stopping you, I learned 6yrs worth of schooling, taught myself how to draw, how to 3D model, texture, animate, rig, light, design, and do some slight programming that has to do with my art, all in about 3yrs, just from internet tutorials and articles... because I wanted to.
Dont let any of this scare you if you truly believe this is what you want to do, because as bad as it may seem, seeing your game on the local game stores shelf, or seeing it in steam or just someone else playing it.... Nothing can beat that feeling.
P.S. Sorry to hear about the studio Lordikon, the game industry is a breathing, living, beast. But it can be tamed, hope everything works out for you man! Ill be prayin for everyone on your team, and for you! You have every down here in So.Cal.s support!