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30

This of course is dependent on the individual developer and what goals they want to accomplish. But I think the only real measure is the development of games! In my opinion, the path of a game developer closely follows the development of their first game. But then what are the milestones for a game? There are simple enough games that they could be created in ...


30

You've hit on a real problem in the games industry. We don't know how to judge game-making expertise. Training someone up to be productive on a new game project can take weeks on its own, so we're very skittish about making that investment. Our best guess is to look at games someone has already made, which leads to a catch-22 situation where you need to be ...


27

Speaking very broadly, there are two sorts of skills: "I can make this thing shiny by clicking that button." This is Unity-domain knowledge; it's something you've learned about how to use Unity, and probably won't help you much when learning another system's interface. (While that other system is likely to have some way to make an object shiny, it will ...


22

Josh's answer is really good but I figured I'd throw down some bullet points about the Systems team where I work. I don't work on Systems but I work with them a lot. The responsibilities of a Systems team varies a lot from company to company. Our Systems team is in charge of a lot of stuff: Math Library STD Replacement Library Core Game Framework Core ...


17

You should notice that game design is nothing that is necessarily related to programming. It also applies to board games, card games and every type of game, computer games being one of these. It's a different field and being a good programmer doesn't mean you're a good game designer. However being a programmer already can help you becoming a good game ...


14

This is mostly an unanswerable question, but I'll go through some of the things you mention. You don't have any useful skills to bring to the table - sorry to be blunt - so you basically have to bankroll the enterprise if you want anybody to take you seriously. Your main cost is the people you need to employ. Unless you know what sort of game you're going ...


14

Here is an analogy that may fit your situation: I'm a very good story teller. But my audience are Spanish speakers and I only have very basic Spanish speaking skills. That's the situation you're in. You are very good at one of the core concepts required for graphics/physics/AI programming. But you don't know the language (programming). If you don't know ...


12

Do people hire people based on their math knowledge alone? Math is very useful to game developers (programmers developing physics algorithms, designers analyzing stats, etc.) but game companies don't hire mathematicians.


11

If you meant by developer is programmer, I'd really like to correct that. Developer means any person that has a role in the development of the game. Consists of roles: Producer, Programmer, Artist, and Sound are the most basic high-level position in video game development. "A game developer is anyone who has any involvement with the creation of the game at ...


11

The Win32 API is not a must. Professional games can be developed in anything from AGS to Flash to XNA to low-level C++. The Win32 API is only used for some Windows games, and not at all on non-Windows systems. I will note, however, that a skilled general-purpose game developer would be able to pick up the Win32 API and learn how to use it if it was the best ...


10

By no means I am experienced with big game development, but I like the game team roles description as given by Jason Gregory in the Game Engine Architecture, because it is broad enough to hold true most of the time: Engineers (from runtime to tools) Artists (from concept, throught 3D and writing all the way to sound) Designers (gameplay, interface/...


8

The best article I have found on the subject is How do I make games? A Path to Game Development. You really should read the whole article, but let me sum it up: When I talk to people looking to get into game development some of the first things I often hear fall along the lines of, "How do I make games?" or "I want to make a game like Quake/Everquest/...


7

If you work in a big company, there will probably be few 3D artists for specific tasks. One of them might be soft body modeller that will do characters and animals, etc. You can be level designer, make some fences, houses, rocks, perhaps lightining artist which is really crazy if you are good one. You can type in your portfolio that you are level designer ...


7

Yes. Learning algorithms is learning algorithms. Implementations may change, but you'll still understand the overall strategy. However, it's also true that you'll be learning at a high level of abstraction. That means that moving around to other engines, or no engine, may require you to learn the finer details of the algorithm and the gritty details of the ...


6

Quitting your job and starting to develop your own game while living on your savings is a big financial risk. You never know if your game will sell (especially when it's your first), and when it doesn't, the move could ruin you. It's also easy to underestimate the time you will need to finish your game. Your savings might run out before you have a ...


6

The best way to increase your chances of being employed as a game developer is to get your hands dirty and actually work on the development of some small games. You say that you are "interested in programming games", which makes me believe that you haven't developed any games, yet. I advice you to stop thinking and start doing. However, the first order of ...


5

The most important thing that you have to do is to be able to show something. You need to build up a really strong portfolio, and this is gonna take a long time. There are a lot of people out there who would like the same job and they usually come from a moddeler/animation background so they will usually outclass you in any tool (they'vebeen using it for ...


5

It's possible. Perhaps less feasible. Many artists focus purely on modelling machines or architecture, for instance. Or characters. But for game designers, it's a bit different. You tend to need to be less of a brilliant artist and more of a generalist in order to cover different design topics. It does depend though on the types of games you want to be ...


5

As a current college student (2nd year) that is currently on paid co-op with a studio, my biggest piece of advice would be personal projects. Start playing with C# and Unity and constantly be messing around and doing quick prototypes of ideas that you have. All. The. Time. A great way to build up real game dev experience is with game jams. They are ...


4

The vast majority of game devs I've worked with have had only a passing knowledge of Win32 at best. Only a teeny tiny fraction of a game's codebase is going to use any platform-specific APIs in general, and unless you're the engine dev who's writing the abstraction layers for those, you can get away without knowing anything about Win32. Most indie games ...


4

Basically, you want something that can show to an employer what you've done in your industry. If you're an artist, you'd want to showcase art you've done. Things like sketches, college projects, work from previous jobs (assuming they allow you to post them.) If you're a programmer it's usually links to personal (game) projects you've worked on and details ...


4

I recommend you not getting a degree in video game development, but in Computer Science or Software Engineering instead (The name sounds a bit more sophisticated to me) . Programming video games is more of a hobby because it's fun. Having to develop things with timelines may dull out how interesting it can be. If you believe you can handle full time game ...


4

Just an addition to the other answers (because I can't comment): I agree that working on a game at home first is a better way to get started than trying to get experience at a company rigt away. He can start making is own small games to get used to the development, and get to know some of the components a game usually has. Another step I suggest as soon as ...


4

Companies do have something to lose: time I have worked for companies that have accepted work experience students, although as part of formal work experience during schooltime rather than ad hoc. These students are not able to usefully contribute to the game development process but rather take up considerable amounts of time from developers who could ...


4

Health warning: The following comes with a large amount of hindsight and I'm sure it's one of many experiences within game dev - but it's worth considering I'd like to offer a perspective from someone who left game development to do something different, who is a similar age to you. I was a developer at a first-party studio for five years straight out of ...


3

Between those two choices I don't think either is better. I don't think either is bad precisely, but mostly irrelevant to the issue of getting a job as a game developer. Either way what matters is the games you've developed previously, ideally on the job but the next best thing is games you've developed on your own. Getting a master's degree or general ...


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