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11/07/2003

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Draigon

It also doesn't hurt to start small. An independant developer is a start and, if they become successful, it could work out better than you expected.

Oh, and just in the rare chance some kids or people who just don't know are reading this, learn video game history. Read up on famous old games, landmark games, companies that aren't around anymore, or better yet... play old games. A few weeks ago I met someone who said they wanted to get into the gaming industry and we were talking about games. I nearly gagged when I found out he had never played the original Mario bros. or original Link.

Draigon

It also doesn't hurt to start small. An independant developer is a start and, if they become successful, it could work out better than you expected.

Oh, and just in the rare chance some kids or people who just don't know are reading this, learn video game history. Read up on famous old games, landmark games, companies that aren't around anymore, or better yet... play old games. A few weeks ago I met someone who said they wanted to get into the gaming industry and we were talking about games. I nearly gagged when I found out he had never played the original Mario bros. or original Link.

Sir Robert

Here's some better advice: If you want to be a games designer, then start designing games. Don't wait for someone to hire you. Don't wait for financing. For God's sake, don't wait for someone to give you your big break. Just start doing it. Hook up with other like-minded individuals and do it together. It's an old saw: "Do what you like and the money will come eventually." Or not. But anyway, it's better than waiting for someone to hand you a job.

-Sir Robert

Bowler

Draigon: Heh. One of my favorite questions to ask potential job applicants in an interview for a gaming position is "what's your favorite game of all time?"

I've had lots of borderline applicants come up with answers that are "Oh you know, GTA3, Metal Gear Solid, that sort of thing," which completely blows the interviewer's chances, in my opinion. If you're into gaming, you typically have a game that you consider "the best" for a multitude of reasons.

The only reason I started using the question was because it was asked of me when I interviewed at Midway, and my answer was "Bionic Commando." Scored big time with that one ;)

Scott Bonds

Tom Sloper has a site that anyone who is interested in a game career should check out. Besides that, my advice is to network your ass off (which is to say, Klug's advice sounds right on to me). Most everyone I've met in the industry so far was brought in by a friend and a number of these people started with only limited gaming experience. It certainly helps to have built some skills by making your own games, programing or art classes, etc. but at the end of the day, I suspect it's who you know (and how much they like you) that'll make the difference.

SB

Scott Bonds

Tom Sloper has a site that anyone who is interested in a game career should check out. Besides that, my advice is to network your ass off (which is to say, Klug's advice sounds right on to me). Most everyone I've met in the industry so far was brought in by a friend and a number of these people started with only limited gaming experience. It certainly helps to have built some skills by making your own games, programing or art classes, etc. but at the end of the day, I suspect it's who you know (and how much they like you) that'll make the difference.

SB

ClockworkGrue

re: Sir Robert

If you're interested in game design as a profession, I couldn't agree more with Sir Robert, although I would clarify by saying don't just try to design video games, design non-electronic games, too.

Why?

1) Modern video games are designed by committee these days, so it's almost more important to just show you have the "plays well with others" trait when it comes to video game design and writing design documents.

2) You can actually complete a non-electronic game prototype by yourself! In a few days! Which means you'll still have the energy to playtest and refine the hell out of it! (Bonus points if you keep documentation of this process).

3) Fundamentally, there isn't that much difference between non-electronic and electronic game design principles. Especially as multiplayer electronic games become more and more popular. If you can show that you know how to make my brain happy using pocket change and a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper, that says something.

Like the old saying goes, "As the goatherd learns her trade by goat, so the writer learns her trade by wrote." "Game designer" doesn't fit the rhyme scheme very well there, but it's the same idea.

outsider

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