RNOcommctr From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 825 posts, RR: 4 Posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 942 times:
My step-son is interested in a career in video game programming. (Lord knows, he spends enough time playing them, he might as well make some money on his passion!) He is asking around in some of his forums, and I told him I'd do a post on this forum.
Justin has a handful of credits from the local community college but is quite a ways off from getting his Associates degree.
I know that some online schools like DeVry and Kaplan have bachelors programs in this field. They sure are expensive, though! However, we could work on the financial angle.... loans, scholarships, etc.
I don't know if my step-son has the patience to do a four-year degree. I should add that he does work full-time and would have to continue to do so while he studies.
I guess my bottom line question is what kind of education/training is needed to break into the field of video game programming? Is a degree necessary? If so, would a two-year Associates suffice or would a person have to go for the full Bachelors?
Moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3596 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 940 times:
I would actually warn him off - its nothing at all like you imagine it is, its extremely repetitive, you don't get to enjoy the game you are writing, you get stuck in details and you have to be extremely on the ball with regard to up to date skills and learning new things (when every new game you work on, and a good house will pull you through two or three in 6 months, has a different game engine, you have to pick up the new engine very quickly).
You really don't play the game you are involved with, you end up doing hours and hours of 'walk this way into this area holding this weapon and firing *now* - does a known bug pop up or not?', tweaking something and doing it all again.
I spent 8 months in a gaming house several years ago, and I can't really say that its changed all that much since then
CXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 2697 posts, RR: 1 Reply 2, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 923 times:
Quoting Moo (Reply 1): I would actually warn him off - its nothing at all like you imagine it is, its extremely repetitive, you don't get to enjoy the game you are writing
I'd say that depends on who you get a job with. One video game producer has been placed in the top 10 Best Small Companies to work for in America for the last three years, due to their relaxed environment and other things. (Insomniac Games)
Moo From Falkland Islands, joined May 2007, 3596 posts, RR: 4 Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 920 times:
Quoting CXfirst (Reply 2): I'd say that depends on who you get a job with. One video game producer has been placed in the top 10 Best Small Companies to work for in America for the last three years, due to their relaxed environment and other things. (Insomniac Games)
I know quite a few people in the industry, and the general experience is the same as mine. Oh, and 'Best Small Company to work for' is a tad different to the work itself being fun and engaging - there was nothing wrong with the software house I was with, it was the work itself that eventually got to me.
Don't get me wrong, the work *can* be fun and engaging, but its leaps and bounds from what you imagine it is like when you sit down and play video games.
DavestanKSAN From United States of America, joined Sep 2005, 1678 posts, RR: 15 Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 887 times:
Does your step-son like art at all? If so, maybe a career in Game Art and Design would fit him well. I was taking classes for that major in '05-'06, but my heart wasn't in it, so I didn't pursue it any longer. I'm not too sure about the programming aspect of video games, but I still have friends in the Game Art and Design major. They absolutely love it.
Basically, it's creating characters, scenery, textures, and any part of a video game that includes art. The Art Institute has a great program for this major. Maybe if he's interested, it could be something to look into. It's not a cheap school, but it's a fantastic place with lots of resources. They have them all throughout the country. Hopefully there's one near you guys.
Anyway, just a thought, maybe you guys could look into that. Best of luck.
[Edited 2008-07-14 16:57:31]
Yesterday we've sinned, today we move towards God. Touch the sky....love and respect...Safe Star!
RNOcommctr From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 825 posts, RR: 4 Reply 6, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 868 times:
Thank you all for the very helpful, constructive advice. And yes, Dave, Justin is an excellent artist, so that might be one avenue to pursue. The user development/journalist idea is good because Justin is good with words and is fluent bilingual Spanish/English-- he could maybe write articles for Spanish-language media.