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Leap of faith

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by AntoineDesbiens, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. AntoineDesbiens

    AntoineDesbiens

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    Hey guys,

    I've been using unity for a bit more than 2 years now. I've released one game on iOS, it was simple, very simple but it was more of an initiation to releasing a product on the market than an actual attempt at commercializing a game. I've done about 8-9 working, semi-polished games that have been unreleased. I consider them all as learning steps (all mobile stuff).

    I've wasted a good chunk of my life not being productive when I was younger. I'm currently 28 and I'm an accounting student. In theory, I'd engage my third year on January. I've come to realize that I dislike the field I'm studying and that I really enjoy game design. Enough to drop out of my program and try to make it as a full-time indie dev.

    I've thought about it very thoroughly, I understand that statistically, this is probably the worst choice I could make. There are so many stories about indies having a hard time and mobile market not being gentle with them right now. But there's also this theory that says that people whine when something goes wrong, but when everything's right, they remain silent. I feel like my idea of the percentage of successful indies may not be accurate.

    Currently, I could subsist for a year or so without revenue. I feel like if I put myself in that position, I'll have no other choices than to work my ass off and make it work.

    I'm curious, is there's anyone here that have done something similar, or that currently live strictly off of that? If that's your case, what's your background? Is there anything you would like to share?

    If you tried and failed, I know it may be harder to share, but I'd love to hear about it as well.
     
  2. goat

    goat

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    Uh, accountants have cush jobs and rigorous rules for being certified. I've been a junior and senior in college too. No more cush history, art, music, and general science, health, PE, and literature to disguise one's lack of effort as froshmen and sophomores. No way should you drop your accounting studies because you like doing what you want, when you want. That's not the real world.
     
  3. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    Do you have a diploma that would allow you to get employed if the gamedev gig doesn't work out? Because (due to cultural differences) I'm not certain if Accounting Student refers to your primary education (school->college->university) or additional courses related to your profession.

    Either way, if there's a year of study left or so, it might make sense to finish it the education, just to get the papers that will serve as backup.

    If your country requires "university level education" to apply for any job, for example, that you might want to finish the education unless you really HATE it. "Disliking it" is not a good enough reason. IMO. You need pure burning hatred.

    ------

    Also, I'll agree with goat's comment. Accounting is usually not the worst position to take and it will keep you fed. Given that you're 28, might want to finish that one. Gamedev is not going anywhere.

    "I wanna do what I like" is a nice idea, but in case of going gamedev route it is very likely to fail.
    Do you have signifiant programming experience, art experience, modeling experience, etc?
    Like 5 or 7 years? I'm not trying to put you down here, it is just "one year without income" most likely is not gonna cut it.
     
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  4. sfjohansson

    sfjohansson

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    I agree.... it's important to have university degree, so unless you are considering changing course...I suggest you finish your accounting degree and keep gamedev as a hobby, maybe try to pick up some related courses on the way. That would allow you to earn a better wage if you need to either work full time or temp while working on your game later...and having it as backup is equally important!
     
  5. LaneFox

    LaneFox

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    Accounting is a safe job, Game Development is not.

    In the end, you'll probably dislike both at some point.
     
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  6. sfjohansson

    sfjohansson

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    ....I read somewhere: "Success is not only doing what you want...but also doing "as much as you want". =O
     
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  7. AntoineDesbiens

    AntoineDesbiens

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    That sounds really sad. I understand not everyone have room for choices and me suggesting I could of drop out of school when some people can't even go to it may seem arrogant. Sorry about that, this was not my intention.

    Although, I do feel like I currently have a choice and I would rather base my decision on the possible outcomes of my choices rather than on a social point of view.

    I'm Canadian and while some people get far without university diplomas, statistically, paper helps. It may be wise to finish it, as you stated, but to answer your other question, I hate it. I'm at that point where I don't think I'll be able to make a career out of it, even if game development is a big no-no.

    To be 100% honest, not at all. Nothing that stands out. I assume the next question would be : "Then why the hell do you think you can make it as an indie dev?"
    I'm not sure actually, hence I am exploring my options and trying to get informations about others that have succeeded and who they were. Over the last 2 years, I've been incredibly hardworking. My interests have been growing and I've worked relentlessly to learn stuff in all related fields and about the industry in general. I can see myself working really hard to make this work.

    It seems like you and everyone else share the same opinion, which makes me think that I am being delusional. Doing both at the same time is overwhelming for me, at least at the rate that I want to learn game development. I think I'd just rather ditch accounting than slow down my learning of game development, but clearly that's a terrible idea. I've never been much of a patient person, but I think doing related courses on the side like you're saying might be the best/safest option.

    Now that is depressing. I haven't reached that point yet and I sure hope I never will.

    English isn't my primary language and I'll go ahead and use that as an excuse as to why I don't understand that quote! From my understanding, it means that success could be working 8h/day instead of 12+ and killing yourself at work constantly?
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2015
  8. Prototypetheta

    Prototypetheta

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    Stick with your degree, even if you ultimately decide you don't like the field, you'll have a degree worth a S***, and you will have more options than if you drop it now. You can still drop everything and have a full time crack at game dev after you've finished the degree.
     
  9. PenguinEmporium

    PenguinEmporium

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    TODO: DONT

    Most companies, even game companies, will not even consider you if you drop out. It shows a lack of commitment.

    Just work on games as a hobby or secondary job. Use your accounting to fund your games.
     
  10. neginfinity

    neginfinity

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    It is less of a social view and more of a safety net issue.
    When people start chasing their dream the world occasionally throws catastrophic events at them.
    Makes sense to be prepared, because the world isn't going to pull punches.

    I think it still might be unwise to drop out.
    It might be possible to "temporarily suspend" learning course (you take break for 1 year, then continue when next learning year starts - the same course), or switch to distant learning mode, but with gamedev as a hobby, it is sure fire way to fail every subject. So that's probably not a good idea either.

    No, not really.
    In your case the safe choice would be to get part time job you don't hate, and hone your skills till you get them to marketable levels. You could aim at earning cash as one-man-army studio or try to get to the level where you can be employed by someone. However, there's issue of diploma/papers.

    The issue is education, which usually serves as safety net when things don't work out.
    You're approaching 30, and usually people finish university around here at 21..23. The older you get, the less desire you'll have to restart your education, and past 30 you may start hitting health problems if you're not lucky. So if papers/degrees are valuable in your country, it makes sense to finish your degree, because it sounds like you're either halfway through it or are nearing completion of the course.

    Wouldn't go as far as to say that, but basically, usually when people say "I'll make my dream come true this time!" they for some reason tend to end up in deep trouble afterwards. Nothing stops you from releasing games and see if they sell ...while continuing your study.

    You need too look for ways to free up some time for your gamedev hobby, but ditching your degree sounds like a very risky move with potentially disastrous consequences. That's why people recommend you to be cautious.

    ---

    That's just my opinion, of course.
     
  11. sfjohansson

    sfjohansson

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    The point with that quote is that something is fun if you do something as much as you like...which is usually the amount of time people spend on hobbies...if they have the time. But it is a different game doing it 40-50-60 hours a week..and with pressure to perform..then you might suddenly hate it as much as accounting.


    But I certainly think you should pursue your interest in games as not trying and regretting in the future is the worst possible outcome.

    I myself started my games career at 31, I graduated with an engineering degree...to which I added a masters in industrial design....followed by another Masters in entertainment design. Finally I secured my first position in the games industry as an environment artist in 2007.

    I had worked on five released console games before i set out to create my own indie title... called "Ace Maverick" for iOS. http://www.acemaverickgame.com

    It took me 2 years..pretty much full time to get it all together...and I had already spent considerable amount of time before going full-time.

    And without the ability to also do freelance work on the side I probably would not have managed to get it done.
    Using accounting work to fund your game is a very good idea as the quality bar is raised every day and the chances are that you might not be able to rely entirely on your own skills to get your game up to scratch.

    Having said that..I was stupid/stubborn enough to do everything myself apart from music.

    If you really are fed up with your studies one idea could be to take a gap year..if you combine it with living abroad... it looks even good on your CV...and if you go somewhere where there is a vibrant indie developer scene... it could be a win/win :)
     
  12. N1warhead

    N1warhead

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    I understand why y'all tell this person not to drop out, heck that's a smart move - don't.
    However, I sometimes make as much as people make in a month in cash in 5 hours.

    Meaning - don't make a life changing choice like this unless you are sure it will subsidize lost wages of a real job.
    Heck sometimes I really regret the choice that I've made to just focus on my game design, and sometimes only make 20 dollars a month, however - other times I made over a grand in a single day.

    So it can be done - but only if you really know what you are doing. It's called taking a risk - or a leap of faith.
    Because trust me - when you see you've made 20 dollars in a month - it get's extremely depressing to the point it makes you question your sanity.
    However - when you see that grand a few hours one day, it really makes you strive to do more.
    But that being said - don't expect wages like that unless you get the right thing released.
     
  13. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    I personally have always taken the 'safe' route. I am the sole earner in my household, and have a wife and two kids. So the stakes are somewhat higher if I fail.

    That said corporate life really isn't that stable. I've been made redundant twice in the last five years. At my present rate I'll probably work for a dozen different companies over my career. Probably in several different industries.

    Take a balanced look at the risks. It's a likely scenario your studio will fail. Most start ups do. Where does that leave you and your dependants? If you genuinely can afford to burn a year then do it. Just don't burn bridges. Make sure you have a way back to finish your degree.

    It's not all all or nothing game either. You can start up an indie studio while you do your degree. This might actually be the smartest option.
     
  14. drewradley

    drewradley

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    Game companies need accountants too!
     
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  15. Thrawn75

    Thrawn75

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    Secure a minimum income first.
    I'd recommend you to continue your path as an accountant and use your spare time earning experience in the game business.
     
  16. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    I've been on interview panels, having a degree for something as rigorous as accounting shows you can commit to a project & not bail when things get tough. Plus you don't actually have to stay working as an accountant. You may start in that role but you just parlay your way across to jobs you want. I started as a bank ledger clerk & finished up as sysadmin of a large (21k user) financial system doing 3rd level support, configuration & solution design.

    Given your age when you interview for jobs & people ask what you've been doing it will start to look bad if there is no long term commitment to either a job or an education. I agree with the others, stick it out, get your degree, find a paying job, & learn this in your free time. Once you release games that start to consistently replace your other jobs income then consider the transition.
     
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  17. theANMATOR2b

    theANMATOR2b

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    I have a friend who's wife is an accountant. She works from home, always has free time to do - extra things like take the child to karate, run errands, pick out new carpet, visit the local cafe for several hours per week, all the while working part-time and matching my friends income - which is enough for the entire family.
    Is this not how accountant work is performed - now - in this day/age?
    If so - sounds like a great job to have - while being an indie developer on the side. Allows to bring in a moderate income and have time to work on your own personal choice - game development. Then - after 3-4 actual releases, if you hit gold on one of them - re-prioritize your career field.
     
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  18. Reahreic

    Reahreic

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    Lol, the way you make that sound makes me think about going back and getting an accounting degree.
     
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  19. JamesLeeNZ

    JamesLeeNZ

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    Dropping a cash heavy career option for one that pays less than mc donalds is your choice.

    Your odds of success in the game market are very low. Whats your released iOS game? Show us.

    My advice would be finish the degree, get the high paying job, use it to fund part time hobby as game dev, realise you made the smart choice. Thing is, you can use a high paying job to have a better chance at success.

    I dont know what your skills are, but most people get into coding first. That usually means you generally dont have 3d model skills, but if you have a paying job, spending a few hundred on assets wont be a big deal.

    If youre working on your own with no revenue, you will be running on a tight budget no doubt, so buying assets might be out of the question, reducing your likelihood of success further.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015
  20. Martin_H

    Martin_H

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    Or go somewhere where the cost of living is really low so those savings get you further / don't get used up completely.

    That's what I was gonna suggest. I know a modder that has an accounting degree and recently got hired at a games company to work on the game and also work as an accountant when needed. If you have that degree you have something useful that many other gamedevs applying for a position do not have. It's ideal for small-ish game companies that need an accountant but don't have enough work for him to keep him busy fulltime.

    At one point I actually considered something like that.
     
  21. MaxieQ

    MaxieQ

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    I have this idea for a game. I've had it in my head for a couple of years, and if it were made, it would be a great game. I even have half the first level finished, and quite a few of the systems. It would make my year if that game was ever finished, but it won't be because I've made the opposite decision to you.

    Realistically, if I were to get 'into gaming', I would spend the next ten years being exploited on short-term contracts for piss-poor wages, and most of my colleagues would be in the same boat. There would be no collegiate sympathy because everyone would be scrabbling to make ends meet.

    Then after ten years, maybe I would have had enough, and would start my own group or dev team. Which in turn would be living a precarious existence because of funding. But the motivation for starting the studio would be more about getting out of the gaming-industry hamster wheel. It wouldn't primarily be about making great games.

    So, while I'm only twenty, I've taken the hard-nosed decision that gaming is not a field I would get into. Even my field, literature and English studies, is 'safer'. I love writing and reading books nearly as much as tinkering with my game, after all. I'm going to get my degree (next year, touch wood). I'll probably never have a well-paid job. I'll probably never be a game-artist. But them's the knocks.

    I don't love gaming enough to destroy my love of gaming in order to achieve that status. Sometimes a leap of faith is nothing more than a drop from a high-cliff into shallow water. I think a gaming career is that.
     
  22. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    Nice comparison but I think it might be more like dropping from a cliff into a bucket of water, success is a really really tiny target to aim for & while you may hit it once your chances will decrease each time you try.
     
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  23. goat

    goat

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    Realize accounting and other degrees not only pay more but are full time jobs. If you think you can support yourself with a minimum wage job, tough enough even when working full time, prepare to be surprised when you find most minimum wage jobs are part time and you won't have near enough income to create a work situation where you can learn all the intricacies of quite varied endeavors just to create a game.

    Given those circumstances the best shot you have of making a game that you truly enjoy, and so likely others would too, is to get a great paying job where you can buy the services to create the art and buy the game genre framework(s) you need in your game. You can do if for $10K which is likely almost all of your income were you to drop out of college for minimum wage but just two years disposable income should you get a degree and get a good paying job. In your state you don't enough know how to spend that 10K yet and be sure you're getting value for it. $10K is a lot but realizing you need to spend $10K to create something original and still not have any type of marketing budget given your stated level of expertise should make you think twice about quitting your degree studies.

    If your motivation is you want to work for EA or Unity you need to get a masters in physics, math, computer science, or several other relevant degrees. If you want to be a 3D modeler or artist that is the only thing you can do with Maya LT or Blender in a years time like you want and not have most people scoff at your chances of becoming competent. You will can become a competent computer programmer in 1 year, realize though most college graduates in computer science aren't employable for most computer science jobs. Think accounting is tedious and tough? You ain't done hour after hour of programming then to where you're no longer spending 75% of your time looking in reference pages or hoping google can help. It's a tough profession that demands you plan to migrate out of it or have an OCD like compulsion to spend too much time programming and learning new programming languages and APIs.

    Don't be intimidated into abandoning your accounting degree, flunking out is a different story: you have no choice (well OK most of the time the flunky didn't do their studies and partied and that was their choice). You should know Deans will usually give students who personally visit and ask for a second chance another semester to get good grades and finish their degree.
     
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  24. tedthebug

    tedthebug

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    As an example for you, I'm still a beginner with game making & have only been doing it 2yrs while I'm studying (on a student loan for course fees). I was made redundant June 2012 & walked straight into another job (both non games job) that only last until March 2013. Ive managed to pick up contract work for 10hrs a week at an exorbitant rate for 6mths but have basically been unemployed since March 2013. I've spent about $150usd on unity stuff & have made $0.16 from games.
    With rent, utilities, food, transport (bus & bike) my payout lasted less than 1yr & I'm living on the charity of others (my wife hates her job but is still working so we have some income since I can't get any work).