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Would making a simple but polished game help getting a job in the video game industry?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by lThanatosl, May 22, 2015.

  1. lThanatosl

    lThanatosl

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    Hey guys,

    I've been working on a game these past few months in order to improve my portfolio with the hopes that it will help me get my foot in the door, but I'm just wondering if anybody here knows if recruiters just look at your degree and a few keywords and ignore all sort of games that you may have made.

    I'm about to graduate from a Bachelors' in June and I'm wondering if I should continue to work on this project or just spam my resume everywhere.

    I'll post the link to the game here upon request, I don't want people thinking I'm spamming.

    Thanks!
     
  2. proandrius

    proandrius

    Unity Technologies

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    Making portfolio is much more important than some degree. Companies (especially GameDev) don't really care about your degree at all. If you are good at coding and know how to make games you can be 16 years old for all their care.
     
    XCO likes this.
  3. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    There are quite a number of people in the industry who have a good portfolio of projects but no degree whatsoever.
     
  4. RichardKain

    RichardKain

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    Yes, making a simple but polished game would definitely help you to get a job in the game industry. Results matter more than anything when looking for employment in game development. Having a game, or even a presentable prototype is one of the best things you can bring to the table in a job interview. Bringing actual work to a prospective employer is going to matter more than anything else.

    Having a degree isn't a bad thing, certainly. And it can potentially help make a difference if the other candidates don't have degrees. But work experience, even on personal projects, trumps everything else. If one of the other applicants has no education but a finished game under their belt, and you don't have any development to present, that degree-less candidate will likely be given the job over you.

    Get cracking on a prototype post-haste. Actual development is job #1 for selling yourself to prospective employers in this industry.
     
  5. derf

    derf

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    Your degree can help you to get the day job, but the portfolio will immensely help you in getting that game developer job.

    I have heard that there are some in the industry who do not even have an Associate degree in game development, but most of them are in graphics design and modeling. The coders mostly have degrees in programming but it is a general programming degree and not a focused video game programmer degree. On the flip side there are some whom went to school; got a Bachelor degree in game development and still had a hard time getting into the industry.
     
  6. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Yup. Do both a degree and make games if you can. But if I had to say which was more important to get into the industry, I'd say its make games.
     
    jpthek9, Ryiah and zombiegorilla like this.
  7. lThanatosl

    lThanatosl

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    Alright, well I will continue to polish up this project and hopefully I'll have both a nice prototype and the degree, best of both worlds!
     
  8. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Yeah, I say do both. The degree itself isn't that important in my experience, but the formal learning you'll do while getting the degree is really, really handy. Plenty of self-taught people miss things which makes life far harder than it has to be. A quality formal education on its own won't make you an expert in anything, but it will at least mean you've got a solid foundation to start from.
     
    Kiwasi and Ryiah like this.
  9. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    Actually, let me revise that. It's not so important in making games, but it can be important if you want to apply the skills you'll learn more broadly. Don't limit yourself to game jobs. It can be a great industry to work in, but it can also be a demanding one, and it's one that often doesn't pay as well as using the same skills elsewhere. Those things may not be a big deal when you're young, passionate and relatively free, but you might not like being locked into it when you're trying to pay off a house and raise a family or whatever you might want to do later in life.
     
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  10. jpthek9

    jpthek9

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    I think the main issue/blessing concerning a degree in game development is that 99.99% of the knowledge you can get from getting that degree can be gotten on the internet. As for connections? A degree will be a huge waste of time in that regard. Googling the next game dev event and showing up earns you many more valuable connections than smoking weed and playing SC2 with your roommate (not that this this isn't AWESOME).

    Btw, show us the game whenever you're ready! We don't bite (too hard).
     
  11. angrypenguin

    angrypenguin

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    That's not an "issue", it's the point.

    There is far more information available online than there is in any course. The vast majority of it is junk.

    The problem is that if you're teaching yourself you first up don't know what you don't know (see: Four Stages of Competence), and secondly have little or no experience with which to sort the good material from the bad. The idea of doing a course is that people who already know what they're doing select the right stuff to get you started, and teach it effectively so you actually understand it.
     
    NomadKing, Ryiah and Kiwasi like this.
  12. jpthek9

    jpthek9

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    I think the type of education best for someone depends on the individual (cliche, I know, but true imo). For example, I find it a lot easier and more satisfying learning on the run which might not have been possible 20 years ago but sure as hell is now. Other people might seek a strong foundation to build on which is perfectly fine as well. Actually, their foundation probably looks a lot prettier than mine but foundations constantly shift and corrode anyways.

    For me, the price is the bottleneck. While I would love to go to college and have some fun experiences, being $120-240K in debt my first year out in the wilderness is just not a risk and burden I want to take on.

    Of course, money might not be a problem for the OP so my considerations might not be relevant. If money isn't an issue, I think that ultimately college (for game development) is about having that 4 years to still be a kid and get treated like an adult at the same time before taking on the responsibilities of a full-time adult. Anyways, I haven't had the big C experience yet so this is all theory. What do you think about the experience?
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  13. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    You guys have got to overthrow that government of yours and get a decent social programme running. Student debt is essentially risk free here. And no where there that amount. My four year engineering degree left me less then 20k in debt, and that was paid of in the first year of working.
     
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  14. jpthek9

    jpthek9

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    Viva la revolution! I love my country though, with or without college. Only in the U.S. can everything I love about this world be invented, created, or first applied (Steam, computers, electricity, Internet, Unity, Starcraft, etc.).
     
  15. Ryiah

    Ryiah

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    Unity Technologies started in Denmark. Unreal Engine on the other hand... :p
     
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  16. Kiwasi

    Kiwasi

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    Wow. Been a while since I last saw that level of arrogance.
     
  17. Breyer

    Breyer

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    American as usual.. sorry couldnt help myself but quite often i have impression that americans think they are center of universe...
     
  18. lThanatosl

    lThanatosl

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    Hello guys, well since someone asked I'll post the link to my game here:

    http://loner-dev.itch.io/mini-quest (You can toggle the sound on and off in the main menu by clicking the gear in the bottom left.)

    There's still a lot to do in terms of polish and content but it's still nice to gather some feedback early!
     
  19. jpthek9

    jpthek9

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    We're not only the center of the universe... we're the creators :O. In all seriousness though, thanks for showing your game. Looks sweet :). I'm stuck on the first move though. Movement and fireball are stuck at "2". Sorry I'm a noob. Wait... I just don't read instructions. Okay, onward!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2015
  20. Stef_Morojna

    Stef_Morojna

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    One of the reasons is because the gaming industry changes so fast.

    Someone with a 10 years old game maing degree is pretty usless today.
     
  21. jpthek9

    jpthek9

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    I agree, and part of the reason why might be because video games are such a new industry. 2 decades ago, graphics were pixelated but now? Rocking it 3200 * 1800 baby! Computers have advanced many fold as well. In an hour long Chess game where the computer has more than enough time to think, even grandmasters can't count on beating them.

    @IThanatosI, I really like the interface and graphics but the gameplay feels unintuitive. A simple game shouldn't even require the player to read the instructions. Rather, the instructions need to be presented when needed. If your graphics aren't great or you haven't built up eagerness in your player, you have no time to waste before sucking in the player.

    Here's a resource that might help:
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2015
    Kiwasi likes this.
  22. Iron-Warrior

    Iron-Warrior

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    Hey IThanatosl,

    So after creeping your LinkedIn I notice that your degree is in Computer Science, not game development as some people here seem to be assuming. In addition, your degree is from BCIT, which tends to be known for having a pretty strong focus on teaching practical skills. Are you looking for programming positions or design?

    If it's programming, make sure you know your geometry/3d math well. This book has a really comprehensive overview of the topic. As well, make sure you know one of the popular game-related programming languages back to front (C++, C#, Java tends to crop up too).

    Good luck!
     
  23. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

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    A single game, probably not a lot, unless it is seriously outstanding. Experience trumps all in getting a job (on the dev side anyway). A degree in a traditional area (CS, art/visual design) will add to things for sure, but still second to experience. Though a catch 22, experience in the industry is most desirable.

    Not having a degree isn't a blocker if you have experience. I don't have a degree, most of our senior staff doesn't, some have degrees in unrelated areas. (We have at least two senior engineers with art degrees, and so does our lead game designer).

    Gaming related degrees don't carry much, if any weight. They won't really help except at the lowest end. Making your own games is more valuable.
     
    NomadKing and angrypenguin like this.
  24. lThanatosl

    lThanatosl

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    Haha I am surprised someone knows about BCIT on here!

    Yes I am interested in programming positions, and after writing so many different GLSL shaders for several games my vector/matrix math skills got pretty awesome! Thanks for the advice and I'll make sure to keep that book in mind.
     
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