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Or something along the lines

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#1 Thomas

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:10 PM

In English class, my teacher asked us freshman what we wanted to be, and see if it changed when we became Seniors. When I went to write something, I realized that I had no idea what I wanted to be. But now as I sit here, and look back on life, I've always said that I wanted to be someone who designed video games. I realize it would be hard as hell, and that it'll take a lot of work, and I probably won't break through to any major companies, but I want to know if anyone's had any experience in the field and could tell me what to work at? It's either this or being a writer, and I don't know which yet.
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#2 Guest_yourface_*

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:36 PM

In English class, my teacher asked us freshman what we wanted to be, and see if it changed when we became Seniors. When I went to write something, I realized that I had no idea what I wanted to be. But now as I sit here, and look back on life, I've always said that I wanted to be someone who designed video games. I realize it would be hard as hell, and that it'll take a lot of work, and I probably won't break through to any major companies, but I want to know if anyone's had any experience in the field and could tell me what to work at? It's either this or being a writer, and I don't know which yet.


You might want to ask badger, he's a video game beta tester. I used to be interested in the video game industry, and I have heard that beta testing is a "foot in the door" for fledgeling game designers.
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#3 NerfFreak

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:38 PM

I'm no gaming student, but I'm brushing up on my programming, and have to say, it's not as hard as it looks.

It's divided like this.

{Namespace
{Class
{Function IE: Static Void Main
{
}
}
}

It gets easier to use. That's the C# programming language. Alot of other people use C or C++.

There's alot of tinkering in game design. If you can, go download Microsoft XNA and Microsoft Visual Studio C#, and that should put you on your way to designing games. As I said earlier though, it's not as hard as it looks. Just google C#, C, or C++ programming (I'd recommend C#,) and get started on a few tutorials. Then, when you feel comfortable, work with some tutorials on XNA and MVS C#.

Questions?
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#4 Carbon

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:43 PM

It really depends on what aspect of gaming you want to design. Programming game engines? Texture design? Modeling? Level building? Music and sound effects? Game design as a field encompasses so many different skills that it's pretty much imposible for any one person to do everything.
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#5 Thomas

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 08:57 PM

Nerffreak, thank you so much, but I can't download it, I don't have Vista. And Carbon, I was thinking along the lines of Level Design/plot design, and maybe character design or something. I know nothing about it, I'm starting without any prior knowledge. I Know I sound like a total nub, just asking about something I'm not even sure about, but Designing characters and area's/level's in a game's been my dream since I was 5, when I first picked up the Atari joystick. But when I hit 6th grade that idea left me, but it came back and slapped me in the face. So if I find a way to get more information, I'll focus on this as much as possible, because if I'm going to make something out of my life, it might as well be something I can enjoy, and I love drawing and writing. I'm not too shabby with a computer either.
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#6 Prometheus

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:23 PM

I'm no gaming student, but I'm brushing up on my programming, and have to say, it's not as hard as it looks.

It's divided like this.

{Namespace
{Class
{Function IE: Static Void Main
{
}
}
}

It gets easier to use. That's the C# programming language. Alot of other people use C or C++.

There's alot of tinkering in game design. If you can, go download Microsoft XNA and Microsoft Visual Studio C#, and that should put you on your way to designing games. As I said earlier though, it's not as hard as it looks. Just google C#, C, or C++ programming (I'd recommend C#,) and get started on a few tutorials. Then, when you feel comfortable, work with some tutorials on XNA and MVS C#.

Questions?


Yeah, we use Pelles C for my university intro to programming course. It's kinda cool.
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#7 Gengar003

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 10:56 PM

Yo. Computer-Science college student here, currently taking and have taken in the past classes on video game design, specifically, been to several game studios, made a few shoddy-ass games of my own.

The most important thing is contacts in the industry... somehow, you've got to know someone who's already in the industry.

Wherever you're going to school, look to see if they have a class on video game design - it's a class becoming more popular at more high schools and universities. Are you a Freshman in high school or College?

Either way, see if they have a class on video game design.

If they do
- Have you taken the prerequisites, if there are any?
-- If not, take those first. Seriously. This will probably be a computer science / programming course of some type.
-- If you have, sign up for the class.

If they don't
- See if there are any "computer science" or "programming" classes, and take 'em.

This all goes back to the "contacts in the industry" thing... people who teach those kinds of classes are likely the kind that will either

a.) Know someone in the industry, and be able to put you in contact when the time's right
b.) BE that person in the industry, or
c.) Have someone from the industry come speak to your class, or take the class to hear someone from the industry speak. "Carreer days" are good opportunities for the latter.

If you do get a job in the field, chances are you'll be playtesting the games for the designers long before they let you (or you are able to) begin working on the code.

On the more immediate, doable-by-yourself end of things, don't worry about specifics of a programming language, or even about a specific programming language. Pick something, and "learn to code." The basic concepts behind most languages that are used for anything are more or less the same - some have a few more or less or different abilities, and they frequently use slightly different syntax to express it, but the important thing is familiarizing yourself with coding in general, not with coding some specific type of language.

If you're looking for a place to start, I suggest the "Java" programming language. It is a "grammar nazi" of a progamming language, so it will force you to code smarter and neater than other languages (bulding good habits = good), and it can run on most any computer system you're likely to encounter (so you can show your friends), and it has an excellent "API" (application programming interface"), which is computer-jargon for "documentation that tells you what everything does."

Java's not really used for a lot of video games, though. A lot of video games are written in C, C#, or C++ - those are equally suitable places to start.

As for specific instructions to your programminng language? "Google up for [language] tutorial," [u]FIND SEVERAL[/b], and do each of them - don't let just one website or book be your bible.

Video games, programming, and video game design are all things I really enjoy, so if you do decide to go down that route, and need a little help here and there, I can probably provide that. But try google and large topic-specific internet forums (like, google "[programming language] forum" or something) first.

Hope that helped.

P.S. Microsoft XNA and Visual Studio C# work on XP as well - I've got 'em and am using them in one of my courses to design XboX 360 games :P.

Edited by Gengar003, 28 September 2007 - 10:58 PM.

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#8 Rambo

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:35 PM

I'm going to take the side of the discussion opposite of the rest of the posters.

Don't worry about not knowing what you're going to be. My life I've wanted to be the following, in chronological order:
Porn producer
Cop
Bartender
Author
Politician

I've settled on Web Design and Digital Music Production as my two areas of interest, and that's where my life is going. The reason I've abandoned most of those others is because it turned out that a) I couldn't experience them now and/or b) I didn't have enough interest.

Video game design is a perfectly good field to pursue, because you can do it on your own without any great time and/or financial commitment. I can't really give you any advice on how to go about it, but what I can say is this - spend as much time as you can devoting to learning on your own. You'll inevitably find one of two things: a) you really enjoy it and it's what you want to do with your life or b) you don't have enough interest in it, and you decide to pursue something else. Either way it's going to be a good learning experience for you. Not just in the sense that you'll gain knowledge, but that you're not doing what you're told to do by your guidance counselor, but you're pursuing something that you're truly interested in.


I realized I kinda rambled here, but you get the point: Pursue it if you think it might pique your interest.You'll benefit from it in any case.

I can say this though - I know many computer people that have started out on their own put their shit on YouTube with credits at the end and can often, if they are popular enough, catch people's attention and possibly land an interview/job. I realize it might be some ways off for you, but just something to keep in your head.

Edited by RAMBO, 28 September 2007 - 11:37 PM.

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#9 Groove

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Posted 28 September 2007 - 11:44 PM

It sounds to me like you're leaning towards character / environment concept art. That's my field of specialty, and what I've been training to do for the past several years. I've been drawing since I could pick up a crayon, and playing video games since I could hold a controller, so the two just kind of made sense. College ends next year for me, which means I'll be thrown into the dreaded "real world" and looking to do some work for some smaller companies to get a start in the industry.

If this is the route you're looking to take, not the programming one, then my advice to you is this:

--Check out www.conceptart.org and get involved with the community. That site is partially owned and operated by an actual game development studio, Massive Black. I know of several people who have been hired just by posting their portfolio on that site, and it's a good way to meet other people and make connections.

--Buy several sketchbooks and draw as much as possible. Draw from life mostly, and do some conceptual stuff too. The weekly activities on conceptart.org will keep you busy. I have over 7 sketchbooks from when I was a Freshman to right now, and I save all my sketches and doodles.

--If you're into designing characters, buy and study a human anatomy book. They have ones made specifically for artists, I own several and can give you some names if you're interested. I still use them for reference.

--If you're into designing environments and levels, then I would suggest gathering photographs from a variety of places and draw from those. Copying them is fine for practice.



Hit me up with a PM if you have any more questions, I could go on and on about this stuff.


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#10 Substance Abuse

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Posted 29 September 2007 - 12:08 PM

Yo. Computer-Science college student here, currently taking and have taken in the past classes on video game design, specifically, been to several game studios, made a few shoddy-ass games of my own.

The most important thing is contacts in the industry... somehow, you've got to know someone who's already in the industry.

Wherever you're going to school, look to see if they have a class on video game design - it's a class becoming more popular at more high schools and universities. Are you a Freshman in high school or College?

Either way, see if they have a class on video game design.

If they do
- Have you taken the prerequisites, if there are any?
-- If not, take those first. Seriously. This will probably be a computer science / programming course of some type.
-- If you have, sign up for the class.

If they don't
- See if there are any "computer science" or "programming" classes, and take 'em.

This all goes back to the "contacts in the industry" thing... people who teach those kinds of classes are likely the kind that will either

a.) Know someone in the industry, and be able to put you in contact when the time's right
b.) BE that person in the industry, or
c.) Have someone from the industry come speak to your class, or take the class to hear someone from the industry speak. "Carreer days" are good opportunities for the latter.

If you do get a job in the field, chances are you'll be playtesting the games for the designers long before they let you (or you are able to) begin working on the code.

On the more immediate, doable-by-yourself end of things, don't worry about specifics of a programming language, or even about a specific programming language. Pick something, and "learn to code." The basic concepts behind most languages that are used for anything are more or less the same - some have a few more or less or different abilities, and they frequently use slightly different syntax to express it, but the important thing is familiarizing yourself with coding in general, not with coding some specific type of language.

If you're looking for a place to start, I suggest the "Java" programming language. It is a "grammar nazi" of a progamming language, so it will force you to code smarter and neater than other languages (bulding good habits = good), and it can run on most any computer system you're likely to encounter (so you can show your friends), and it has an excellent "API" (application programming interface"), which is computer-jargon for "documentation that tells you what everything does."

Java's not really used for a lot of video games, though. A lot of video games are written in C, C#, or C++ - those are equally suitable places to start.

As for specific instructions to your programminng language? "Google up for [language] tutorial," [u]FIND SEVERAL[/b], and do each of them - don't let just one website or book be your bible.

Video games, programming, and video game design are all things I really enjoy, so if you do decide to go down that route, and need a little help here and there, I can probably provide that. But try google and large topic-specific internet forums (like, google "[programming language] forum" or something) first.

Hope that helped.

P.S. Microsoft XNA and Visual Studio C# work on XP as well - I've got 'em and am using them in one of my courses to design XboX 360 games :).



Ok To add on that, as a sophmore in high school, they offer many different courses for computer graphics/concept art and all that stuff. I personally haven't taken any but my friends that have said that they learned a lot and actually have started working on a WoW based game which they plan to make online and release for the world to play. and that was only after a year or two of Graphic Design. Although they said it is challenging at times it is well worth for the collegiate opportunity that will approach them as they reach college.
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#11 Thom

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:32 PM

If you're interested in learning to program, I'd start with C. It's the most common language out there (especially in games), it's extremely fast, it's good for learning, and the best compiler and tools are free.

I'd also recommend setting up Linux. You can code in Windows, but it can be a real pain. A Unix-based system can be customized far more easily, and it's easy to install whatever you need in terms of languages, editors, and tools.
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#12 One Man Clan

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 06:29 AM

]...buy and study a human anatomy book. ...I own several and can give you some names if you're interested. I still use them for reference.


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