Okay. I'm a senior in high school. I just started C++ programming this year, in an independant study class at my small high school. You can see my first "real" game below, Snake Attack, which is as uncreative and simple as it gets, but it is a game.
Now, I've always wanted to work for a software company making video games. I don't want to do anything else in programming. Just make video games. If not that, I'll get into another field.
I have a good ACT score, so I'll be going to a good college, where I plan on getting a computer science major along with some type of English major (I love to write) and possibly even a music minor.
My question is, how good do you have to be to get into the game programming business? What kind of portfolio (if any) do you have to have? Do the companies care about your college degrees, or just if you have the skills? I figure those extra degrees in English and Music could only help me, especially if it's concentrated, like Creative Writing or Music Composition.
I've always seen the game programming business to the normal programming business as being the same as a bigshot actor in Hollywood to being a lounge singer in Indiana. It's like, why would you do the latter if you could do the former? I've always figured it's nearly impossible to get into the business, but then again I've heard that game companies have trouble finding competent programmers.
So I ask you: just how hard is it to become a game programmer? I'm willing to work hard. Am I on the right track right now? Will I have to sacrifice horrible years of my life writing income tax software? =P No offense to any conventional programmers out there.