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How good do you have to be to get into the business?

This is a discussion on How good do you have to be to get into the business? within the Game Programming forums, part of the General Programming Boards category; Okay. I'm a senior in high school. I just started C++ programming this year, in an independant study class at ...

  1. #1
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    Question How good do you have to be to get into the business?

    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.
    geek@02 likes this.

  2. #2
    Banned master5001's Avatar
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    There are no guarantees in life. Especially in the video game business. Being a good programmer is always helpful Many developers are looking for specific tallents. Most do request certain certifications, however, if you are good and someone can vouch for you will be in the door. There are many variables here. The PC game market is VERY competitive. Whereas the console market, though competitive, is generally more difficult to get into than anything else. I'm sure this doesn't really help you as it vague but my advice is to diversify your knowledge. As far as games go it is nice to have programmer who knows what sounds and looks good as well as identify a coherent story line.

  3. #3
    UNBANNED OneStiffRod's Avatar
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    What does it take to become a game programmer - usually one published commercial game. How you gonna get to that point - anyway possible - if it means interning for no pay at a local development house you should do it. I'd say that most programmers in game dev - who actually get paid are contractracted so it's not steady work.

    Go here and read some articles.
    www.gamasutra.com

    Here's some example req's:
    REQUIREMENTS
    1 shipped console or PC title
    Proficiency with C/C++
    Desire and ability to push consoles to their limits
    Passion for making fun games
    Excellent communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills
    Ability to write clean, tight code
    Ability and desire to innovate, contribute and polish all aspects of a game
    OR here's something for the Newbie to the game dev world:
    We are looking for an extra programmer to join our team. Must have experience of using DirectX. You must be willing to work for free until a publishing deal is secured. Whether your skills are broad range or specialized, all serious applications will be considered.
    If you have the passion you will work for FREE FREE FREE until you have enough experience under your belt to be considered for a real position. Don't quit your PIZZA DELIVERY job just becuase your programming a game - wait until you can actually make a living at it.
    My Avatar says: "Stay in School"

    Rocco is the Boy!
    "SHUT YOUR LIPS..."

  4. #4
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    i suggest you just stick to playing them.

  5. #5
    Carnivore ('-'v) Hunter2's Avatar
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    Well, that's your opinion, but this would be the game programming forum, which would be the place that people who make games would happen to gather and discuss the making of games, as opposed to the playing of them, unless someone who made a game wants people to beta test it.
    Just Google It. √

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  6. #6
    Banned frenchfry164's Avatar
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    nice use of italics

  7. #7
    Carnivore ('-'v) Hunter2's Avatar
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    thanks
    Just Google It. √

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  8. #8
    Visionary Philosopher Sayeh's Avatar
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    Don't kid yourself-- you _do_ have to be __really__ good. And live and breathe the stuff. Essentially, you are trying to get into a very elite group of developers-- it's a very small world at the top.

    But it can be very rewarding. Professional Game Development at houses like Activision, Ubisoft, Bungie-- and more, is equivalent to being a SEAL compared to other sailors.

    One thing I've learned-- there is _always_ someone better...
    It is not the spoon that bends, it is you who bends around the spoon.

  9. #9
    Shadow12345
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    i dunno my position on everything is you should try to always make your skills better, and it's okay to want to be the best, but don't get all physco and feel that you absolutely have to be the best. that'll probably lead to a mental breakdown. try to have fun, worry about your skills enough that you can remain competitive, but, well, don't take it too far past that.

    i suggest you just stick to playing them.
    why even bother posting that? slut~!

  10. #10
    Registered User Frobozz's Avatar
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    Don't kid yourself-- you _do_ have to be __really__ good. And live and breathe the stuff. Essentially, you are trying to get into a very elite group of developers-- it's a very small world at the top.
    Lol! Ever heard of a game called VGA Planets? It made it pretty well. The programmer originally just logged forests for a living. One day he decided to try programming, made a game, and now he doesn't have to log to make a living.

    My point: you don't have to be good at programming to succeed.

    Btw, check this site out: http://www.vgaplanets.com/

  11. #11
    Banned master5001's Avatar
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    Originally posted by master5001
    There are no guarantees in life. Especially in the video game business.
    Yes I am quoting myself (its faster than rewriting it)

  12. #12
    Quantum
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    If you are interested in the game industry, GameDev has some excellent articles.

    www.gamedev.net

  13. #13
    Visionary Philosopher Sayeh's Avatar
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    You have to be better than Polymorphic OOPs
    It is not the spoon that bends, it is you who bends around the spoon.

  14. #14
    Programming Sex-God Polymorphic OOP's Avatar
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    Sayeh, when I first started coming here I had respect for you. Do you know when I LOST respect for you? Not when you started telling me that I was wrong when I was obviously right. Not even when you continued to make a total ass out of yourself later on in the thread with more bull**** you pulled out of thin air, and not even when you abandoned the thread after I pointed out your mistakes. What made me lose all of my respect for you was the fact that it could have stayed isolated to a single thread, but you had to be a total retard and bring it to another. It's really sad that a man of your age feels that he has to prove something especially when you were wrong in the first place. You sound like a little kid. You've done a lot of stuff in your life and you've acomplished many things and I had respect for you, but you had to ruin that. All I do is I help people with there problems and even take the time to diagram things out and make extremely long posts to help people with their questions. I never had anything against you personally, but now you've crossed the line.

    Grow up.

    EDIT: If you're ready to stop acting like a dumbass and actually respond to the other thread, perhaps even admit that you were wrong (though I doubt that you'd EVER admit that because your head is too far up your ass).

    Here it is in case you "forgot."
    Last edited by Polymorphic OOP; 12-16-2002 at 01:58 AM.

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