Getting into the biz…

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    • #25034 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      I grew up playing and appreciating the Sierra adventure games, not necessarily for their graphical updates, or the puzzles for that matter, but for their stories and their characters. I love writing and just graduated from college with a degree in cinema.
      I realize that the software business is not the same as it was during the time of the former Sierra, but I’m very much interested in telling stories through games. I guess my question is how does one get into this business? I’m not a programmer, nor do I have much desire in knowing the technical aspects of creating games to a certain point. Do the designers start out as technical experts, and does one need to have both technical and creative skills in order to pursue this line of work?
      Chris Bonk

    • #25035 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      (re: Getting into the biz…) Check out this response I gave someone else:
      {LINK}14464
      and, this one:
      {LINK}13964
      And….
      My sense is that it’s not easy to break into the business as a designer.
      If I were you, I’d try the following (and, I have no idea if any of this would work):
      Write articles for game magazines – reviews, strategy tips etc. Try to get yourself known to the game companies
      Work for a game company. The smaller the better (in small companies it’s easier to get noticed). Do whatever it takes to get in the door. Quality Assurance is usually an easy group to get hired in.
      Try building some levels for a game. Some games ship with everything you need to design some levels. Build a level or two.
      Learn one of the “easy” programming languages – in particular Flash (Shockwave) … build a game in it. It isn’t that hard, and there is a bit of a market for good flash games
      Peruse the forums for a programmer and an artist that want to break into the business. Form a team. Build a game. If its good the whole team will be “launched”
      The bottom line is that you need to “do things” – don’t just stand there.
      One other idea: there is a computer game school (it’s actually a 4-year college). Check out Digipen – they are great, and most of their alumni do seem to break into the industry.
      Good luck!
      -Ken W

    • #25036 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      (re: Getting into the biz…) I have similar aspirations of game design, though I’m more interested in the art of gameplay and interactivity, linear story-telling goes for books, plays and movies… I wanna let you know that there are more and more good schools out there, go to gamasutra (my top picks are digipen, fullsail and CDIS in vancouver).
      regards,
      märt

    • #25037 Reply
      Unknown,Unknown
      Participant

      (re: Getting into the biz…)

      Chris,

      Obviously you can seek a designer position, but in most start-ups, the designer either has also be a programmer, artist, public relations, or accountant. Do you possess any of those other skills?

      If you can, find a friend who programs, and find a friend who can do art. Sit down and develop a concept. Flesh out the concept with flow charts. There are some good books on the market, I think one is called Game Design, it’s a few years old, but still incredibly relevant (I think it went for $19.95, if you want me to look up the ISBN, just say so, and I’ll go find it in my bookshelf).

      I’ve wanted to work for Sierra since I was 11 and have since gone to college for Digital Media. This summer, I co-developed a small prototype computer game in Director MX in 10 weeks (4 weeks research, 6 weeks programming, we’re entering public beta 1 on Friday). I got lucky, my college said, “Hey, this is a good idea… if you promise to do it, we’ll give you $2,000 ($5/hr) and we’ll even give you a $500 supply budget.” This was arranged under the CUR (undergraduate research) program, and I might present my game at the National CUR conference in April, if I can get my act together.

      Anyway, just find some friends, and sit down, get some pizza and soda, talk about what you used to love about computer games, throw around some ideas, go home, come back in two weeks, revise your ideas… once you find one you like, commit to it, plan it, program it, draw it, beta test it, and distribute it. Even if you don’t sell 50,000 copies, you still have the satisfaction of creating an incredible piece of work.

      Good Luck,
      Dave

      >I grew up playing and appreciating the Sierra adventure games, not necessarily for their graphical updates, or the puzzles for that matter, but for their stories and their characters. I love writing and just graduated from college with a degree in cinema.

      I realize that the software business is not the same as it was during the time of the former Sierra, but I’m very much interested in telling stories through games. I guess my question is how does one get into this business? I’m not a programmer, nor do I have much desire in knowing the technical aspects of creating games to a certain point. Do the designers start out as technical experts, and does one need to have both technical and creative skills in order to pursue this line of work? <

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