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Avatar image for banefirelord
#51 Edited by BaneFireLord (3173 posts) -

I don't want to make games, but I do want to be a game journalist.

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#52 Posted by Burns098356GX (1368 posts) -

I applied to a marketing position with Bioware while I was living in Edmonton, Alberta. I never got an interview, but still would have been cool.

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#53 Posted by HandsomeDead (11853 posts) -

As someone with a solid english background and a decent grip on concepts such as narrative and character, I can't help but believe my skill set is too advanced for me to get a job in the video game industry.

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#54 Posted by Mento (3720 posts) -

I dunno if being a journalist necessarily counts. You're really more in the journalism industry at that point.
I have worked in the games industry, and to be honest it wasn't really for me. You need a strong work ethic to put in the stupid amount of necessary hours as deadlines loom and be ready to deal with its bullshit capricious nature, where studios tend to close as quickly as they open. It's also mostly contract work - at least initially - so you'll be moving across the country (or planet, occasionally) to where the work is more often than not. It's stressful all round.
But then there are worse jobs. Way worse.

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#55 Edited by BoG (5390 posts) -

Yeah, I would love to! But, I realize the only desire I have is to be a game designer. Or, rather, game conceiver. I know nothing of programming, and I'm not a writer. I'd love to get paid to come up with cool ideas for games. Additionally, I'd like to be a quality consultant. I'd look at games in development, and tell the team if they suck or not. All of the actual work that goes into making games... yeah, that isn't my thing. 
I, like GrilledCheez01 above me, am a PoliSci major. Not really relevant to the industry.
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#56 Posted by twhalen (131 posts) -

From what I've read about game development, and from what I've learned in dabbling around in level design during my free time, is that to make games you have to be a super human. Reading about all these guys who started companies in their garage, or who taught themselves programming at age twelve... game designers generally are born geniuses.

Would I enjoy working in the games industry? Part of it does sound exhilarating--imagine the sense of accomplishment people at Valve or Irrational Games must feel when one of their games ships and they realize the amazing thing they've just created. So, a part of me could get into it, could love it, and could pursue it.

But, I enjoy spending my time playing games. The reason why I don't know much about game design now is because growing up I just wanted to play games all the time and never try to learn how to make them. If I could go back in time, maybe I'd make it where I'm one of those guys who cracks open a level editor at age ten. But as for me right now, I couldn't make it in the games industry.

I'd probably more enjoy being a video game journalist. But there are zillions of people who want to be that, and I'd just be one of many. That, and I don't know if I'd like the "journalist" aspect of it; going to conventions, interviewing people... I'm shy.

So all in all, no, I don't want to work in the games industry. At least not in reality. In my dreams, sure.

But then again, life's too short. I might up end up trying.

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#57 Posted by bobafettjm (2067 posts) -

I would love to work in the games industry. I would be happy with any job in it too, doesn't matter to me.

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#58 Posted by Dany (8018 posts) -

Hell no. I am not going to work 80 hours a week for a damn video game.

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#59 Posted by redbliss (669 posts) -

As cool as I think it would be to work in the industry, I wouldnt want to do it. I love and enjoy playing video games, and I feel like working in the industry would hinder my enjoyment of video games. If I am making games, I would look at all games differently and they would lose their magic. Also, I feel like I wouldnt have enough time to play the games I would want to play. If I play games for review, I feel like I would be playing through games too fast and analyzing them too much. I already enjoy the hell out of games from a consumer standpoint, so I think I would just like to experience games from that front.

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#60 Edited by Wrighteous86 (3927 posts) -

@HandsomeDead said:

As someone with a solid english background and a decent grip on concepts such as narrative and character, I can't help but believe my skill set is too advanced for me to get a job in the video game industry.

Yep, and most of the writers hired in the games industry are designers, producers, etc. first and writers second; which explains a lot.

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#61 Edited by Tru3_Blu3 (3553 posts) -

Yes, I want to. I know it's going to be difficult; I'm not running in blinded by misconceptions and magical thoughts. We all have to start somewhere, and I'm willing make it big even if it takes a few decades. One should only be a game designer or programmer is he/she has a vision and a strong sense of confidence to make that vision come to life. If one wants to be a game designer because "they like games", then you will have a bleak future.




This video, however, scares me. If game design and programming is this mellow and life-ruining, then I have one Hell of a dark journey infront of me, one filled with homelessness and harsh labor. That is, of course, you love staying up late and going through code. I'm not a programmer as of yet, but when I'm learning how in college, I hope to enjoy it and find it addictive and promising. Math is something I enjoy once I understand it, so I hope programming is a promising talent.
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#62 Posted by Hizang (9358 posts) -

I would like to but I can't do anything helpfull.

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#63 Posted by DuhQbnSiLo (2241 posts) -

Yeah If i had the freedom to make the game I want.

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#64 Posted by Mike (17253 posts) -

No way...and the only reason why is that I value job security. I actually had an opportunity to go to work for EA a few years ago doing something completely non-game related, but turned it down in favor of staying in my current "industry".

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#65 Posted by Mikewrestler5 (638 posts) -

No. It seems like a depressing line of work to get into.

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#66 Posted by Subjugation (4963 posts) -

No way man. As soon as you take something you enjoy and turn it into work it diminishes the fun. Also, working in the gaming industry wouldn't be "playing games all day" for those who look at it through rose colored glass. You have to write about it or code it or create the art or find the bugs or develop the story or balance the multiplayer or watch the finances or animate it ... it's work. We have the good end of the deal.

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#67 Posted by RandomInternetUser (6805 posts) -

I wouldn't mind working as a games journalist at a good site.

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#68 Posted by WilliamHenry (1285 posts) -

Absolutely. I'd work in almost any interesting industry if it was doing graphic design.

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#69 Posted by iam3green (14368 posts) -

yes, i have always wanted to. i would like to make graphics or something with my photoshop skills, that i learned from school.

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#70 Edited by Green_Incarnate (1789 posts) -

If coding in your friend's garage on the weekend counts, I might just be on my way.

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#71 Posted by Milkman (18907 posts) -

I'd rather write about the video game industry than be a part of it.

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#72 Posted by TooWalrus (13391 posts) -

I don't think I have the artistic chops to be a programmer or designer- but I am getting a degree in business and, lets face it, games are big business. I guess I'd like to be a manager at EA or something... I haven't thought about it much- I still don't exactly have a career path planned...

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#73 Posted by Deusx (1943 posts) -

I'm a concept artist, Illustrator and 3D modeling sculptor so... FUCK YEAH.

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#74 Posted by Slaker117 (4873 posts) -

Maybe. I'm currently studying economics because I'm good at it and game design because it interests me. If I could get a job where those two things meet, that would be great, but I don't really have any idea of what I actually want to do.

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#75 Posted by sparky_buzzsaw (7927 posts) -

If I could work as a writer, absolutely.

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#76 Posted by Codeacious (957 posts) -

I've been thinking about it. I'm going to college in a month to double major in Computer Science and Mathematics, and I have a real passion for working on coding projects (once I actually get an idea of what I'm doing and start coding). However, it has more horror stories than I'd like to think were there. If I did get involved, there's more of a chance that I'd work on an game engine rather than a video game, since I tend to go towards the algorithm/mathematical side of things, and have no artistic talent whatsoever.

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#77 Posted by sirdesmond (1389 posts) -

I am a writer and I thought for the longest time that it was a direction I really wanted to pursue, but honestly, I am far more interested in games journalism as a future profession than working for a game developer (which seems like not always the best work conditions) nowadays.

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#78 Posted by dudeglove (12515 posts) -

There's no women in the video game industry, so no.

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#79 Posted by FCKSNAP (2338 posts) -

There's no women in the video game industry, so maybe?

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#80 Posted by dudeglove (12515 posts) -


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#81 Posted by FCKSNAP (2338 posts) -
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#82 Posted by Emilio (3581 posts) -
That is so depressing.
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#83 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3553 posts) -
@dudeglove said:


I don't want to be a tester, though.
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#84 Posted by JoeyRavn (5215 posts) -

Nope. I like video games and all, but working on them... no.

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#85 Posted by Jimbo (10472 posts) -

Not really, it sounds pretty shitty for the most part. There are some good jobs in any industry though, so if I can have one of those then sure.

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#86 Posted by Sayishere (1854 posts) -

Maybe i suppose, but i see gaming as a hobby, something i really love. Mixing it in with work would just tarnish the experience for me, but as i say if i had an opportunity to work in that field, id give it a go.

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#87 Posted by valrog (3741 posts) -


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#88 Posted by Xpgamer7 (2477 posts) -

Sure, I'd try to work as a dev if I could.

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#89 Posted by Branthog (5777 posts) -

Absolutely not. I would rather make money.

It might be fun to help develop videogames for a living. It might be fun to be a painter or a sculptor. It might be fun to be a podcaster. It might be awesome to be an actor. It might be incredible to be a rock star. It might be the dream of a life time to be a writer.

However, for all of those things I listed above, there is too much supply and too little demand. That is, small number of positions and too many people want to fill them. And even if you get them, it's a hell of a slog to ever have a chance at truly getting wealthy doing it. That's why those kids who spend $50k and four years attending art school come out the other end bitching about how they can't pay the rent mimicking Pollack are called "starving artists".

For instance, when I was young, I wanted to be a writer. I befriended successful writers. I filled my life with books and a writing regimen. I met authors. I interviewed authors. I read about writing. I wrote. I eventually discovered that the average published author (at least, about fifteen years ago) was lucky to earn $8,000/yr. Making a living as a writer is difficult and being the next author who makes millions a year is as rare as becoming a super rock star. There's more opportunity in journalism, though even there you're talking about a hard time paying the bills (and an increasingly dire market).

So, as fun as it might be to make pew pew videogames for a living (or somehow be involved in the process), I decided to follow a path that satisfied my interest in technology and development. I might not get to design levels for an FPS, but I get to develop software used by massive corporations and institutions and educational organizations and governments. I get to help design and deploy unix-based mission-critical software systems for the coolest places (think space, banking, higher education, scientific research, Fortune 100s, military, etc) and work with all sorts of different people who are part of things I could only imagine as a kid. And I haven't had to worry about money in my entire adult life, as a result. Because I went for something stimulating, exciting, rewarding, and where I had at least a little leverage because I wasn't competing with 80,000 other young people desperate to one version or another of a "rock star" for a living.

When I hear a kid say "I'm going to make videogames for a living!", I feel kind of bad for them. Like someone telling me, in all seriousness, that they want to be a rock star for a living. Or that they want to be a princess when they grow up. I know that doing what you enjoy is important, but at a certain point, stability and income have to come into play and if I'm going to put in those insane hours and that intense amount of blood and sweat, then I might as well at least be compensated well for it.

If there were fewer people desperate to make games for a living, maybe the landscape of the game development world would improve. Maybe the balance would tip back more in favor of the employees. But as long as there are zillions of you willing to do absolutely anything just for the chance to be an unpaid coffee-fetcher in the bottom floor of a developer's office in the pursuit of a day dream that some day you'll be rewarded with a low paying 60hr/wk job churning out code to produce other people's dream worlds, then it's only going to further the ability for these companies to continue behaving the way they do toward their workforce.

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#90 Posted by Toms115 (2329 posts) -

not in any capacity that involves having to learn how to code shit. i'd love to give writing or composing a shot.

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#91 Posted by Branthog (5777 posts) -

@crusader8463 said:

I always pick the joke choice in polls because including them defeats the entire point of making a poll, but if I were to really answer your question, then it would be yes with an *. I would only want to work in the industry if it was in the creative design and development part where I was allowed to design the games and oversee the development to make sure it was staying true to the vision. Otherwise, a resounding fuck no. It's a crap ton of work, zero job security, long hours, average pay, and depending on what company you work for can be zero thanks or appreciation for any of that work or extra effort.

Frankly, it's always a crap ton of work and zero job security. The game development industry is not all that different from any other part of the software development industry. The only difference is that the game development industry is severely warped due to the crushing wave of people wanting to work in it. There are a fuck of a lot more kids who want to make teh videogamez0rs for a living than there are who want to, say, pursue a career in developing software for biology research or developing systems to make a mars rover function or develop an enterprise collaboration system capable of extremely mass scaling. (Though, in general, few tech careers are without some risk of all the above, these days).

At any rate, it is a disproportionate risk in the game business and as long as people desperately want to be part of it in such great numbers, it won't change. It won't balance out.

Even lead developers and designers are only a bad game or two away from finding their career in turmoil. And not even a bad game - sometimes just someone else's bad marketing decision away. I would posit that everyone in gaming is in that situation, short of the Ken Levine's and Cliffy B's of the field. But those guys are the equivalent of the rest of the tech world's James Goslings and Bill Joys. Guys who will never have to worry about their jobs and can do things like make stands on principal within their companies or industries, because in five seconds, someone else will snap them up and let them do almost whatever they want.

I think that the best option for anyone who absolutely must have something to do with gaming is to avoid the glamor jobs. Game reviewer is a (low paying and low stability) glamor job. World designer, level designer, lead designer, producer, writer, etc are glamor jobs. Some coders have managed to score the role of "glamor job", but for the most part, they're grunts who are paid to sit at a desk and produce the low-level stuff to make the creative team's dreams come true (it shouldn't be that way, but it sadly is - and in much of the tech industry overall, frankly -- coding has become more of a janitorial job than a rockstar job over the last decade).

Instead, I'd say they should aim for jobs on the periphery. Aim to be a graphics card developer or join a company that makes something like SpeedTree. Something with ties to the ultimate product, that you can enjoy, but that has fewer people either qualified for or interested in doing it. It's the same philosophy as not just going into college to get a computer science degree (because every jackass has one), but to mix . . . say . . . a computer science degree with an expertise in chemistry or biology or astronomy.

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#92 Posted by Branthog (5777 posts) -

@RE_Player92 said:

No I like being an outsider to the industry and would like to keep it that way. Video games are a hobby and if they became work I know I would enjoy them less and become jaded.

There's a lot of sense to that. I'm reminded of a conversation I had with Robert B. Parkerabout fifteen years ago. I asked him if writing fiction impacted or informed the way he consumed fiction. He responded that it made it a lot like a carpenter watching a house being built. He said it in such a way that it was clear he meant it distracted from the enjoyment. Not even particularly in a "nobody wants to see how the sausage is made" kind of way as much as "distracted from the overall composition, by the methodology and details".

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#93 Edited by Informant (85 posts) -

I generally follow this doctrine:
If you want to make video games, do it yourself. If you want to review video games, set up yourself.
In addition there's just so many things you have to be aware of before you even start.

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#94 Posted by GoofyGoober (941 posts) -

Wheres the fuck no option?

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#95 Edited by emem (2059 posts) -

Nope, too many spoilers you can't avoid.

And I don't like the feeling to be forced to play and finish games I don't enjoy playing. <- As a reviewer.

When it comes to working as a programmer, producer, designer etc.. I don't know, I somehow can't see myself committing to one game for years.

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#96 Posted by GrandMarshal (391 posts) -

I have always heard that its a bad idea to mix your hobbys with your job so no. Definatly not being part of the industry that works on developing games such as design or programming work because working on a single game for a long period of time doesnt sound like fun at all. Maybe some other job like being a PR or being a reviewer.

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#97 Posted by oatz (1108 posts) -

Hell no.

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#98 Edited by PenguinDust (12988 posts) -

Hell, nah.  Video games are fun and I don't want to turn into a jaded cynic or an overworked, underpaid, disposable cog like too many others in the industry.  I prefer games remaining fun for me.

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#99 Posted by Krrutch (153 posts) -
@Informant said:
I generally follow this doctrine:  If you want to make video games, do it yourself. If you want to review video games, set up yourself.  In addition there's just so many things you have to be aware of before you even start.
ive friends who work in games, and the only way they got there was hard work in their own time, not some 30grand uni degree. i think some people are conned into starting a degree in games development, thinking they'll automatically have a job lined up for them on the way out. What you put in is what you get out.
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#100 Posted by pickassoreborn (711 posts) -

Don't do it. No really, don't do it. Not unless you like travelling the country as each studio you are employed by becomes shuttered by an evil huge mega-corporation.

Indie is where it's at. Small teams of people working on stuff. Do that instead.