Gaming Industry

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#1 aaron1178  Icon User is offline

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Gaming Industry

Posted 11 August 2013 - 02:53 AM

Okay, so lets get this discussion underway shall we.

As you all probably know, I am a 'wanna-be' games programmer. I've taught my self everything I know about games programming and programming in general( As well as help from Dream.In.Code... of cause ). I must say that I love it and the hard challenges that come with it. Yes, even though they infuriate me at the pinnacle point of the challenge at hand, but, boy does it make me happy when I 'beat' the challenge.

I am as of current, gaining my Automotive Body Repair trade, as I love working on cars. I also love programming, so it really is a difficult choice for me. So I decided to get my trade, since Australia is in high demand for tradesman, plus it's really good money... okay, not as good as a games programmers salary, but it's still good money. I figured, since there is a high chance of not getting accepted to train for a trade over the age of 21, I thought it would be a strategic choice to get my trade first, since I can get a degree at a reasonable age.

So my plan is this: Once 4 years has ended, I will be a tradesman, and once I have my license, I plan on applying to Qantm College, Sydney, Australia for a Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment, major in Games Programming. This course is only a 2 year commitment, so by then end of the 2 years, I will have an idea of what the Vehicle Body repair trade is like, compared to the Games Programming side to the Gaming Industry.

What is it like for you guys in the industry, whether working in a good company or an indie company. I know moved from England to 'Canada'(May be mistaken). What is it like to travel thousands of miles for a job on the Gaming Industry? How did it affect you. Did it have a positive or negative impact on your life?

In your opinion, is programming games a good job, and do you all still like it?

These questions aren't directed to you in doubt, but out of good discussion and curiosity.

This post has been edited by aaron1178: 11 August 2013 - 02:55 AM


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#2 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 11 August 2013 - 04:40 AM

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View Postaaron1178, on 11 August 2013 - 06:53 AM, said:

Okay, so lets get this discussion underway shall we.

As you all probably know, I am a 'wanna-be' games programmer. I've taught my self everything I know about games programming and programming in general( As well as help from Dream.In.Code... of cause ). I must say that I love it and the hard challenges that come with it. Yes, even though they infuriate me at the pinnacle point of the challenge at hand, but, boy does it make me happy when I 'beat' the challenge.

I am as of current, gaining my Automotive Body Repair trade, as I love working on cars. I also love programming, so it really is a difficult choice for me. So I decided to get my trade, since Australia is in high demand for tradesman, plus it's really good money... okay, not as good as a games programmers salary, but it's still good money. I figured, since there is a high chance of not getting accepted to train for a trade over the age of 21, I thought it would be a strategic choice to get my trade first, since I can get a degree at a reasonable age.

So my plan is this: Once 4 years has ended, I will be a tradesman, and once I have my license, I plan on applying to Qantm College, Sydney, Australia for a Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment, major in Games Programming. This course is only a 2 year commitment, so by then end of the 2 years, I will have an idea of what the Vehicle Body repair trade is like, compared to the Games Programming side to the Gaming Industry.

Sounds like a plan. :)

View Postaaron1178, on 11 August 2013 - 06:53 AM, said:

What is it like for you guys in the industry, whether working in a good company or an indie company. I know moved from England to 'Canada'(May be mistaken).

Correct.

Working at a good company is better than an indie primarily on job security grounds and the already established experience in making good games.

View Postaaron1178, on 11 August 2013 - 06:53 AM, said:

What is it like to travel thousands of miles for a job on the Gaming Industry?

It's exciting, very exciting. You're working on new games with new people in a new place! It is quite an experience. After I got here my studio closed unexpectedly and so I decided to take the opportunity to stay and work outside the industry even though I have open offers to return to games.

View Postaaron1178, on 11 August 2013 - 06:53 AM, said:

How did it affect you. Did it have a positive or negative impact on your life?

Positive without a doubt. I also moved to North America because I have strong family ties here - the majority of my family are from these parts even though I was born and raised in the UK.

View Postaaron1178, on 11 August 2013 - 06:53 AM, said:

In your opinion, is programming games a good job, and do you all still like it?

It is a good job, but the jury is out on whether you would want to spend your entire working life doing it. When you're around student/young adult age it appears to be the perfect job, but when actually working in games the stress levels can get very high sometimes - and for the level of pay, there are non-games programming jobs where you are paid more for less stress. I wouldn't say that I do or do not like it - I love programming games, but doing it professionally is a very different and stressful beast.

View Postaaron1178, on 11 August 2013 - 06:53 AM, said:

These questions aren't directed to you in doubt, but out of good discussion and curiosity.

I know dude. Nice topic. :)
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#3 Mylo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 11 August 2013 - 11:21 AM

I can't speak for your other questions, but I'm currently enrolled at Qantm, first year. I can't say I'm entirely happy with it, but I can't say I have anything to compare it with either. The main problem is so far, it's been you go to a lecture, you watch a power point with the teacher presenting, and then you're done. There is seemingly very little teacher guided practical work, where you may encounter and solve problems together, which isn't necessarily part of their job description, but it would probably help.

Their is only 3 hours on campus work per unit, doing 3-4 units at a time. Although one unit was 6 hours (~1-2 hours talking, rest you work on your own). So up to 12 hours per week, which doesn't seem a lot to me. I actually spend more time on the train per week than at Qantm.

They also have an online wiki for their content, which is rather minimal, a short description on each topic is really all you get, and it is bloated with memes (what isn't now?) making for a messy, and unprofessional layout.

I have spent the majority of my time trying to get assignments done, leaving VERY (depending on work ethic and speed) little time for me to study and learn new concepts on my own, a pretty important thing. I want to learn about X, but I just got these 3 new assignments, tutorials, and homework to do.

Some courses have a 1 hour lecture before the 2 hour tutorial. The lectures are usually quite good, but a lot of the time, they won't actually finish it in time, which is not a big problem, you can grab them from the network.

Also don't think it is all programming, roughly a year, maybe more, it's more about design, communication, and management, given that's its an interactive entertainment degree, with a 'major' in the programming part.

There is more I could say, but back on topic.

I'm not saying it's an entirely bad place, but don't get your hopes up. I'm actually considering dropping out of it to do another computer related degree instead, but I think it's best I finish it off, it's only an extra year, that's for another discussion anyway. But even then, I can't be sure I won't have the same problems then either. Hopefully I haven't misguided you with some poor description though, and it may not be the same at Sydney campus, or maybe it will get much better the next year, just be wary. If you want, I could also PM you listing the sort of assignments that I have gotten.

This post has been edited by Mylo: 11 August 2013 - 12:00 PM

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#4 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:01 PM

That's interesting info, Mylo. I personally didn't go to game school (I have a straight computer science degree), and this has always been my suggested route.

Having said that I have worked with graduates from Full Sail and I have to say they are quality. :)
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#5 Mylo  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 11 August 2013 - 12:37 PM

I believe Qantm has had a decent success rate too, but seemingly not as much as Full Sail, or AIE, based on a quick search, I could be wrong. I suppose Australia is probably less equipped in both tools and staff for games development too, which could make an appreciable difference, on my opinion of Qantm as well. Of course, anything I say is biased, having had no experience with Full Sail, or AIE, it could even be better. aaron1178 seems to be fairly experienced, and so should not have too much difficulty with time, and programming related units, for at least the first year.

This post has been edited by Mylo: 11 August 2013 - 12:55 PM

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#6 aaron1178  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:12 AM

View PostMylo, on 12 August 2013 - 06:37 AM, said:

aaron1178 seems to be fairly experienced, and so should not have too much difficulty with time, and programming related units, for at least the first year.


Really? Would you agree with this , stayscrisp and BBeck? I am honored if you thinks so :) It means I am teaching myself properly, rather than half assed :)
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#7 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 12 August 2013 - 07:19 AM

Of course others here can tell you better than I can as to what it takes to get into the game industry as I work in Database Administration, not the game industry or even programming for that matter.

But I broke into the computer industry as a programmer (not a games programmer, a business programmer). I got my first job after just 2 semesters of programming in college. They hired me largely because I was a college student and willing to program for minimum wage. But it gave me experience and the ability to get the next job, and then the next. That eventually branched off into network administration and hardware, and finally I realized I could make the most money by going into database administration. From what I've seen, programmers make about half of what DBAs make. Of course I'm sure it depends on what language and how much experience you have with it. But I became a DBA because that's where all the money seemed to be unless you get off into some obscure, yet high demand, language that no one knows like ABAP.

As far as school, I was working towards a Computer Science Engineering degree. The first year was not so bad because it was all straight programming like C++ and Assembler. It got more difficult as the classes started turning into applied Calculus and I had not taken Calculus. The first couple of years tends to be very general education stuff like History and English composition and my degree required things like Chemistry and sciences not related to computers but more related to engineering.

I found that most people drop out of programming and higher math classes. In my opinion, that is because they don't have any experience to draw upon. I had been programming for the better part of a decade before I started college. I taught myself trigonometry before I passed the class (I actually failed it in highschool from not paying attention and dropped the class mid-way before finally taking it and passing with flying colors). But in all of those classes about 75% of the class dropped out before the drop date. Some will drop the class just to keep the bad grade off their record and then retake it again hoping they can do better the second time. But I think most just realized they didn't like it and probably changed their major.

You can't always count on the professors knowing their subject and having the ability to teach it; that was why 75% of the class dropped in the trig class that I ended up passing. One of the key differences was that I would go outside of the class and teach myself the subject rather than relying on the teacher. Some of my teachers really hated me because I would point out where their test questions were wrong. But that was just because I had gone to sources outside of the class to learn. I especially remember an incident in Biology where I almost went to the dean and had a test question thrown out because I had documented that the test question was wrong and why it was wrong. Another teacher pulled me aside and basically said "Do you really want to make enemies of your teachers? You may win this battle, but how much will it cost you? You may be right. But at what cost? You're making straight A's. Winning this fight isn't going to help your grades." It was friendly advice and I ended up taking it. I just dropped it. But it points out that the teachers are not always right.

I eventually dropped out of college before completing my degree for various reasons, not the least of which was I was paying for it myself. And I was able to get jobs that made more money than most people who were going to college hoped to get. I was making good grades when I left, but I just never saw a point in finishing the degree. Once you get out on your own and making good money, it becomes very difficult to motivate yourself enough to go back; think about that if you think about dropping out of school. I would kind of like to have the degree, but with a full time job and whatnot, I just don't want to dedicate that much time to going back to school.

Anyway, if you like programming, I think you'll do fine. I found that my previous experience with programming made at least the programming classes extremely easy.

This post has been edited by BBeck: 12 August 2013 - 07:25 AM

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#8 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 13 August 2013 - 01:27 PM

View Postaaron1178, on 12 August 2013 - 08:12 AM, said:

View PostMylo, on 12 August 2013 - 06:37 AM, said:

aaron1178 seems to be fairly experienced, and so should not have too much difficulty with time, and programming related units, for at least the first year.


Really? Would you agree with this , stayscrisp and BBeck? I am honored if you thinks so :)/> It means I am teaching myself properly, rather than half assed :)/>

I took a quick peek at your Github repo to get a feel for how you code, and it is looking good. There is just one glaring issue and that is to write a 3D game - nowadays it must be done if you want to get into games. I like the way you had a go at a challenge I put out there a while back and actually did something with it.

I'd say I'm in agreement, but get that 3D game written! :)
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#9 aaron1178  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 13 August 2013 - 08:31 PM

I've added you to my private 3D game repository on github .

I know that you will yell at me over this one. I'm using STD vectors and maps, instead of linked lists. I'm sure there are plenty little errors that agitate you, but the above would be the obvious on to stand out :)

This post has been edited by aaron1178: 14 August 2013 - 01:28 AM

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#10 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 14 August 2013 - 09:12 AM

View Postaaron1178, on 14 August 2013 - 12:31 AM, said:

I'm using STD vectors and maps, instead of linked lists. I'm sure there are plenty little errors that agitate you, but the above would be the obvious on to stand out :)/>

Then change them. ;)

I won't be running your code or anything, but I'm happy to see how things develop for now.
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#11 aaron1178  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 14 August 2013 - 01:48 PM

I thought you might like to have a glance over things or something.
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#12 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 14 August 2013 - 02:00 PM

I don't really do that as in clone-build-run, aaron1178. I have had a look at the code and I have some thoughts - given it's a private repo I won't post them here though. :)
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#13 aaron1178  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 15 August 2013 - 01:35 AM

If you get 'time', would you PM me these thoughts?
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#14 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:56 AM

Sure, no problem. Will get them to you over the weekend.
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#15 megabit  Icon User is offline

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Re: Gaming Industry

Posted 16 August 2013 - 07:18 PM

Hello aaron1178 I am also an Australian! :^: I am also studying at University. My Uni offers a major in game programming and that was one of the reasons I wanted to become a computer scientist. However, I ended up just enrolling in a software engineering major. Because if I(you) want I(you) can always do those units as electives and in the end I get a piece of paper that says "software engineering" compared to "game programming" which might be better for future employment.

When I started I wanted to make games. But now I have changed my mind, I really want to do something like Natural Language Processing or artificial intelligence.

This doesn't mean I still don't like games, I read about game theory and I have even written down a few ideas and drawing for making my own game in the future.

If a game company is going to employ you its probably not going to matter if you have a "software egineering" major, a "game programming" major, or a "web and networking" major as long as you have passion and skill!
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