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Thread: Becoming a game designer

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    Shadowlander biggmike1993's Avatar
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    Default Becoming a game designer

    i have a HUGE passion for gaming, especially MMO's. How can i become a game designer? (im only a sophomore in HS)

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    Champion Seņor Kalivos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggmike1993 View Post
    i have a HUGE passion for gaming, especially MMO's. How can i become a game designer? (im only a sophomore in HS)
    I recommend finishing high school and then going to college.

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    Plane Walker
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    Full Sail University in Florida is one school I would recommend. Although there are honestly plenty of places you could go to learn game design.

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    Shadowlander biggmike1993's Avatar
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    well obviously, but what can i do while in high school to help me be familiar with game designing

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    Shadowlander biggmike1993's Avatar
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    where in Florida, considering i live there haha

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    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggmike1993 View Post
    well obviously, but what can i do while in high school to help me be familiar with game designing
    Look up Torque 2D and start there. You only need about $100 for the program, and walla you can start making cool 2D games right away.

    Start to get immersed in it now, and I mean right now. Visit the forums, read books on game design, subscribe to the magazines.
    Surround yourself with ideas and help to make you succeed, and start making friends that also want to make games or are already doing so.

    Edit: Winter Park, florida.

    http://www.fullsail.edu/
    Last edited by Iluvhybridspecs; 02-10-2011 at 04:08 PM.

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    Shadowlander biggmike1993's Avatar
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    and what GPA would i need?

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    Shadowlander biggmike1993's Avatar
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    and how hard would it be to just jump into it right away? cause i hear so many people try to do game design

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    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggmike1993 View Post
    and what GPA would i need?
    I'd give them a call at 800.226.7625

    Your dreams start becoming reality once you take the first step.

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    Champion Seņor Kalivos's Avatar
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    I remember when I was in high school and I wanted to do game design.

    Then I hit college and decided the FBI would be way cooler.

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    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by biggmike1993 View Post
    and how hard would it be to just jump into it right away? cause i hear so many people try to do game design
    Don't try to make an MMORPG right off the bat, cause honestly it is the most difficult type of game to make at the moment.
    Or at least one of the most difficult.

    Start small and build your way up. It is okay to be ambitious, but understand what you can and cannot do and realize your current limitations.

    With Torque 2D you could just start with a simple game. I have not used the program yet, but honestly it looks very nice.

    To be honest you are going to make mistakes or fail, but learn from it. I cannot, and no one can, sit down and tell you what works best for you. If you are the type of person that just likes to jump right in and get started then do that. If you want to start really small and work your way up, then try making a board game at first.

    What Torque will do is eliminate the need for you to have to code out everything you do. It is supposed to be more friendly for the new game designer. Honestly I am really wanting to try it out.

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    Plane Touched
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    Easiest way to get into game design is to choose an area of expertise.

    For example - do you want to do 3D animation? Development? 2D animation? Illustration?

    Not that you can't explore all of those in one way or another, but it's a pretty solid idea to explore one area that you're attracted to and research / practice it.

    Also, what are your goals for making video games? Your priorities?

    Are you more concerned about getting rich or do you just want to spend your days with creative exploration.

    Seriously man - you have to really look at game design then find the area you're into. You can't just "get into game design" unless you actually have a clue what the hell you'd be doing as a part of a bigger team.

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    Plane Walker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrew View Post
    Easiest way to get into game design is to choose an area of expertise.

    For example - do you want to do 3D animation? Development? 2D animation? Illustration?

    Not that you can't explore all of those in one way or another, but it's a pretty solid idea to explore one area that you're attracted to and research / practice it.

    Also, what are your goals for making video games? Your priorities?

    Are you more concerned about getting rich or do you just want to spend your days with creative exploration.

    Seriously man - you have to really look at game design then find the area you're into. You can't just "get into game design" unless you actually have a clue what the hell you'd be doing as a part of a bigger team.
    Very good points. Some people tend to think that they have to do it all when they make a game. But there are so many different aspects to creating games. You have content designers, level designers, animators, dungeon/raid designers, and more.

    I wonder if the OP has computer animation available at his high school. It was something I took at mine and really enjoyed 3DS.

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    Plane Touched Nineaxis's Avatar
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    What do you actually want to do? You aren't just a "designer". You're a coder, or a 2D artist, or a 3D artist, or a level designer or environment artist. Don't expect to just jump into the game development community as a project lead. You need to figure out what you're actually interested in doing and work from there.

    If you're interested in 2D art (materials, etc.) then you've got Photoshop and need to find an engine of choice and learn the intricacies of working with materials on that engine. Understand diffuse, normal maps, ssbump, and on, and be able to apply them appropriately.

    If you're interested in 3D art (models - props, characters) then you need to learn how to use 3DS Max. Communities like Polycount are good resources for 3D.

    If you're interested in level design/environment art (levels/maps) then you need to find a game that you can make maps for and learn the tools (e.g. any game Valve makes, the Source SDK is free). Team Fortress 2 has a strong mapping community, and there's other sources out there. Find a toolset that interests you, but making maps for an existing game with a strong community is by far the best way to learn the tools and to be able to receive feedback on your work.

    If you're interested in coding, find an engine and a language and learn it.

    (If you're an oddball and want to do something no one else does, just because you can, look into the creation of particle effects.)

    If you think game design is a single person thing, or that you're just going to jump into the game design community as a project lead and have a team of people realize your vision, while you have no skillset of your own, sorry, but it's not going to happen.

    I became active in the TF2 mapping community in mid-2008 (as a sophomore in high school as well) and spent a great deal of time learning the tools, but it gave me a great understanding of the game development process, from the creation of assets to beta testing and organizing and applying critique. It's great experience to have. It's also left me with some good friends and contacts. I'm a senior now and looking at majoring in graphic design, but it's just my roundabout way of getting into the industry.

    Have fun!

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    Plane Touched
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    I'd like to add that becoming a game designer is a lot easier now than it used to be.

    I know a lot of the guys personally that created games like Meatboy, Castle Crashers, Alien Hominid, etc. They started out making games in Flash on Newgrounds.com and if you're any kind of console gamer you know these games are huge on the Xbox Live. Needless to say these individuals: Tom Fulp, Dan Paladin, Ed McMullen, etc are not exactly hurting for cash.

    Point being if you want to learn code: you can learn on the internet.

    If you want to be an animator: you can download a trial of Flash.

    If you want to do illustrations: you can use pen and paper and trial versions of Illustrator / Photoshop.

    If you're actually committed to any of these things and you've got some natural talent, there's absolutely no excuse why you can't be at least moderately successful as a game designer / developer.

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