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Game Developer in 2013

09-07-2009, 01:25 PM
#1
Joined: May 2009
Location: St. Gallen, Switzerland
Posts: 461
Game Developer in 2013

Hey Guys.
I'm now 14 and I don't know what to do, I have to decide what kind of route for my upcoming life I want to take.
So, I went to the OBA (Ostschweizer Bildungs-Ausstellung) It's sort of a place where schools show what you can do when you're older, and then I found my most anticipated job -
Game Developer.
So there's a school called "qantm" here in Zurich, (Link) and there you can study 3D and 2D designing for one year.
Now I also wanted to study English or go to another school, because you have to be 18 years old to go to the "qantm" school.
Now my question is, how much do you get paid, and is it worth it in 2013, because I really don't know it.
Oh and, I already searched on the net, but I think the "Game Developer-Branche" will be a little bit, say.. different in 2013!
And I don't know if this is the right place to ask this, but I don't really want to go into iPhone Developing, maybe something on the PC or PSP.
My second-last question:
If I now would study 3d designing, and things like this, do you just design games for a single platform?
So my last question.
What do you think of my English knowledge?
I wrote everything here out my head, no Leo-Translator or anything like that.
The reason for this question is because you have to bring a good English knowledge with you in this school, and I still got 4 years to go, but I just wonder how I'm doing now.
I'd really appreciate your help,
best regards.
09-07-2009, 01:51 PM
#2
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: San Francisco
Posts: 362
Send a message via Skype™ to micah
I think your English is great! I couldn't tell you weren't a native speaker.

A lot of game design, game development, and 3d graphics is exactly the same no matter what platform you're working on -- which is why you see so many games ported to different platforms, they're reusing a lot of code.

This looks like a good school and you should totally go to it if you want to. But also, since you're 14 and probably don't need to work to pay the rent yet, now is a perfect time to start designing and programming games on your own. I'd bet the big majority of game devs didn't go to college for this. There are tons of books out there about beginning game development, and there's tons of resources on the internets. Believe me, it's much harder to try to find the time to learn all the aspects of game development when you have to work 40 hours a week doing something different.

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09-07-2009, 02:17 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 439
Your english is great.

The school sounds like a great idea. I say go for it. Even if you can't get a job as a game developer in 2013, your skills will still be in demand in other fields... programming will always be in demand, so will 3d designing...

But as micah said, you can start making games right now... pick a platform, start learning...
09-07-2009, 02:26 PM
#4
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 109
I wouldn't recommend a game school unless they give you a college degree in either fine arts or computer science/engineering. A game design degree is pretty worthless, if you ask me. You can learn a lot of game design principles on your own. You're 14, so you have a big head start on this.

There'a bunch of things you can download for free (source code, level editors, etc.) to start making games. Maybe you might want to join a modder community as a start.

If you have programming skills, you can basically get a job in any industry that requires software and you should be able to make decent money in 2013. You will always have the option of making games if you want.

As for art, anyone can learn how to mess with Max or Maya. Anyone can be a 3D software operator monkey, but not anyone can be an artist. After you get your fine arts degree, you can learn how to learn Max or Maya at the school you mentioned on your link.

In terms of salary, you can expect the following kind of salary (in the US):

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=23264

European/UK developers tend to pay less compared to the US (in my experience, maybe around 20~30% less). In general, you will make more money as an an engineer or a production manager in a senior position. You will make a lot more money if you're a programmer specializing in areas like rendering/physics tech and software optimization. Statistical data analysis will probably be a lot more important in the near future for games like MMO's that involve economies.

At the end of the day, you should do what you want to do the most and makes you happy. Just make sure that you have a back up plan.

Your English is just fine, btw.

Rōnin game developer.

Last edited by yas; 09-07-2009 at 02:32 PM.
09-07-2009, 02:28 PM
#5
Joined: May 2009
Location: St. Gallen, Switzerland
Posts: 461
Thanks for your help, arkanigon and micah!
Ok, I will start learning as soon as possible, and that's right now.
Could you tell me with which programs I should begin with? I already got Maya from a friend, how's this?
I also wanted to make a 2d game, and afterwards (maybe next year) a 3d project. Nothing special, just to test my skills.
09-07-2009, 02:37 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Munich
Posts: 384
Send a message via Skype™ to rdklein
Qantm ist really good, a school is also next to munich, I was supposed to become teacher in munich for virtools some years ago at that place.
Still having contact through another teacher, they currently use Unity engine for mobile development for example, which is state of the art.

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Last edited by rdklein; 09-07-2009 at 02:41 PM.
09-07-2009, 02:50 PM
#7
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 439
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronical View Post
Thanks for your help, arkanigon and micah!
Ok, I will start learning as soon as possible, and that's right now.
Could you tell me with which programs I should begin with? I already got Maya from a friend, how's this?
I also wanted to make a 2d game, and afterwards (maybe next year) a 3d project. Nothing special, just to test my skills.
I don't know anything about maya. Do you have a mac or a pc?

If you have a mac, you could download the iphone sdk for free, and just try running some programs on the simulator...

Or maybe the XNA game studio:

http://creators.xna.com/en-US/downloads

for windows games...
09-07-2009, 02:52 PM
#8
Joined: May 2009
Location: St. Gallen, Switzerland
Posts: 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by yas View Post
I wouldn't recommend a game school unless they give you a college degree in either fine arts or computer science/engineering. A game design degree is pretty worthless, if you ask me. You can learn a lot of game design principles on your own. You're 14, so you have a big head start on this.

There'a bunch of things you can download for free (source code, level editors, etc.) to start making games. Maybe you might want to join a modder community as a start.

If you have programming skills, you can basically get a job in any industry that requires software and you should be able to make decent money in 2013. You will always have the option of making games if you want.

As for art, anyone can learn how to mess with Max or Maya. Anyone can be a 3D software operator monkey, but not anyone can be an artist. After you get your fine arts degree, you can learn how to learn Max or Maya at the school you mentioned on your link.

In terms of salary, you can expect the following kind of salary (in the US):

http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/new...hp?story=23264

European/UK developers tend to pay less compared to the US (in my experience, maybe around 20~30% less). In general, you will make more money as an an engineer or a production manager in a senior position. You will make a lot more money if you're a programmer specializing in areas like rendering/physics tech and software optimization. Statistical data analysis will probably be a lot more important in the near future for games like MMO's that involve economies.

At the end of the day, you should do what you want to do the most and makes you happy. Just make sure that you have a back up plan.

Your English is just fine, btw.
Thanks man!
You wrote that faster than I wrote my answer
I don't know your school system, it's a little bit different in Switzerland I suppose.
So you say I'd make much more money if I would write the code, but that would also make less fun, right?
But I'm going to start with my "Experiment" tomorrow, I'll see what I can do
I just need to get a proper list of programs or tutorials, if you guys could help me here.
Oh and, I don't have a Mac - that means a no-go for iPhone developement.
09-07-2009, 03:42 PM
#9
Joined: Aug 2009
Posts: 109
Well, if I'm not mistaken, you have vocational/trade schools in addition to universities in Europe. The school you mention looks like a vocational/trade school.

By the way, when I used to work at a game studio, we usually passed on candidates (especially "game designers") that graduated from game schools as most noobs lack experience in working in teams, unless they have natural talent. Yeah it sucks, but many studios can't afford to train noobs on a real project unless they have an internship program.

Although I'm not a coder, people enjoy coding if they enjoy figuring out how to solve problems and come up with solutions on the computer. As for the "fun" part, what do you like to do? Do you like to do stuff outside of games?

Let's put it this way, there are way more artists/designers than there are coders. And there are even fewer coders that are good. Just look through the forums here. People are always looking for coders to put their game ideas together.

BTW, I've worked with coders that are awesome game designers. As an added plus, they can implement their game design ideas without being dependent on a game designer or a game design tool.

At the end of the day, even though a large game project is made by a team of people, a small group of coders puts the game together in the end.

As for a list, try doing your own research. What kind of games do you like? What kind of graphics do you like? Anime-style? Photoreal? Do you want to be an animator? Do you just want to create 3D models? Do you want to figure out how to make shaders? Do research based on what interests you and then narrow things down.

If you really want to learn, it's up to you to do the work. There are plenty of stuff out there you can find. You aren't the first person to ask a question like this.

Remember, Google can be your friend if you know how to use it.

Rōnin game developer.

Last edited by yas; 09-07-2009 at 03:49 PM.
09-07-2009, 04:12 PM
#10
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Munich
Posts: 384
Send a message via Skype™ to rdklein
Quote:
Could you tell me with which programs I should begin with? I already got Maya from a friend, how's this?
Maya is very powerful, its my favorit for game developing though many people use 3dmax especially to start 3ds max is easier to start than Maya (I recommend getting some books), if you can afford get into a training course for Maya which is really helpful.
I find MAYA is more clearer structured than 3dsmax (I did plugin development for 3ds max and maya and also teached 3ds max at FHAnsbach (for masters like degree -- dont know the english words FH=Fachhochschule).
In maya you can combine almost everything in a logical manner.
--
ALso consider using blender whichis free and dreally powerful, though a bigger learning step is needed to get used with the user interface -- its open source also and Ithink has a big future.

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