Game Design | Programming School
     
 
Game Design.
Game Programming.
Game School.

 

Required Skills

Game studios want team players. That's corporate-speak for someone who has social skills and won't hole up in front of a computer in a basement, surrounded by crumpled cans of soda and WarCraft collectibles.

But the most important thing is to demonstrate that you can communicate your ideas via the written word. That means well-written resumes and well-crafted portfolios that include lots of game documentation and analysis.

Get your math skills down now

Your training starts before you even pick a college. If you’re going into programming, take trigonometry, physics and calculus.

Although UAT offers classes in these topics, if you are already prepared, then you'll have more time devote to what you’re really there for: game programming. Thus, it’s in your best interest to take care of the things you can sooner rather than later. It’ll save you money, time and, in the long run, effort.

Art now

And if you plan to be an artist, there are some things with which you should try to familiarize yourself beforehand.

If you can pick up a program such as Flash or Photoshop, play around and learn how they work. Make something. If you figure this out ahead of time, you can skip over the basic classes and jump right into the advanced stuff. This will help you develop a truly impressive portfolio, and that ought to be your first priority. Companies don’t hire beginners.

Well-rounded Renaissance people

The game industry has its share of burnouts, so get yourself innoculated from that job hazard by ...getting a life. Beyond the skills listed above, it’s important that you have the right mindset to avoid joining their ranks. Do not come to this school expecting to play video games the whole time. Just like reading a novel doesn’t teach you to write, playing games doesn’t qualify you to make them. What it takes is a mixture of knowledge, dedication, and the ability to work as part of a team.

Team players

Lastly, remember two important rules of game design:

  • Whatever you can do, and however well you can do it, someone else can do it better. Don’t become so full of yourself that no one can stand to be around you, because chances are that you’ll be left behind for someone who doesn’t drive everyone up the wall. Confidence is great, but there’s a line you should be careful not to cross.
  • Communication is key. While games used to be one man projects, those days are long gone. Work with the team, cooperate with them, and realize that sometimes your idea may not be used. This is okay. The project is more important than any one person’s ego. Be a team player. Being a lone wolf is all well and good if you’re a superhero, but you’re a game designer.

Practice, gain experience, keep your ego in check, and stay focused on your goal. If you can manage all that, game design is for you.