Ok, I'm going to try and get a few things clear off the bat... Sorry if this is supposed to be in the "schools" section of the forums, but I thought that that was for the schools, and not the absance of one.
I was sitting at my desk drolling over some application papers, when it dawned on me that I can't even pay the $650 application fee...student loans wont give me enoughf, scholorship money, includeing fafsa will only get me about 8k...I need 10 times that.
In as much positive light as I can muster, this may be one of the greatest things to happen to me. Its a real motovator to take my learning into my own hands, and get serious with myself, and my planned profession, but with that there are questions that seriousley need to be aswerd.
(for the record, I want to be a game designer, and yes, I am compleatley aware of how hard, and demanding it is, and I am so looking forward to it! )
1) If I really can't go to collage...what is my best alternative? I have an apartment that is actually pretty close to some studio in texas...I think It was "turbine" or something...(wow, I feel like a ditz becuase I can't remember!) I'm talking about internships here...My 3d modeling....isn't anything close to "next gen", and I don't have anything to offer with my "art", witch brings me to my next delimma.
2) "How good do I have to be?" what kind of bars are out there that I need to beat? (to get an intern, entry level job posistion) Do I have to be as good, or better than most of you guys? Is the majority of quality that I see here on the forums going to be the sort of thing I am going to have to expect to compeat with?
On a Good note, I am a member of the Enviormental And Spacial Technology lab...its a program that spans 5 states, and is designed to teach students to be self directed, and self motovated, after being in the program for 3 1/2 years, I can say that I most definitley can solve most problems that you can thow at me (but is that even something studios look for?) Ie, do they even care? what do theese people care about? Are they going to dismiss me just because I haven't been to collage?
3) If I can't get an internship, and have to go strait for a job, what do I need to be able to do to really catch thier eye, and convince them I'm worth investing in for a few years as an employee? A mind blowing portfoilo? "Good enoughf 3d modles"...really good at getting the coffie orders right?
I know the pipe dream phase is the easy part, and this is were it seperates the boys from the men...but I'm still just as determined at ever!
I mean, maybe I can just go through the courses catalog, and pick a few out, and take 3 main classes, and run with those...later, like....5 years from now...
I wouldn't be so quick to completely throw college out as an option. It sounds like you are really gunning for an internship in the game industry and in my (limited) experience even just being enrolled as a student is a big boost to your credibility.
A few things to consider:
-state schools/community college/being a part time student: you say you were looking at needing 80k and 650 for application fees? this seems completely overboard, state schools, if you have residency should not run you nearly this much (around 6k a quarter in my experience). Granted a lot of the time they aren't going to have the greatest education but being determined your own work and going above and beyond to meet your goals is certainly better then paying an extra 74k.
Being a part time student can help a lot too, if you can just take the classes you need to further your art/modeling and cut out a lot of the prerequisites schools require for the full degree (english, history, ect.) you could hold down a part time job at the same time, hopefully making enough to cover expenses if you can manage to still live at home. Same thing goes for night classes at community colleges.
As far as internships go, being a student can really help you get your foot in the door at a lot of places, from what i've seen companies are more likely to consider the work of a student (especially if the school already has relations with them) than somebody who just applied out of the blue.
A lot of places aren't going to want to train interns, your work needs to be at a level where they won't be teaching you how to model or draw and will be making a profit off of you. A good thing to remember when applying for internships is that the company's aim is to make money, interns are usually unpaid but if they feel you're not going to be contributing due to skill level they aren't going to hire you.
A absolutely killer portfolio is the best bet for landing an internship, pro or near pro quality of work is what they will be expecting from people coming out of schools like ringling and art center so you're going to have to compete directly with that for spots. Judging from your sketchbook I would not say you are that level yet but all that is is a matter of time and effort to get there.
It's awesome to see how determined you are but you need to translate that determination into work. Overall i would recommend looking into alternative routes for learning in some kind of structured environment if you can't go the typical 4 year degree route.
Take all this advice with a grain of salt though, I am still a student myself and trying to figure out the same problems and land the same internships you are.
Not going to college is a pretty big decision. I'm not going to say you should go one way or the other, but I have a little bit of first hand experience so I'll share a bit.
There are pros all over this site. The best thing you can do for yourself to get an internship is to make contacts, starting now. Many have AIM, MSN, or Yahoo. Say you want to work at Turbine, I know for a fact at least 1 person who is very active on the forums who works there, and her husband does as well I believe. (or has worked there in the past). It's extremely easy to get in contact with her. You just ask how she's doing, how's the family. Get to know them a little, ask them to critique your work (and mean it- take the crits, don't just do it to fake a persona. Then when you apply their crits, show them again.) Then casually ask if there is any possibility that they could get you an internship. If you indeed live close to a studio, I think it would be VERY wise to set up an interview with them. Meeting someone in REAL LIFE is very powerful. (that's what makes the workshops so good). If you show you are easy to work with, dedicated to what you want to do, AND (very important) you have someone on the inside to recommend you- It should not be that much of a problem.
Getting an internship by sending in to random companies I've found to be... extra-ordinarily ineffective. Being a student in a college helps alot, but when you know someone in the company, it infinitely helps you. Especially if they are up on the ladder. I can't tell you how many times we pass emails around saying "hey my buddy over at X studios is looking for a junior concept guy. If you know someone gimme their info and I'll pass it along".
You can try to parse things out a little bit, too. What I am talking about is seeing what kind of related job with good pay you could reach after a cheap couple of years at a junior college. Then with that better paying job (that is not your final goal necessarily) you can get the money together to push through to where you really want to be.
My sister got a two year degree in mechanical drafting and used the resulting job to work her way through to a university degree in engineering.
I used the biology job resulting from my first degree to work my way through a Masters and also law school. It's not the easy way, believe me, but not all of us were born into the upper classes.
I imagine that, that list pretty much has my choices for collage written on it somwere.
If anyone wants to gvie some suggestens, as to witch collage...sure by all means do!
Getting into the industry, based on my "art skill", is proabley next to zil. Granted, if I really wanted too, I could improve myself in that area, but I feel like I could be crippleing myself, just because I don't think my heart is really into concept art. I just wan'ted to be better art art so I could clearley convey my ideas with the rest of my team as I moved into the industry....
I need to read seedlings link on the game industry...because I could invest myself heavaly into 3d...they are not the best, I'm about even~even on my 3d skills, as my art skills.
I don't know if its possible to do both or not...
Oh, yea, and thats the other problem, I only know Lightwave 3d....well, I DO know a little Softimage, but not much!
=insert panic smily here=
Attorny: thanks for the insight.
Justin O: Ok, can someone check me on this, Turbine studios is around Lewisville TX right? If so, this yea, that is more than likeley my target for internship! A personal interview won't be a sweat at the distance I live to the studio (if I'm thinking of the corrrect one!) I even have a nice suit! (of course, I have to beat out the kids from the Dale Jackson Career Center, even if that isnt turbine studio, whatever studio that IS, I know for a fact that the program director thier at DJCC has connections with the studio...and tries to get his best students paired up with an internship!)
On that note, I always take crits to heart, I know that its the only way that I can get better, and (at the risk of sounding like a fake-suckup) I respect those teachers who take the time to really, really rip apart my work, show me what it really is, and challange me to get better, because experience has taught me that THOSE are the teachers who really care. I thrive under mentorship!
Last edited by Vhan Juju; February 26th, 2008 at 01:27 PM.
So you don't really want to be involved in the art end of thing, but more the idea guy? From everything I know (which I admit isn't first hand info), that is probably THE toughest job to get, because it's not really a job you train for or people hire for. It's the job that the people who have worked their way up in other avenues of the industry become after years of having proven they have solid ideas and great leadership etc. EVERYONE in the game industry has great ideas and very few actually get to ever make their dream game. The people who are putting up the money, or the people who have long successful track records are really the ones that get to make those calls.
If you are really dedicated to that position though what I hear is get your foot in the door any way you can. Interning is an option, and possible so is getting in as QA (Quality Assurrance aka Game Testing). Find a niche and work your way into more meaningful positions. Study game theory, and it doesn't hurt to REALLY understand as many facets of the industry as possible. The more you know the more you can have realistic ideas on the limitations of game production.
Also volunteer and work on game mods in your spare time to give yourself some hands on experience. A really well crafted game mod can go right in a portfolio to show companies.
Thanks Dweller for stopping by and adding the insight
I know that its one of the hardest jobs to get, and I'll end up climbing all the latters myself, but that is my ultimate goal!
Being a worker drone will give me a great perspective on how the whole thing works anyway! To direct my workers, first I need to know how they work! I'm actually looking forward to the experience of being challanged in many avanues of the process that makeing a game entails!
I have been TRYING despertley to understand as much about game theory as I can, that normally ends up with me talkeing long walks picking apart the latest title I had played, trying to understand evey dynamic of it that is possible for me! (any suggestions on books! I just returned a bunch of used ones and got a bunch of credit laying around at my local bookstore!)
edit-vhan runs off to find the game industry link on seedlings signature~!!!
edit- Ok, I looked, and aparentley "Turbine" the guys responcable for LOTR online, and a few others, and not located in texas, so I must have it wrong, I'm gonna dig around google and see if I cant remember what this place was I was looking at....hmm...
Last edited by Vhan Juju; February 26th, 2008 at 02:28 PM.
I took a quick online and found http://www.gametheory.net/ and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_theory
Looks like a great place to start really thinking about the deeper aspects of game theory, which go far beyond actual games and into the realm of predicting behaviours and how we think. I'm sure there are websites devoted to game theory that more closely look at video games (and specific genres of video games). I can't be more specific than that because it isn't my field (I'm an artist), but I am aware it exists and it is always an interesting discussion.
Is it going to be a problem that my major 3d App, is Lightwave? I don't think that lightwave is very popular in the industry! (sorry, I hate to bump my own post, but there are still a few things I want to try and sort out before the thread dies! )