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DIY Game School

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Do-It-Yourself Game School

16 Jul , 2014  

While there are many ways to learn Game Development, I firmly believe that ‘Game Schools’ are an increasingly attractive option for many people. This having been said, they aren’t for everyone, and even if you would like to attend one, unfortunately they aren’t available to everyone.

One of the most common requests I’ve received is for advice on what to do if a Game School isn’t a realistic option. This is the case for many of you, whether due to financial restrictions, geographical restrictions, or other factors such as age.

I’m going to try to give you some starting points for self-directed learning. I’ve known a lot of developers who are self-taught, so it is certainly possible to do, but there will be some big challenges ahead.

I’ll start by providing you with some tools and techniques to structure your learning, and then give you some tools and resources to start you off with Game Design, 3D Art or Programming.

Structure Structure

The single biggest barrier that most people trying to teach themselves game development will run into is self-discipline. It is very difficult to stay on a rigorous schedule. Try as we might, it is far too easy to slip into distraction and procrastination.

Schools sidestep this issue by having scheduled classes, often with penalties for not attending. They even manage to provide structure while out of class through assignments and homework, which have deadlines and penalties for failure to complete.

One of your biggest challenges working alone is staying committed and dedicated to pursuing your studies. You need to create some sort of structure for yourself and keep to it. Here are some strategies that should help:

  • Schedule in the Time – even though you aren’t signing up for an official school program, treat your time as if you are. Schedule in ‘class time’, and commit to it. It is okay if you can only fit in a couple of hours one night a week, but if you leave it to ‘when I have spare time’ it is unlikely that you’ll make significant progress.
  • Set External Targets – Game Jams or industry meet-ups are good targets to learn a skill by, and since it is an externally set date you will be less tempted to procrastinate or shift around your deadlines.
  • Break Things Down – there is an old quotation that says ‘when eating an elephant take one bite at a time’. Many aspects of game development can seem daunting and this often leads to people giving up because they don’t even know how to begin.
    • Narrow down exactly what it is that you want to learn – for instance ‘making video games’ is far too broad; even ‘programming video games’ can mean many different things. First, decide on a specific field you are interested in, for example ‘Gameplay Programmer’. Next, set a reasonable goal for a simple task someone in that field would be expected to do, for instance ‘Program player control for a 3D platformer’.
    • Break your goal down into a list of smaller tasks. You may not know enough to break it down completely, but start with what you know – for instance:
      • Make an input from a gamepad do something (anything!) in a game engine
      • Make the d-pad/analog stick move a character around
      • Make the character animate while they are moving
      • Add the ability to jump
    • Prioritize the tasks, and focus on what is most important first. Note that what is most important may not be the most fun – you might be tempted to play with adding particle effects to the character’s weapon, but you’ll end up down a rabbit hole and not make any significant progress towards accomplishing your goal.
    • Start completing the most important tasks, and don’t lose sight of the high level goal. The more you learn, the more tasks you will discover that you didn’t even know about before. Stay vigilant, and prioritize each new task as they come up, relative to reaching to the original goal as efficiently as possible.
  • Learn just enough to start – it is easy to get lost in theory, and use it as a crutch to excuse procrastination. Don’t get lost in reading 20 books about a subject – read a few tutorials, maybe a book or two, and then as soon as you know enough to start, actually get a couple of tools and start practicing. You can keep reading and watching videos as you get stuck, but just keep in mind that here, there be dragons and you need to make sure you don’t follow into an endless spiral of video tutorials and reading articles without ever actually practicing.
  • Get over the hump – as you start to learn something new, at first it is easy, because you are blissfully ignorant of how big the problem is and it seems like you are making extremely rapid progress. The big problem arises once you start to learn how much there is to learn; you know enough about a subject to know what you don’t know. This can be crushing – all of a sudden you realize that this discipline is much more difficult that you first thought, and the small hill you thought you were climbing now appears to be Mount Everest. This is another point when many people quit – you must push through this, it too will pass. While the mountain will remain, you will realize that the skills you are learning along the way will begin to be rewarding enough on their own.

Tools:

  • Personal Scrum – Scrum is a popular project management method that many video game companies use. It isn’t as rigid and structured as traditional ‘waterfall’ management, where everything is planned out in detail for the project, but rather focuses on completing short ‘sprints’ that are 1-4 weeks long, reflecting on how the sprint went, and then planning the next one. This can be an effective method to use at home to manage your own learning – put a big bulletin board up, and pin-up tasks for things like ‘complete Unity 3D FPS tutorial’. Commit to a bunch of different tasks over a 2 week ‘sprint’ and then try to make sure you get through them. Read more about this method here.
    •  TrelloTrello is a free tool that I love to use for managing simple scrum type boards. While I would highly recommend starting with an actual bulletin board, if this is not possible, or if you work in a bunch of different locations you may want to check out Trello as a digital replacement.
  • Pomodoro – Pomodoro is a popular time management technique based on the idea that forcing yourself to never take breaks (and feeling guilty when you do) is dangerous and counterproductive, and can often lead to binge procrastination. Pomodoro applies structure on a short time frame, regardless of the type of task you are doing. In short, you commit to a block of time to work (generally 25 minutes), set a timer, and when it goes off you take a 5 minute break, then repeat. After 4 of these 25 minute blocks, take a longer break (15-30 minutes). It may sound simple, but it is surprisingly effective – read more about it here.
  • Game Career Coach I don’t know Rick Davidson personally, and I haven’t seen any of the content behind his pay wall, but I have a couple of respected friends that know him and have shared his content. He tends to focus more on the motivation/structure side of the equation than actual game content tutorials etc. Check out his free video tutorials and see what you think.

 

Starting Off:

This section contains a list of useful tools, books, videos or other resources across 3 major disciplines: Game Design, 3D Art and Programming. The intent is NOT for you to read all of this straight – click the hyperlinks to go straight to the section that is most relevant to your interests, check out a couple of resources that look interesting, and start there. Note, as I’ve described in other articles, there are many specific fields within each of these disciplines – you should still try to figure out exactly what you want to focus on and tailor the skills you are learning to it.

Remember these are just potential starting points – this is far from a complete curriculum, nor is it a comprehensive list of the best resources out there to start with; these are just a few links to things that I’ve found value in over the years.

Note that if you are taking this seriously you should expect to spend a bit of money on the way – there are lots of great free resources, many of which I have linked below, but there are also some quality books, tools and websites that are worth shelling out a bit of money for. This will still cost far less than attending a game school. Don’t overdo it at the start and go out and order 20 books – just order a couple that look interesting, start with those and then get more later as you continue to learn.

Game Design Tools and ResourcesGame Design:

High school classes to focus on: English/Language, Math, History, Drama, Programming

Alternate education options: If you don’t have access to a ‘game school’, consider a liberal arts degree, supplemented by some of the items below. A solid understanding of psychology, creative writing, history, math and philosophy are all useful for aspiring game designers.

Websites:

Game Whisperer

A former colleague of mine, Alex Mandryka has created a free series of video tutorials covering Game Design theory. Alex is a very smart designer who has put a lot of thought into how to codify Game Design and make it something more than just intuition and luck. Alex was the former Director of Design at Relic Entertainment and Ubisoft Montreal. His blog is here:

Extra Credits

Ok – so big warning here; this is a major procrastination pit. RESIST THE URGE to get lost watching videos about Cthulu and the Playstation Vita. That having been said, there is some great content here – check out this recent breakdown of Super Mario Bros. level 1-1, or the older ‘So You Want To Be A Game Designer’.

The No Twinkie Database

Fun website compiling design errors people have made – it is often easier to learn from other people’s mistakes than from their successes.

Designing around a Core Mechanic

Great article that I still reference about keeping your core design priorities clear.

The Chemistry of Game Design

Interesting attempt to start to codify game design.

Books:

(full disclosure – these are affiliate links, as I figured why not pay for some of the hosting since I was going to link the books anyways)

Theory of Fun for Game Design

Great book that I have re-read several times, about what ‘fun’ means and how you can use that knowledge to make more engaging experiences. Short read that provides a great base for thinking about game design.

The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses

This is another interesting book, which will really expand your mind about what game design is, and how to see things from new perspectives. Another must read for those interested in game design.

The Design of Everyday Things

This is not specifically about game design, but rather about ‘design’ in a broader sense. Nonetheless, this is a book that I recommend to anyone that will listen, whether they are interested in making games or not.

Game Design Workshop

I’ll be totally honest and say that I haven’t actually read this one yet (it is on my list!) but I’ve heard a lot of good things from game designers about this book, and that it is a relatively well structured book – something that is a big benefit to those trying to work alone.

Challenges for Game Designers

This book contains a lot of fun and interesting exercises and challenges to stretch your mind and help develop your brainstorming and creative thinking abilities. Another good one for those working alone, as it is easy to set a small goal of completing a new challenge from the book every day.

Tools:

Twine

Easy to learn tool to create interactive ‘choose your own adventure’ story games. This is particularly useful to those interested in pursuing a ‘Narrative Designer’ path, or those who like to write stories, and you should be up and running in no time.

Stencyl

Stencyl is an easy to learn, powerful tool for creating 2D games – mainly top down or side scrolling games, but also simple RPGs and even things like Metroid-vania style games. It features a pretty neat visual scripting tool based on something developed at MIT, and is a pretty good way to start learning about scripting and game design. The free license is great to learn with, and then later on you could upgrade to one of the bigger licenses so you can actually release and sell your game.

Game Maker

Game Maker is another tool that comes highly recommended – it is a bit more powerful than Stencyl, but also a bit more difficult to use, as you’ll really have to learn a bit of scripting/programming to take advantage of it. It is also focused on creating 2D games, but Game Maker is pretty powerful, and has been used for some very successful games, including Spelunky, Hotline Miami and Gunpoint.

3D Game Engines

There are free versions of Unity, UDK (Unreal 3) and Cryengine available, and you can get a full version of Unreal 4 for $19.99/month. These are all powerful engines, are widely used in the industry, and can be used to make pretty much any kind of game you can think up – unfortunately they also tend to have pretty steep learning curves, and aren’t necessarily the best place to start for aspiring game designers. Note if you are interested in pursuing a career in Level Design this is probably the best place to start (I would recommend Unreal). If you’re feeling particularly adventurous, choose one and dig into it, but if your focus is game design I’d recommend starting out with one of the other tools mentioned above.

3D Art Tools and Resources3D Art:

High school classes to focus on: Art, Graphic Design (if available), Animation (if available), IT/Computers, Drama (particularly if interested in animation), Programming

Alternate education options: There are a lot of excellent classical art schools. I would tend to look for one that focuses on classical art education (representational drawing, life drawing, sculpture etc.) rather than modern art, as it will build a skill base that translates more easily to game art.

Websites:

There are lots of high quality video tutorials for 3D art out there, but many of them are behind a pay wall at a variety of websites. You can hunt down a lot of good free tutorials (and most of these sites contain one or two), but I would recommend biting the bullet and subscribing to one of the sites below – it will still cost less than taking a single class and you should get quite a lot of value out of their content. Digitaltutors, Eat3D, 3D Motive, Gnomon Workshop

Polycount

This is an online community for 3D artists. A colleague of mine runs the site, and it is an amazing resource for learning art, getting critiques on your work and finding links to tutorials or other resources. I recommend signing up and participating, but a couple of words of advice:

  1. You’ll need a thick skin – Polycount has a strong community but, like any online community you will still get some harsh words from time to time.
  2. Show respect for others in the community. Don’t ask for handouts – show that you’ve put some effort in to learn on your own, and then follow up with informed questions. Ask for feedback on your work, and show appreciation to those that give it to you. Don’t use it for shameless self-promotion, or to beg for jobs – approach it with the same professional attitude that you’d use when walking into a room full of developers working at major studios.

3D Primer for Game Developers: An Overview of 3D Modeling in Games

Pretty decent overview of 3D modelling, techniques and terminology used in game development. Good place to start if you are interested in being a 3D artist.

Complete Blender Game Art Tutorial

This is free, and well written. Blender is also free, and is powerful, but it is worth mentioning that it is not by any means an industry standard. Additionally, it has quite a different interface to 3DS Max or Maya. This makes it good to learn the basics, but keep in mind if you pursue this path you will probably have to re-learn a lot of basic interface when you move over to Max or Maya.

Books:

The Natural Way to Draw

This is the book that my art school used as the primary resource for figure drawing. It is a bit dated, but is an excellent resource to use to learn how to draw – be warned that the exercises are occasionally a bit confusing or repetitive, especially at first, but I’ve seen proven results across a wide range of students.

Animator’s Survival Kit

Written by the amazing Richard Williams, this is one of the best resources for those interested in learning how to animate. It’s focus is on classical/hand-drawn animation, but the principles all apply to 3D, and, in fact learning classical animation provides an excellent foundation for 3D. There is also a DVD available to supplement the book, but I haven’t seen it so can’t comment on its quality.

Human Anatomy for Artists: The Elements of Form

There are a lot of good anatomy books out there; this one is one of my favourite. Make sure to pick up some solid drawing skills first before jumping into human anatomy, but it is a great complement if you are interested in going into a character art role.

Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life

Another good drawing and anatomy guide. Bridgman has an interesting planar style to explain and render anatomy which applies rather well to 3D art, though it takes a bit of a conceptual leap to get used to it.

Photoshop for 3D Artists

Good guide to how to use Photoshop for 3D art – this can be handy, as Photoshop is a big intimidating program and it is nice to know what to focus on.

Mastering Autodesk Maya 2015

The internet is generally a good place for finding this kind of info, but if you’re the kind of person that learns better from working through a book, this series is quite good. Note that much of this isn’t relevant to game development – don’t bother digging into advanced muscle systems or cloth simulation, stick to modelling, texture mapping, rigging and animation.

ZBrush Character Creation: Advanced Digital Sculpting

Good book on sculpting characters in ZBrush – make sure you spend a bunch of time with the basics before jumping into this, as it focuses on details and advanced techniques, but if you are interested in becoming a character artist this is a good book to have.

Tools:

The industry standards for 3D are either Autodesk’s 3DS Max or Maya. People will argue vehemently for either, and I’m not going to wade into it – all that is important is that you pick one and learn it to a good level – once you are familiar with one of them, the other (or any other major 3D software) will be pretty quick to pick up as well. Autodesk offers 30 day trials of Max and Maya, or you can get a 3 year free educational license to learn with (links for Max and Maya).

Maya LT (less expensive, stripped down version of Maya for Indie developers – good option for Indies, but there are better options for learning, as this still costs $800).

Blender (see note above – free and powerful, but not an industry standard)

Motion Builder

Motion Builder is an increasingly common tool for animation and working with motion capture data. It is worth learning if you’d like to be an animator, but I would recommend also learning the basic animation/rigging tools in the 3D package of your choice. Like 3DS Max and Maya, it has a 30 Day Trial, and a free 3 year educational license available.

Photoshop 30 Day Trial

Photoshop is the industry standard for texturing, and is key to learn well if you are interested in 3D art. Unfortunately it isn’t particularly easy to get a copy of it. The 30 Day Trial is a good place to start, and you can get a good educational discount if you are currently attending High School or College (check here). I wouldn’t splurge for a full price copy, but it is worth trying to get a copy to learn with.

Gimp

Gimp is an workable alternative to Photoshop. Like Blender, it is actually quite powerful, and will get the job done, but it is not used widely in the industry and is just different enough from Photoshop that it can be a pain to transition. An okay option if you just need something to manipulate textures etc.

Quixel Suite

Quixel is a newer player on the market, but the tools they have introduced, including DDO and NDO are already starting to become standards for many 3D artists. They provide some additional tools for improving the texturing pipeline, and fortunately they offer a fairly affordable ($49) academic license that is full featured.

Z-Brush

Z-Brush is a 3D sculpting tool that is becoming increasingly important for 3D Artists (particularly Character Artists). Unfortunately, like Photoshop, it isn’t easy to get your hands on – they offer an academic license for $500, but don’t currently offer a trial version.

Mudbox

Though not used quite as heavily as Z-Brush, Mudbox is another common sculpting tool, and fortunately like the other Autodesk products it has much more accessible tools, including a 30 Day Trial and a free 3 year educational license.

Game Programming Tools and ResourcesProgramming:

High school classes to focus on: Math, Physics, Programming (if available), IT/Computers, Calculus/Advanced Math.

Alternate education options: Most programmers working in games went to ‘traditional’ schools and have Bachelors/Masters/PhD degrees in Computer Science. Many cities have excellent Computer Science programs, and this is definitely something you should strongly consider if you want to be a Game Programmer. That having been said, many of these programs do not include a lot of courses on game development, so you’ll want to supplement with some of the materials below and your own research. Look for schools that have good reputations for Comp Sci, and also look for ones that still have a lot of C++ in their curriculum, as many schools are moving away from it these days.

Websites:

I want to be a game developer… now what?

This is an excellent article that includes many other resources which I will not repeat below – if you want to go into game programming this is a pretty good place to start.

GameDev

GameDev.net is a well-established online community catering to game developers. The site itself contains a lot of articles and tutorials, but the forums are a great place to get involved, ask questions and get help when you are stuck.

Codeacademy

Not focused on game development (more on web), but this is a pretty slick website with interactive tutorials to teach you to program. They have sections on Javascript and Python, both languages that are used in the game industry, and which aren’t terribly different in syntax to many other languages such as C#. The important thing is they have well-structured, interactive lessons that can walk you through the basics.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Another non game development site, Microsoft’s Virtual Academy provides well-structured lessons to learn a variety of programming languages. Personally I think that C# is a pretty good place to start – it is used in several game engines, including Unity, and has some similarities with C++, without having to deal with too many low level systems.

The Cg Tutorial

Cg is a common language used to program shaders. If you are interested in becoming a 3D programmer, or a Technical Artist, this is a worthwhile language to learn. This website has the entire contents of a fairly thorough book on Cg programming for free online – it is a bit dry, but the content is good.

Game Development at Tuts+

This blog lists out a bunch of different game development tutorials – they are not limited to programming tutorials. While there is some great content here, it tends to be fairly specific to certain problems – take a look around, but don’t get sucked in to spending hours reading about side topics.

Unity Scripting Tutorials

Unity has a number of excellent video tutorials to learn programming available on their website. While these are obviously specific to the Unity engine, they are quite satisfying to complete as you will quickly get things working in-game.

Walker Brothers Unity Tutorials

Also specific to Unity, these are quite satisfying tutorials to go through to learn how to make a few simple projects in Unity. You’ll need a basic understanding of scripting going in, but they do cover some good ground, including tool development. Additionally, they have some nice structure to the site, with a syllabus, exams and lab projects, which work well for students working from home.

Books:

Accelerated C : Practical Programming by Example

Accelerated C++: Practical Programming by Example

This is a good book to start with for learning C++. Note that I’d recommend that you start learning a modern language like C# first, but C++ is the industry standard and if you want to make AAA games sooner or later you’ll have to learn it.

Game Programming Gems

Game Programming Gems is an excellent series of books, with a lot of great examples of how to deal with specific problems in games. You’ll want to have a pretty good understanding of working with programming languages/C++ first to get a value out of this.

Game Engine Architecture

Good overview of game engine software development, covering a lot of ground. This is probably a good place to start for those who have learned some programming and are serious about pursuing a career as a Game Programmer, and it is particularly valuable for those interested in becoming an Engine Programmer.

Real-Time Rendering

Real-Time Rendering, Third Edition

Excellent resource for those interested in rendering, or in becoming a 3D/Rendering Programmer. Note this requires pretty heavy math skills.

Programming Game AI by Example

Introduction to AI Programming for games – if you are interested in becoming a Gameplay or AI programmer, this is worth reading.

Tools:

Notepad ++

This is a great free text editor with support for many programming/scripting languages.

Visual Studio

Visual Studio is the industry standard for an integrated development environment. Microsoft has excellent tutorials and learning resources available, and if you are a high school, college or university student you can get a free copy of Visual Studio through their student program.

Code::Blocks

Code::Blocks is a free IDE that has the advantage of being cross platform. It isn’t as common in the industry, but is a good tool for programming in C++.

Nsight

Nsight is NVIDIA’s free tool for programming and debugging shaders. This particular link works with Visual Studio, but you can also get a version for the Eclipse IDE if you prefer.

3D Game Engines

If you’d like to learn game programming, I think learning in one of the popular game engines is a great place to start. I’m a bit biased towards Unity, as you can very quickly get your hands dirty with some scripting and see results, but UDK or Crytek also offer good free options.

 


I hope this article has given you some ideas for starting to teach yourself game development. Note this is far from a comprehensive list, and much of it lies outside of my area of expertise. Please leave comments to share other tutorials, books or tools that you have found particularly useful, or ask questions if you are looking for some particular information.

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17 Responses

  1. Hey Matt,

    great read like always! I I already own 2 books of those you listed under Game Design and I am glad I spotted them in your list!

    Raph Kosters – Best book so far to teach you of what to think ABOUT – when designing games.

    Challenge for Game Designers – Motivational, interesting, educating. From Terms to ‘challenging’ you truly. Even better is if you have friends you could motivate to ‘compete’ with. I.E. get together, decide on a challenge and meet after a week or a month or so and then play the different games you came up with.

    Furthermore as Game Designer, I would love if you could emphasize once more to REALLY start with Board Games before doing directly Videogames as Game DESIGNER. I am really hard working on my current board game System Sol, Inc. or SSInc. and made my own company, Ultra Wolf. (@U1traWolf on Twitter)

    Also if you want to you could feature the Indie Game Alliance (IGA) for Board Gamers, they are growing quite big very rapidly and they are not even officially announced yet.

    Besides that I tried Twine myself already and it has potential if you are willing to learn all the different things you can do and if you want Programming as secondary arm.

    Oh and in the meanwhile I also decided to NOT pursue a degree in Game Design even with Full Sail here in Florida, but rather do a degree in a state college for Database Management and Development. Despite your dreams, despite your passion, etc.

    It is always good to have something to fall back on! Looking forwards to your future articles, Matt!

    Sincerely,

    Andreas Lopez from Ultra Wolf

    • Matt says:

      Hi Andreas,

      Glad you liked that article.

      Board games are a major hobby of mine, and an excellent way to start in design – great advice. I’m not familiar with the IGA for Board Gamers – will check it out for sure!

      Thanks a lot for the tips, and best of luck!

    • http://indiegamealliance.com/

      this way you don’t have to look around! Also thanks for the quick response. It is really encouraging to see that you take your time and reply on a 1-on-1 case over copy & paste or such.

  2. Joao Cesar Pasin says:

    I can’t thank you enough!

    This is EXACTLY what would make me confident in my area!

    Books and websites, even videos!

    Thank you Matt! You are 10/10!

  3. Sebastian says:

    Hi Matt!

    I mainly just want to say thank you for this incredible article! I am working mainly with Flash and AS3 in school now, but I feel that I want to try to expand my knowledge but havnt really been sure on how. With this article I get a peak on where to head and a book or two to pick up! I might also take a peak at unity for the fun of it!

    I also read your article on mistakes you have done before, I must say that was a big eye opener. Especially about coming in too confident and thinking you know “too much”. I believe that was my case in a course this term. Your article helped me rethink and I will try and rethink and take a more “passive role” an relearn! – Thank you!

    • Matt says:

      Thanks Sebastian!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the article. Flash is powerful software, and people have made some amazing things in it. I’d highly recommend trying out Unity – everyone has their own personal preference, but if you’re already familiar with action script, it should be pretty quick to pick up C# (which I would recommend over Javascript). Unity has a lot of really excellent tutorials with all of the assets provided, so you can make something pretty cool very quickly – a great little weekend project.

      As far as the other article goes, I don’t think the correct response is necessarily to be ‘passive’, but rather to be open, engaged and curious.

      Matt

  4. Anthony says:

    Another great article, perhaps the better! You do a very good job, thank you for sharing all this!
    I’m currently in high business school, but I’m very interested in Game design, especially in narrative design and in game mechanics. I’m learning by my own software like Twine, Maya or more recently UDK. But currently my problem is that I’m looking for an alternative education in those kind of post, but my barrier is that I’m not in Art, or video game school.
    Do you have any suggestion for this?

    Anthony

    • Matt says:

      Hi Anthony,

      I’m not sure I entirely understand your question – are you looking for classes that would help learn game design, but at a more traditional college/university?

    • Anthony says:

      Not exactly. I want to continue my current study, but I would like join the video-game industry in a conception team and not in a marketing team.
      I want you advises on ‘Is it possible to join a conception team with a management degree ? ‘ and if yes how?

    • Matt says:

      It is absolutely possible to join a conception/game design team with a management degree – game designers tend to have a very diverse set of education backgrounds, and the actual degree is rarely a requirement. The most important thing to do is to acquire skills that will be useful to a design team – many of the links above should give some good starting points for this.

      Ultimately some of the things that will help you get noticed for a game design role are things like being involved in interesting mod or game jam projects, showing initiative to design your own small games or levels, or putting together well written pitches or documentation.

    • Anthony says:

      Ok, thank you very much for your suggestion! It lift my spirit. I’ll look forward your next article!

  5. Cesar Desmond says:

    Hey Matt!!

    Excellent article once more! It seems that you have spent A LOT of time gathering up all this information just to help us! Thanks again! I really like to see I’m half way there, now my objective is to keep working!

    Keep up the great work!

    Cheers!

    • Matt says:

      Hey Cesar,

      Glad you liked it! I’m still trying to get used to this whole blogging thing, and finding time to write/research is tricky (particularly as I have 2 kids!). It is very motivating to hear that people are finding the content useful though, so I’ll try to stay on top of it as much as I can. In the meantime, I’m working on recruiting a couple of friends from the industry to help out so it doesn’t take so long between posts. Stay tuned!

    • Cesar Desmond says:

      That sounds awesome! Thanks for your work! I bet it’ll be even greater when other people help you!! I can foresee it will be a great reference blog for future students! 😉

  6. James Wood says:

    Thanks for another brilliantly insightful post! It is wonderfully reassuring to know that I have been on the right track with the way I manage my time and the different resources I have been using. I am lucky enough that our University supplies each student with access to the digital tutors tutorials which is a vast resource.

    You briefly mentioned the Cg tutorial as a good place for budding technical artists to look and suggested NSight as a tool for shader programming. As someone who has very recently begun homing in on Technical Art as a career path are there any other books/tutorials/concepts you would suggest putting research time into? Thank you again for another inspiring post, look forward to the next,

    James

  7. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for the shout out and mention in your article. I love what you are doing and have been pointing aspiring game creators in your direction!

    To clarify your points about the Game Career Coaching that I do – mostly I focus on two things:
    1. Showing people interested in getting a job in games how to stand out, get noticed and prove that they can add “Day 1 Value” in order to get a job.
    2. Helping Indie Game creators to create remarkable products, manage all the business necessities (getting finances, dealing with legal, accounting, etc) as well as having a strong marketing strategy and most importantly, staying motivated and productive.

    I love seeing people pursuing what I call “Hobbyployment” – making money doing what they love. I do whatever I can do to help people identify and pursue their dreams.

    Again, thanks for the mention, I look forward to reading your next article.

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