Friday, June 3, 2011

The Future: Game Design Jobs and Internships I'm looking at.

Today's blog post: Plans for the future!

See also: "The Rise of Game Degrees" by EA Games.

So I'm going to be graduating soon with my first degree in Computer Science. Not soon after, I'll be graduating with my second degree in Computer Systems: Game Design. And I'm looking for some starting jobs that I can probably look into with internships and the like. I would preferably like to stick around in the Inland Empire/Orange County/Los Angeles area. But I guess I'll end up wherever the jobs take me and re-locate back here later if I want to.

Though I want to eventually go for a dream career as a game designer, it's a very loose term. Game designers can be producers, level designers, software engineers, programmers, there's no strict term for the profession. So I am really trying to diversify myself, get a starting position, and get a feel for what aspect of design I may like best. (Though at first I really liked being behind the actual design of the game, maybe I might be better suited for a producing job as a game career. Who knows what the future will hold! I'm keeping my options open, don't hold me to this entry!)

Some places I am considering for an internship/work: (Nowhere near a complete list. I have some time to look through many and find out the qualifications now so I know what to expect that employers will want for the future. I don't want to take the wrong classes and have that "oh sh*t" moment when I realize I don't meet any qualifications even though I hold a degree.)

Broken Circle Studios
Crystal Dynamics
Rockstar Games

and many other independent companies that may be willing to hire.

Personally, I would prefer the freedom of an independent company over one that is large, but again, nothing's set in stone. I have about two years to figure out what path I want to choose and until then I need to figure out what to do to get there.

What I've noticed though is that people want more than just programming experience and want knowledge in Unreal and Unity 3D game engines, as well as modeling software, like Maya. Unfortunately, to my knowledge, CSUSB doesn't have such a course in learning the ins and outs of Maya. I may have to dual-enroll somewhere else (like Crafton, for example) to get some knowledge of that program.

I also need to work on my knowledge of Microsoft Visual Studio and C#, even though it's not too different from standard C++. I'm also working on my Ruby knowledge through the Codename: EPIC project.

One thing that concerns me though is that the Codename: EPIC project will need to be finished before mid-2013 if I want to be able to actually work for any of these companies. Most (if not all) will contain a contract with a non-compete clause, which means I won't be able to release it for-profit. So I definitely need to complete it in a timely manner while still retaining quality.

I think I'm right on track for going for my dream job, though. That in itself makes me really happy.


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