Home Forums Education, Training and Jobs Multimedia Student wants to be a Game Designer. (help moi!)

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    • #4986

      Hey there,

      I wandered over this site (which has easily been the best resource ive come across) in the same way many have, because nobody seems to be able to tell me how to get into the industry with my course.

      Im a 2nd year Multimedia Student in Waterford IT. Our course is as broad as it is vague. Weve dabbled in everything from Base level Java, to audio production, simple web design to business communications.

      Before i went into this course, i had 5 years of web design, and now im 20, and suddenly realised “shite….what am i going to work as in a few years?!’


      So i lay myself at your disposal.

      I want to get into the Games Industry Badly. Its been the most engaging hobbie of my lifetime. I took a week off ‘real world’ when Half Life 2 came out, i got to a reasonable lvl in World Of Warcraft, and my girlfriend bought me an Amiga for Christmass.

      The problem is, i dont really want to get into the programming element of things. I enjoy talking about concepts, storlines, GUI’s and HCI a lot more than how phyics work. I also have an intrest in graphics, but never got the chance to do any 3D graphics.

      Im in my 2nd year of college, i only got around the 350 mark in the Leaving, and im lookin for that golden oppertunity to get into something worthwhile (i think our course is a joke).

      Im also considering going into teaching/lecturing with my chosen degree, but im adament that i want my qualification to reflect who i am, and that is first and foremost a gamer.

      So help me out here. Should i finish my course, and do a postgrad? Leave now and start from scratch, or do another year and transfer.

      And as another stipulation, id rather not go to scummy Carlow or Letterkenny. Cork and Dublin would be perfect, as id have accomodation sorted.

      I know its a long post, but i wanted to get it all in, so u know what situation im in.

      Thanks in Advance.

      – Cosmonaut


      EDIT: Furthermore, is the BA in Multimedia in CIT
      any way directed more towards gaming, that wot my course would be.
      Id be scared that it would just be the same all over again.

    • #29067

      Write some gameplay scenarios..
      Try and create some of those ideas in Half-Life 2 (or similar game)…
      Apply for some level design jobs…
      Get said job…
      Work your way up to game designer
      Easy! :D

      Very few companies take on game designers straight out of school (I cant name any) as most would prefer experience.

      Have a gander over here:

    • #29068
      Aphra K

      well I know some ex Multimedia students in DCU who ended up teaching games related stuff and did projects in their course on games so they had related projects for a portfolio.

      Multimedia courses are generally what they say they are and do not tend to be games related, although you might have room to do game related projects..

      I would suggest you look at the scope to exploit courses and projects in your current course while also building a portfolio. Generally multimedia courses are great to learn the basics of quick downloadable games or mobile games and that is certainly a good area to start given your background.

      You could think about using this site to recruit a team for the Dare to be Digital competition .. that would be one way to work with a team and show your stripes in game design

      Then maybe think about transferring to another course or doing a postgraduate course…but you may not need to leave to achieve what you want to achieve.

      just some thoughts…

      actually I thought there were a few people into games and teaching games in WIT?


    • #29131

      Thanks lads.
      Ive cracked open the Source SDK. Gotta get myself some tutorial now :)

      I was also looking at that course in Ballyfermot, but as a PLC course its only lvl5. Does any1 know if its possible to do a masters or a top-off course in computer games, either after completing my current Multimedia exams, or the course in ballyfermot.

      Ive also received some great info on one such course possibly starting in the WIT *fingers crossed*.

    • #29137

      Letterkenny offer am Msc in Computer Game dev

    • #29138

      Yea but its in Letterkenny. I live in Waterford.Theyre like the 2 most furthest apart cities in Ireland :)

      Id go to sumwhere in England before id consider goin there.

      thnx for the advice though :)

    • #29140


      I’ll try not to start arguing with you this time!

      Apart from the course I was in the exact same position as you 3 years ago so I hope I can give you some decent advice.

      I got 335 points in the leaving cert. I started doing the Cert in Comp Apps at WIT, went on to a diploma in WIT and then a degree. I wanted to work in the computer programming or games industry as programming is just about the only thing I’ve ever been really interested in and good at. I completely understand your frustration with the course, the way programming is taught at WIT is awful and sometimes the courses seem to be completely unfocused. It’s all about learning API’s and reguritating them in exams. No problem solving, algorithms or design.

      The best advice I can give you is just get it over with, get a degree, get a 1.1 or 2.1. Because it shows you can stick at something, and are dedicated, that looks good no matter what job you are applying for.

      You don’t want to be a programmer thats fine you seem more intrested towards being a game designer or artist. You should still learn some basics of programming becuase it will help you see issues from an engineer’s perspective and help you work as a team in the real world. I consider game design to be quite a difficult process. Creative writing is probably useful too, but I’m not a game designer.

      Practice these things in your spare time. Get together with a group of people and make some games between you. If one of ye can program make a demo of it or just use a game maker (there’s no shame in prototyping with one of these). Show it to people on forums like this, get advice, criticism, kudos etc. Keep reading litreture, create a portfolio for yourself. Getting to a decent level in WoW won’t help, but it is still fun, you could even call it research.

      During college I did part time J2ME stuff for a company called Druidev Ltd. I ended up working for TKO last summer purely by accident, well obviously they went bust etc and you can find out the rest of the story from the other posts dotted around the forum here. Was a rough ride but worth it in the end, I have learned so much more since August than I did in college. But I will say despite how irrelavent I thought stuff in college was, a lot of it does help.

      If you want any advice in person I’ll be around Waterford next Thursday and Friday and I’ll meet you for a pint.


    • #29141

      There are 2 games courses at Ballyfermot;

      Ludo (that PLC you mentioned) a one year introduction to games, its pretty well established at this stage and people have gone into the industry from there. If you’ll have another qualification already for the letters after your name I’ d say go for this to get the games specific skills, not every course you do needs to add to your current level (ie be a higher degree, then a masters etc.) and it would take 1 year.

      and the second course:

      Computer games design & development, a 2 year higher national diploma that you can top up to an honours MM degree with 1 further year in house. This is the one I’m on and I feel I’ll be a competent game designer /level designer at the end of it. Those who have been pushing 3d seem very happy as well.

      Personally I think the best route for a designer seems to be a good generalist qualification backed up with either a serious portfolio (to demonstrate all necessary design skills) or a games thread from final year, or a short games course (the reputation of the course is important here so that prospective employers feel that graduates are sufficiently skilled.

      On the other hand I’m perfectly happy to put all my eggs in one basket and have a games basic course and possibly a further games qualification on top of that.

    • #29147

      Thanks a million to those posts, im a complete n00b to the games industry, and ive no idea how graduates are perceived, and what qualities are needed, so both posts are extremely helpfull in giving me an idea of what im up against.

      I do think ill stick with what im going (i dont hate it that much) and get a good result at the end. As you said, at least its shows a bit of grit and determination. I started work on the Valve SDK and Hammer tool. Its my first dig at map design since Quake about 4 years ago, where i made a block-room with a single railgun. Ive really enjoyed it, and its spurred off a few ideas in my head of stuff to do.

      So yea ill grin and bear my MM course for the moment, and leave my web design days behind for some more graphics and design based projects. And then as nifty was saying, maybe get a top-off course to add to my qualifications.

      So yea, thanks a mill lads. If any1 else has anything they recon i should know about, please share. I need all the help i can get.

      Ill take you up on the pint too.
      As long as u dont try and kiss me. :lol:

    • #29163

      You should still learn some basics of programming becuase it will help you see issues from an engineer’s perspective and help you work as a team in the real world.[/quote:9378fb8f69]
      Having this knowledge really makes my life and all coders who closely support designers so much easier.

      Although, saying things like n00b will annoy me :P

    • #29164

      Having this knowledge really makes my life and all coders who closely support designers so much easier.[/quote:35586244f0]

      I was also thinking a lot of designers have to do scripting too, even scripting AI so some basic AI theory also helps.

      Apologies for the n00b stuff, last friday, I was fighting with the F5, F10 and F11 key in VC++ and gettting rather frustrated.

    • #29168

      I’m saying this as a designer….Don’t worry too much about scripting.

      Thats an area you can work on if you so choose to get into, and ofcourse it will help….same as knowing about all other roles too…but its not essential.

      Some roles require an knowledge of scripting soem dont.

      Just keep on with what you are doing with Hammer ^_^ , if you can flesh out your ideas with that, and you feel the need for more control then you might start dabbling into scripting.

    • #29170

      Scripting….depends on your engine, whether it has it or not.
      If you know how to assign variables ( x = 5; ) and run an if statement, you’re probably going to be okay with scripting. If you do get into scripting though, techincal scripters are great to have.

      No worries, pkelly, I was actually talking about cosmo that time. I’m just not a fan of techno/txt slang. Don’t like what the english language is turning into with it :)
      But of course, smilies are okay :)

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