JUST DO IT!

My dream job took a lot of work to figure out, and it really isn’t figured out completely, but I want to make video games.  Unfortunately I’m graduating too early to be a part of the game design track.  That doesn’t have to stop me from following my dreams, though it does make it a tad more difficult to determine logistics.

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*Just like my path to become a game developer, Notch’s early mine craft tests had room for improvement.*

Before arriving at Greenville, I had wanted to make video games.  I decided to go to Art Institute summer studio to check out game design, and sort of lost hope in making a career out of it.  I had been working in video since I was a high school freshmen, and decided to pursue that instead.  When I arrived at Greenville I knew I wanted to continue working in video, and that I didn’t want to work in graphic design or audio engineering any more than I had to.  While I still like video and photography, I know now that I don’t want to make a career out of it.  It’s still a fun hobby for me though.  I stumbled into computer programming at the end of my freshmen year, and I figured out what I really wanted to make a go of it.

I took up a Computer Information Systems track to go with the video and film track.  While I enjoy Information Systems, and classes like Database Design, I found that those fields are like the English of computers.  Database Design is like an English essay, two teachers will grade it differently.  Programming though is like mathematics (my favorite subject in high school).  When it’s right, you know.  If the output doesn’t add up, you forgot parentheses or a sign somewhere.  It’s problem solving, but it allows for the creative flair of Digital Media.  Best of all, video games require programming, making video games provides an outlet for a lot of my passions.

Game development in Game Maker Studio

The problem I’ve had to face is qualification.  I learned a little JavaScript, but I’m not proficient with it.  I’m also learning a little c# (Pronounced C-Sharp), but I don’t know if a game developer would hire someone with such little programming experience.  The only ideas I’ve come up with is find an Indie developer who could capitalize on all the other skills I’ve acquired via the Digital Media program, try learning more programming in my free time, or to just go for it lone wolf.

Personally I like the last option best.  I wouldn’t have to make complicated games, but I could take a page or two from retro games.  A 2D game wouldn’t be hard to design, and storytelling would be fun for me given my video background.  It’d also give me a chance to develop some programming skills along the way.  With tools like Game Maker Studio, I might not even be able to get by with my level of programming skill.  The best part is that I could be my own boss, if I could make enough to support myself at it.  Even if I couldn’t, it’d take some dedication, but I could learn some more programming in my spare time until I am qualified to work at a development studio.

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*Shia LaBeouf explains quite elegantly how to get your dream job*

Some of the most popular games aren’t all that complicated.  It just takes a bit of creativity and some skill to make a fun game.  Regardless of how it turns out, I just want to make things people can enjoy.  I don’t have to make the next angry birds, though that’d be awesome.  If 5 people play my game, only 1 has to enjoy it for me to feel successful.  Though I only just realized this was my dream job this semester, I thoroughly believe that with hard work and passion I can make it happen.

Originally my definition of a dream job involved sitting in a comfortable desk chair in an air conditioned building (my first few jobs lowered my requirements).  Luckily I can make video games from a comfortable desk chair in an air conditioned building, but that isn’t what makes it a dream job.  I believe a dream job is made up of something you’re passionate about doing combined with the hard work to see it through.  If you aren’t willing to work hard for it, is it really something that you want to do?

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