@Riot game developers

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EveryTimeV

Senior Member

08-31-2010

This is a question about becoming a game designer/developer.

As I understand it from having read many articles for the past 3 Or so years to become a game designer for a company that produces games, you need to have first thought up a concept for a smaller game, created it and had some marginal success with the game before people would take you seriously when you presented your concept.

So from your own experiences was it the case of making a game mod/homebrew and presenting it to a group of people, then thinking up a concept for a game, say this is actually an entire game concept (about 100 pages) then presenting it to a producer?

Or was it the case of getting experience with education (course and such)?

Since people are looking for experience when they employ they also look at colleges as a form of experience, but actually developing your own game is supposed to give you more valuable experience to present.

Sorry if I'm being vague.


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Phreak

Shoutcaster

08-31-2010
1 of 2 Riot Posts

Actual doing is the best practice.

Even if it's something as simple as a tower defense map for SC2, it's very obvious in an interview, etc. if you know anything about game design or not.

I don't know anything about "game design" classes. My opinion is that experience is the best teacher, but that's coming from a fair amount of ignorance about the academia surrounding the subject.


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EveryTimeV

Senior Member

08-31-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by Phreak View Post

I don't know anything about "game design" classes. My opinion is that experience is the best teacher, but that's coming from a fair amount of ignorance about the academia surrounding the subject.

So you don't have to have an amazing education so long as you have experience?

I was wondering because attending University isn't a joke for someone like myself, so it demoralized me a bit.


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Morello

Lead Designer

08-31-2010
2 of 2 Riot Posts

What Phreak said.

Here's my advice from another post on the subject;

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
I started out doing contract QA for Microsoft when the 360 launched. From that experience and being in a top Guild Wars PvP team, I got on board as QA for ArenaNet, and eventually climbed up into design, learning every iota of design I could from people like James Phinney (that SC guy), Izzy (GW1 balance guru), and lots of other awesome designers that are less well-known. Zileas offered me Mexican food if I came and worked for Riot, so here I am.

First - you need to know your **** about games, both in breadth and depth. Be well-played, find a few games you know everything about, and play a lot of others to get a good range of influences and experience.

Design is a reasonably tough field to break into. There's a few routes to go;

* Go to a major game development university.

* Get your degree in Computer Science and get into engineering/technical design.

* Move to WA, CA, or Austin. Find entry-level QA jobs, network a ton, be awesome, and get involved. Experience and drive are substitutes for formal training, in many companies (but this can also take a long time is definitely hard work).

* Make a mod/indie game and ship it. Show it as part of your portfolio - the higher quality, the better.

* Get a design internship, though the ones above this help that a lot too. These are also reasonably rare.

Between here and ArenaNet, people have a lot of different backgrounds - really epic degrees from high-end colleges, non-college people who have climbed up the chain from the ground floor. Either way, there's a lot of work to do to get there, so you'll need to put your time in.


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Naukuga

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Recruiter

08-31-2010

There are a lot of other roads into being a game designer, Quite a few of our Designers at EA started in Test, Engineering or Art and moved into design positions after they had contributed to game designs over several projects


EDIT: Morello Beat me to the punch :P


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Naukuga

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Recruiter

08-31-2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by EveryTimeV View Post
So you don't have to have an amazing education so long as you have experience?

I was wondering because attending University isn't a joke for someone like myself, so it demoralized me a bit.


While having success as a game designer on an indy project speaks very loudly, University is something that can help separate the men from the boys. Finish your degree and get your foot in the door.


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EveryTimeV

Senior Member

08-31-2010

Really appreciated the insight.


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Stexe

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Adjudicator

08-31-2010

I agree, finish a degree in ANYTHING just so you have something to fall back on in case you can't "get your proverbial foot in the door."