Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Monthly Checkup

Has it been another whole month?!? Where does the time go? Here's my current goals checklist on my journey towards becoming a Game Developer.

Create a finished game.
I did some good work on my SkyCop demo, finally getting a playable demo posted. I plan to design a smaller-scale (possibly 2D) game at some point but need to work on learning more fundamentals first.
Use personal projects to test different rendering techniques and programming methods.
Check! See the SkyCop reference above.
Continue learning and be competent enough to explain design decisions.
In addtion to keeping up on the latest feeds for major game sites and participating in a couple forums, I've purchased five new books! Admittedly three of them were recommended for Ian Schreiber's Game Design Concepts course. The one I'm probably most excited to dig into is Game Coding Complete, which I'm hoping will be a good reference for proper structure and best practices.

Despite these positive steps, I can't mark this item completed just yet. I am still learning, after all.
Start networking!
I'm staying active in a couple forums and planning to participate in a local IGDA chapter. The only problem is the local Columbus chapter (which I would still be a couple hours away from) appears to not be meeting at this time, so I may have to wait to participate with the Triangle chapter after we move to NC later this year. Attending the SIEGE conference is still a possibility, or I might consider a visit back up this way to check out the GameX Games and Media Expo.
Play more games!
I haven't bought a shiny new game to play yet, but I have tried out some independent games on Armor Games. Crush the Castle, where you get to use a trebuchet to destroy castles, is actually a lot of fun! Nonetheless I think I need to get better versed in newer games to mark this item completed.
Update the outdated resume.
This is a new goal and a worthy one I think will help me focus even better on my target. Darius Kazemi has some great tips on writing a resume for a game company and I plan to update my resume soon.

"If you wanna be rich, you gotta do rich people stuff." - Dave Ramsey
"Wanna be a Game Developer? Do Game Developer stuff!" - Me

See any holes in my plan or have useful tips/pointers to help get me further along? Post a comment!


  1. I found Darius's article earlier today; it looked pretty good. At a GDC I attended earlier this year (with a section on breaking into the industry), they also stressed following up resumes with phone calls (if the company allows it) and having a custom cover letter for each place you apply demonstrating your interest/knowledge of the company.

    If you're looking for some good games to play, I've heard a lot of positive things about Braid. Short game, but only about $15 through the Steam store. It's on my own list of games to play.

    On the topic of game design, I've been reading "Rules of Play: Game Design Fundamentals." It really starts from the ground up and defines different elements that constitute a game. I haven't finished it yet, so I won't completely recommend it, but flip through it and see if you're interested next time you go to a bookstore.

    What is your ideal position in the industry? You seem to be working from a very programming-centric perspective.

  2. Thanks for the tips, Quest!

    I've heard good things about Braid too, should probably check it out. I would really like to see Levesque's fire system at work in Far Cry 2 but I'd feel bad not having played the original Far Cry first...

    Rules of Play sounds like a good choice for designers. I'm learning some basic game design concepts so I can communicate with designers, but you nailed it on the head -- I'm definitely more into the programming aspect and see myself as a gameplay/graphics programmer. Creating special effects and animation to make virtual worlds come alive sounds like my niche.

  3. J-Dub,

    You know that I am programming illiterate, but I wanted to comment on your statement: "If you wanna be rich, you gotta do rich people stuff." - Dave Ramsey
    "Wanna be a Game Developer? Do Game Developer stuff!" - Me

    It is very true! If we want to become successful in a certain area of our lives we need to build habits of the successful.

    Great Blog!!