Having been a gamer my entire life and recently paying very close attention to the industry of producing games, I have come to be fascinated with the community support that everyone seems to show. It is not uncommon to read message boards and blogs from people who are really trying to benefit the gaming community as a whole. This is fascinating to me to see a collective group of people trying to make the industry as a whole better.
This begs the question for me of how to break into the video game industry. The conundrum of starting a career in the industry is something that I want to decipher. For example, I come from a really strong design background, in Mechanical Engineering, but it never seems to be the right type of design, especially the software that I personally work with on a day to day basis. I work with solid geometry modeling software, but everything that is used in for gaming is surface modeling. How does someone become exposed to these kinds of things without purchasing pretty expensive software licenses?
Additionally, I see many companies using so kind of program/project management style that are really specifically designed to software development, for example SCRUM or Agile. Is there really a way to learn these without being a part of a software development firm? In my experiences, in my field I don’t know if either of these project management styles would ever be beneficial, and I do not know how anyone would have exposure to learning them. The project tasks that we do require a huge amount of time to undertake, and these management styles seem to be a compromise between letting your programmers/designer have freedom but also keep them on track from completion dates.
Lastly is a matter of education, more specifically formal education. Take for example, with my background I have some exposure to software languages, but definitely not so much that I would say that I am fluent in any. How does one go about learning information that is vitally important to getting into the software development industry, with or without going back to school? It would seem to me that information pertaining specifically to gaming would be different that what could be taught in a four year degree.
I do feel strongly about trying to break into the gaming industry, but there seems to me that I can’t find the answers I need to point me in the right direction on what the next steps I should take. I and other people who are starting their careers would appreciate a little guidance on how we can better our chances.
I would appreciate comments, if only to answer some of the questions posed.