Question mark

So the source of this post was a question on Facebook that read as follows:

I wonder if there is anyone who would be willing to let my son interview them via pm for a school project? He has 10 questions to ask.
He needs to interview a computer game developer?
Thanks in advance.
If this is inappropriate, please delete and accept my apologies

1. What are your responsibilities?
2. Are men and women treated equally in your workplace?
3. How long have you worked at this position?
4. What education or training do I need for this position?
5. What type of education or training have you had?
6. Will there be any jobs like yours in the future?
7. What do you like most about your job?
8. What do you like least about your job?
9. What is the average salary for someone working this field?
10. How are people expected to dress in this line of work?
Disclaimer*I’m a solo “hobbyist” independent game developer. I also have a day job as a software developer that supports this hobby and occasionally so freelance work to help out with funds as well. Keeping that in mind my answers are probably not considered the norm for folks who are in the AAA “main stream” game development industry and will be specific to my game dev hobby.

1. What are your responsibilities?
As far as game building goes everything. Art, music, code, advertising, narrative, level design, project management, finances or anything else related to getting your game made and played by people. That being said I have hired freelance artists and gotten help from friends and other folks in the game development community.

2. Are men and women treated equally in your workplace?
Actually this is a point of some contention with the Gamer Gate controversy. I’ve known of a few larger names in game development, such as Brianna Wu, that have dealt with harassment. I believe that the industry, as a whole,has been lacking diversity for a long time. However it is going a period of
growth as far as diversity.

For more info on this subject take a look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Women_and_video_games#Women_in_the_games_industry

3. How long have you worked at this position?
I’ve been a hobby game developer for about a year and a half and a regular software developer for about 6 years.

4. What education or training do I need for this position?

The requirements for being an indie game developer can vary greatly.
Here are a few things that definitely help:

  • An open mind
  • A love of games
  • Experience playing lots of different games
  • Good work ethic
  • Lots of dedication
  • A desire to learn about the world around you.
  • Interest in a variety of different subjects and areas, History, Science, Math, Politics, Art, Cultures etc….
  • A background in Computer Science or at least the ability to write code for computer programs.
  • A basic grasp of physics and various mathematics (Geometry, Trigonometry , Calculus )
  • An understanding of art, animation and some principles of computer vision
  • Basic knowledge of music as it applies to video games.
  • Honestly learning to play an instrument (I’d recommend piano ), music composition and audio software would be super helpful

Game OverBut it depends more so on what sort of games you want to make. You could only have a fraction of those things and collaborate with someone else and it could work. Much of this also depends on the tools and the type of game you are making using to build a game. Some tools only require you come up with the narrative others offer you a visual programming languages and others still provide a lot of leg work as far as  visual designing tools, graphical assets, music or even starter templates for different types of games.

-If I had to pick hard skills I’d say computer programming, art and music.
-If I had to pick one thing I’d say dedication with a desire to learn as a close second.

5. What type of education or training have you had?

  • As far as computer programming skills, I’m self-taught. I’ve played with computers since I was a kid and learned to program when I was 22 and fresh out of the US Army. (That is not to say a formal Computer Science education wouldn’t benefit you greatly. Having it is definitely better than not.)
  • Experience wise, I’ve been a professional Software Developer for 6 years and IT system admin\Network Admin for about 3 years before that.
  • I’m a self-taught artist and been drawing informally since I was young but, I’m taking classes now to improve my skills as an artist.
  • I was deeply interested in music while I was in high school. I primarily played percussion including  drum set in jazz band and snare on the marching band but I also played trumpet and a bit of bass guitar. I did a bit of piano and studied some basic music theory.
  • I’ve done a number of game jams and taught a couple of programming classes am still learning as I go.
  • I’ve taken a college level creative writing course that helps with the area of narrative but, probably not helping with my editing or proofreading.
  • I’ve attended Software Development and Game Development conventions and conferences. My most recent conference was GDC 2015.

6. Will there be any jobs like yours in the future?

I’d imagine so. As long as people continue to enjoy playing games then I’d imagine they would continue to make them as well.

7. What do you like most about your job?

  • Creative control
  • Getting to learn a bit about everything.
  • Working in an area where potential possibilities feel almost limitless.
  • Working in a medium that I believe has the power to change the way people think and feel about the world.
  • Making things that I enjoy playing with
  • Making things that people actually enjoy
  • The act of creating
  • I get to work with games

8. What do you like least about your job?

  • The lack of a stable income
  • The difficulty in standing out
  • I don’t get things done as quickly as I would if I were doing this full time.
  • I have a hard time struggling with realistic expectations of time, quality and scope.
  • The audience can often be highly critical of your work.
  • The audience can often be tough to sell to when it comes to paying a reasonable price for something you put on the market. See this http://www.puppygames.net/blog/?p=1574 for more info

9. What is the average salary for someone working this field?

Ramen Noodle Soup Oriental FlavorBecause games are a hit driven market, the amount of income you receive can vary greatly. You can come out stuck eating Ramen Noodles , extremely well  or anything in between. Check this link out out for more info. http://makeitbigingames.com/2006/03/how-much-money-can-indie-games-make-part-i/

 

 

 

10. How are people expected to dress in this line of work?
You can work from wherever you like so… whatever works for you really.

 

If anyone has any anything different they would like give their own answers to the 10 questions I’d be glad to link their posts at the end of this one.