Before I go into detail I have to ask everyone to forgive my youthful ignorance and the fact that quite frankly I can already har the mental objections many will have with this post just by the title and description. Yes had I decided that this wasn ot the field for me i , my mother ( who has put much time and money into my schooling too ) and everyone who has rooted for me for the past 3 years would be greaty dissapointed in me and fairly to might I say but THANKFULLY that is not the case lol.
Please explain yourself
At 21 years of age after nearly 3.5 years of study, and 1 month into my senior porject I have come to the conclusion that game programming is a career field I would seriously like to pursue, grow into, and hopefully contribute to significantly at some point in the future. Now don't get me wrong It's not that I didn't choose to major in Game and simulation programming myself, it's not that I didn't apply to college with these intentions already but finally the idea and belief that Game programming has become my future has been instilled within me.
To explain myself a little bit better I feel like MANY people say they want to work in game developement because we all know everyone htinks you just sit around all day and talk games and eventually somewher in there a game is magicked up out of nowhere. anyone who has truly studied and commited themselves to game developement know this is not true. sure a game cameo ut of this eventually but I went Days perfecting that Shack model, I had to check and tweak the collisions between the boss and player_character over 100 times and the original game design document? either by now the project has expanded os far beyond that or I haven't put enough time , effort, or just don't have the ability to incorporate that feature right now.
Making Games is fun work for sure but it's DEFINITELY a form of work .
Gamers going into game developement
I feel like any student going into a major revolving around game developement or focusing on the game developement application of their study eventually has to hit a point where you're not doing this just because you live videogames as a fan but because truly you unferstand games and feel like you can contribute to make a game the best it can possibly be. Some professionals may say this is easy but If i'm honest I have MANY friends who I feel are at the same point as me and still don't know that game programming is what they want to do with their life. I can't look down on them or criticize though because truly less than a week ago I hadn't made up in my heart of hearts that THIS is what I want in my future, that THiS is what I want the basis of my future to be .
So what Caused this revelation, might I ask ?
A cold classroom where I sat alone for 5 hours, 3 of those hours I was there alone . I was reading a tutorial because even though we are only 1/4th of the way through our alotted project time we wanted ot start getting all the core components started, in this case a GUI. For our senior project we are making a 3rd person action RPG with the july version of theu nreal developement kit. The fact we are making an RPG alone means menus are important but I feel like the sooner we can get this up and running the better we can optimize them , streamline them , and make sure they function perfectly with the gameplay. Nothing like clunky menus to ruin the rest of the gameplay. But anywho I had spent weeks trying to understand and incorporate scaleform into the UDK . This was the third tutorial I had looked at and befre I could even begin there was a lot I had to due to configure my school's version of flash to work with scaleform and then make scaleform ready ot import to U.DK ( the fact this was all my first time doing this didn't help my speed).
It wasn't until hour 5 when I had a break through and was able to import my crappy place holder main menu into UDK without a problem . But I can't explain how good I felt when I did it. my professor and girlfriend have always told me my resilience is one of my stronger points and I jsut reclaled the time when I made a text based RPG and spent 3 days looking for a loose curly brace so that a casino function i created would work. or when i finally was able to make a boss successfully chnage states in a platformer I envisioned back in highschool.
I learned that THIS is the field ot geti n not only if I want ot be challened but if I want my challenges ot be variable and to feel good once I solve them. I understand the need for playtesters even more now because after playing/debugging an area 100 times and finally getting it to function correctly for the most part your mind is usually on the next challenge/ section/ or break .
After all that I just have to say that...
It's deifnitely been an inteesting 3 years i have been exposed to numerous technologies , devlopement ideas, and really the entire concept and knowledge of programming and the best part is I'm just starting I am excited to find out what I will learn on the job. what challenges await me in an actual developement environment and making gaming more than just a hobby but my life.
I think anybody who is looking into becoming a devloper ofr naything should just research and try their hand at making a small game it's easier than ever now and their are so many tools, communities, and entry points into game developement and if you have a passion for gaming it goes an even longer way but the sooner you are able to break that mental barrier between fan and developer the better because It gives you a much greater sense of purpose.
Anywho if ANYONE actually read all my jumbled thoughts thank you so much and feel free to leave a comment talking about when you understood being a game fan and game developer are to differnt sides to the same token? How you as a game developer appreciate or analyze things as a game fan and how being a gaming fan has made you a better developer ? Also any tips for a budding developer like myself ?