GOING COMMERCIAL?

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Why should someone do something if they don't feel passionate about it? I'm not about to force someone to do something just because they're good at it. Maybe I have the hands to be the most dexterous surgeon who ever lived, but it doesn't mean I'll want to crack open heads and look at brains all day.

In my experience, if someone doesn't feel passion for something, they're not going to get the most out of it or really DO anything. I mean... here. I'm sure you can think of teachers you've had that clearly loved teaching, and others that were there to put food on the table. Which teacher gave you more? Which got you more excited about learning? Which was more memorable, inspiring?

Mostly, I think everyone needs to just chill out and not rag on other people for taking another route in life. Some people don't want to be neuroscientists and would rather make toys. Big whoop. It doesn't affect what you're gonna do with your life, so just let them do what they want.

This is so true, I've met some amazing teachers in my time and they were able to get the most truant kids into classes because their lessons were so enjoyable.

Sad thing is though if you like to do something because you have a passion for it, it does not transfer well into a business-like environment because you have deadlines and the amount of stress and pressure means that you have to force yourself into it.

I think the big difference between the amateur and industry aspects of game design is that amateur game design is a more relaxed environment where there are deadlines but theres also procrastination but there is more passion involved. The amateur gamer's usual drive is to make something that is fun and enjoyable that will entertain people.

The industry game designer has to try their best to get the most money out of the consumers, since it's a business they are running. They are not making stuff they want to make but stuff they think SELLS to the audience.

But I guess that leaves us with indie as you can make your games in your own time and get paid for them as well, but it wouldn't be a good way to earning income just a bit of cash on the side. Which I believe is as good as it gets.
Puddor
if squallbutts was a misao category i'd win every damn year
4963
author=Avee
It's a full-time job. Unlike a hobby it is most of the time stressful, frustrating and exhausting. And it is a lot less about "talent" and "quality game design" than most people might think.


Because of the passion and dedication I put into even my hobby games it tends to be like this anyway, so I feel making a buck off of my tears and sweat isn't such a big kick in the pants. I'm about to start a course in game design, the best one offered in my country (which probably isn't much) but y'know what? Games are my everything, so if I can do something I'm passionate about for money, why not?

I mean I don't expect to get my foot in the door straight away- or maybe ever. But that doesn't mean I'm not going to work my ass off trying to open that damn door.
TFT
WHOA wow wow. two tails? that is a sexy idea...
368
game design school is a waste of time and money when human beings in the indie scene are making splashes. 1 course of college could probably pay for 1 indie game. i find it staggering how people will spend thousands of american dollars to go to digipen only to end up handing sandwiches to blizzard employees when they could have taken that 1% of money from school to create a project with full creative freedom.

god save the games.
Puddor
if squallbutts was a misao category i'd win every damn year
4963
I'd be handing sandwiches to people if I wanted to make indie games on my own anyway. If I could, I'd rather be working at a AAA games studio or join forces like Extra Credits suggested. At this point I'm poor either route so I'd rather feel like I'm doing something rather than flipping burgers. In this next three years I can network, get in touch with other people in the games industry and show my interest. It's all about the people you know, but if two people apply for a games job, one with a degree, one without, both equally talented, the one with the degree will win out.
author=SorceressKyrsty
if two people apply for a games job, one with a degree, one without, both equally talented, the one with the degree will win out.

TFT said it.

author=TFT
game design school is a waste of time and money


As any job hunter knows, there is no substitute for experience. In art, your experience is demonstrated by a portfolio. Rather than wasting time and money on prescribed training for an abstract field, you could have used that effort to genuinely improve your own collection of finished items. At the end of the time you would have wasted on that course, you would no longer be "equally talented" to the other guy.
chana
(Socrates would certainly not contadict me!)
1584
All this, exept if you are some one like Notche, I'm sure he's making money (and how!) with his passion and it's generally those people (exceptions)and only those that succeed, no?
slash
APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
4011
An addendum - if you're already at college, don't just take a degree in game design and hope it'll get you far. Pick up useful related skills like scripting with C++, C#, or whatever, learn how to use a professional engine like Unity or Unreal, and learn how to make 2D or 3D art :D

That way even if you go out on your own, you're a one-man army. It's always so much nicer to work with a small team, though. The pressure is just way more bearable.
author=SorceressKyrsty
It's all about the people you know, but if two people apply for a games job, one with a degree, one without, both equally talented, the one with the degree will win out.

Not really true in the business of game design. In game design, portfolio is what all matters. Game company employers won't care much about certs. They wanna see products.
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By the way, in regards to the main topic, I do not qualify to answer because I don't make games. I only play them. And at the moment, translating a Japanese RPG. All in the name of a hobby.
Decky
I'm a dog pirate
19517
I'm neutral, but I figured I'd share this fairly relevant (but profanity-laced) Tool song:

author=SorceressKyrsty
I'd be handing sandwiches to people if I wanted to make indie games on my own anyway. If I could, I'd rather be working at a AAA games studio or join forces like Extra Credits suggested. At this point I'm poor either route so I'd rather feel like I'm doing something rather than flipping burgers. In this next three years I can network, get in touch with other people in the games industry and show my interest. It's all about the people you know, but if two people apply for a games job, one with a degree, one without, both equally talented, the one with the degree will win out.
Seriously dude I was in your position a few years ago I was also going to do a game design degree but I found out it's not that great because of a few reasons.

If you can't find a job in game design you can't transfer to any other career. It's much better to do Computer Science which can be used for MANY careers including game design. I am glad I did choose computer science for that reason and did not waste my time and money on some game design degree.

If you really want to make games for a living then I suggest you learn how to program exceptionally, because games incorporate many algorithms and data structures that you wouldn't even have thought of being used. You have been mostly a PLAYER than a DEVELOPER for the most of your gaming career lifetime.

Programming games are even more complex than programming applications, yes I'm talking about real stuff here. Games are HARDER to program than applications most of the time this is true. Everything has to be done from scratch, loading the images, using those images to make the animations, controlling the game's environment, as well as detecting collisions, programming controls and etc.
-Do you make games for money?
No.
-Given the chance, would you work on commercial games?
Yes/probably.
-Do you aspire to make games for money one day?
It's not a strongly help aspiration right now but I'd give it a shot given the right circumstances/depending how life in general was at the time. Maybe in the future it will be a solid goal, who knows.
-Why would you NOT make games for money?
Fear of turning a thing I somewhat enjoy into (even more of) a chore. Also fear of losing my "ARTISTIC INTEGRITY" or, something like that (especially if working for somebody else).
I was gone because of making commercial games for a company and corps.

I just quit everything last year and now am an indie developer. I'm planning to make games for free, and somehow make money from doing it without selling the digital copy of the game.

Do you make games for money
Yes, but that isn't the only factor

Given the chance, would you work on commercial games?
I took those chances. From now on, probably no.

Do you aspire to make games for money one day?
Yes. But not from selling the game itself.

Why would you NOT make games for money?
I have skills that can earn me money. What I'm afraid more is people not playing my game. If the price is a wall, I'll take it down.
Marrend
Guardian of the Description Thread
20536
Do you make games for money?
No. Nor do I really see me doing this in the future.

Given the chance, would you work on commercial games?
Uncertain. Part of me loves this concept, but another part of me is absolutely frightened by it.

Do you aspire to make games for money one day?
It was a dream of mine, I admit. But, after coming here, not so much. If nothing else, I figure I can't take the pressure of being on a deadline.

Why would you NOT make games for money?
If I had to make a game by myself (Like, literally, I can only use things of my own creation.), there is no way I would try to do it for money. Also, I've no confidence in my abilities.
-Do you make games for money?
I worked for flash game developers if that counts?

-Given the chance, would you work on commercial games?
I had plans but I quickly trashed it.

-Do you aspire to make games for money one day?
Yes. It is my dream goal. I want to be like Type Moon where I can sell games for money so I can make high quality games based on my story and a chain reaction from there. Free help and being by myself has limits after all :S

-Why would you NOT make games for money?
Contradicting because I like to make games for free :X
A professional developer once told me though, if you want to live and keep making games then you have to make money from it, even small, as long as it can pay the bills.
Hmm, you guys raise many interesting points. I'll respond to Calunio's inquiry and then give some more of my thoughts.

Do you make games for money?
No, and at present I don't plan to. Game making is strictly a hobby of mine.

Given the chance, would you work on commercial games?
It would have to be a project I was interested in, as my present career doesn't coincide with game development at all. It might be fun to at some point, but I couldn't work on it to the extent that it would interfere with my day job.

Do you aspire to make games for money one day?
Again, no. I would however like to make games that were up to a professional standard and that people enjoy. It's always nice when people like and respect your work.

Why would you NOT make games for money?
Game design is a hobby for me, as it is for others, and as a hobby there is no pressure, there are no deadlines, and there is no 'mass market appeal' to worry about. If I were working for a game company, I would have to worry about those things, which would limit my creativity severely and take all of the fun out of things.

Wow, really? Am I the only one who makes games just as a hobby and would not go commercial under any circumstances?
If I were ever to work with a team of indy developers on a project that I really liked, we might sell it for money. That's really the only circumstance under which I could see myself 'going commercial'.

None of this is to say that I think anything artistic should be a hobby or should be free; indeed, professional artists contribute a great deal to a society's culture, and they have just as much right to make money from their work as an engineer or businessman. All I'm saying is that, in my case, game design will most likely remain a hobby and an outlet for creativity.
Do you make games for money?
Not yet.

Given the chance, would you work on commercial games?
Yes, but only if I could work at my own pace.

Do you aspire to make games for money one day?

Yes, I've been feeling the pressure from several directions to start making commercial games. I've been told by more than one person that I should be doing that. However....

Why would you NOT make games for money?
I have doubts about my own ability and about the commercial viability of the kind of niche games I like to make. I'm another one of those people wishing for a way to distribute a game for free and still somehow make some money.
slash
APATHY IS FOR COWARDS
4011
author=flowerthief
Why would you NOT make games for money?
I have doubts about my own ability and about the commercial viability of the kind of niche games I like to make. I'm another one of those people wishing for a way to distribute a game for free and still somehow make some money.

See, that's perfect, because this is the generation of the niche developer ;) We already have way too many people making AAA games to appeal to the mainstream anyway. With the evolution of the internet, free indie tools, and services like Steam, developing and distributing a game is cheaper and overall more realistic for the average indie. This means there can be more "niche" games; since you didn't spend a million dollars on development, you don't need to sell as many copies to see a profit.

That being said, you still gotta have the skills to cut it, so practice practice practice!

And there are a surprising amount of ways to distribute games and still make profits. Microtrans are the ones that everyone loves and hates, but there's the Radiohead approach of pay-what-you-feel-like, there's deluxe versions, etc...
Nightowl
Remember when I actually used to make games? Me neither.
1577
-Given the chance, would you work on commercial games?
Don't think I could be any use.

-Do you aspire to make games for money one day?
Nah. Barely making games is just a hobby for me.

-Why would you NOT make games for money?
Laziness, and most likely the game wouldn't sell. Besides, I'd of course get sued for using ripped resources.

Unless I somehow end up making a Source mod that is awesome enough to rack up some money, I'm not going to make games for money ever.
Adon237
if i had an allowance, i would give it to rmn
1743
-Do you make games for money?
nope
-Given the chance, would you work on commercial games?
nope
-Do you aspire to make games for money one day?
nope
-Why would you NOT make games for money?
it's a hobby, lack of time/effort/skill
I am not even really 'interested' or 'obsessed' with games. I still have like 6 months or something left until I probably finish my game. ohh wait this is all a lie, I need to make a trilogy. so about 2 and a half years i will be plaguing RMN.
-Do you make games for money? No
-Given the chance, would you work on commercial games? The last time I checked, science is more important than art. I'll be sticking to biochemistry.
-Do you aspire to make games for money one day? No. Not really.
-Why would you NOT make games for money? Kinda irrelevant given my other answers.