Are there any game designers and/or programmers here in DaniWeb?

What does it feel like working as a game developer?
What are the qualifications needed to be accepted into game developing studio?
Are there specific courses needed to become a game developer?

General question: What are other job opportunities as a programmer out there?

From a person in a small island nation Fiji :)

Just thinking about my future :/

The outlook for programmers is good. IT as a whole is thriving as far as number of jobs, and those opening up, goes. The career opportunities are rather endless outside of game development. You could go to work for a software house, contributing to whatever software it is they sell. Or perhaps go to work for a company in their IT department and create/maintain internal applications (medium to large banks are notorious for writing their own applications).

I think becoming a game designer has a very small market. I would start by getting involved in 3D programs. A lot of these already have pre built game engines.

I am assuming you are interested in 3D gaming. It would always be best to start off with 2D gaming first though.

Thank you Bob Hensley and iamthwee for your contributions :)

I wish the job opportunities as a programmer in Fiji would be endless.

Yes I am very interested in 3D gaming. Also I agree I should start off with 2D gaming. I need to start since my holidays just started. Aiming to finish a game by February. Just need to think of a good story. Hehe ;-)

start simple: a space invaders clone.
first part: just the graphics, no moving parts
second part: have your own spaceship shoot (straight line up)
third part: have the invaders you hit 'die' and add points to your total
fourth part: allow your own spaceship to move to the left and right
fifth part: let the invaders slowly come down.

there 's not much "logic" as in gamewise, but you get the hang of creating enemies, dealing with actions, keeping scores, and you can build in levels of difficulty.
for a first game, this can be quite good.

commented: Agreed +0

Agree with most here.

First, you need to start small. Very small. Space invaders is a good example. Build it, learn from it, go back and continually improve it. Gradually increase the difficulty of what you're developing.

Be aware though, that "increasing the difficulty" doesn't mean "improving the graphics". So many times people go "okay I've made space invaders and r-type and want to make a 3d game! What do you suggest?"
I suggest you rethink what makes something more difficult ;)

For example;
Let's say you have your R-Type clone. It's a perfectly good 2D shooter and you're happy with what you've written. If we prescribe to the reasoning that 3D = more difficult, then the next step would be to make your R-Type clone 3D...

What do we now need to change to make your clone 3D.
1. Switch from using sprites to 3D textured models.
2. Add the Z axis.

Not exactly what you'd call difficult. Everything is pretty much the same, the mathematics might be a tad more complicated, but essentially you have the same game just in three dimensions. Not all that hard.

So instead, what could we add to your 2D game that would be difficult.

  1. Artificial Intelligence - Maybe add some "intelligent" enemies that avoid fire or find the best missile paths. This is an entire subject by itself ;)

  2. Multiplayer Networking - Fairly straightforward but some difficult challenges to overcome (such as synchronisation, packet ordering, and bandwidth limitations etc.)

  3. Adaptive Audio - Audio is often overlooked in games because you can't see it. I find that audio can be the make or break of a game. Bad audio can ruin your immersion. Adaptive Audio is simply audio that changes based on what you're doing. This can be a fun project :)

  4. Scripted Events - If you're going to be a professional, you will need to be able to use a scripting engine of some kind that can process scripted events. They're often not easy to work with, in my opinion.

Once you master these things, start increasing the complexity of your gameplay or, finally move on to 3D. You will find that the extra dimension is of little consequence to you as your ability as a programmer will have improved drastically. Rather than thinking about this extra dimension, you'll be more concerned with why your battle music starts playing when your character is baking bread...

commented: Really helpful :) +0

There's actually alot of routes you can take as a game designer (I should know this, because I am one). Unfortunately, due to finanicial costs and time I don't get to program my own games as much as I would like to. Game development takes a TON OF TIME and from what you will see is that there are a ton of small independant game development organizations around the world. Most of them, actually work very hard to make a living. (Yes it's sad, there has been a decline in the world of gaming). This shouldn't discourage you in any way shape or form though, I would inspire the idea to learn programming languages like C++, ActionScript (Yes I did just say ActionScript) or even HTML5 and Ruby. I did go to school for game design, but now I'm pursuing it as a side career. Feel free to ask me any questions about the field! :)