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What are the chances of getting a job as a game programmer?

I wanted to know how hard is it to get into the game industry. I live in florida, and I'm going to to be going to a school named Full Sail and after all that learning I'm going to need to get a job somewhere.

The only problem I have with this is that I heard people who graduate from Full Sail (with music production degrees) never ever get jobs. So I am wondering if that will be the same case with me and going into programming.
I do not have personal experience with this, but I am working to become a programmer. The reason I am not trying to become a 'game programmer' is because from what I understand it is pretty much impossible. Basically, if you are to go into game programming then you have to be a self made genius prodigy. People usually don't learn to program games and then apply to Nintendo or ID and land a job. To get on with a stable studio, I think you have to either know someone or just be so damn good that they cannot over look you. I would recommend you pursue programming first and then look into games after you are established.
Do you know why you want to program games? Do you like programming or do you like games? I like both, as I am sure you do, but if you are going to be a 'game programmer' you better like programming 1st and games 2nd, because programming games is really programming programs, not playing games. Programming is also hard - thousands of times harder than playing even the hardest games - unless you count 64 gold disks and a "Tower of Hanoi game board" a game Smile
I cannot answer anything about the quality of Full Sail other than what I have read. I am always weary of universities with private accreditation, but thats just me. Reviews are mixed, but admittedly the reviews are better for full sail than they are for someplace like Westwood. I would hit up google for: "Full Sail" Review (Quotes around "Full Sail" ).

Good Luck.

Here are some things I found:
Thanks for the information, though there is a EA games near where I live and I kinda know someone who works there...

I know how hard programming is, I've been playing with gamemaker (using the actual coding) since 7th grade. I've also already taken the initiative to learn C++ and SDL Smile
I'm going to put this the way Scott McCloud does when he talks about getting into the comics industry:

1. Create a game in Flash.

2. Get your friend to play the demo and then pay 10 cents to download the full version.

3. Voila! You're in the gaming industry!

Of course, if you want to work for The Man, it's a little harder, but I bet the above method would get you some points in the interview. Very Happy
Nice tip Caffeinated,
Having something to show will set you apart from the hundreds or thousands of other 'wanna-be-game-developers' nearly identical to you. Imagine: how many kids grow up saying "When I grow up I want to play/make video games" - probably just about as many as have played video games. The game company has no way to know that you are not just some kid wanting to play with toys for the rest of their life unless you show them that 'something' - i.e. a tangible product that you have made - something that lets them know you aren't just a dreaming kid.
It is good that you know someone working with a game studio - from what I understand, that is pretty much the ONLY way you will get in the door unless you develop their next product (before they buy the rights from you)... But even with that connection, go prepared - also, hope that he knows some people in side. If he is some tester or texture developer and doesn't know anyone with clout then you may as well know EA's janitor Smile

Best of luck to you! You have the start going right: aim high!

its not hard just takes a lot of dedication.
I have known and worked with many games coders.
the key is to be the best, anyone can do it just dont have a life and code code code.
make sure your making your own games before you even think about it.
probably a good idea to do the maya courses too so as you know the graphics software
they use.
best place to ask this question would be in a 3d developers forum as you will
find lots of people who already work for games corps already there.
I dunno but poker, backgammon, chess, and so on those are easily programmable games, I mean you could put it up in ASP, Javascript, and XHTML, I happen to be working on a site like that but other games, the stuff people expect out of games today is beyond crazy.
And uh also arent flash movie makers like 1500$ how am I supposed to get one of those!!!
Fairly good, not sure about the pay if that is what determines it for you. Always worth an application or gathering friends and making something
hey, i've been trying to do the same thing. there are two ways of becoming a game programmer. these methods overlap a bit, but yes they are different.

1. learn a programming language like C++ or Java. Start small with things like a temperature converter or a calendar program. then move on to community projects and eventually your games.

2. post games online and (or I guess or) for download, spreading the word

3. make money of site ads and game downloads, charging more as popularity increases.

4. get people to help, get big kick ass and wait to be bought out by EA or Microsoft.


1. become a game tester

2. learn how to make minor coding corrections

3. learn more code, move up the totem pole, become a programmer

4. stop here or begin method two.

that's basically how it works. the important thing is to keep at it. it will take time to make a name for yourself.
Hello! I'am a chinese and don't know well about the environment aroud you, I've been work 4 years now, in my opinion, if you just want to make more money, you can choose a good major like programme design or some major about electron or ask you teacher what majors are good, but if you want to make you dream true, you should stick to your own idea and don't give it up.

Above is my own opinion, just for your reference, very happy to see you!
The free WSJ just had an article about a guy writing small puzzle games in Flash:

Doing so got him the opportunity to talk with game programming companies.

Showing that you both love game programming, and are good at it, by doing small games, seems the best route towards getting respect if you start on the outside.

Good Luck.
I HIGHLY HIGHLY discourage game programming--not only is it one of the most challenging types of programming, but it is extremely hard to get into the industry making XBox, PS3, Wii, and PC games.

Think of it this way, you are a beginner C++ student, and each week you struggle with different assignments: a Black Jack game, a scientific calculator, Tic-Tac-Toe, etc. That being said, something like a full PS2 game consists of many many different areas of programming, and a lot will be new to you. Remember the Gold Saucer in Final Fantasy 7 where you can play all sorts of mini games, or the card game in Final Fantasy 8? You will rarely programming the same thing twice, so every little bit of game programming is challenging.

If I haven't discouraged you yet, then I suggest you take a look at this college campus if you are extremely extremely serious about this occupation:

Forget about going to a school that doesn't teach you game programming, don't waste your time.[/url]
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