Staring a Game Design Studio?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by ROFLsnakes, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. ROFLsnakes

    ROFLsnakes L2: Junior Member

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    So, I'll be finishing highschool this coming year, and I've been visiting many colleges across the US to find the best school for me. One of my majors I'm cosidering is game design.

    Something that has annoyed me a bit is that most colleges that I've looked at and talked to students from seem to teach you from the ground up. Meaning they assume you know nothing about different engines (generally it's been mostly Unity Engine and Unreal). I just don't want to be stuck in a class where I already need to learn more about an engine I've spent 2 years on.

    One of things I've considered is starting a game design studio. Reason being is that I'd love to craft my own stories and design what I find interesting, instead of just designing others ideas (if this isn't the case for most game studios let me know). I'm not sure how much knowledge it takes, and what kind of resources are required to get there.

    Myself, I've spent a bit of time learning c#, javascript, and HTML5. I'm not fluent my any means, but I know enough to get by. I'm also not great at 3D modeling, I can make tables and barrels and the like, but nothing as complicated as a human being. I've worked with unreal for about 2 years now, and source for a bit longer, and just this year I picked up unity and cryengine. I'm comfortable writing stories, and doing simple sketches.

    So my question is how hard is it to start a game design studio, and what kind of knowledge is required? Are their others here on that have started their own? Is it worth getting a game design degree?
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  2. Tarry H Sruman

    Tarry H Sruman Large Orphanage Proprietor

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    Depends on what kind of studio you want to make. If you want to get a friend or three and start making mobile games, there really isn't anything from stopping you. If you want to go any further than that, you're going to need funding. In order to get funding, you'll need some beginning of a product to convince investors/publishers/crowdfunding sites that you're worth throwing money at. And even if your product is great, its really a crapshoot whether or not anyone cares enough to fund it.
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  3. RaVaGe

    aa RaVaGe

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    That's actually way more complicated than what you think, the only thing that you really need is experience, something you don't have actually. Like THS said if you want to design some mobile games it's not that hard to do, because you don't need a lot of money, but if you want to create a real studio, you will need a lot of funding, being able to manage a team, pay them, manage the charges, and on the other side doing your videogame, what will be your place into the team.

    You need experience, knowing an engine since 2 years is nothing, finish your studies, and if you are learning something that you know already, improve your skill on it, and be better than the others students. You need experience dude, don't think that you can get out of the school and then reinvent the wheel, you still can do some mobile games or mini games, but i'm sure that you weren't asking for that.

    Just be patient, finicky with your work, and then you can expect to enter a big company, takes experience, see how it REALLY works, and then maybe try to open your game studio, when you're 35+ years.

    Just my opinion.
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  4. ForbiddenDonut

    aa ForbiddenDonut

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    This is somewhat old, but I wanted to chime in:

    You don't necessarily have to go through the AAA loop - I've made plenty of friends at festivals and game jams who just went straight into indie (and not just mobile). UDK is a pretty easy engine to pick up and its indie license is super flexible.

    All that said, two things to really take into account:

    1) College is a good idea on the sole basis that it will get you meeting people. You won't have to pay another student to work on a game with you, and you may end up finding people that you work pretty well with. If anything, go to school for the connections and experience. You'll find out quickly that college is a great resource for information, tools and people. Also, it's a thousand times easier to get proper feedback when you go to a university.

    All this assuming it won't send you into debt. Please don't put yourself into debt. It's really, really awful.

    2) The best way to become a game designer is... drum roll please...

    ...make games. Seriously. Start now. The best advice I've received on this topic was from Steve Gaynor (he heads up Fullbright Games now which just released Gone Home) -

    "Make cool shit, and show it off to anyone and everyone."

    As RaVaGe noted, you need the experience. And you get experience by making games. A lot of them. Small, manageable games that you can finish. You're going to make a lot of terrible games, but this is part of the road to making a game that doesn't suck. Don't worry about making blockbusters. Don't worry about creating something that'll be as financially successful as Minecraft. Just keep making and keep learning. The road is long, and hard, and a cruel maiden at times. There's a reason why not everyone is a game designer/developer.