I decided to get a degree in game design because designing games is something I have done in my free time almost my entire life. If I am not working as a game designer or going to school, I would still be designing games in my free time. I still have not published one yet, but I am hoping to remedy that soon.
I am beginning to be concerned about how these classes keep telling me it's so hard to be one. I understand they are just trying to prepare us, but seriously I am here to learn more and improve myself not to be told that designing games is not fun. I enjoying designing games and I enjoy the social aspect of working in a team. I am even starting to wonder if I might like being a producer instead of designer.
My long term goal however is to be an independent developer or work in a small team. I keep hearing that is so hard to get a job in game design, yet no one seams to be talking about all the exciting growth in the field. There are more ways to design a game and get it out there then ever before. Also there are a lot more positions available then just lead designer.
Am I wrong? Is the university trying to tell me there are no positions available and it's either be lead designer in a Triple A studio or nothing?
Honestly it doesn't matter to me one way or the other. designing games is what I want to do and I don't care if I end up needing to learn programming and art and everything else as well. Even if I never use my degree I'll be happy just to have learned more about game design.
Being a game designer is not about having a huge salary or being the top of a pyramid it is about making games. If you design games, congratulations you are a game designer. The very fact that we are in this class means we are studying game design.
We made it, we are a part of the industry even if that part is only as students. Don't let anyone try to tell you it is too difficult, you're already here.
As for what I need to do to get to where I want to be. I think the main thing is build up a portfolio of published games and game design documents maybe even mods. It is likely I will need to learn more programming to get this done and to be more qualified in my field. Whether I am working independently or applying for a corporate job it will help to have a strong portfolio of games available to the public.
I also believe that by actually designing games we can learn things that aren't able to pick up in a classroom. I am excited about the team projects we will be doing in our classes but I think each of us should also be working on our own projects even if it is just fooling around with different software or writing out ideas or game design documents. Remember the first step to being a game designer is to design games.