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Old 02-15-2006, 09:58 AM   #1
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Default My upcoming birthday [groan]

I haven't been very open here in the past, but I need to get this out of my system, and I don't exactly have any friends in the real world. Maybe if I write it up I'll feel better. My 18th birthday is coming up soon, and it's really getting to me. This is the legal age of adulthood, and what I really want is to push that off, oh, say five more years. It's not that there's any specific problem than this; it's just the general concept that now I will be expected by society to be an adult.

Oy, listen to me, I sound like a condescending kid's cartoon written by adults. This is awkward. I'm out of high school, and have no job (well, I have one very small job once a month, just so I have enough money to buy a game once in a blue moon). Studying any more is out of the question. The question I'm facing is obviously, "What do I want to do with my life?", but I really don't want to answer that question. It's so much easier to ignore it, like I've ignored everything I didn't like in my life. The fact is, I know exactly what I want to do with my life- I'd like to do as little as possible.

But this answer isn't good enough. I want to make games, I really do. Or maybe I don't. Maybe I just want to be at the top, to be in a position where I can make games. Ugh, I don't know what I want. I certainly don't want anything enough to work for it. Yeah, that's a good excuse. Maybe now I can play my games in peace. Okay.

So I've said it. Hm, I don't feel any better.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:03 AM   #2
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If you want to 'make' games you're going to have to specialize, graphics and programming are the main ones.

And its impossible to get a job in the game making industry without a few years experience.

Dont worry, Im sure things will work out.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:09 AM   #3
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I think it's very nice that you're turning 18, soon. 18 is a very nice age, IMHO. Wish I could turn 18 all over again. Whatever it is, let life surprise you. And heck, if you wanna make games, go make games. But make sure you find out first what does it take to make games.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:11 AM   #4
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Mory, 18 is too young to be making the kind of decisions that will affect you the rest of your life. You are just on the threshhold of being an adult. If you're not quite ready to decide, then work at a job you can stand for a while, even part-time, to show that you are capable of doing this - trust me, working is easier than school. Talk to as many people your own age as you can, and find out what they will be doing to get some ideas, and what is available where you live.

There are many kinds of work that don't require college, like carpentry, plumbing, landscaping, laying floor tiles and rugs, heating and A/C, auto mechanic (talk to Scott), etc. These are the hands-on kinds of things and can be very rewarding to see your work when it's done. Making games requires college and is a very tough course, as well as very tough work, with a great deal of pressure on you to put out in long hours and not a great deal of pay.

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Old 02-15-2006, 10:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dasilva
If you want to 'make' games you're going to have to specialize, graphics and programming are the main ones.

And its impossible to get a job in the game making industry without a few years experience.

Dont worry, Im sure things will work out.
Yeah, well, "things will work out" has always been my motto, but it doesn't actually lead you anywhere. But then, I'm not sure I want to go anywhere. I certainly don't want to program, and I have roughly zero skill in drawing- my skill is in game design, I think. That is, assuming I actually have any skill at all, which is not at all a certainty.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:24 AM   #6
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making a successful game: 60% well-coordinated TEAMWORK within a knowledgeable group, 30% marketing plus 10% sheer luck. If it is an adventure game, there is also a chance that it will be sought for, even 2 or 3years after its publication, IF you produce something more popular afterwards.
(which will arise interest in your other products)

But if you build the game heavily on visuals (D3D or OpenGL eye-candies),
it will get outdated in less than 2 months; so marketing and timing of publication is quintessential.

I wish you luck with future decisions, too
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairygdmther
Mory, 18 is too young to be making the kind of decisions that will affect you the rest of your life. You are just on the threshhold of being an adult. If you're not quite ready to decide, then work at a job you can stand for a while, even part-time, to show that you are capable of doing this - trust me, working is easier than school. Talk to as many people your own age as you can, and find out what they will be doing to get some ideas, and what is available where you live.

There are many kinds of work that don't require college, like carpentry, plumbing, landscaping, laying floor tiles and rugs, heating and A/C, auto mechanic (talk to Scott), etc. These are the hands-on kinds of things and can be very rewarding to see your work when it's done. Making games requires college and is a very tough course, as well as very tough work, with a great deal of pressure on you to put out in long hours and not a great deal of pay.

Lynsie

I'm doing my degree in carpentry and when Im finished I can just walk in and work. I recommend you go to college if you want to do a trait, its just harder not going to college.

And game making is a reskee busness, you wont be able to make adventure games for a living, as you can clearly see theres no market for it. (big enough for EA or VU)
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:38 AM   #8
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Lynsie: I did a job I could handle for a few months. I was tutoring a 12-year-old kid in Visual Basic 6. See, though in recent years I've gotten sick of programming, I actually know how to do it since I enjoyed it a lot as a grade-schooler. Anyhow, this tutoring job took a tremendous amount of effort to prepare the lessons and think of homework and ensure that I wasn't missing anything and try to get the difficulty curve right and not overwhelm him but reward his progress, blah blah blah. I did all this compulsively, because when I commit to a job, I can't bear the thought of doing it badly. I could handle this job, had nothing else to do in the week, etc. You know what?- I hated it almost as much as I hated being imprisoned in a classroom. It wasn't bad work. I took it gladly. But at the end of each lesson, I felt no pride, no satisfaction- just relief that I would be free for another week.

I'm sort of a musician. "Sort of", because I have the skill, but never really wanted it. I have no particular love for music, but I can't help but come up with new themes, can't help but improvise on the piano. I've gotten very little satisfaction from completing a piece. I get much more reward from an improvisation, though it is completely nonproductive. I just took a job a few days ago, a simple, tedious job: transposing a song, and its piano accompaniment, from one scale to another. I worked on this compulsively, of course, ensuring that it looked sufficiently professional and that all the dynamics and accents were copied, and that there should be no mistakes, blah blah blah. It wasn't a bad job. I didn't enjoy it for one moment. No satisfaction. Just the relief that I was finished, and could get back to playing Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door.

I don't get satisfaction from looking at the finished work, because all I can think about is the suffering it took me to get there. I don't get satisfaction from being payed. I don't get satisfaction from praise. As far as I can tell, the story always told about the satisfaction of a job well done is a myth.

I do find it satisfying to think about games, to plan games, to criticize games, to appraise games. I've tried dealing with game programming, and it's a nightmare. It's so tedious and technical- I am so overwhelmed by the medium that I can't get to the art.

You know what I felt when I got out of high school? Relief. I'd been waiting for that day for a decade. No satisfaction, though there was very little effort involved in any year (almost on principle). No reward but a piece of paper. When I say that more school is out of the question, I mean that literally: I do not ask "Will I go to college?". The idea of willingly putting myself back into prison is unthinkable.


These are the real issues. Of course it is not the number eighteen which scares me. It is the prison world that number symbolizes, a world which I have no desire to be a part of. But what alternative do I have?

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Old 02-15-2006, 10:48 AM   #9
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I don't know if this makes you feel any better, Moriarty, but my 26th birthday is coming up soon as well, and I'm having pretty much the same problems you are (well, granted, except that I don't want to make games and I have several years of work experience under my belt).

I highly recommend going to college myself. I don't know what getting work is like in the part of the world where you set up kip, but I know that because of the way the working world operates where I live I very much regret not going to college. The longer you put off going, the harder it gets to be able to go once you realize you should.

But if the thought of more studying is just too horrid to bear, at the very least follow the Godmother's advice and go out and get a job, just anything that pays for the time being.

I'll echo the sentiment that if you're a lazy sort of person (not meant as an insult, since I'm a lazy sort of person) then getting a job in the "formal" game industry prolly wouldn't work so well... you can always try satiating your game-creating urges by making fangames, or maybe shareware games as a small side gig.

Edit: Hmm, I wrote this while you were in the middle of writing your post. I can understand the problem of lack of motivation (although mine takes a different route than yours). Have you ever tried being a "game editorialist"? I find your posts here in the forums to be interesting, and it would let you concentrate on your love of thinking about games.

Peace & Luv, Liz
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairygdmther
Mory, 18 is too young to be making the kind of decisions that will affect you the rest of your life. You are just on the threshhold of being an adult. If you're not quite ready to decide, then work at a job you can stand for a while, even part-time, to show that you are capable of doing this - trust me, working is easier than school. Talk to as many people your own age as you can, and find out what they will be doing to get some ideas, and what is available where you live.
What she said! You made it through your Bar Mitzvah, you'll make it through turning 18. At least for this you don't have to learn anything in Hebrew, nor do you have to recite anything in front of a room full of people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fairygdmther
There are many kinds of work that don't require college, like carpentry, plumbing, landscaping, laying floor tiles and rugs, heating and A/C, auto mechanic (talk to Scott), etc. These are the hands-on kinds of things and can be very rewarding to see your work when it's done. Making games requires college and is a very tough course, as well as very tough work, with a great deal of pressure on you to put out in long hours and not a great deal of pay.
Of the careers FGM listed, plumbing and heating & A/C (which are very similar disciplines and are usually considered one and the same) has the highest earning potential, plus you'd normally be working indoors. Very little creativity is required, but a certificate from a technical school usually is. Of course, you can always try working for a summer with a plumbing/HVAC guy to see if you like it.
Carpentry is a wide field that covers many specialties, from framing houses to building and installing cabinets to creating beautiful and useful furniture. Pay scales and the comfort level of the work environment vary accordingly, but cabinet maker is generally the best compromise.
Laying tile can be great if you have a creative bent. Top tile guys command absurd fees for their work, but an anal-retentive perfectionist streak is necessary to be tops in this field. If you're good at creating mosaics, then the world could be your oyster.
Auto mechanics are the Rodney Dangerfields of the trade community...we get no respect! Lots of guys with no mechanical aptitude whatsoever think this specialty will be a walk, and they soon find out otherwise. It's filthy work that doesn't pay very well, so unless you're really into cars I don't recommend it.
Landscaping demands very strong people skills, as Mrs. Nit-Pick will expect you to remove every single leaf from her lawn, place pine straw (not leaves) in her flower beds, and maintain healthy plants in environments for which those plants are wildly unsuited (think palm trees in Minnesota), all the while doing so with a smile and a "Yes Ma'am".
Laying carpet is just a job, is very physically demanding, and unless you own the carpet store doesn't pay very well.
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:59 AM   #11
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Well watever you do make sure you have a good party or something on your 18th, I wasted mine

Do something big that youll have good memories or atleast can look back and laugh at!
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Old 02-15-2006, 10:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thrift Store Scott
At least for this you don't have to learn anything in Hebrew, nor do you have to recite anything in front of a room full of people.
Heh- you have no idea how on the mark you are with this comment. (I did much more than the average guy for my Bar Mitzvah.) Still, I wasn't worried in the slightest back then- I didn't yet know what I was getting myself into. It seems like so long ago that I took it for granted that the world would allow me to enjoy myself. I know that in one way or another I'll survive, but the devil's in the details.


Quote:
Of the careers FGM listed, plumbing and heating & A/C (which are very similar disciplines and are usually considered one and the same) has the highest earning potential, plus you'd normally be working indoors. Very little creativity is required,...
Stop right there. The less creativity, the less depth. The less depth, the sooner I go out of my mind.

Anyhow, anything physical is a bad idea for me- I'm a complete klutz.

Oh, and anything that takes "people skills" is a bad idea for me- I have none.

Oh, and anything that takes any effort at all is a recipe for misery.

I'd like to go home to my alternate universe now.
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Old 02-15-2006, 11:01 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Karmillo
Well watever you do make sure you have a good party or something on your 18th, I wasted mine

Do something big that youll have good memories or atleast can look back and laugh at!
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Old 02-15-2006, 11:07 AM   #14
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That was a bit vague, sorry. Look, it's just, I don't actually have any good friends, and I don't enjoy spending time with my family, so this morning...
Um, this morning, I woke up, and thought to myself, "What's the best way to celebrate my birthday?" and I thought of going on a bus to Jerusalem by myself and going to a steak house and getting a rare sirloin and enjoying the moment and then it would pass and I'd come home and maybe pretend that it was enough and... and.

I think that was it.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:02 PM   #15
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I have some thoughts, Moriarty... or at least, some questions.

1. What do you enjoy doing?

2. What do you hate doing?

2. What do you think you're good at?

3. What do you think you're not good at?

4. What sort of activities give you satisfaction to do?

Maybe we can work off that to give you some advice... or maybe it'll help you organize your thoughts on your own just by writing it out.

Peace & Luv, Liz
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"Is the Elemental Plane of Candy anything like Willy Wonka's factory?"
"If it is, would that mean Oompa Loompas are Candy Elementals?"
"Actually, I'm thinking more like the Candyland board game. But, I like this idea better."
"I like the idea of Oompa Loompa Elementals."
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:04 PM   #16
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Man, what would I give to be 18...

First of all, you don't have to grow up now, maybe never. I still haven't and most of my friends haven't either, even though some of them think they have.

You know you want to be a game designer. That's great, I do too, I only wish I knew that when I was still 18. But are you sure that's what you want? Judging by the stuff you write here, maybe you'd be happier as a game theorist or something like that.

Personally, I think you, well, think too much. Just sit down and write a design document for a simple game. Don't ponder on it for ages trying to make it innovative or significant, just design something. Then find some people, maybe even on these forums, and make that game a reality. Cause that's what being a game designer is all about, making your designs work, breaking your teeth on implementing something, seeing what works and what doesn't with your own eyes, learning to coordinate a team of people... Perhaps it will turn out a shitty game, but you'll grow and get a sense of accomplishment. If it's not for you, you'll know it then, and if it is, do it again, but this time aim a little higher. Try to get a job as a tester, many people climb their way to game design from there. Work on your skills till you feel you've masterd your craftmanship. Then start thinking about metaludes and what not.

In some ways I'm pretty much like you, but you've got 8 years on me and I'm not worried about my future yet - or should I say anymore. Most people go through those questions at some time in their lives, you just need to realize that the answers will present themselves eventually. You genuinely surprised me with this "I'm turning 18" speech, I thought you were much older. You seem like a very intelligent lad, but what you lack is one thing that comes with experience, just like in games. You'll get there, don't worry, just take one step at the time.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:26 PM   #17
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@Jeysie:

Well, you guys already know what I love doing: I love rambling on and on about whatever game design ideas pop up into my head. Can't imagine any of you really tolerated reading it, but... Anyway, I love coming up with new ideas. I love coming up with ideas which are completely outrageous, but make perfect sense. That has got to be the most satisfying feeling ever.

On the flipside, I hate repetition and redundancy. Often I get interested in something, read up on it as much as I can, then get sick of it when it gets too familiar and never touch it again. For example, I once was really interested in playing piano, so I went out of my way to get lessons, but it became a chore when I understood what I was in for. I'm not taking any lessons anymore, and never play any music unless I compose it myself. Or I was once really excited about math, and read so much math that I was around three years ahead of my grade, but eventually I understood what it was like and lost interest. I never actually did the final math tests, or even finished the high school material for that matter.

I don't actually know what I'm good at, since there's no one to tell me. Well, that's not quite true. Everyone says I'm good at music; I was let into the Jerusalem Academy of Music very late, despite not knowing a lot of material, because I was told that I could compose well. I don't know if I'm good at music, though. I just do it for fun, you know? I play piano as a game; I have this three-part "Improvised Sonata" which has these very complex rules I need to follow, though I can make up new rules as I go along. It's fun, and unpredictable. What was I talking about again? Oh, right, my not knowing whether I'm any good. See, everyone says I'm good, but I never wanted to be good, and I think it all sounds completely derivative, you know? Like I don't really have any originality.

I know of a bunch of things I'm certainly not good at. I'm not good at socializing, I'm not good at anything involving endless facts and rules, I'm not good at doing anything I'm told. I'm not good at anything involving manual dexterity without a controller.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by insane_cobra
You know you want to be a game designer. That's great, I do too, I only wish I knew that when I was still 18. But are you sure that's what you want? Judging by the stuff you write here, maybe you'd be happier as a game theorist or something like that.
Well, as I said before, exactly what I want is a bit unclear to me. Especially when I try to graft that picture onto the real world, which gets really messy... But I know one thing: most of my dreams involve games which revolutionize their art forms, and none of them involve writing books and giving lectures and telling other people to agree with me. Doesn't sound too appealing, really. The reason I'm always so excited about theory is that I'm looking for what can be done with it; the theory isn't a goal in and of itself.

Quote:
Personally, I think you, well, think too much. Just sit down and write a design document for a simple game. Don't ponder on it for ages trying to make it innovative or significant, just design something.
Oh! Oh! I have something! I have something! See, I've been thinking about what kind of game would be simple enough for me to be capable of programming it, yet revolutionary enough for me to not feel ashamed, bored, and depressed all together, and I came up with an idea. Do you want to hear it? But even in writing the design document itself, I'm really suffering from the lack of a decent design language to think into, and I've already sort of burnt out just a few paragraphs in. It's tedious work actually writing it out. This was supposed to be the path to my future, you know. Maybe the problem's just the lack of any motivation.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:51 PM   #19
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There's literature to help you with organizing your thoughts. You've read some books on game design, I suppose? The one I'd recommend is (here we go again) [url=http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1556229127//ref=nosim/adventuregame-20 Design: Theory and Practice (2nd Edition)[/url], especially since one of its chapters deals precisely with writing a design document and there are even two sample documents at the end of the book. It's my favorite book on game design out of 3 or 4 I've read so far - some of them claimed they were on game design, but were mostly about level design or game development in general.

And yeah, I'd like to hear about your idea. I wouldn't mind sharing some of mine, either, if you're interested.
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Old 02-15-2006, 12:59 PM   #20
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There are loads of people out there who have no idea where they want to go in life, you're definitely not alone in that.

Ever think about just messing around for a few years? 18 is very young, you still have to unwind from all of the stress and burn out of high school.
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