So, as posted previously I have enrolled with www.train2game.com to study for a diploma in game design.
I initially wanted an art based course as thats my passion and my living so extending on that would be beneficial short term and long term.
But when the consultant interviewed me I some-how ended up on a Game Design course which basically means coming up with the story line, the type of game engine and describing to the dev team how you envision the environment, characters and discuss the game play techniques.
The course work came and I started it as I was away on my holiday. It was a lot harder than I had thought, not impossible but it made me have to think about things I had had no reason to consider before.
I was asked to describe a 2D game I would like to develop in 2 paragraphs as well as an Arcade game. It went into game genres and the history of games and game engines. It was interesting but it didn't excite me.
I am not a "game player" in the true hard core sense of the word. I had to research who made various games and what game engine was used and why.
Anyway, I decide this course wasn't rocking my world and anyway as a game designer I did wonder whether work would be harder to find. Essentially, you have to pitch your game concept to developers along with art concepts and they may or may not hire you or invite you to be part of their team.
There are literally thousands of indie developer teams all working in small groups creating games for mobile phones, consoles, PCs and social network websites and all hoping that their game will result in profit. Quite often, they release free games because the popularity of their game is a good thing to have on your portfolio for future games you hope will be funded and released for profit by established game companies.
Even I have had 3 offers from indie developer groups looking for a texture artist to work on a project for free in the hope that it will bring in a profit. But it's always a big "if"
It appears a game designer needs to be creative but more in line with story telling and many successful game designers were at one time writers in one field or another and that's not me at all.
I have always been someone who can replicate an idea or a concept if given reference. In other words I can create art if I have something that inspires me. I have never been someone that can just imagine up art. The above texture was inspired by the movie The Skeleton Key and whilst it's nothing like the interior of the house in that movie it's what inspired me and what helped me to produce the texture sets the texture belongs to.
So, I rang them and explained that I had hoped to be trained more in game art than game design and the chap on the phone said he didn't understand why I wasn't put on the Game Art and Animation course to begin with but that swapping me over wasn't a problem.
He went on to say that the art course comes with a copy of Photoshop CS4 extended ( so I have one for sale if anyone wants to buy! I only upgraded mine 7 months ago to CS4 ) as well as a copy of 3DStudio Max.
I have looked at the course outline and some areas I will probably know a lot about especially were Photoshop layers and techniques are concerned. That said, PS is so big there is always something you can learn from it.
What I am really interested in is learning 3D Max. I have wanted to get into 3D art for a long time but lacked the program and the patience.
I now I feel at last on the correct path and feel once I am qualified in Game Art finding work would be much easier. I would rather be hired by an existing game developer for an existing game concept and asked to create models and textures of a certain theme than be the one who has to not only come up with that concept but then try to pitch it to a developer in hopes that it will be taken on and produce profit.
Plus, art is what I love. It's not a job to me, it's a hobby and passion and I feel very lucky indeed to be paid for something I truly love.