8 year old gets advice about game industry

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01/08/2013 09:57 AMPosted by Peratryn
Also remember that there are MANY positions available at game companies spanning a lot of different disciplines.

01/08/2013 06:25 PMPosted by Daxxarri
Good luck!

Well done you two.
I am very impressed. Thanks to GC and Dax for writing that up and giving such a detailed and thought out response!
What a great response to a really nice question posed by the community! Love seeing that!
Best Blizz post ever....

One thing to consider is exposing him to many different types of games. Even if he doesn't know the programming language, he can still put games together. Wil Wheaton hosts a youtube show called Tabletop, where he and 3 other people, (including game designer Steve Jackson of Steve Jackson Games, and Morgan Webb) Play a different "board-game" every week. Check it out. Pre-view the episode before you let him watch though, may be some mildly adult themed content. I'd recommend Munchkin, ticket to ride, zombie dice, settlers of catan. And my wife actually bought Dixit for the family for christmas this year, so that one too. It has beautiful artwork and is 100% pure imagination.

My brother used to program scenarios for Neverwinter Nights. It's a very simple template structure, point and click, and not necessary to know code, but it did allow him to learn to code more complex scenarios over time the better he got at it. I remember it being very simple, how big do you want the room, choose the tiles, choose the furniture, kind of thing. There are many games that have an development addon that allow you to create your own scenario.

Not that you'll be able to find a copy, but the 99' Akklaim game Re-volt, where you race an RC car and have the ability to make your own tracks.... ahhh the good ole days. THAT is a great game for an 8 year old. Again, if you can find a copy.
And thanks to everyone else who are contributing to the thread. I've seen tons of great info not only from the blues but other posters as well. Thank You for sharing your knowledge everyone!
As an avid reader of the Community Platform API section of the forums I'm used to a lot of dead topics and not much action. Leave it to GC to cause such a stir in an otherwise peaceful place.
http://apostephen.blogspot.com/2012/06/going-into-business-frpgs.html and http://apostephen.blogspot.com/2012/07/some-must-read-articles-on-video-game.html are two articles worth reading.

Wish the kid well.
Great reply; very informative and upfront!
And, of course, take thirty minutes a day for Gamasutra.

Treat it like must read homework.

I really doubt it.

Doubt what?
I was once a delivery driver for an anonymous blue box store.

Buying a WOW collectors edition game and seeing the awesome concept art made me realize that I could do more.

I left my job and returned to school, finishing my BFA this May and possibly moving to CA. Watch out blizz!
01/08/2013 06:25 PMPosted by Daxxarri
We have designers with backgrounds in art, economics, writing, math, law and of course science

Economics? I have a shot than... but i am not sure how economics relates to game design? i seen blizzard post jobs for project manager and such
We have designers with backgrounds in art, economics, writing, math, law and of course science

Economics? I have a shot than... but i am not sure how economics relates to game design?

Where do you think goblins come from?
Good job on being an active, involved, and supporting parent, OP! I concur with Bowhot's advice to also let kids be kids, but major props to you. We need more parents like that.

And high-five to GC as well for such a thorough response!
GC is amazing

and who knows... maybe some day GC will interview the 8 year old when hes applying at blizzard? (hopefully) ... or teach a class about game design...
I had this same dream at probably the same age. I remember all the custom *parks* I used to make in Tony Hawk's Pro Skater and my attempts at custom maps in the Warcraft 2 and 3 Editor and thought wow, I want to become a game designer! But as I got older, my views and goals started to become a bit more... realistic. Just because I enjoyed doing those things, It didn't necessarily mean I loved video game design. I took a semester of Game Development at George Brown College in Toronto and withdrawn from my second semester, deciding just to go into Computer Science instead (this doesn't prevent me from entering the game industry in the future).

Video game design is a lot of tedious work and it is not as simple as "yay I made a character!". If your son truly wants to get into the industry, he'll eventually fit himself in (trough modding, participation in forums, etc), otherwise, he'll just be stuck talking about how he wants to get into the industry.

As a parent, it is your responsibility to ensure the development and growth of his creativity and concentration. Drawing classes is a bonus, but most importantly a disciplined schedule (not dictated by video games) will be most beneficial. Even the little things as doing chores over the years can teach more than a school ever could.

No one becomes a game designer in a snap. There are several competitors and your son must prove that he has the skills the industry wants. A long journey for an eight year old.
Son has a lot of homework to do but as soon as we finish homework, we are going to play with the different websites discussed here. I can't remember if I mentioned it earlier, but y'all should have seen his face when I told him about the responses we received here. He just lit up and smiled all morning. I am sure he will change his mind 1000 times but whatever field, industry, decisions he makes will be well informed. There is always an opportunity to learn more. What ever career path he chooses, I will be there to support his dreams.

Hehe Blizzard interviewing Alex in 12 years. Hope Blizzard stays around for that.

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