Yes, I realize that answering my questions is probably getting old. But choosing a college and career is probably one of the most important decisions I’ll make in my life, as it most likely was for you. Anyway, I had some other questions that didn’t really relate to each other, so I threw them all together.
1) When I look at portfolios, it seems like the main skill an employer looks for is drawing ability (at least to me, and from reading on here.) I’ve looked at a bunch of them, and (hoping I’m not offending anyone) I’m not really that impressed with the actual designs. The artwork is no doubt great, and it’s easy to spot talent there. But the actual concepts just seem pointless and redundant to me. In any case, I just don’t really like what I’m seeing.
Is this only because they are students, or what?
But my other concern is with portfolios on this site that are well-received. I still have the same feelings about the majority of these: the artwork is good, but the designs I’m seeing are kind of redundant and aren’t new innovative ideas.
I’m trying to figure out if a ID education will be for me if I’m more concerned with creating a new product that accomplishes something (as in, innovates/saves energy/ etc in a new way, not just designing a watch or some other everyday item.
It’s not like I’m some brilliant inventor, but it just seems like ID is focused more on aesthetics and redesigning basic ideas rather than coming up with new ways to do things. Or am I completely off on this? Looking for feedback.
2. How intense is the ID curriculum? WIll I have a lot of free time?
This sort of ties in with question 3. Right now I’m kind of torn between two career paths; video game design and ID. To put a long explanation short, game design doesn’t really require a specific degree, but rather can be largely self-taught. ID doesn’t appear to be the same.
Thus my dilemma is the following:
Do I go to a design school (UC, Virginia Tech, Carleton are top picks), get a degree in ID/etc. and have some of it apply to video game design (if I choose to go that route), and possibly not have enough time to work on and learn programs that I’ll need for VG design (It seems like a lot of these design schools are very time intensive.) Finally it will most likely be more expensive to go to a design school, and it won’t be in my hometown.
I can go to a normal college (U. of Pittsburgh) while saving a lot of money and having more time to learn the programs/etc. that I’ll need to get a VG job. I like the area (probably more so than any of the aforementioned design schools).
So it’s kind of a tough choice, and it’s why I’m spending so much time asking questions about ID.
3. What specific tools will I learn from an ID school that can apply to video game design? I’m talking about Maya, Photoshop, etc. Are these a large part of a typical ID curriculum?
Here are a few game companies websites, and what they are looking for:
from: > Valve Corporation
3 + years industry experience
Working knowledge of Maya or XSI and Photoshop, Mudbox, Zbrush a plus
Ability to take a piece from concept to final product
from: > http://insomniacgames.com/careers/art.php
We are looking for is someone who has:
Worked with design to create dramatic compositions.
Modeled natural and architectural game objects.
Created textures, normal maps, and surfaces for environments.
Collaborated with design and programming to create working game levels.
Has lit game environments.
Things that we are looking for you to have done:
Strong sense of form, color, and composition.
Demonstrated skills with Maya and Photoshop required.
Peerless attention to detail.
Advanced Maya or Max user.
Advanced mesh sculpting with Mudbox or Zbrush.
Bachelor’s degree (B.A.) from a four-year college or university; or two to four years related experience and/or training; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
Game credits and lighting experience a plus.
Is there anything in there that I would learn directly from being in an ID program?
Thanks for all the help.