See Lum waving Anyuzer like a flag. Whatever he says is True. And deserves reblogs.
So why can’t I do the same?
Then there are the designers. From my own personal experience, these guys are also just people who somehow fell into their job (usually from ‘QA’ as well, which, I have to admit, seems like a piss poor place to pull designers from in my opinion). They don’t really understand the ‘whys’ and ‘whats’ of what makes games work. If you mention ‘player psychology’ to them, they’ll usually blink vacantly at you and reply with something like: “Is that, like, a rock group or something?”
The problem is that game design is what everyone wants to do (or more accurately everyone thinks they can do) so most companies hire internally for that sort of thing. Your best bet is to get an entry level job (CS, QA, whatever) and work your way up, but be aware that all your coworkers are trying to do the same thing.
What he said. Support jobs are an easy way to prove your sentience — in CS and QA, you have plenty of opportunities to suggest solutions to the problems you report, and if they’re good, somebody will notice.
Barring that, trust me, the cream rises to the crop in this industry really well, especially in larger studios. If you are the best CS or QA person in your division, you will get noticed eventually. On UO2, we promoted at least 3 people from below to worldbuilding and data positions from CS and QA. John Hanna and Carly Staehlin both got lead design positions that started from being top-notch community people.
Depends on how flexibly you define “game design”. Mythic hires most of their content team, world builders and the like, from their CS team. For that matter, I think two of the three people who filled my slots at Mythic after I left started in CS.
Positions in CS, QA – even art and programming – are the best ways to demonstrate your worth. If you’re cut out to be a designer, a (good) company will definately notice it and you’ll get there.
We have VIPs there. Instead I agree with Anyuzer. I’m pointing at the same problem from a long time, even without being there and experience it in the first person. If I quote him it’s not to jump on his bandwagon and make his wit, my own.
The summary of what Anyuzer says is rather simple: wrong people in wrong places.
Or you do agree, or you don’t. Not both. And Megyn said it better.
I also believe that there are more problems deeper than that but that only come as a consequences. From the descriptions I hear there is no true and positive cooperation between the different developers and everyone works into tightly defined compartments, knowing nothing of what the other guy next to him is doing. Even in the disposition of the work spaces everyone is closed in his own little cubicle, peeking out only when called. It’s rather obvious that nothing can work with these premises. It’s not surprising that if a good game comes out of this insane, unbelievable process, it is seen as a miracle.
It *IS* a miracle.