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NishGuy Blog

I Went To School To Design Video Games and Ended Up In Film School

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Allow me to paint a picture for you. The year is 2002. A friend and I are at the Ice Cream Barn, a local eatery and ice cream shop in my hometown. We were sitting on the picnic tables and decided we should design our own video game. We were so excited. What could be better then to make one of the things that we loved so much. We plotted out the story, my friend did concept designs for the characters, the enemies, the world, and the weaponry that would be involved. It was perfect... Except for one thing...neither of us had any idea how to code. This could be a problem, but we were determined! After graduation we both enrolled in the local college for our starting course in C++ programming. Figured it was the best place to start. After a few months there we decided that it was time to move forward with our plan. And we began looking for a school that could teach us true game design. He eventually came to me with a name, Full Sail University. Fast forward to 2004. I traveled down to Winter Park, Florida to check out this school that could make all of my dreams come true. Walking through the halls, getting the grand tour, I noticed a room. A room of glory. Cameras, lights, destiny. I turned to the tour guide and asked "What's going on in this room?" He replied, "That's where our film students learn to shoot with and operate 35mm film cameras." I was intrigued, "You have a film program?" I asked. "Yes" he replied, "teaches you the fundamentals of film, including writing, filming, and editing." A note here, none of that is verbatim. Just sounds more interesting. I realized something in that very moment. I didn't care about programming, I cared about the story. The characters. Everything I wasn't going to learn going to a school to learn how to "make" video games. I moved down a few months later to begin my degree in Film Production. I think this is important to the younger generation who may or may not be thinking of getting into the world of game making. Granted I never moved into the field myself, abandoned one dream to go to another. Film work is essentially my life now, sitting behind a computer writing day in and day out. But it definately taught me something...a message to those of you out there. If you want to make games, learn how to program them. If you want to CREATE a world, create a game, perhaps a degree in writing or filmmaking is better suited for you. Not a day goes by when I don't long to finish the game I began creating in the warm summer of 2002. And someday, I hope it will happen. Follow your dreams, make them happen. Just be sure you know what you want. I didn't know until I saw it. The line between cinema and games has been blurred so much that they bleed into one another in every new release that we see. If it weren't for filmmakers in the game industry, would we see great cinematic games like Heavy Rain and Final Fantasy XIII?