With GDC all wrapped up, we can look at some of the great things that have come out of it that will influence how games are created. Unity 5 has been released for free, Unreal 4 has also become free, and Source 2 will be releasing and though there’s no official word on it yet there’s a high likelihood that it will also be free to use. This means that as student’s we’re free to download and explore these engines on our own. The barrier to entry for a position in Game Development is getting lower all the time and frankly this could lead to the creation of some truly outstanding games. Games that otherwise would never be produced.
This actually has another wonderful benefit even if you don’t plan on trying to publish your own games. It gives you experience in engines that companies use before you even walk in the door which is a huge boon to your resume. If there’s a company that you want to work for and you know they use a specific engine then go out and get that engine ASAP and start working in it! Companies love it when you already have experience using the tools they already want to teach you how to use. For instance, CD Projekt RED is the company that make The Witcher series. Personally I would love to work for them someday and part of the reason I’m in school is to work towards that goal. I’m currently doing a project for my Level Design class in the REDkit which is a the World Editor for The Witcher 2. While this project may not get me in the door all by itself every little bit helps, and what’s more is that I’m realizing I enjoy just working in the editor in general. Even after this project is completed I will probably try to build a larger more complex mod just to see what I can really do with the tools at hand.