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I changed my old plans. I was going to go for a PhD in analytical science (anal science ;P) but that's too much of a slow process and I'd end up enjoying this job more AND getting more money! (though over time I'd earn more as an anal scientist). Not only that but the requirements are easy as piss: BSc (Hons) in Software Design (Game Development) - Athlone Institute of Technology

This is my new career path. I'll also be writing on the side and testing out games (I'll be qualified to do so apparently) ;)

Now, the problem is, I don't want to do this in Ireland. No way.

Where's the best country I can go to to earn more doing game developing? I'd love to go to Japan but I heard game developers don't do well there and I don't think I'd fit in very well since I like to say what's on my mind and I don't like to follow rules (sorry for the stereotypes).

Do you know where the best country is to to do this? Anywhere but Ireland. I can't live in this place anymore.
 

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The US. Granted, Japan has had it's own niche market (even though much of Sega and Nintendo development is done here in the states) but to really immerse yourself in the art of game dev there is so much opportunity here. Gaming (all subsets/markets) still thrives even in the tepid global economy and with that momentum there is a lot of innovation---which drives further investment. The only caveat would be the initial long hours and relative instability with your startups (although the experience is worth the risk), which could stifle your writing aspirations---at least in the short term. I hate that the IT market suffered the way it did in Ireland----there is so much talent still in Dublin!

Hope this helps guide you....
T
 
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I vote for the U.S.

You do realize that game developers live in cubicles slaving away for impossible amounts of time?

You might as well know they are fed on twinkies, Jolt Cola, Mountain Dew and must have a catheter installed as well as wear a diaper. The last two are so they don't waste time going to the restroom. Bathing is optional for some of them for the same reason.

While the above is an exaggeration, it is only slight. It really is not that great of an environment. Especially as you age. Long hours, and unreasonable bosses are common. Then there are horror stories of working for shops where the money runs out and you don't get paid for months at a time (maybe never if your game is released and it flops).

On the other hand, if you find a good home it is great. Startups can be fun (make sure they are funded). Being a video game programmer in a low level language will make or break you quickly. A good programmer with experience with physics engines and C/C++ opens doors in other software development fields that can be very, very lucrative. Thus, you will have an out if you get burned out on video game programming.

The above is my observation . It comes from my friends who have been involved with video game development. Myself, I have stuck with custom large scale distributed systems in C/C++ on Unix/Linux. It is a niche, but a well paying one. The environment and the benefits are usually much better as well. For example: I don't usually work over 50 hours a week like my video game friends do. I get to choose most of my development tools, instead of having them chosen for me (Visual Studio makes me barf). I get paid around the same money, and usually have better health care insurance. I actually go outside when I am not at work, instead of playing video games.

Oh yeah, health insurance in the US sucks. That is a minus. If you think about moving here, consider where you are going to live. Living expenses vary wildly. The areas you make the most money in the U.S. will also be the most expensive areas to live in (California and East Coast), yet the most likely to have mass transit and urban density. Outside those areas you will likely need to have your own automobile.
 
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IMHO - Seattle Washington is a great place for all things techy.
 

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You should check out Phoenix, Arizona. I grew up there. Many tech-related businesses there, crazy hot summers offset by very mild winters, and the living expenses are rather low now that the real estate bubble has burst. You will, however, absolutely need a car.
 

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changed my old plans. I was going to go for a PhD in analytical science
Wouldn't be so sure about that. A PhD in an analytical science can mean extremely big bucks if you leverage it properly.
 

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I think Inev1t4bl3 is giving good advice in terms of what direction to take your software development in. Colleges these days are mostly just teaching theory/Java in the Computer Science departments and as a result there is a massive over-abundance of programmers who dream of becoming game makers and end up essentially becoming overworked slaves because of how common their goals/skills are.

Learn some C/C++/assembly language and specialize in designing gaming engines and you will probably end up doing much more interesting work for much more money. Not to mention that even the giants like Blizzard are always in search of people with such skills. I don't know a whole lot about institutionalized educational programs for game making, but unfortunately it isn't an exaggeration to say that becoming a game maker is an extremely common goal for a lot of people and that to stand out you need to really specialize and bring something unique to the table.
 
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