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How I can become a full- or part-time professional developing games? Are there specific courses? What specific knowledge should I be looking to learn? How do I enter the industry?

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Voted to close - I don't feel this is on topic here. –  Pat Ludwig Oct 19 '10 at 21:47
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@Pat: This question is voted as on-topic on definition. It has 5 votes. None to off-topic. If I'm wrong I will delete it. –  bigown Oct 19 '10 at 22:07
    
@bigown - yes, I did notice that after I voted to close. I'm not sure I agree with that aspect of the area51 proposal. It would be a good topic to bring up in Meta if you haven't done so already. (Don't delete - let the community vote to close, it may quickly vote to reopen after all!) –  Pat Ludwig Oct 19 '10 at 22:16
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Not sure why this wouldn't belong here. Has to do with board & card games... Can we only ask about already published games? Can we only ask rules questions? I like it and think it is very much on-topic. –  My Turn Yet Oct 19 '10 at 22:59
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The validity of this question is discussed here meta.boardgames.stackexchange.com/questions/28/… –  bigown Oct 20 '10 at 1:20
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2 Answers

An assortment of advice:

Don't forget the Board Game Designers Forum.

Attend Protospiel, or Protospiel South, or Protospiel North or West.

Play lots of games, and a wide variety of games, both modern and classic.

Start designing games, taking them all the way from concept to completion. Do it over and over again. I designed and released one free print-and-play game each month at Invisible City Productions. I did this from January 2000 to December 2010. The first seven games were pretty hard, but it got easier after that.

Learn how to playtest your games, and how to integrate feedback into your designs.

Attend the GAMA Trade Show. Talk to publishers - especially smaller ones. Take them out to dinner and ask them about the industry.

Brush up on your math – especially probability and statistics. Learn how to mathematically model dice pools, bags of beads, and decks of cards.

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I can't stress how important the brush up on your math advice is. As someone who has tried my hand at inventing a combat system, I spent nearly all my time making sure there was a variety and a balance to the various elements. And, making sure isn't enough. You have to prove it. –  Droogans Dec 11 '11 at 16:14
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You can start here:

BoardGameGeek Design Forum

You'll find that there are lots of people who make there own games, and lots of examples of how to make and/or publish your games.

Check out the first pinned topic:

Game Design & Self-Publishing – A Resource for Game Designers

Good Luck.

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