I started at 45k and year later 65k.
If you live in Southern California, good luck b/c SoCal happens to be one the most expensive places to live. New York is high too.
Try looking for something in Silicone Valley but you will quickly find the cost of living there is even higher. Really the whole state of California is the worst place to work if you want to put some cash in the bank.
Believe me I know, I lived in San Diego and you can't touch a house unless you make 70k+ so I completely understand your frustration.
No degree? well, just no way you will get a good paying job without a degree because employers won't risk hiring someone if they can NOT prove on paper they are qualified for the job.
Once you do get the degree I suggest you look outside SoCal towards the mid-west or southern states.
Honestly, without at least an associates degree in C.S. (or similar) you will struggle finding anything in IT over 45k.
I make good money, but I have almost 7 yrs of experience, an Associates degree and whole bunch of certs.
Tips: Become proficient with at least 4 diff languages but at the very minimum learn Java and C++.
To be a PC game programmer then you will need to know C++ very thoroughly and you might want to take some game dev classes.
In the meantime, you can make maps/mods of your favorite games using the developer's kit. For example, Far Cry Sandbox Editor... Also, you can crack open .pak files and try to interpret the lines of code and if it looks greek then you still have a long way to go.
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