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#1 JBrace1990  Icon User is offline

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Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 15 June 2011 - 10:54 PM

So I've been trying for a while to get into the video game industry. I'm going to college for it, and I definitely love doing it, but it seems like for every position/internship I apply for, I'm overlooked and I never hear back.

Is anyone here in the industry? And if so, how did you get into it? Is LinkedIn really as useful as everyone thinks?

I've been programming for 5 years, plus I have OOP down pat, so there's no problems there, just haven't received my degree yet (less than 1/3 left).

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#2 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:44 AM

Though I am not in the industry myself, I would offer the following recommendation. Getting any position is about proving that you are more valuable to the company than the other candidates. If you have thousands of hopefuls whom have an education, it's certainly not as promising as having a qualified, experienced candidate. I would suggest focusing on gaining experience as well as your college education.

Have you produced any flash apps?
Have you contributed to any home-brew gaming development productions?
Have you contributed to any open source projects?

The more stuff in the real world you can put your name to, the more likely someone is going to take you seriously.
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#3 Kilorn  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 16 June 2011 - 06:55 AM

Most job posting sites, including LinkedIn in this bundle even though it's not technically a job search website, has the potential of getting you a job, but the majority of what I've received from resumes posted on multiple sites is spam and contacts from staffing agencies. If you really want to get into the game development industry, your best chance at getting a foot in the door is a strong portfolio. This industry was grown out of basement hobbyists, so degrees, while sometimes preferred, aren't exactly necessary to make it. The best thing you can do to represent yourself and your skills, is to create games and submit samples to the companies that you are hoping/wanting to work for. If you happen to have a contact at a game development company, that certainly doesn't hurt. Contact them and see if they know of any openings that you might qualify for. On the other hand, don't become a burden to this person. You can quickly wear out your welcome if you're constantly contacting this person.

Develop some games and see if you can go beyond the standard new game developer games. Most people will have a space invaders, tetris, breakout, bejeweled, pong, etc clone that they might be proud of, but remember that doing what has already been done isn't going to stand out in anyone's mind. Try to push yourself to be innovative. Try implementing systems into games that don't generally fit into the typical genre of the game that you're working on. Put something together that makes sense and works well. After you've got a couple of games under your belt to show your abilities, send some samples, either videos or demo's of your games to these companies. Avoid e-mailing .exe files unless they've asked you for them. An .exe in an e-mail just screams virus and I don't know anyone that would open one.

Above all else, don't get frustrated and give up if you don't hear anything. This industry is growing by the day and while you might go 3 weeks without hearing back from a single company, there are tons more that might be willing to take a chance and hire you. If not full time right away, you might at least be able to get some contract work that you can use to prove yourself valuable to the company. Keep at it, and you will get your chance.
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#4 JBrace1990  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 16 June 2011 - 09:31 PM

@No2, I haven't made any flash games, however they are not as useful as you'd think. Flash is mainly used for HUDs, which is graphical team, not programming. As far as demonstrating my skills goes, I have been working on setting up a few levels with custom features to demonstrate my abilities.

@Kilorn, Do you Thank you so much for the advice. It's seriously helped =)
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#5 ishkabible  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 16 June 2011 - 10:11 PM

Butch has an amazing blog post on this
here, take a look
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#6 JBrace1990  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 17 June 2011 - 09:11 PM

Thanks ishkabible, I had already looked at it though, and it offers little insight into getting a career, just into making a game.
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#7 DivideByZero  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 18 June 2011 - 03:06 AM

View PostJBrace1990, on 17 June 2011 - 09:11 PM, said:

Thanks ishkabible, I had already looked at it though, and it offers little insight into getting a career, just into making a game.

Making games is what will get you a career in the games industry.
They're not going to hire someone that says they can without proof :)

This post has been edited by DivideByZero: 18 June 2011 - 03:07 AM

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#8 creativecoding  Icon User is online

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 18 June 2011 - 12:37 PM

Get some experience. That may mean doing something small like freelancing work but I'm sure they will rather higher someone with a degree + experience rather than someone with just a degree.
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#9 no2pencil  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 18 June 2011 - 12:40 PM

View PostJBrace1990, on 17 June 2011 - 12:31 AM, said:

@No2, I haven't made any flash games, however they are not as useful as you'd think. Flash is mainly used for HUDs, which is graphical team, not programming. As far as demonstrating my skills goes, I have been working on setting up a few levels with custom features to demonstrate my abilities.

There is a few Flash Gaming studios in the Akron area. Plus there are a few other developing houses that specifically look for Flash developers. Dunno, maybe its' a local thing. Like I said I'm not in the industry myself.

Best of luck to you though!
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#10 dcomm  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 30 June 2011 - 11:35 AM

EA insider posted some interesting tips about it... what electives to choose, how to stand out, etc.
Hope it helps a bit

Pt. 1
http://insideea.com/...ents-graduates/

Pt. 2
http://insideea.com/...two-a-great-cv/
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#11 J-e-L-L-o  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 30 June 2011 - 10:14 PM

It depends on where you live also. You might have to relocate. Your profile doesn't say where you live. But here in California, I have seen lots of game ads. Don't limit yourself in what KIND of games you can make. For you to say that Flash is only used for HUD... um, you have no idea what your talking about and you say you are almost 1/3 done. There are ENTIRE GAMES developed in Flash alone for instance. Are you just interested in coding for consoles..or what?

The reason I say that is because there are different gaming platforms now. There is mobile, there are tablets, desktops, and consoles. Don't limit yourself. Have a varied skillset. Sure C++ is great for graphics drivers and console and desktop development....but knowing Objective-C is crucial for iOS, and Java for Android.

I can tell you right now Zynga is hiring in Silicon Valley, and they are getting ready for an IPO. Over a billion dollars in revenue, and they are ingrained with Facebook. Hmm, does that mean flash maybe? Maybe other web technologies such as java, actionsript, javascript?

http://www.zynga.com...ww&jvi=o4nqVfww

If you do want to do consoles, thats ok too....
https://jobs.ea.com/...tern_and_co-op/
http://www.microsoft...ios-Jobs/44366/

But you have to have a portfolio of examples to show/send prospective employers. That is crucial. Do as well as you can on your school projects, and come senior year, you should have a kick ass sample to show.

good luck.

This post has been edited by J-e-L-L-o: 30 June 2011 - 10:18 PM

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#12 dcomm  Icon User is offline

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Re: Tips for the video game industry?

Posted 01 July 2011 - 12:24 AM

Just one more thing to add to the profile:
If you find yourself actually having some spare time and energy left in the tank, try to get a few people together for a small, outside game and see what you can come up with.

This shows employers that you have the initiative to get the jump on projects, can work as part of a larger team and have a passion for the industry even outside of work. As an added bonus, it might even give you the chance to be introduced to some new technologies.

Remember that just because you're a student doesn't mean that everything on your profile has to be from school. If you're gonna do it then make it as impressive as you can :)
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