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#1 frostraver  Icon User is offline

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Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:41 PM

I've been looking at some companies, for example Arenanet (Guild Wars) and BossAlien (CSR Racing), to do my internship this year or next year. I noticed that some companies ask you to do a test to see if you're proficient in C++ and some other things.

Now, I've been taught C++ very well and I do know some things I should and shouldn't do but I still have the feeling that I don't really know what I'm doing. (I'm able to build a game though, otherwise I wouldn't apply for an internship of course)

My question is, or rather my start to this discussion, what does someone definitely need to know before they apply for a job? Are there some things those companies really look at when your applying for a job as programmer? I'd like to know so I can focus a bit on those things and maybe learn some new interesting things I haven't seen in school or things I might've missed.

Thanks in advance

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Replies To: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

#2 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:23 PM

If you look at my signature you can see that I wrote a blog entry about this topic, although not very specific as to the amount of C++ that you should know so I will try to answer that.

Game studios only want the very best programmers they can find because the tasks they will be undertaking are challenging in themselves. The fact that you have written a game or two, you should really have it somewhere on the web accessible where any studios you apply to can see the source and and somehow get it running with minimal effort. The code should be completely clear of any errors or warnings on highest settings. The source should also showcase appropriate use of the various features of C++. I recently made public my very first game demo that I submitted to studios over eight years ago to show the depths of my efforts in making a 3D game. This isn't meant to be copied by the way, because it is old and doesn't use the latest tech. But if you look through the source it is lean as possible, not too long and has every feature you would expect in a full game - even splash screens and credits, etc.

BTW, have you got anything at all up in Github or similar?

You will likely be asked questions revolving around things like "What is const in C++ and its uses?", and "What does the keyword 'explicit' do?". After questions like that you will be given problems to solve that range from takes similar to writing a linked list with all functionality in a very short time, or asked to solve some other obscure problem you likely will have never seen. Failing being given the problem solving in code you will be asked about game development theory, where you will need to be able to answer things like "What is the plane equation and how is it used?" and be given a verbal problem to solve whilst they stare at you. There are so many formats to game dev interviews that there is no set formula; your best shot is to have everything covered.

Put some code up somewhere like Github of something and I'll pretty much be able to indicate your chances if you wish.

Either way, good luck.

This post has been edited by ButchDean: 10 August 2013 - 03:32 PM

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#3 aaron1178  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:29 PM

Well, I won't be getting a job any time soon ;)
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#4 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:31 PM

Give it your best shot! You never know. :)
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#5 aaron1178  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:39 PM

Another variable is that I have no qualifications. My current game project is my entry into Qantm college. I'll have 4 years to work on it. Since my job is a 4 year contract.(Automotive industry)
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#6 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 10 August 2013 - 03:44 PM

I forgot to mention that a bachelors degree is pretty much a pre-requisite, unless you showcase "m4d sk1llz" to convince them otherwise.
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#7 frostraver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 02:07 AM

Hi Butch,

I'm currently working on an Android game that's on Bitbucket but I can't make that code public at the moment.
What I can do is that I put up a link to my code for an exam from this year.

It's a bit of a SimCity clone (very VERY simple and with a 2D engine I got from school which we needed to use) but I think it kind of resembles what I'm able to do with C++.

Do you want to take a look at that?

And yeah, I'll have a bachelors degree in Game Development when I'm done with school.

Thanks for the answers!
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#8 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 03:38 AM

Sure I can take a quick look. There is one thing that you said that I can see puts you at an immediate disadvantage, and that is you have 2D work. Really you need to have undertaken a project using 3D graphics.

As you've probably guessed 2D work isn't good enough unless, maybe, you are applying to studio that specialize in 2D games. Generally game demos are full 3D projects.

This post has been edited by ButchDean: 11 August 2013 - 03:39 AM

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#9 frostraver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 04:06 AM

Yeah, I know that they would want to see 3D work.
Thing is, I'm working on some things but I still can't quite grasp everything around DirectX and/or PhysX like you probably have noticed.
I'm still working on that though and I'll have some things ready for when I want to apply.

I was more asking about the basic C++, or coding in general, though so this 2D game would be a good example I think.

I'll upload it to Github or something similar as fast as I can.

EDIT: Maybe I'm a bit wrong. If I worked on a game that uses an existing engine like UDK or Unity would that be ok as well? Well, UDK including Unrealscript of course not the standard "hey I can work with an editor!"

This post has been edited by frostraver: 11 August 2013 - 04:07 AM

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#10 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 04:21 AM

Regarding what you show to studios what they generally look at first is the quality of your demo, then the quality of your code. Look at it this way, they want you to be able to write good games since you are applying specifically to be a games programmer over just a C++ programmer. There are many very good C++ programmers out there who do not have the ability to formulate the language into something that constitutes a game, that is just the way it is, so good C++ programmer != games programmer.

UDK is okay if the role asks for or is related to those skills. If a job spec asks for C++ with experience of DirectX or OpenGL you can't offer UDK.
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#11 frostraver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 04:56 AM

Yeah, that's something I could've figured out.

Now, for an example, say you want to be a networking programmer. Like, you want to write the code so people would be able to connect their client to your server and do the login things and see other players in-game... You know, the things that need to be build to create a multiplayer game.
If you give them a project you made where you use a 2D engine (because that's not really what it's about) but all the important things about networking are in there I guess they could be able to consider your application?

I know that for different jobs you need different projects to show them. I know that I'm able to do those things but my only problem now is that I don't know what I need to know when I'm coding. I have two books that I know are good though. I have the newest C++ 11 book (The C++ standard library) and I also have this book with 100 tips/tricks, I can't remember the name and I don't have it at hand, that are some common practices when you're coding in C++. I don't know if these things are enough though
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#12 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 07:25 AM

I recall mentioning this to another poster a while ago asking a similar question and I had to point this out:

Stop looking for the minimum amount of effort possible to get into games!

Studios are not stupid by a long shot, they can look over your resume and online presence (which you should have) and pretty much pinpoint your character:

1. They do not like the mentality of someone wanting to get into games because it is cool.
2. They want people who are passionate about making games, this means individuals who have gone the extra mile to impress.
3. They like a very high level of skill.

This is demonstrated by candidates who demonstrate:

- Hard work.
- No fear in approaching challenging problems.
- Being able to solve challenging problems.

I will level with you, from what you are saying so far you strike me as:

- Someone who isn't happy to break out their comfort zone, namely 2D games and UDK.
- You haven't given me the impression that you have tried various methods of solving game dev problems outside UDK.
- You are lacking direction. Yes, you mentioned network programming but in the context of game programming. There are various roles with different requirements as you have rightly pointed out, but I would have expected you to realize that network programming is part of game tech development and not game programming. You need to make some decisions and commit.

Lastly, you are asking if a 2D game with network programming elements is good enough. Ask yourself how that would compare against a candidate who had done the same but with a 3D game. You need to realize that there are candidates out there who want to work in games more than you, and put in the extra work to impress. I was one of those.

Right now you really need to up your game. Yes, read your books but get something coded up sooner rather than later.
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#13 frostraver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 08:26 AM

Thank you ButchDean for the rather harsh wake up call! :)
I guess this is something I need once in a while.

As for how you think I am I'd like to say that I have only recently started making games in 3D so that's why i'm more comfortable with 2D games. I really want to make games in 3D though but I need to learn much more and be more confident while working.

I am indeed lacking direction since I'm still exploring all roles within game development before I settle for something specific. At the moment I like the networking part the most but I need to read and do a lot of things before I can even talk about it. (I've made contact with some people who were able to send me some links and info regarding this subject)

Thanks for all the info you've given me. This is what I wanted to know.
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#14 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 09:09 AM

No problem at all, frostraver. I honestly wish you the very best of luck. :)
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#15 frostraver  Icon User is offline

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Re: Applying for a job/internship at a game company

Posted 11 August 2013 - 10:14 AM

Thank you very very much! I really appreciate it! :)
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