Escapist Expo: How to Get a Job in the Industry

How to Get a Job in the Industry

Audio Only. Making games is the greatest job in the world, but how do you actually get it? Veterans from the worlds of tabletop and videogames share their experience and expertise, providing tips and insight on how to turn your passion for gaming into a career.

Watch Video

I think it was good that these guys highlighted the benefit of doing a more traditional university degree with wider applications before specializing in videogames because i feel that to be the biggest pitfall of all these new video game design specific courses and colleges popping up all over. This was a much better video than the extra credits snippet on the subject a year or so ago because they praised these institutions too much in my opinion. Admitably, this video was longer and more targeted but as a general viewpoint of mine, i haven't seen this traditional university opinion championed as much as it should be given the current job market and assuring future work quality of the 'next generation'.

However, this is the first time i've heard anyone in the industry talk sense about them - they're not the best way into the industry because the content isn't as challenging as stuff you'll find in a university degree and as a result of that, employers will be more dubious about your skills and knowledge in the area. With a stronger foundation of a maths, physics or computer science degree you're able to pick up relevant new skills faster and easier than if you just learn one or two code languages along side some of the theory that accompanies that. Those things can easily be taught to someone else who has already proven they can handle worse / more challenging topics with a solid foundation in relevant discipline to aid in learning that content. And at the end of the day, if you can't find a job (Because of how niche the games industry can be, its all about who you know before what you know) you can always go to a wide array of companies and join the application process and get a job much faster than if you were stuck with just video game design skills.

And something that applies to all job applications really - a university degree is hard! Thus showing that you had the guts to stick with it till' the end shows conviction and determination - thus you're less likely to fall by the wayside a few years down the line and go try to find a new job.

Either way, just my 2 cents, fantastic insight all told and definitely worth a listen for anyone interested in the games industry. And heck, even if you don't want a job in the industry, its still worth a listen if you're about to enter the job market because its got general job hunting tips and you shouldn't get too bored because they're talking about games! :)

Really enjoyed the panel, and wish I could have been there in person! Now that I have a degree in something other than game design or whatnot, it's good to know that didn't cause my dreams to be dashed... I got my degree in Urban Planning, and now I'm trying to figure out how to maneuver that into level design. While "work hard" and "don't be a dick" may seem very obvious to anyone trying for a job, it's good to hear it from game industry professions to affirm that's really what it takes.

Found this panel really helpful! Gives an honest representation of what is needed on the market and the good routes to get were you want. I think this also helps people to better understand the industry as a whole.

Thanks for the feedback guys! It's too bad the introductions were cut off:

The guy speaking at the top is Dan Yarrington, CEO of Game Salute, and he's joined by Jim Van Verth and Garner Halloran from Insomniac Games.

(And I'm Greg Tito, the humble moderator who tried to keep everyone on task.)

Not sure if any of you will see this and still open to answer questions, but might as well give it a shot. I'm hoping to get into the industry in the next 2-5 years (web based software developer right now). I'm working on a game in my free time, too, but I'm horrible at art, so the images look kinda crappy. If I am applying for a programming job and put a demo of the game with a resume, would most companies look down upon it if the art was bad, or would they just focus on the programming of it if I'm applying for that?

Assassin Xaero:
Not sure if any of you will see this and still open to answer questions, but might as well give it a shot. I'm hoping to get into the industry in the next 2-5 years (web based software developer right now). I'm working on a game in my free time, too, but I'm horrible at art, so the images look kinda crappy. If I am applying for a programming job and put a demo of the game with a resume, would most companies look down upon it if the art was bad, or would they just focus on the programming of it if I'm applying for that?

I'm not in a position to offer any "official" advice, as you might have read above i'm not in the games industry myself but i did spend a lot of time researching it in the past.

In my opinion from what i learnt from around the web, such a demo will already set you apart from a fair few applicants and as you say, if you're only applying for one aspect of game design, so long as you can show off the code in the game and have something that demonstrates that code in action (such as unskinned polygons) it will be fantastic! As you say, you're not applying for art, thus you would do what the game company would to as well, leave the character and level skinning to the artists once you have a functional code!

Again, my 2 cents, but i hope someone with more authority on the subject can get back to you! Perhaps send a pm?

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here