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How to break in the games industry - an insiders' guide

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Defrags advice covers art too, to a large extent. Solid advice there.

For the website, something that is fast and easy to navigate is the most important qualities. It helps if it looks good too. The reason is that people who get sent cvs will probably be looking at quite a few sites and if you can't get to the images straight away chances are that whoever is doing the looking is going to be annoyed. And you do want to try and keep them happy since being annoyed makes it easier to find faults with your work ;) Flash is usually a bad idea and personally I'm in two minds about lightbox because you can't save images from it. This is probably not all that important to someone who is looking at your portfolio to determine wether to give you an interview or not but still, something to keep in mind. Having said that, it's an elegant way of displaying your images. A blog or wordpress is ok I guess but if you can create a nice gallery, all the better. Peris website is a good example, as is PhilipKs (yes, they are similar but I like them both).

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Just though this link might be a good addition to this thread:

(Uncharted Making of, and Naughty Dog way of doing things, where they also mention the core values they seek in new recruiters)

http://www.gnomonschool.com/events/naug ... ty_dog.php

* In fact, everyone should watch this, lot's of good info about good game development workflow. This is pure gold.

Also, make sure you take a look at this thread here at mapcore:

(Carmack, aka The God words)

viewtopic.php?f=23&t=14341&start=0&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

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Defrags advice covers art too, to a large extent. Solid advice there.

For the website, something that is fast and easy to navigate is the most important qualities. It helps if it looks good too. The reason is that people who get sent cvs will probably be looking at quite a few sites and if you can't get to the images straight away chances are that whoever is doing the looking is going to be annoyed. And you do want to try and keep them happy since being annoyed makes it easier to find faults with your work ;) Flash is usually a bad idea and personally I'm in two minds about lightbox because you can't save images from it. This is probably not all that important to someone who is looking at your portfolio to determine wether to give you an interview or not but still, something to keep in mind. Having said that, it's an elegant way of displaying your images. A blog or wordpress is ok I guess but if you can create a nice gallery, all the better. Peris website is a good example, as is PhilipKs (yes, they are similar but I like them both).

Thanks

Just looking at those two sites I think I could build something like that ok and it would be better than a wordpress blog.

Thanks

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Ok so here's the deal :

I've been doing some 3d work for the last few years but it's nothing special. Usually it's just simple models for Google earth, nothing really that would push me to improve my skills or anything, I would work on that on my own time modding etc.

Anyways some bad financial stuff happened and I'm living with the family rent free. For the last few months I've been working on modding and my portfolio and thanks to a few friends I got my foot in the door a couple places but it didn't pan out. My guess is 2 reasons, I live in Vancouver and know a few people who have been doing game development for up to 20 years who are having trouble landing jobs because of the 2000+ worth of layoffs between the smaller devs, EA, and Radical. Considering I have next to no commercial game development experience and there are quite a few more skilled and experienced people than me out there looking for work it seems pretty unlikely I'll find work until things really begin to pick up again.

So anyways at this point I figured I can do a few things:

1) keep working on modding and the portfolio and try to get a job eventaully

2) go to art school and get some classical training

3) go to college for programming

anyways I've decided to go to school for programming with a specialization in digital processing and then rendering programming for the following reasons

1) in a recession where the entertainment industry is the first to feel it, I can apply for non-entertainmetn jobs

2) In my previous job, even though i was an artist I was constantly doing scripting and some light programming. I tend to join projects as an artist but always end up gravitating towards more technical tasks. Mainly because no one else is willing to or can do them.

3) I have to go live in Japan in a couple years. I've heard while they have no lack of artists they do hire a lot of programmers from the west because they tend to lack the right type of programmer locally.

4) Level design these days tends to benefit from someone who knows how to script. Learning programming kind of helps in that area.

5) Considering I've already done computer game art for the last 6 years I understand a lot of the programming and math concepts. A decent head start :)

Anyways I'm just about to finish my application. Seems a bit odd to switch to the other side in my mid 20's but ultimately it feels like the right decision.

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I think your reasoning is sound (mostly because it's very similar to mine;)

Good luck learning how to program :)

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I think your reasoning is sound (mostly because it's very similar to mine;)

Good luck learning how to program :)

Thanks :) how has it worked out for you?

EDIT: Also realized I wrote the 3rd point omitting some words, corrected it so it makes sense now..

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Well, getting the foot in the door as a programmer isn't exactly easier when it comes to games. You'd do well to join mods as a programmer (source mods require c++, unreal mods require unreal script).

I finished my education about a year ago and have been working on business solutions since then. You'd do yourself a favor if you checked around the web for the top 10 jobs that you'd want when you're done with your career and then aim to learn everything they have listed in their requirement part of the job listing.

I have noticed that MOST (if not all) programming jobs for games require a lot of understanding in c++. Check with your school asap if they teach that, and if they do, check if they focus heavily on that. Most schools tend to focus on java or c#, since its easier to learn.

anyways, thats just my 2cents for a programmer-to-be :)

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I think the whole idea of being able to justify modding as school related is a big bonus :mario:

I am quite interested in rendering and lighting methods, I've heard there's a bit of a need for that even with the job situation as it is here. I've started studying the Linear Algebra series on youtube as well as take some math and physics classes at night in preparation for college. The option I picked is supposed to focus the most heavily on C++ out of the 7 options the college offers. I have a meeting with one of the program people this week so I'll be sure to ask them if that's true.

Thanks again for the advice :)

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Do you guys know of any article that chronicles the making of a popular commercial game from start to finish? What are common personnel titles, stages of development and timelines given for a game? Does it vary widely? How big is the average team? Are mappers expected to graduate to higher levels of development like story conception and direction or do you spend your careers within your niche trying to attain mapping nirvana?

I know that every company will do things differently but I'm curious if there are procedures that you'll find across the board at every game studio.

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I know that every company will do things differently but I'm curious if there are procedures that you'll find across the board at every game studio.

Not giving the courtesy of acknowledging receipt of job applications or simply saying "Sorry we have no positions available" :ssj:

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