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

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43 minutes ago, Castle said:

I think city management is a different beast because you are not dealing with creative people. Its so much harder once you get into things to keep design decisions rolling and everyone on board. You need a Miyamoto or Kojima. Someone who has total creative control and uses it. Those kinds of people are rare. But they cut through a ton of bullshit.

I think you'd be surprised how difficult it is to get everyone on board. Bare in mind that City Management is not just "do we pay police officers, firefighters, or clean the water", it's very much "where do we build that park, if so who is impacted directly, indirectly, who pays, what amenities do we provide as part of that park, is part of it rental or not, do we have partners helping to pay for it, etc. . ." (I'm using a park as an easy example) and you need community and stakeholder buy-ins (local residents, non-residents, neighborhoods that may compete with each other for attention and/or visions of the City's future, businesses, other impacted local governments, and more) and a strong vision for the future to succeed. I view it as being very similar in nature - competing visions and interests with limited resources - and it takes a strong individual or group that are willing to assert leadership and their vision (while being receptive to alterations) to succeed. The timelines for work are not necessarily dissimilar either (it can take literal years to fully build out a project). Cutting through bullshit is a major part of it. City management had to grow up a long time ago in terms of approach to long-term projects and long-term success, which any business wants; I think there are a great many lessons that could be imparted on the video games industry in terms of management and approach from other industries, and a reluctance to look at other industries is detrimental to the effectiveness of those leaders and their organizations.

Btw, I completely agree that the drive to reach financial sustainability and solvency is more important than hitting that "awesome big company" gig, particularly given how high demand the industry is and will increasingly become for the foreseeable future.

Edited by Sigma

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11 hours ago, Castle said:

Castle's Epic Rant

:soq_post:

Tell 'em the truth, Castle!

Quote

Its like staring into the abyss. If you end up trying to be a lead then you will invariably become that lead who misses the good old days when you were in the trenches, swig a bottle of gin and pat level designers on the back with a tear in your eye. 

 

Quote

Staring:

  • (...)
  • That one guy who barely speaks English but fucking kicks ass.
  • Always at least one Australian guy!

Man, some lines had me burst out loud in laughter. 😂 

Probably been mentioned before around here but if anyone who is reading this is interested in experienced developers speaking candidly there is the Game Dev Unchained podcast that I can recommend: https://www.gamedevunchained.com/about-1

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15 hours ago, [HP] said:

More details plz! :D How's it going?

I’d compare it to a any healthy relationship: management trusts me and I trust the management. I finally have a job where I’m passionate about everything I do, and while I took a pay slash (I went from senior/manager to junior), it didn’t kill me. :)

There’s this preconceived image of the industry that I don’t recognize now that I’m in it. I’m positive there’s a lot of truth to it, but I think it’s worth pointing out that not every job/studio ”is like that”.

I’m going to have some cool stuff to share this summer! 😎

Edited by grapen

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On 4/25/2019 at 10:49 PM, [HP] said:

Holy sweet wall of text, ahah.

A lot of those problems can be solved with something very simple yet it's extremly rare in the games industry (or any other industry for that matter) good leadership and vision.
Someone who makes sure the team stays true to the vision and is not afraid to call the shots, confidence from leadership trickles down very well, leaders that assert themselves more and compromise less. People love working for confident leaders that know how to say "no" and that have the ability of knowing when the team starts to get off track.
Such leaders, ironically also let you be more proactive, and let you own your work. Such leaders know that when it's yours, it's yours to loose. You are more motivated, more creative, more alive.

Look, here's the reality that no one talks about, 20% of people do 80% of the work, specially in todays bloated games industry, there's a lot of people that take cover behind blahblahblah, meetings and other superfluous shit. Just make sure you're inside the 20%, look inward.
I've learned that It's not the number of hours you put into it, but the intensity and consistent effort you bring to your project, regardless if you're doing it alone or in a AAA team.
 

Amen to this

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Trying to make a game without having made any macro decisions about it seems inconceivable and forced. Unless you are only starting with a game mode or the like you should have (at least) an environment, character, story, and more in mind. Otherwise you might never have that  aha moment because you forced the game into development, hence dozens of useless meetings.

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Is this the right thread for this? 

https://kotaku.com/the-human-cost-of-call-of-duty-black-ops-4-1835859016

Man, reading about the way QA are treated seems so surreal. Although Ubisoft has its issues too, compared to Treyarch it seems like heaven. I've heard similar stories about EA from colleagues who have worked there previously.

Edited by Radu

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On 6/26/2019 at 10:32 AM, Radu said:

Is this the right thread for this? 

https://kotaku.com/the-human-cost-of-call-of-duty-black-ops-4-1835859016

Man, reading about the way QA are treated seems so surreal. Although Ubisoft has its issues too, compared to Treyarch it seems like heaven. I've heard similar stories about EA from colleagues who have worked there previously.

Yeah it's pretty depressing to think about honestly

Sadly that's pretty common for large game studios from what I've seen.

One common element in all those reports overall, is how the QA team is treated differently from the other teams, and I think that's at the core of the issue.

Of course not all companies are like that though, for example Eidos is great with the QAs and really treats them like everybody else! I mean I don't want to speak for them, but I'm sure they would agree.

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On 1/9/2020 at 1:36 PM, MariaJesus said:

What is the best way to build portfolio?

You mean to display your work or actual portfolio pieces?

 Only possible aver with such generic question is: hard work and perseverance

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