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Hard times ahead?


Kosmo

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Back when I started to dream of working in Games Industry, and actually realized that it might be true someday (this was somewhere around mid-90s, might have been 94,) the industry was pretty strong and it seemed like a perfect job in every aspect.

But since then, alot has changed, lately I have been thinking that it might be a good idea to gather as many talents as possible and maybe even study the artforms used in film industry and comic industry, or any other industry somewhat close to the game industry. Rising costs in development and recent buyouts has made many jobs insecure, you can never know when your company if bought out and jobs laid off because the buyer just wanted the licences your studio owned and not the talent. Alot of threats these days.

But the gameviolence media circus recently going around the world doesn't seem to help things at all, now it's not enough that you might get fired, or lose your job because of financial status, but you might get even sued becuase some asshole doesn't know right from wrong and decides to blame popular game X for his actions to get out of the heat.

I know it used to be pretty bad in the film industry too, violence in movies was and still is an issue and comics got censored pretty harshly back in the Comics Code days, thank god those days are over.

But as the popularity of video games seem to rise and they get more and more media time the issues they rise are equally big.

But I'm pretty confident that this will be over sooner or later, but I don't like the current direction one bit, indy game developers don't have it so good anymore, compared to the old days of Lord British and Sid Meier or Peter Molyneux, they got it good back then.

So, any of you who currently work in the industry had any similar fears, or are they just exaggerated by the media?

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not worried at all. there will always be people who will try and stain our industry because they dont understand it (thompson) and there will always be buyouts, just like in any other industry. this is all normal. it's definitely still an industry thats worth working in. well worth it. i dont think this will change anytime soon.

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I don't think the recent media frenzy is a reason to concern (heck we have that once a month in Germany, when papers got nothing else to write about), but I agree that some self grown problems in the industry may bite us in the ass later on. Games become more complex, require more people to create, increase development costs and risks because more copies need to be sold...

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The increasing move to 'big business' type structures in the games industry will make it harder to break into, but the industry is making way too much ccash for wanker like Jack thompson to put a dent in your prospects.

Complexity is, I supppose the main concern, it's taking more and more time and effort to create a stunning map/model and get hired, so I guess that the time you're gonna have to invest to get anywhere is gonig to increase as well.

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I just wish that if anything will change that it would be in benefit of smaller develoepers and indy developers. It has been long since anything good came out of the major players in the industry.

Maybe the major players just aren't the major players anymore...

True, and to think about it, even if the time of powerful individuals making something that changes the whole industry it gone, you still can see that most major innovations that have huge impact on the industry come from smaller development studios. Well, I don't know how small something like Epic is but making the most popula engine to date, or might even be the most popular engine ever.

And games like Farcry, Dawn of War, Fable, Chronicles or Riddick and ofcourse Pirates! have had tremendous success and actually deserved it.

But sad buyouts have happened too, like Westwood, oh westwood, I'll always remember you. And failures that have happened to wrong people and wrong game, like Illusion Softworks Mafia which was one of the besst games ever made, but it didn't get that much attenttion.

And things that you should be afraid of, like maybe one day someone buys Remedy and they lose their edge and the already seen changes in Blizzards management styles indicate that they are gradually changing in to something not so likeable (or maybe it's just my imagination).

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I don't think peoples jobs are at stake that much, but its increasingly harder day by day for people like myself who want a job in the industry to do so.

I worked at Lionhead on "The Movies" for an internship for 6 weeks, and when I showed them my portfolio all they could say was "Its not got enough polys" or "If its not got Edge Loops then its no good".

I felt that they were over looking the actual work I had done, some of the feedback I recieved felt more aggressive rather than helpful.

Most of the people at Lionhead admitted they only got the job because they knew the lead in a certain area before hand, there were people there that to my eye daudled all day. I felt like I could have been a better contributor than most at the job.

A couple of employees there were great however, but the general feeling was "go away I don't want to give you any confidence because your works better than mine, and I don't want to loose my job to you"

Anyway, I know I can get a job after my degree. But as the industry stands I'm feeling I'd rather start my own company thats small and make games that don't look the best but are fun, rather than work for a big company that makes clone games because thats all their publishers know will make them cash.

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Anyway, I know I can get a job after my degree. But as the industry stands I'm feeling I'd rather start my own company thats small and make games that don't look the best but are fun, rather than work for a big company that makes clone games because thats all their publishers know will make them cash.

Same here. The Project Offset team is the best example. My ideal game dev job would be something like that.

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