So You Want To Make Video Games Sponsored by the Career Development Center Press Start to Continue 40/40 Special Thanks Jerri Dwyer Angela Williams J. Freer Chris Allen Also: Beckye Clark, Gassan Soukaev, and all those in the industry who answered my questions 39/40 Welcome
Quentin Rezin B. A. in Computer Science Game Developers Conference 04, 06 Gamer since Mike Tysons Punch-Out!! Favorite games: Legacy of Kain, Jak II, Oni, Septerra Core 38/40 What You Will Learn How to get a job in the game industry What a typical day in the industry is like Where What
to go for a graduate degree you can do right now Major Locations 37/40 Los Angeles, CA San Francisco, CA Seattle, WA Austin, TX 36/40
Studio Structure Management Testing Sound Production Testing Management Art Small Studio Design Art Large
Studio Programming Production 10~100 employees Everyone works in teams Generally a casual work environment Sometimes a strict hierarchy, sometimes not Design
Programming 35/40 Publisher vs. Developer Developer: a company that makes software under contract for a publisher. 1st / 3rd party Producer: creates the physical products, handles marketing and customer service Initial idea Choose developer Create design document Budget & schedule Create prototypes Greenlight and production
Game Designer 34/40 Level designer, feature designer, AI scripter, interface designer, writer Writes design documents Skills and courses: written and oral communication, creative writing, art, history, sciences, literature, music Programmer 33/40 Engine programmer, tool programmer,
AI programmer, technical artist Writes code Skills and courses: C, C++, Assembly, Java, trigonometry, calculus, physics Game Artist 32/40 Concept artist, character modeler or animator, texture or background artist Creates art assets
Skills and courses: digital painting, sketching, graphic design, 3D modeling or animation Maya, 3D Studio Max, Photoshop, Flash Sound Designer 31/40 Sound designer, sound engineer, composer Creates sound and music assets
Generally work on multiple projects Skills and courses: self educated learn about MIDI, sampling / compression, Sound Forge, sequencers (i.e. Cakewalk), Producer 30/40 HR director, production coordinator, associate producer, marketer Creates schedules and milestones
Works closely with marketers Skills and courses: written and oral communication, computer basics, mathematics, foreign languages Quality Assurance 29/40 QA Tester Creates test plan, manages bug database Looks for crashes, typos, and other bugs
Skills and courses: mad gaming skillz, written communication, computer basics, follow directions, remain focused Compatibility testing, customer service Common Career Paths 28/40 QA Tester Designer Associate Producer Designer
Technical artist Graphic or concept artist Tools programmer Engine or AI programmer Focus on one or two complementary skills Salaries 27/40 Game designers are generally paid less than programmers. The average salary of a male designer is $53k
Females comprise 9% of the design force. The average salary for female designers is $48k No overtime only testers get overtime Salaries (entry vs. lead) 26/40 Thousands of dollars per year 115 79 79 66 64
54 44 118 61 53 42 45 33 Designer Programmer Artist Animator Game Developers 4th Annual Salary Survey, 2005 Producer Tester* Based on 2,091 responses
A Typical Day 25/40 Each employee is assigned to a particular project and will have numerous tasks in support of that. A 9- or 10-hour day is not uncommon Meetings are held as necessary, with one fullcompany meeting per month. A typical day is 8 hours and is flexible, as long as the employee is present during core hours Interview responses Common Misconceptions 24/40
First and foremost it is a business Only 1 in 20 games breaks even, so companies rarely take a chance It's hard and it's fun and it's rewarding and it's a pain -Feargus Urquhart Some industry vets hardly have time for playing games outside of work Interview responses Misconceptions 23/40
NOBODY just sits around and plays games all days not even testers Crunch periods can last anywhere from two to six months: 80~140 hour weeks 140 / 7 = 20 hours per day Quality-of-life reforms Interview responses Capn Crunch Misconceptions 22/40
Its been estimated that 1/3rd of entry-level developers burn out before they finish their first game Companies collapse every year Dont let this scare you just be sure you love making games if you want a career in this industry Interview responses Getting In 21/40 The Catch-22
Overcoming the Catch-22 4-year degree or grad school Internships Preparation Persistence 20/40 Graduate Programs Academy of Art University Al Collins College Art Center College of Design The Art Institute of California The Art Institute of Phoenix The Art Institute Online Art Institutes International Brooks College Brown College
California Institute of the Arts Carnegie Mellon Boston University Collins College DeVry University DigiPen Institute of Technology Digital Media Arts College Ex'pression College for Digital Arts Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy The Game Institute The Guildhall at SMU iD Tech Camps International Academy of Design & Technology ITT Tech John Hopkins University Keiser College Miami International University of Art and Design Minnesota School of Business / Globe College Platt College Pratt Institute San Francisco State University
Sanford-Brown College The School of Communication Arts University of Advancing Technology University of Southern California Vancouver Institute for Media Arts Westwood College Campus Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) 19/40 Game Design Schools DigiPen 2-year Associate 4-year Bachelor Full Sail 1-year Associate 2-year Bachelor Macintosh/SNES Windows/Linux
Full Sail Physics and Math C++ Networks and OSs Digital Techniques Rules of the Game 3D Modeling Artificial Intelligence Questions To Ask Schools 17/40 Who sponsors the program? How long has the program existed?
Placement rate? Hardware/software? Languages? Internships 16/40 Microsoft, Redmond, WA / San Francisco, CA Electronic Arts, Redwood City, CA / Orlando, FL / Chicago, IL
Buena Vista Games, Glendale, CA Many smaller companies Check websites Preparation 15/40 Play games. Know your favorites and talk about them
Beta test or write reviews Build levels in UnrealEd / Half-Life 2 Role-play, read, write, draw Preparation 14/40 Get a four-year degree
If you can afford a game degree, it can help Create game assets on your own Put successful experiments in your portfolio Artists: find ways to use your skills to earn some money www.sloperama.com Conferences 13/40 Game Developers Conference (GDC), March
www.gdconf.com Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), May www.e3expo.com Austin Game Conference, September www.gameconference.com/ www.womensgameconference.com/ www.otronicon.org/ GDC Tips
12/40 Research Prepare Talk Listen Get names and take notes
Follow up Rsums 11/40 First thing: what job youre applying for Put the best stuff at the top Make sure everythings relevant to the job Leave out negative experiences unless you overcame adversity
Write a NEW cover letter for each application If you have samples, post them online Portfolios 10/40 inch, 3-ring binder, sheet protectors Put the most striking material up front Just the best material (20 pages max)
Put the material online Name, address, phone # on the cover Make a booklet to leave with interviewers www.sloperama.com Interviews 09/40 Dress appropriately Prepare an introduction
Keep the job description in mind Highlight your relevant skills SHOW ENTHUSIASM Have questions ready Ask about responsibilities, vacation / sick days 08/40
Advice From The Industry Be willing to work super hard to prove your worth Be willing to be on a team in any capacity Remember that a lot of entry-level positions are not advertised, since there are a lot of people trying to get them Before the interview, ask what appropriate dress is
Interview responses 07/40 Advice From The Industry You can't afford to relax and let your guard down once you get a job. You have to both excel at your job and practice new skills in your spare time to continue building your portfolio www.planetquake.com www.sloperama.com 06/40 You cant get a job via email
If youre sending a resume by mail, dont include samples unless youve contacted the recipient in advance and asked first Educate yourself about the company First and foremost, everyone wants hardworking, capable communicators www.sloperama.com 05/40 After the interview: Send the thank-you letter within 24 hours of the
interview. Show your follow-up skills Write to an individual. If you met multiple individuals, get their business cards so you have proper spellings and job titles Restate why you are a good candidate Spell check it 04/40 The IGDA is working to improve the quality of life
Works against government censorship / regulation Developed a curriculum for game schools Provides GDC scholarships to 25 college students Special Interest Groups (SIGs) AI, casual games, preservation, indies, mobile, online, sex in games, student, women, writers www.igda.org Useful Sites
03/40 www.gamejobs.com www.gamerecruiter.com www.gamasutra.com development and jobs www.igja.org game journalists www.sloperama.com advice
www.bluesnews.com public betas www.fileplanet.com public betas 02/40 Questions 01/40 One Last Thing May 5th, 12-4pm UofA Game Development Club Annual Game Fair Ozark Hall, Room 215 (CAST Lab) www.uagdc.webhop.org GAME OVER
Thank you for playing! Winners dont do drugs [email protected] WWW.GEOCITIES.COM/QJREZIN
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