quarta-feira, 28 de março de 2012

Lessons learned - Get in the Games Industry

*Procurando pela versão em português? Acesse o NextLevel *

Hi everybody!

Back there when I was watching some GDC sessions I met Lindsey from 38 studios on her talk about dos & dont's on breaking into games industry.
It was such a good talk that I couldn't let that get away without helping the rest of my fellow companions that are also trying to work with their passion (GAMES YEAH!)

She was very kind to me and gave me all the session info edited in a nice pdf.

Enough with the chat lets go to the goodies.
* Most of these ideas belongs to 38Studios and should not be used without their permission, also this is not exactly their text, I mixed some of my ideas too*

Top 5 - Good ways to network

# 5 - Apply directly
- Try gamedevmap.com for info on companies in your area
- Try jobportals. I'd personally recommend: gamasutra, Edge jobs and Games Industry Jobs
- Try submitting resume in events (GDC for instance)
- Try job fairs

- On interviewing be prepared to make tests, specific tests, tough tests!
- Prepare a list of questions that you want to make. That way is easy to talk with the interviewer.
- Always, I said always ask for feedback, that shows you're concerned about improving yours skills and also commitment.
- Don't be afraid of picking jobs that aren't initially on your area of specialty. You can start as a QA and try to build up your way to the top, being in the industry is the best way to get a job in the industry (I know it sound strange but is true).

#4 - Social Networking
- Prepare your linked in/stackoverflow account. Don't have one? Stop right now and go signup! (kidding just continue reading ok?). Put everything that matters on your account, don't use it for friends stuff, this is pros place. Events, games, prototypes, recommendations, school, jobs, everything goes here!
- Twitter. You have two options here go pro with your personal account and add companies, team members and job accounts OR Make a professional account where you follow and post only job related stuff.
- Facebook and Google+. I don't really like this option since basically they are personal social networks, but if you want to try them look for apps that target business contacts like BranchOut on FB or build business circles on G+. And please keep embarrassing stuff out of the internet.
- Look for other networking sites, there is lots of stuff happening out there on the web.
- Try placing your demos, prototypes and other related videos on youtube. That will make your name a little more findable on the web and also will show off some of your talent.
- Have a blog! This way you can express yourself about everything you have learned so far, show a portfolio, share experiences. Just remember this is public so be careful on what you write on it ok?
- Playing Games...what? Yes most of the people in game industry play something, so you have a chance of meeting someone online.

#3 - Groups and Communities
- game dev clubs & competitions. Pay attention to game jams they are extremely crucial for getting attention and improving yourself, also is a good way of knowing new people or forming a group of friends. Compohub have mapped some game jams.
- modding communities. This is a good way of starting, here apply the same tip as the previous one.
- if you're an artist check  digital art communities & competition, like CGSociety, CGHub, and Ani-Boom.
- Be part of game development groups like IGDA, WIGI and others.
- This falls on some other tips: volunteering - community management, events, or beta testing. Playing, modding and making games are some effective ways of breaking in.
- Depending on which forums & fansites you post into you can use it on your behalf. Just remember to build constructive and valuable posts, that way even if you're not saying that something is good try to be adding a point of view and a suggestion of improvement (be nice devs/artists have feelings too).

#2 - Conferences and Events
- GDC, GDC Online, a bunch of others.
- Consumer Shows (PAX, E3, etc)
- University-hosted events
- Networking events/parties and meeting
-  Developer open houses/portfolio review

- It's not easy to go into these places and probably that would require some money (often more than you could afford), but if you can be prepared with cards and firm handshakes.
- Take into account each event situation, consumer show isn't hiring centered but GDC has its career pavillion.
- Don't be shy and make them remember you (in a good way)

#1 - Friends
- This may sound silly but having friends that work in industry can help you to be a step ahead. If you made all your previous lessons and have enough good background your friends will talk about you when the time come.
- A huge tip: there is no point of having a friend on Blizzard (pick any company here) if you're not even trying to be an awesome developer/artist/your role here. If you're good at something your friend will talk about you, don't insist from five to five trough sms asking him "Can you talk to your boss about me?" or  "Hey a need a job can you lend me a hand", just let him know once what you're doing. After all you're already friends right?

Top 5 Worst Ways to Network
#5 Inquire through inappropriate means
- Follow the procedures and instructions on job pages, they are there for good reason. If someone asked you not to call don't call.
- Avoid spamming developers, if they don't answer you probably they are to busy to do so, give them time. Also never stop by a studio and hassle people, that is ugly (bad bad professional no donuts for you). There are good ways of meeting people, Lindsey provide some in her document.

#4 Have someone else do all the leg work for you
- Basically don't cheat, meet the people and maintain relationship by yourself. It is your job to get hired not yours girlfriend/friend/parents.

#3 Don't make promises that you can't keep
- If you send an email to someone and that person don't answer you then you get sad with him right? So why would you do the same? If you going to promise something remind of actually doing it, give back what others have given to you, isn't that hard.

#2 Lie
- Again, don't cheat, the industry is small when bad things happen (truth rides a turtle and lie rides a fast airplane). Try to make yourself clear on what you're saying and is better not to get a job than be on a negative situation because of a lie in your resume.

#1 Point fingers or take it personal
- This is the best way to not get a job and even curse yourself. I'll quote Lindsey exact words "This industry WANTS you to succeed. Recruiters want to hire you, Developers want to know more about you, people want to interact with what you create. But there’s a time and place for everything, and even rejections are a part of the process. Keep in mind that it’s rarely about you."
- What she says is a fact if you destroy you own roads instead of building them to new cities how you think you going to get where you want?

There are more must read tips and goog examples on Lindsey`s pdf, so please read it all and you won't regret it I promise.
Get it here

Again a special thanks to Lindsey and 38studios, thank you!!

If you want to know more or just talk about it I'll be glad to do so, just send me an email vitor.navarro87 at gmail.com