I am in my last year at university studying Computer Games Design. As of June 2011, my intention is to start actively seeking employment in the Games Industry. Oh yes the big wide (round, don’t know why people say wide) world. Over the summer Arekkz, Trickyacid and I decided to do a team project and develop something for our portfolio because we were not happy with the work we had produced so far.
The original idea started off as a Mech (Giant Robots) arena shooting game using Wiimotes as controllers. However, as the project t progressed the idea changed into a technical demo as the assets which we needed could not be provided by our modeller. For the Project I was Lead Programmer and Project Manager and made sure that all deadlines were met by the team and everything was in context with the overall idea.
Prior to the start of our final year at University, I, Arekkz and Optical Matrix (LOL) went on holiday to Japan where we spent 10 days over there. While I did not speak Japanese, my other 2 companions did so we overcame the language barrier. The main objective of our trip was to go to the Tokyo Game Show which proved amazing. My only criticism was that we had to queue from 4a.m to 9am to make sure we gained entry so that we could play the games we wanted. Personally, because of the language barrier, I was not able to network with many games company personnel at the show. I was only able to talk to one English speaking Square-Enix employee. Who said that he had family working for Sony in the UK doing programming.
|Going to the Rainbow Bridge|
|China town in Japan lol ;]|
Overall the whole Japan experience was one I will never forget, plus I like name dropping it.
Me: "Ooooh I went to Japan this summer"
Usual reply: "wow that's amazing I wanna go"
Lol that never gets old
Now I am back at university in my final year, my avarice for finding suitable employment has gone into overdrive. While I was always looking at the job openings on different websites such as Develop-Online, I did not ever commit to applying for jobs. I feel I am now ready to job hunt having so far gained experience through by studies, research and hands on applications. I am open to accept any position I feel will extend my experience and increase my chances of gaining entrance into the games industry.
At the start of October a group of friends and I were able to volunteer for the Euro gamer Expo in Earl's Court. It was an amazing experience and got me even more fired up. We were assigned to Bethesda which allowed us the opportunity to spend the day with the people who created Brink, Splash Damage. I have never spoken with anyone in the game industry in person with so much passion about creating games and their own games as the people at Splash Damage. Right now my admiration for them is out of the roof.
While working with the people at splash damage I was able to network and exchange details with them. I had a lot of interaction with the many different gaming companies at Eurogamer, and not only the people at Splash damage as I did not want to limit myself. The advice that I was given by the senior producer at Bethesda games was invaluable and very reassuring.
At the Eurogamer Expo there is also the games career fair, it is home to a wide variety of computer games related companies looking to recruit people for their business. I found this an idea opportunity to talk to the people at Rare. I asked the programmer at the Rare booth if there was any advice he could possibly give me about creating a good portfolio. The tips that I got were great.
I also was given insight into a scheme run by Birmingham University were students are given 9 months to create a game on one of the major platforms e.g. PlayStation 3 or Xbox. While developing the game, the students are mentored by industry experts and driven to meet deadlines. Once they have completed the course they are also accredited with an M.A (Masters) which could look very appealing on a CV.
I am going to wait little while to email the guys at Splash Damage. Hopefully there is a chance for me to do some work with them. It would be great for my experience and knowledge if I could gain a placement there.
Recently Alex and I reassessed our CV and covering letter to make sure that they were impressive so we could send them off to the people at Splash Damage. We have contacts details for the people we need to get in touch with there as I was able to get their business cards. I have opted to send an email rather than send a letter because they ask me to email them.
I have also signed up for Games-Industry.Biz website daily emails so that I can receive emails about possible jobs. Also I have started commenting more on the website so that I can network with industry people. It is going better than I thought as I was able to have a discussion with the senior producer at Ninja Theory.
Resuming the search for the intern-ships, I looked at a number of websites that offer them such as Black Rock Studio and Crytek. Most of them say that you need strong demo, while I do have content for a portfolio I do not feel that it shows off my skills as a programmer. I have some projects that are currently on-going which I will put into my portfolio to make the content.
It has been two weeks since I sent the emails to the Splash Damage Employees. I have yet to receive replies. One of the contacts did say that the main person was very slow at replying to emails as he gets about 200 emails a day
I also revised my LinkedIn account this week. LinkedIn is a hybrid social network and Job hunting website. People can upload their CV and details, these details can then be spotted by potential employers. I invited Arekkz to sign up as he had not done so yet. While I was changing my account I noticed I could add people that I had emailed already, so I was able to network with more industry people than anticipated.
It has been a while since my last post so I thought I would update the blog. Not much has happened since my last post I am currently scouting through Job post on websites such as gamesindutry.biz and develop-online. I have been looking at both programming and games designing positions. I have recently read a website article that game design is not an entry level position and graduates usually go in as programmers or level designers then work their way toward the design positions.
I am still awaiting the reply from splash damage on doing some work for them. I am going to resend the email see if this hastens the reply.
I got my reply from Splash Damage finally after sending the email 3 times. The email basically said that the person who deals with recruitment had been sick and that there were no positions currently available in the company. I also got a reply from the Bethesda contact he said that Bethesda do not have any development studios in Europe which I suspected. Although I didn’t get the answers I was looking for. It was worth a try, I shall continue job hunting.
During the summer there were a couple of events which were computer games related and I was able to meet some industry employed people by coincidence. The advice they gave was both encouraging and useful as the majority of people said that you need a strong demo polished to a certain level. They gave me their business cards with their details and I in turn produced my details on a piece of paper, which is not very professional.
Having decided that I need businesses card I will start looking around for good deals on print and start designing my card as at this point they are becoming a necessity.
Short post this week I have asked Arekkz (Alex) to design my business card for me as he offered and he also pointed me towards a brilliant deal on Vistaprint (link) for great deal on 500 cards. He said it should not take too long to design as I had given him the specification of what I wanted the card to look like. He is also helping me design the general logo for my brand TwoSixNine.
Before you ask, there is no meaning behind the TwoSixNine; I chose it a long time ago about 12+ years ago and just stuck with it as it sounded cool to me. Maybe I should make a fancy story about how it came into existence.
My Lecturer also informed the class that we will have a mock interview soon and we will have to apply for one of three companies. I always get slightly nervous when someone says presentation or interview but I always seem to do ok.
This week I got snowed in :[went to the train station and waited for an hour in the cold for trains that did not come then walked to an alternate train station, the situation was the same. This means I have missed my interview. I emailed the module leader to inform her of my situation she said the interview could be rearranged and gave me the details of the person that I needed to email.
|Makers of AVP|
Out of the three companies available for the interview I choose Rebellion Studios because though they are not my ideal studio, they were the closest studio to where I would like to work. Rebellion makes hard-core games such as FPS and Action adventure. The studio recently produced the 2010 title AVP which is based off both the Aliens and Predator movie licenses.
To prepare for the interview I decided to do some research on the various products Rebellion has developed. I found that most of the games they had developed were hand held games and even though I do not generally play handheld games as much as the console counterparts I was still familiar with the franchises. Most of the games they developed were big established franchises which meant for me that they were easy to remember and reference if needed. One of the requirements of the interview was to have a CV ready so I checked mine once more to make sure it was okay.
The interview itself went great; I was not nervous when I got into the interview. The interviewer (Sarah) firstly asked to see my C.V and cover letter, she informed me that my covering letter was great but the C.V the information blended too much. She handed me a leaflet with some tips on how to layout the C.V better. She proceeded to ask me a series of questions, six in total’ some about the company, some about me and also about relocation. After the interview as finished she immediately asked me how the interview went, I said ok, I felt myself saying the word ‘stuff’ one too many times. She agreed that I did in fact say stuff too much and where I said stuff, I should have elaborated. Other than using stuff too much, Sarah said that the interview was great. She did say that I needed to list of my skills a bit more and sell them so that potential employers know what I can do.
So that I was able to remember what I had to improve on, the notes which Sarah was taking during the interview were given to me.
Overall I felt that the mock-interview was a great experience and helped me to hone my interview skills by highlighting some of my small weak spots.
I was able to get my business cards and logo finalized. They have both been printed and they both look better than I expected. :].
Here are the designs:
I may get an A0 size poster printed soon.
I was able to sign up for various recruitment websites such as Special Move, OPM and Amiqus. So far Amiqus looks the best suited for what I need as they listed graduate jobs as well as normal job. Amiqus also allows the user to upload a demo so the clients can see a showcase of the student’s skills. My LinkedIn profile was also updated this week and career goals. Hopefully I will get some offers;].
My portfolio website is now live visit at www.twosixnine.co.uk The website is all flash animated.
The portfolio is a great Bit of self-promotion it has demos/pictures of my work on their check it out.
Arrrghh my computer hard drive recently failed and I lost most my work that wasn’t backed up the essentials was. Nonetheless it was annoying as some of the work could not be backed up due to file size and time constraints.
The silver lining was the engineer that came to fix my laptop said that does work on the laptop of people in the games industry and recently called on someone who works for Eidos. This was an opportunity to network so I handed him a bunch of my business cards so that he could maybe give to people he met in the industry. I know it’s a shot in the dark but it is worth a try.
Check out my personal development here