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How you got into the industry

Discussion in 'CBP General' started by TheSpoonDog, Apr 28, 2008.

  1. Lord_Porksword

    Lord_Porksword Connoisseur of Bourbon!

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    It's a shame to hear that your talent is going to waste! :(

    Maybe down the track you can do what others have done and team up with some of the other talented folk, who are in a similar situation, and startup your own company! :D
     
  2. Hourences

    Hourences New Member

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    I completely understand your position Rachel, and smaller studios are certainly not always better. Smaller studios are usually lesser experienced which usually leads to a whole host of other problems really.

    I also think, and I am sure Rachel will agree, that modding experience is not valued enough. I think being able to work entirely on your own, plan your own time, and experiment with a wide variety of stuff is really important, and gives you a substantial lead over people who only work 9-5, usually. Not a lot of companies seem to realize that though.

    Lord Porksword, I dont think gamer/not gamer is a too big issue. I think everyone is a gamer pretty much in this industry. For me a much bigger issue however is gamer/developer. You need to be more than a gamer. The problem is that there is so much involved in creating a game, so the ones in charge are almost never really into all the aspects they are suppose to lead. The Art Director prolly doesn't has an environment art background, yet he does make the decisions on those things. That could work out of course dependent on the guy, and the support he gets, but it could also not work out. The same goes for many people. A producer who has no clue about level design for example and so on.

    It is not just the games industry that burns money like crazy. I came across this yesterday:
    [​IMG]
    Logo for the Olympic games in four years. It costed them over half a milion dollar to design! Totally insane. The same goes for games.
     
  3. Lord_Porksword

    Lord_Porksword Connoisseur of Bourbon!

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    Yeah i can't believe that someone would actually authorize the such a large payment for just a stupid logo...but it shows that there is a lot of money to burn out there...

    So what'chaz think about Duke Nukem forever and the fact they've gone through 4 engine changes since starting the project. Would it drive you crazy or would the fact that each newer engine brought more possibilities 'keep it fresh'?
     
  4. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    Well, it depends. I wouldn't have gotten any of the job offers I've been getting this past year if it weren't for the stuff I do at home. If I had to rely on my work portfolio, I'd be lucky to get anything.

    On the brighter side, I just got back from my interview today, and I'm going to get an offer soon for a Lead Level Designer / Lead Level Scripter position in Florida. I get the feeling the "interview" was just a formality, since there was no real interview and I just sat in on design meetings all day giving my opinion on stuff. :)
     
  5. Hyrage

    Hyrage New Member

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    Well it just depends, how can we tell if it's already what they planned since a long time... but just waiting for Unreal Engine 3.0 ? They probably needed to prototype their stuff quickly and much more... for that kind of title.

    3D Realms are smart guys, maybe they made a few mistakes by assuming the size of their DNF, but I believe they know now that is the best for them. I do believe, that DNF will be great.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  6. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    Bump.

    One other thing that helps, and this is the part a lot of people have problems with, is motivation. You have to want it so bad that you're willing to sacrifice a lot to get it. Myself, and I'm sure Hourences and a lot of other people, have spent literally every spare moment working in the editor, nights, weekends, lunches, for years to get where we are. It doesn't happen overnight, and sitting back and waiting for it to happen will get you nowhere. You have to work your ass off to get it.

    A lot of my friends I've tried to help, told them that I'd help them learn the editor so they could get better jobs or get into the industry, but it always comes down to the same thing. They get home, they play WoW or watch tv, and they get nowhere. Then they complain about it, or realize that they've wasted an entire year playing WoW when they could have gotten good at the editor in that time, yet still do nothing about it.

    It's not that I'm some super-talented genius who this comes naturally to. Anyone could do this. I just have that motivation to spend the time working in the editor to get better at it all the time.

    [/Some kinda weird rant]
     
  7. Hourences

    Hourences New Member

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    I completely agree but that is kind of the whole problem with humanity :)

    We just don't fix problems when we notice them. The world can go to hell, we still remain passive.
     
  8. Lord_Hades

    Lord_Hades New Member

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    Also having a well written resume helps a lot! In the past 3 companies I worked for, the HR managers were not gamers, so if you say that you can create Versailles using BSP only, you might as well speak in Chinese because he/ she would have no clue what you are talking about.

    The last HR manager told me that he will post a job on the website using keywords. And he wont spend more than 10sec per resume he receive, so what he does is that he only look to see these keywords (manage, lead, design, communicate, etc...).

    Of course once you get past the HR manager, you will still have to impress who ever is going to look at your resume/ portfolio, but if you dont get past the HR manager, you are sure to not get the job...

    In my opinion this is silly as they are probably losing some talented peoples that aren't good at writing their resume, but that's the way it is.
     
  9. zynthetic

    zynthetic robot!

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    True. 8 years of networking and making some cool stuff along the way did a good service for me. Granted 6 of those years I didn't place modding above anything other than a hobby but the learning experiences and attention gained in that time has really paid off. Getting to know ppl in the industry will definitely help but it's also what you know that'll put you over anyone else that may be bidding the position, and keep you there.
    Pick one thing or field and learn it well. It's better to be great at one thing than mediocre at many.
     
  10. Sjosz

    Sjosz (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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    I disagree. Anyone can learn how to use the tools, but if you have no imagination or a weak creative mind you'll never be as good as people who breathe creativity. Sure, level design largely is analyzing, iterating and applying a set of rules, but creativity plays a large role in it as well. (imotbhkthxbai)
     
  11. Hyrage

    Hyrage New Member

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    You are right, but I can't say it's totally true for the following reasons.

    -----------------------
    • A few Game Studios do not care about your creativity, they only want you to build a level, the one they thought of and are sure is great, even if it's the worse, even if you know it won't work. If it fails, they will blame you and replace you by someone else if they desire it, because you do not have any impact on the Studio yourself alone... you aren't allowed to create.

    • If you are allowed to create and work for a HQ somewhere in the world, they do assume that they know what they are talking about when they give you the feedbacks once you released a Playable Demo. Depending of the Game Dev, it may be once per week, per 2 weeks, once per months or more. It just depends... Plus, they will order you to change stuff that is great, but they don't like it and are convinced they are right so they will ask you to make a Low Gravity Mode in a realistic game, even if your game is supposed to be a real life simulation on Earth... or add flowers & butterflies in a uber-viloent game. If you do it, fine... you know it doesn't make sense and won't sell and the decision was not for the gamers, they made it for themselves and do not care about everything else, but... you will keep your job and be able to buy flowers for your wife and restaurants for your kids. Plus if you are able to please their ideas all the time and understand how they think, you will be able to add those stupid ideas in your things and get a better reputation, but you will always not do your job for the gamers... just for your Leaders. If you don't do that, you may risk to lose your job.

    • With some luck, you could just be part of a super happy Game Dev Studio that makes smart decision and makes games for gamers!

    • Or... the last option is to say f*** all that, I'll do my own studio. Unfortunately for that, you may need to experience the situations stated above. What a vicious life, isn't it? :D

    -----------------------

    In other terms, you may be the best Tool User in the world, but you need the creativity to use it properly. If you are the best genius in the world, but you don't know how to produce your ideas with the Tools... it is even worst.

    Programmers are making playable games, good or bad, they are highly paid to do that. Designers are usually not paid as much as programmers, because they do not make a game playable alone. So, if you can make something playable [using the tools], it's a start, even if it's bad (and... unfortunately it's real).

    Now, if you really want to get into the Game Industry keep your motivation very high because that world isn't pink, but if you can keep the flame alive and burn all the crap around you... it may be full of light.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2009
  12. Sjosz

    Sjosz (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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    Aside from the fact that I'm not interested in buying my kids restaurants, I fail to see your point. You make sure you sign with a company that takes you in because you can be creative and create besides using the toolset. If you're completely new to the industry your own ideas of good design will need to be nuanced by learning under experienced higher-ups.

    You're talking about hypothetical situations where producers have creative control, and other comparable scenarios. If you want to shut up and make sure you keep your job by pleasing your boss even if he makes a bad decision, you're not really a designer, and you're not doing what you're supposed to. At work I've always met decisions that seem off with questions and concerns. Usually there is a good thought process behind the decisions but well argumented alternatives are never simply ignored.
     
  13. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    Hypothetical?
     
  14. Hyrage

    Hyrage New Member

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    Hypothetical?
    Unfortunately, I don't think... Because there isn't a Game Studio that works the same way, most of them use similar (different) titles for job position, but the roles are mostly different. Plus, each Game Studio does process differently, even if we may think they work in similar ways and each process does affect the Creativity differently (I mean, our Creativity as level Designers or else). So, even if you do well document or argument an idea, the guys above may just do not care at all and are free to refuse you could be right.

    • If your Studio is independant and got a contract for a game based on a Film, it's one type of process.

    • If your Studio is independant and does work for Microsoft to produce a specific game it's a different process.

    • If your Game Studio is owned by Activison, EA or Ubisoft and does work closely with the HQ it's a totally different process because the HQ may just change everything at anytime, they are you real Lead Designer and Producer and your Studio does only have a little impact.

    • If your Studio is owned by Activision, EA or Ubisoft, but they do let your Freedom to produce the games you want and they only act as Publisher (in other terms), it's a whole different process.

    • If your Game Studio is totally independant, managing his own Budget, release his stuff when it's done and needs to find a ncie publisher, it's another process.

    In each of thsoe process the impact of your Position changes. Plus, if a Studio does have a lot of Employees, each of them does have no or just a little impact on the ideas and production. In a smaller Studio, each employee may get easier the opportunity to impact the Game and Quality, because they do not jsut act as slaves.

    By chance, here in Montreal we do have various types of Studio and I got a few friends a bit everywhere. Plus, if you are Junior, Senior or lead the job differs depending of the Studio too, each of them does get more or less the opportunity to be truly creative. However, everything may also change depending of the various Projectsa Game Studio could produce. Depending of the Platform and the type of game you develop, it may change pretty much everything. If you do work as a Level Designer on Guitar Hero: Greatest Hits, it isn't the same as making Unreal Tournament 4. The creativity isn't the same and doesn't work the same way.

    In conclusion, it does vary a lot. The hierarchy behind a Studio does affect that Creativity and how much you could give. Sometimes a Game Designer will only execute the demand of his HQ and wouldn't even have to do somekind of Market studies. Sometimes, even the Producer may act as a Game Designer and filter what may be good or wrong and much more. it is never the same... I'm working on my fourth project and each of them was completely different. I never had the exact same role and I didn't contribute the same way [Game Design, Level Design or just produce from a Layout that was already done].
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009
  15. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    And in other news, water is wet. :p
     
  16. Hyrage

    Hyrage New Member

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    And we love making games
     
  17. Sjosz

    Sjosz (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

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    Hypothetical. Producers just slap you with time constraints. Maintaining creative direction requires a creative mind, as such. :B

    Writing short posts is hard, hm? ;)

    Regardless of your entire essay on project organization and structural differences in different companies that have different circumstances, being creative is ultimately an important part of being a designer. If you're not creative but can use the toolset you can go a long way before running into the obstacle of having to be creative but not being able to.
    My entire point is that creativity is an important part of being a designer. I'm not disputing that applying creativity has its different restrictions.
     
  18. Angel_Mapper

    Angel_Mapper Goooooooats

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    Unless this hypothetical producer was originally a design intern who didn't make the cut and failed upward, and still think they're designers.
     
  19. evilmrfrank

    evilmrfrank Banned

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    I agree with Sjosz. A designer with out any creativity would be like a train with out train tracks.
     
  20. TheSpoonDog

    TheSpoonDog CBP3! Yarrr!

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    Must admit, the two main producers I've worked with were highly involved in the design process. Though one was also the boss, thus paying for the project, so I don't blame him. And the other usually surrendered to the opinions of the *actual* design team in the end.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009

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