So You Want To Make Video Games Sponsored

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“So You Want To Make Video Games…” Sponsored by the Career Development Center Press

“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,

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 Developer’s Conference ’ 04,

39/40 Welcome Quentin Rezin B. A. in Computer Science Game Developer’s Conference ’ 04, ’ 06 Gamer since Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out!! Favorite games: Legacy of Kain, Jak II, Oni, Septerra Core

What You Will Learn 38/40 v How to get a job in the game

What You Will Learn 38/40 v How to get a job in the game industry What a typical day in the industry is like v Where to go for a graduate degree v

Major Locations 37/40 v Los Angeles, CA v San Francisco, CA v Seattle, WA

Major Locations 37/40 v Los Angeles, CA v San Francisco, CA v Seattle, WA v Austin, TX

36/40 Studio Structure Small Studio Large Studio v 10~100 employees v Everyone works in

36/40 Studio Structure Small Studio Large Studio v 10~100 employees v Everyone works in teams v Generally a casual work environment v Sometimes a strict hierarchy,

35/40 Publisher vs. Developer: a company that makes software under contract for a publisher.

35/40 Publisher vs. Developer: a company that makes software under contract for a publisher. v 1 st / 3 rd party Producer: creates the physical products, handles marketing and Initial idea Choose developer customer service v Create design document Budget & schedule Create prototypes Greenlight and

Game Designer 34/40 v Level designer, feature designer, AI scripter, interface designer, writer v

Game Designer 34/40 v Level designer, feature designer, AI scripter, interface designer, writer v Writes design documents Skills and courses: written and oral communication, creative writing, art, history, sciences, literature, music v

Programmer 33/40 v Engine programmer, tool programmer, AI programmer, technical artist v Writes code

Programmer 33/40 v Engine programmer, tool programmer, AI programmer, technical artist v Writes code Skills and courses: C, C++, Assembly, Java, trigonometry, calculus, physics v

Game Artist 32/40 v Concept artist, character modeler or animator, texture or background artist

Game Artist 32/40 v Concept artist, character modeler or animator, texture or background artist v Creates art assets Skills and courses: digital painting, sketching, graphic design, 3 D modeling or animation v v Maya, 3 D Studio Max, Photoshop,

Sound Designer 31/40 Sound designer, sound engineer, composer v v Creates sound and music

Sound Designer 31/40 Sound designer, sound engineer, composer v v Creates sound and music assets v Generally work on multiple projects Skills and courses: self – educated learn about MIDI, sampling / compression, Sound Forge, sequencers (i. e. Cakewalk), v

Producer 30/40 v HR director, production coordinator, associate producer, marketer v Creates schedules and

Producer 30/40 v HR director, production coordinator, associate producer, marketer v Creates schedules and milestones v Works closely with marketers v Skills and courses: written and oral communication, computer basics, mathematics, foreign languages

Quality Assurance 29/40 v QA Tester Creates test plan, manages bug database v Looks

Quality Assurance 29/40 v QA Tester Creates test plan, manages bug database v Looks for crashes, typos, and other bugs v Skills and courses: mad gaming skillz, written communication, computer basics, follow directions, v

Common Career Paths 28/40 v QA Tester – Designer v Associate Producer – Designer

Common Career Paths 28/40 v QA Tester – Designer v Associate Producer – Designer Technical artist – Graphic or concept artist v Tools programmer – Engine or AI programmer v

Salaries 27/40 Game designers are generally paid less than programmers. The average v salary

Salaries 27/40 Game designers are generally paid less than programmers. The average v salary of a male designer is $53 k Females comprise 9% of the design force. The average salary for female designers is $48 k v No overtime – only testers get overtime v

26/40 Salaries (entry vs. lead) Thousands of dollars per year Designer Programmer Artist Animator

26/40 Salaries (entry vs. lead) Thousands of dollars per year Designer Programmer Artist Animator Game Developer’s 4 th 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

A Typical Day 25/40 Each employee is assigned to a particular project and will have v numerous tasks in support of that. A 9 or 10 -hour day is not uncommon Meetings are held as necessary, with one full-company meeting per month. A typical day is 8 hours and is flexible, as v Interview responses

Common Misconceptions 24/40 v First and foremost it is a business v Only 1

Common Misconceptions 24/40 v First and foremost it is a business v 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 v Some industry vets hardly have time Interview responses for playing games outside of work v

Misconceptions 23/40 NOBODY just sits around and plays games all days – not even

Misconceptions 23/40 NOBODY just sits around and plays games all days – not even testers v Crunch periods can last anywhere from two to six months: 80~140 hour weeks 140 / 7 = 20 hours per day v v Quality-of-life reforms Interview responses Cap’n “Crunch”

Misconceptions 22/40 It’s been estimated that 1/3 rd of entrylevel developers burn out before

Misconceptions 22/40 It’s been estimated that 1/3 rd of entrylevel developers burn out before v they finish v their first game Companies collapse every year Don’t let this scare you – just be sure you love making games if you want a career in this industry v Interview responses

Getting In 21/40 v The Catch-22 v Overcoming the Catch-22 4 -year degree or

Getting In 21/40 v The Catch-22 v 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

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 De. Vry University Digi. Pen Institute of Technology Digital Media Arts College Ex'pression College for Digital Arts Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy The Game Institute The Guildhall at SMU i. D 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 Digi. Pen 2 -year Associate 4 -year Bachelor Full Sail

19/40 “Game Design” Schools Digi. Pen 2 -year Associate 4 -year Bachelor Full Sail 1 -year Associate 2 -year Bachelor Macintosh/SNES Windows/Linux Strict admission $ 26, 000+ Cutting-edge tech $32, 000+ 24/7 class structure

18/40 Selected Classes Digi. Pen Geometry / Algebra Calculus 1 -2 High-Level Programming Data

18/40 Selected Classes Digi. Pen Geometry / Algebra Calculus 1 -2 High-Level Programming Data Structures Operating Systems Computer Full Sail Physics and Math C++ Networks and OSs Digital Techniques Rules of the Game 3 D Modeling Artificial Intelligence

Questions To Ask Schools 17/40 v Who sponsors the program? v How long has

Questions To Ask Schools 17/40 v Who sponsors the program? v How long has the program existed? v Placement rate? v Hardware/software? v Languages?

Internships 16/40 v Microsoft, Redmond, WA / San Francisco, CA v Electronic Arts, Redwood

Internships 16/40 v Microsoft, Redmond, WA / San Francisco, CA v Electronic Arts, Redwood City, CA / Orlando, FL / Chicago, IL v Buena Vista Games, Glendale, CA v Many smaller companies v Check websites

Preparation 15/40 v Play games. Know your favorites and talk about them v v

Preparation 15/40 v Play games. Know your favorites and talk about them v v Beta test or write reviews v Build levels in Unreal. Ed / Half-Life 2 v Role-play, read, write, draw

Preparation 14/40 v Get a four-year degree If you can afford a game degree,

Preparation 14/40 v Get a four-year degree If you can afford a game degree, it can help v v Create game assets on your own Put successful experiments in your portfolio v v Artists: find ways to use your skills to www. sloperama. com

Conferences 13/40 Game Developers Conference (GDC), March www. gdconf. com v Electronic Entertainment Expo

Conferences 13/40 Game Developers Conference (GDC), March www. gdconf. com v Electronic Entertainment Expo (E 3), May www. e 3 expo. com v v Austin Game Conference, September www. gameconference. com/ v www. womensgameconference. com/

GDC Tips 12/40 v Research v Prepare v Talk v Listen v Get names

GDC Tips 12/40 v Research v Prepare v Talk v Listen v Get names and take notes v Follow up

Résumés 11/40 v First thing: what job you’re applying for v Put the best

Résumés 11/40 v First thing: what job you’re applying for v Put the best stuff at the top Make sure everything’s relevant to the job v Leave out negative experiences unless you overcame adversity v Write a NEW cover letter for each application v

Portfolios 10/40 ½ inch, 3 -ring binder, sheet protectors v v Put the most

Portfolios 10/40 ½ inch, 3 -ring binder, sheet protectors v v Put the most striking material up front Just the best material (20 pages max) v v Put the material online v Name, address, phone # on the www. sloperama. com

Interviews 09/40 v Dress appropriately v Prepare an introduction v Keep the job description

Interviews 09/40 v Dress appropriately v Prepare an introduction v Keep the job description in mind v Highlight your relevant skills v SHOW ENTHUSIASM v Have questions ready v Ask about responsibilities, vacation /

08/40 Advice From The Industry Be willing to work super hard to prove your

08/40 Advice From The Industry Be willing to work super hard to prove your worth v v Be willing to be on a team in any capacity Remember that a lot of entry-level positions are not advertised, since there a lot of people trying to get them v v Before the interview, ask what appropriate Interview responses

07/40 Advice From The Industry You can't afford to relax and let your guard

07/40 Advice From The Industry You can't afford to relax and let your guard down once you get a job. You v 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 v You can’t get a job via email If you’re

www. sloperama. com 06/40 v You can’t get a job via email If you’re sending a resume by mail, don’t include samples unless you’ve contacted the recipient in advance and asked first v v Educate yourself about the company First and foremost, everyone wants hardworking, capable v

www. sloperama. com 05/40 After the interview: Send the thank-you letter within 24 hours

www. sloperama. com 05/40 After the interview: Send the thank-you letter within 24 hours of the interview. Show your follow-up skills v Write to an individual. If you met multiple individuals, get their business cards so you have proper spellings and job titles v

04/40 The IGDA is working to improve the quality of life v Works against

04/40 The IGDA is working to improve the quality of life v Works against government censorship / regulation v Developed a curriculum for game schools v Provides GDC scholarships to 25 college students v

Useful Sites 03/40 v www. gamejobs. com v www. gamerecruiter. com www. gamasutra. com

Useful Sites 03/40 v www. gamejobs. com v www. gamerecruiter. com www. gamasutra. com – development and jobs v v www. igja. org – game journalists v www. sloperama. com – advice v www. bluesnews. com – public betas v www. fileplanet. com – public betas

02/40 Questions

02/40 Questions

01/40 One Last Thing May 5 th, 12 -4 pm Uof. A Game Development

01/40 One Last Thing May 5 th, 12 -4 pm Uof. A Game Development Club Annual Game Fair Ozark Hall, Room 215 (CAST Lab) www. uagdc. webhop. org

GAME OVER Thank you for playing! Winners don’t do drugs QJREZIN@UARK. EDU WWW. GEOCITIES.

GAME OVER Thank you for playing! Winners don’t do drugs [email protected] EDU WWW. GEOCITIES. COM/QJREZIN