So I know that the games industry is very competitive, and I'm about to start my last semester at Uni. My question is, how soon should I start looking proactively (i.e. actually applying for jobs and making phone calls)? I've got a decently-paying job I can fall back on that I don't particularly want, so it's not like I'm going to starve anyway.
I know that software companies in my area typically start looking for new hires a few months before the end of the semester (for spring at least). How does this compare for game developers, and does it change if I'm applying from out-of-state (which I will -- Idaho isn't exactly a mecca of gamedev).
EDIT: Forgot to mention -- this is for the programming side of things, ideally something technical if that matters (I assume Zynga has a shorter hiring churn than Epic, to note extremes).