Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account


Asking If Companies Need Free Work?


Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.

  • You cannot reply to this topic
15 replies to this topic

#1 flodywan   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:07 PM

Hey guys, I was wondering if it would be dumb to ask some companies if they would like some unpaid help? There are some SMALL companies near me that I know are pretty poor, and I think it would be a good place to start in game development. I've been programming >2 years, been programming games ~2 months(finished Pong clone, working on Pacman clone). Does this sound like a good idea? Any tips on how I should ask when I contact them?

Sponsor:

#2 Kayzaks   Members   -  Reputation: 137

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:27 PM

Hey guys, I was wondering if it would be dumb to ask some companies if they would like some unpaid help? There are some SMALL companies near me that I know are pretty poor, and I think it would be a good place to start in game development. I've been programming >2 years, been programming games ~2 months(finished Pong clone, working on Pacman clone). Does this sound like a good idea? Any tips on how I should ask when I contact them?


You can always send a resume and ask for an unpaid Internship. But, you will most likely either be stuck in "Make me some Coffee"-type of position or not involved with Programming at all.
It would take too long to get you familiar with the code architecture for you to actually do any Programming.

But, it never hurts to ask ;) Have you tried calling them?

#3 KulSeran   Members   -  Reputation: 2152

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:31 PM

My guess? Unless they are an indy team, or they offer an internship position. This isn't going to go over all that well. There is a lot of paperwork involved in adding someone to the team. Even then, it would be risky business bringing you in, as broken code can cause problems for a whole team. That isn't an issue with a salary employee, as they'd contractually be obligated to fix the issue in a timely manner. As an unpaid volunteer, they'd be unable to legally hold you to the same standards as a paid employee, making their costs associated with your work that much higher. Look for something more reasonable, like a paid internship. But more likely than not, finishing out a CS degree and making a good portfolio will count for more when you are looking for a job.

#4 flodywan   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 01:54 PM

Dang, thanks for the insight. I haven't called any of them yet, I thought e-mails would be better. Oh, and a lot of the companies near me are indie.

I thought it might not be such a good idea (I could come in and ruin something and not really be too responsible for it). I'm just nervous that if I don't, I might graduate and nobody will want to hire someone without at least some kind of experience.

So finishing my degree and continuing my own game programming is the best way to get a job eventually?

#5 Metsan   Members   -  Reputation: 168

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 02:11 PM

So finishing my degree and continuing my own game programming is the best way to get a job eventually?

Absolutely.

#6 Kayzaks   Members   -  Reputation: 137

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 02:18 PM

As the FAQ link seems to be gone on the new Forum, here is a direct Link that will answer alot of possible questions you might have on breaking into the Game Industry: http://www.sloperama.com/advice.html

#7 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8485

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 02:58 PM

Yes, I put in a request to have the FAQs reinstated.
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#8 Dr. Hugo Strangelovecraft   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 03:20 PM

So finishing my degree and continuing my own game programming is the best way to get a job eventually?


Yes, but to increase your chances in the future to get the job you want it's also very important that you earn some field experience, specially working in a team (not school). Also keep every project and documentation of whatever you do for the future.
So my advise would be that when you've got a chance you look for some unpaid/paid internship or some work even if it's only a few hours a week for a short time, not game related or even if it wont give you credits or something for your studies.

I know from personal experience that having a degree in a nice school and also the scores won't get you any job anywhere if you don't have the professional experience and/or a decent portfolio, at least in jobs related to IT and videogames.

#9 flodywan   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 09 January 2011 - 11:38 PM

So it sounds like you'd recommend me looking for unpaid work/internship. I'm definitely trying to find any type of programming internship, so hopefully I'll get some good team experience that way. Is it a serious problem if I can't find any? This is what I'm afraid of, that I graduate and am somehow unemployable.

#10 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 8485

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 10 January 2011 - 12:03 AM

Flody, you wrote:

1. So it sounds like you'd recommend me looking for unpaid work/internship.
2. Is it a serious problem if I can't find any?
3. This is what I'm afraid of, that I graduate and am somehow unemployable.

1. I believe he was suggesting you get involved in amateur/indie projects. If you manage to get an internship, paid is better than unpaid, and unpaid is at least a foot in the door.
2. It's a serious problem if you don't manage to build a good portfolio. Is that what you're asking?
3. If you haven't graduated yet, your primary focus right now needs to be on your studies. Work on some student projects if practicable within your primary duty: graduating. Then after graduation you must work to make yourself employable. And read what Stonewall Jackson and other great people said about fear at FAQ 47
-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.
www.sloperama.com

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#11 Dr. Hugo Strangelovecraft   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 10 January 2011 - 05:11 AM

Yeah, of course the programming experience and having a nice portfolio is important but as you said the team experience is too because in that respect people in H.R in companies look for 2 things (at least that's what I believe): That you take initiative and do stuff by yourself (looks like you have that one covered) and that you can properly communicate your work to the other members all the time (e.g. constantly reporting advances, keeping work transparent, helping and accepting help from team members, etc.).

But what Tom mentions maybe most important, don't be worrying too much about "what if's", just focus on your main activities (studies) and have fun and be inquisitive doing them, and opportunities will present themselves for you to take.

#12 M2tM   Members   -  Reputation: 948

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 11 January 2011 - 01:11 AM

Some universities have a co-op work placement program which allows companies to hire on students for partial government funding (at least up here in Canada) as an incentive to hire interns. If you can enroll in such a program I highly recommend it. Then the next step is to actually make the internship with a game company happen, typically this is best done when you live in the same area as a few studios (as these universities are more likely to have some kind of understanding with local studios.)

I went this route, and was very lucky to get a recommendation from a former alumni of my university who worked at EA and wanted to do a talk at our school (which I set up for him.) This basically helped get that vital first bit of work experience and I'm currently working in the industry.
_______________________"You're using a screwdriver to nail some glue to a ming vase. " -ToohrVyk

#13 flodywan   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 13 January 2011 - 03:20 PM

Thanks for the responses, guys. My university has a co-op but it requires that I take a year off to do it! I don't want to put off graduation a whole year.

I'll try to stop worrying about the future so much, but I just really want to start programming games.

M2tm, that's an awesome situation. Do you feel like it's really important to get a recommendation from someone inside the industry already?

#14 Obscure   Moderators   -  Reputation: 174

Like
1Likes
Like

Posted 14 January 2011 - 12:02 AM

Offering to work for free is a bad idea
Applying for an internship as part of a formal degree is a good idea.

How you present yourself is important. If your key selling point is that you are free then you probably aren't worth having. If you are an intern as part of a degree course they know you are serious and a potential future employee. Also, offering to work for free shows an ignorance of business because there is always a cost. You need to be managed and probably provided with space and equipment - these things all cost money.

My university has a co-op but it requires that I take a year off to do it! I don't want to put off graduation a whole year.

Then how were you planning to gain experience by working for free? If you are working on their project they will want you to work on it now... full time. Not a couple of hours in the evening and at weekends. You also won't get any meaningful experience unless you spend a reasonable amount of time.

Doing a year long internship is an excellent way of boosting your employment chances. I know of several student who did internships with independent developers in the UK who then go hired by those companies after they qualified.
Dan Marchant - Business Development Consultant
www.obscure.co.uk

#15 cpvr   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 13 February 2011 - 02:49 AM

Hey guys, I was wondering if it would be dumb to ask some companies if they would like some unpaid help? There are some SMALL companies near me that I know are pretty poor, and I think it would be a good place to start in game development. I've been programming >2 years, been programming games ~2 months(finished Pong clone, working on Pacman clone). Does this sound like a good idea? Any tips on how I should ask when I contact them?


I'd say go for it - it doesn't hurt to show them some examples either, and show them what you're capable of.
I know I sometimes ask game owners if I can help them out with SEO
Need art drawn for your game? Check out our art marketplace

#16 MAEnthoven   Members   -  Reputation: 194

Like
0Likes
Like

Posted 13 February 2011 - 12:41 PM

You should know that, for a lot of companies, you're not part of "free" in any way. Traditionally, interns don't provide much value and generally cost more than they're worth. When you take up a few minutes of your boss' time every day, you're costing the company money.




Old topic!
Guest, the last post of this topic is over 60 days old and at this point you may not reply in this topic. If you wish to continue this conversation start a new topic.



PARTNERS