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Age discussion


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#1 TheCodeArtist   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:20 AM

Hi Everyone!
I'd like to know from you all what are you ages and your current positions on game industry today. I am asking these questions because I want to break into the industry but I don't have professional experience, and today I am 29 Years Old and I keep asking myself if its too late for me to start to search for an Internship in one of the big studios out there..

I am a 3D modeler with a wide view of the process of making games, also, I know many programing languages like C#, C++ Actionscript and JavaScript. I like the artistic and the technical side of making games but as I said: No experience. Today I work as user interface design/programmer in a interactive company in Brazil but I love making my own games and I am studing Unity3D..

Is that too late for me? To build an portfolio with my current games / studies and start knocking doors for a internship position?

What you guys think?

Sponsor:

#2 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2405

Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:52 AM

As long as you're willing and able to work 80 hours a week for minimum wage, or even better yet, as unpaid intern, there's no problem. After some 5 years, you can then start thinking about promotion.

Obviously, this is easier when you're 18, which is what the competition will be like.

#3 TheCodeArtist   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:12 AM

As long as you're willing and able to work 80 hours a week for minimum wage, or even better yet, as unpaid intern, there's no problem. After some 5 years, you can then start thinking about promotion.

Obviously, this is easier when you're 18, which is what the competition will be like.


Yeah.. that's what I am affraid of..
Anyway, thanks for the answer

#4 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:15 AM

As long as you're willing and able to work 80 hours a week for minimum wage, or even better yet, as unpaid intern, there's no problem. After some 5 years, you can then start thinking about promotion.

I don't think it's quite that bad anymore.

#5 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2405

Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:31 AM


As long as you're willing and able to work 80 hours a week for minimum wage, or even better yet, as unpaid intern, there's no problem. After some 5 years, you can then start thinking about promotion.

I don't think it's quite that bad anymore.


You're right. Many places these days require you to pay for the privilege of being employed as an intern (no, really, officialy you pay for references and training).

Companies that have internship programs tend to be large. These days it means multi-nationals. Due to general dynamics of the market, let alone the recession, there are hundreds of viable candidates for each internship position. So the companies cherry pick top people from universities. The rest is bargain bin for them, name a price, you will find people to accept it.


For everything else, the term "internship" has no meaning. It's just a label. If you have skills, ability to sell them, fast and strong enough foot to jam it into the door, know a few people, show to be a good fit, then you might get hired as CTO. But when going at it like that, you don't aim for "intern in training" job position, especially since places that will give you a chance don't have strict labels and everyone wears many hats, something you must do as well.

For creative professions, this means portfolio and attitude. Show what you have, only deal with people who are interested and have ability to make something happen. Don't try to impress people who are not connected, there isn't enough time. After enough effort, assuming you have some even borderline useful skills (which may be surprising, such as mere ability to use Photoshop), someone will get you involved. But it may mean something completely different in completely unrelated field.

If however you choose to focus on getting a specific job in a specific field, then you've given up most of bargaining position. Because suddenly, the employers are giving you the ability to follow your desires, which puts them in charge. And many companies have learned to abuse this to no end. So buyer beware.

But internship (as job label) these days means mostly unpaid grunt labor with essentially next to no advancement possibilities. There's no need due to the way market works.

#6 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:39 AM

You're right. Many places these days require you to pay for the privilege of being employed as an intern (no, really, officialy you pay for references and training).

While I don't doubt the recession has impacted interns harshly, do you have a source for this? I can't help but think this would be absolutely retarded for any company that wanted any sort of intern retention post-graduation. I don't think I know anybody who's had an internship in the past 2 years that has made less than double minimum wage, and I made just about the same as a full time sallaried employee (without benefits) in mine.

#7 mdwh   Members   -  Reputation: 993

Posted 12 January 2012 - 08:50 AM

I got a job offer 11 years ago without any previous experience (even "intern") - for "graduate" positions they don't expect you're going to have experience. I think one issue is that if they accepted you in such a position, you might not get any better pay than that level (although they might conceivably reward some job experience in other fields). I don't know what you do currently - is taking an entry level position here going to be a significant pay cut, or do you earn similar/less than that anyway?
http://erebusrpg.sourceforge.net/ - Erebus, Open Source RPG for Windows/Linux/Android
http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mark.harman/conquests.html - Conquests, Open Source Civ-like Game for Windows/Linux

#8 TheCodeArtist   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:50 AM



As long as you're willing and able to work 80 hours a week for minimum wage, or even better yet, as unpaid intern, there's no problem. After some 5 years, you can then start thinking about promotion.

I don't think it's quite that bad anymore.


You're right. Many places these days require you to pay for the privilege of being employed as an intern (no, really, officialy you pay for references and training).

Companies that have internship programs tend to be large. These days it means multi-nationals. Due to general dynamics of the market, let alone the recession, there are hundreds of viable candidates for each internship position. So the companies cherry pick top people from universities. The rest is bargain bin for them, name a price, you will find people to accept it.


For everything else, the term "internship" has no meaning. It's just a label. If you have skills, ability to sell them, fast and strong enough foot to jam it into the door, know a few people, show to be a good fit, then you might get hired as CTO. But when going at it like that, you don't aim for "intern in training" job position, especially since places that will give you a chance don't have strict labels and everyone wears many hats, something you must do as well.

For creative professions, this means portfolio and attitude. Show what you have, only deal with people who are interested and have ability to make something happen. Don't try to impress people who are not connected, there isn't enough time. After enough effort, assuming you have some even borderline useful skills (which may be surprising, such as mere ability to use Photoshop), someone will get you involved. But it may mean something completely different in completely unrelated field.

If however you choose to focus on getting a specific job in a specific field, then you've given up most of bargaining position. Because suddenly, the employers are giving you the ability to follow your desires, which puts them in charge. And many companies have learned to abuse this to no end. So buyer beware.

But internship (as job label) these days means mostly unpaid grunt labor with essentially next to no advancement possibilities. There's no need due to the way market works.


Thanks! Helped a lot.
I mean, the digital agencies often take young people in a intern program, and I can say that they work as hell for a minimum wage too. The "internship" position in the game industry is just a label i found possible since I dont have experience. But it's true that if I could get their attention with some good stuff, it is very possible to get a real job position, nothing is impossible if you have the will and the resources..

Another thing: I think we all love to make games, and I like every aspects of the building process, from concept sketches to the crazy math involved, and I can say that even making my own indie games and seeing people playing them, is very satisfying to me. If I could make a living working with that in a big company, would be great, if not, I will make them anyway.

Thanks everyone for the replies.

[sorry the bad English]

#9 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:03 AM

One thing I would say about your position. If you want to work at a larger developer, you want to be a specialist rather than a generalist. They will not hire you to do art and programming. Pick one you are good at and get really good at it rather than being ok at everything.

#10 TheCodeArtist   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:06 AM

One thing I would say about your position. If you want to work at a larger developer, you want to be a specialist rather than a generalist. They will not hire you to do art and programming. Pick one you are good at and get really good at it rather than being ok at everything.


No doubt about that. In fact I want to be a level designer. I just like to program to be able to implement my own ideas, and in other hand, if you have basic programming skills and basic understand of cg concepts behind the curtains, I think it helps you to know how far you can push your creativity and interaction possibilities.

But yeah, no doubt you have to be really good in one subject and stick to that!

;)

#11 Antheus   Members   -  Reputation: 2405

Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:11 AM

since I dont have experience.


But you have experience. It might not be perfect, but you were not born yesterday. You already have a job in interactive media, you have modeled before, you know the tools.

Having a job, especially one you kept for several years means you have been exposed to work environment, soft skills, there are people you worked with.


While all of this gives you vast advantage over someone fresh out of school who did a few spare time things, none of this might apply for your desired position. Like said, internships are aimed at people with no real world on-the-job experience. The tasks and assignments are specifically tailored to getting the most out of singular specialized and fairly trivial to learn mechanical skill.

Your experience works against that. Age is indeed a factor, since you have additional life experiences which do change the way you think. Not having a different perspective would be a problem. You will be expected to be more mature, to see broader picture, to aim for more.

This is why simple tech-specific internship does suffer from age bias. You need to find someone that will give you opportunity beyond just clicking buttons. And here you'll be on your own to determine who genuinely has such opportunities and who just wants cheapest work. You should have advantage here and should be able to judge this considerably better than a fresh graduate, but it also excludes many opportunities which would require different kind of effort.

I just like to program to be able to implement my own ideas


You won't get that. Not until you're in a senior position with proven track record. And even then, "implementing your own" is the exact opposite of how software industry works these days, where everything is metrics and user driven.

Implementing your own ideas is ok if you want to be a starving artist. But hardly anyone, especially in past 10 years, makes a living out of it.

#12 TheCodeArtist   Members   -  Reputation: 100

Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:22 AM

You won't get that. Not until you're in a senior position with proven track record. And even then, "implementing your own" is the exact opposite of how software industry works these days, where everything is metrics and user driven.


Oh, yeah I know that, I know the professionals have to be very focused on what they do better and the development pipeline requires that you stick to your activity, finish it and pass the job forward, to the next step. I said I like to implement my own ideas today, hence I am just a guy that like to make his own games, so I have to create and develop it mysel =/

Anyway, thanks a lot!

#13 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2764

Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:29 PM


You won't get that. Not until you're in a senior position with proven track record. And even then, "implementing your own" is the exact opposite of how software industry works these days, where everything is metrics and user driven.


Oh, yeah I know that, I know the professionals have to be very focused on what they do better and the development pipeline requires that you stick to your activity, finish it and pass the job forward, to the next step. I said I like to implement my own ideas today, hence I am just a guy that like to make his own games, so I have to create and develop it mysel =/


It's not about being focused and doing what you are good at. Game ideas are passed down to you from the upper management, and though you can give out opinions, your creativity is limited. For example, you can't say "Level 5 to use the desert tileset" when the senior designer thinks that the jungle level fits better. It could get more extreme than just choosing tileset. Depending on what the company and the people you work with, somebody could be nitpicking your every single design choice. Can we put a box there? I think that pillar is weird, change that to blue. Why do enemies spawn here?

I quit the game industry because of that reason. I'm okay following advice of a senior designer whose design skill is actually superior, but when that advice is coming from an executive who doesn't play games, it gets frustrating.

My advice to you is to make your own game and try to actually release it to the market. Go indie. Even if it doesn't work, it would make your resume looks 10x better.

#14 szigeti_roland   Members   -  Reputation: 96

Posted 12 January 2012 - 09:33 PM

AGe is no barrier.

#15 way2lazy2care   Members   -  Reputation: 782

Posted 13 January 2012 - 07:29 AM

I quit the game industry because of that reason. I'm okay following advice of a senior designer whose design skill is actually superior, but when that advice is coming from an executive who doesn't play games, it gets frustrating.

My advice to you is to make your own game and try to actually release it to the market. Go indie. Even if it doesn't work, it would make your resume looks 10x better.


Did you go indie or leave the industry entirely? Or did you go into the government where the benefits are good and the managers just don't care that much?

#16 Markus Hanka   Members   -  Reputation: 104

Posted 14 January 2012 - 12:33 AM

Hello,
I think with your skills you would be a perfect fit for a small mobile or browser game developer. And if you can show a finished game you can expect to get paid right away. Or at least settle with a fixed date to decide about your future and a decent wage. Likely you will earn less money as at your current job but I can't confirm these horror stories about working overtime. I worked for over three years as an artist for a mobile game developer and I never had to do any overtime. And there was no nitpicking either. I was always thankful for critic even if it was unnerving. I noticed soon that in the end it made my work always better. It is important to be able to work in a team, especially in a creative environment. And for a future employer your age is a sign that you already developed a mature working attitude.
Do you need an 2d Artist? Please visit my website:

http://www.hanka-design.com

#17 alnite   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2764

Posted 14 January 2012 - 01:02 AM


I quit the game industry because of that reason. I'm okay following advice of a senior designer whose design skill is actually superior, but when that advice is coming from an executive who doesn't play games, it gets frustrating.

My advice to you is to make your own game and try to actually release it to the market. Go indie. Even if it doesn't work, it would make your resume looks 10x better.


Did you go indie or leave the industry entirely? Or did you go into the government where the benefits are good and the managers just don't care that much?

I havent gone indie yet, but I will. I'm now working for other tech company where they are very strict about working 8 hours a day and no more

#18 frob   Moderators   -  Reputation: 31471

Posted 14 January 2012 - 02:03 PM

You posted in the Lounge. Go look in the Breaking In forum and read their faqs.


The Breaking In forum FAQs have the answers to the questions you asked. In summary: Go get the job you want, quit asking and start doing.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I occasionally write about assorted stuff.


#19 Paul Franzen   Members   -  Reputation: 334

Posted 18 January 2012 - 04:36 PM

Whoa, what's with all the vitriol in this thread? I'm 26; I just started any serious work as an indie games writer/editor in the past year or so. My first game as lead writer/designer is set to come out this quarter--just a little indie adventure game for XBLIG, but I'm as proud of it as I can be.

I don't think 29's too late; as other people have suggested, the only barrier to overcome is just getting yourself out there and doing the work. You're (probably) not going to find a full-time job working for a games company right away, but maybe that's not what you want, anyway.

Life in the Dorms -- comedic point-and-click adventure game out now for Xbox Live Indie Games!

My portfolio: http://paulfranzen.wordpress.com/





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