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How to find video games internships within the UK.


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#1 tega12   Members   -  Reputation: 117

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 11:54 AM

I have seen a few companies advertise internships positions, for example Lionhead, etc, but I have not notice many intern positionsaround the UK. I know companies would have vacancies but not advertise them or they mainly looking for experienced staff rather than someone who would only stay there for a few months. I would be looking for a games design intern or support intern. I had a support intern interview last year with marmalade. I think the best way to look for them would be to get to know one or two people in a particular company I would like to work for.



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#2 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9703

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Posted 02 February 2014 - 12:13 PM

Companies don't advertise internships. Just apply. Expect to get very few responses, especially from companies not within daily commuting distance from your address.

And note that "design" internships are exceedingly rare.  And yes, networking is also good.


Edited by Tom Sloper, 02 February 2014 - 12:14 PM.

-- 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.

#3 ambershee   Members   -  Reputation: 524

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 06:39 AM

Most studios simply do not do internships, and those that do will almost always have them in a technical vocation (if you have been promised one by your degree course as is common practice in the UK, you have simply been lied to). Some do exist, but they will fill up very quickly, often over a year in advance.

 

I've never heard of an internship in design (a more senior role which rarely takes junior staff, let alone interns), but they may be offered in production instead.

 

It may actually be easier to get a temporary job working in games QA, though it is possible you'll see very little of the rest of the studio. Embedded QA on the other hand works directly inside the studio with developers, and can be a much better position to be in.



#4 S1CA   Members   -  Reputation: 1399

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 08:12 AM

I agree with what Tom and ambershee said. 

 

At the studio I work at:

  1. We DO take on a very small number of interns each year. NOTE this is for university placement years, not for short term school "work experience".
  2. It's done in partnership with universities close to our office. The best N students are chosen from CS or games courses.
  3. AFAIK we don't take on design interns, only programming and art.
  4. The most successful candidates have a real passion about games and making games; they do a lot of stuff in their own time.

As Tom says, expect to apply to a lot of companies to get an internship (all of them if you have the time!:)). Expect to apply to even more to get a placement as a designer - there is no shortage of good ideas (and more people queuing up with good ideas) in the games industry - what is needed is people who can make those ideas a reality - that's why people who get the pure design jobs tend to have experience. You may find intern roles as a "level builder", but quite often that's considered a branch of environment art so unless you have a qualification in say architecture or town planning, or are good at art, that might be out.

 

The competition for intern and entry level games positions is fierce - think about it, everyone in the world currently doing a games course at university or college wants those positions, so do a large number of the people on this board and similar. So as well as a lot of luck, you need to stand out from the 1000s of people you're in competition with.

 

How many games have you made yourself? Do you enter competitions like Ludum Dare? (etc etc) How many mods/levels have you made for existing games? Have you learnt to do any programming and/or art? Have you showcased your games (and other creations) much on forums such as this one? Have you covered a broad range of game genres in the stuff you've made (when it's a real 'job' you have to produce good work even for genres and IPs you hate)?

 

The people who are getting those intern roles are doing all of those things and more, if you aren't you should be! Those things are also major points in your favour for when you apply for non-intern entry level roles.

 

If you have stuff to show, then include links when you're contacting companies. Local games industry networking events can be a mixed bag - they're a good place to meet student, indie and hobbyist developers who you can collaborate with on more games. They can be a good place to get advice of people in the industry. If you have a good portfolio of games (and related things) you've made, it can be a good place to show people (to get feedback, and to ask if companies have any intern places available).

 

Game development conferences are good for similar reasons if you can afford to go and have a higher proportion of companies and professional developers.

 

As a group, the company I work for now also has a graduate scheme that might be of interest to you: https://www.ubisoftgroup.com/en-us/careers/graduateprogram/


Simon O'Connor | Personal website | Work


#5 tega12   Members   -  Reputation: 117

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 09:07 AM


How many games have you made yourself? Do you enter competitions like Ludum Dare? (etc etc) How many mods/levels have you made for existing games? Have you learnt to do any programming and/or art? Have you showcased your games (and other creations) much on forums such as this one? Have you covered a broad range of game genres in the stuff you've made (when it's a real 'job' you have to produce good work even for genres and IPs you hate)?

 

I haven't made any games of my own, but I have been thinking of some ideas. I haven't entered any of those competitions. I did some scripting and mission quest using the oblivion level editor in my second year. With programming and art, I have messed around with javascript and python. I've used codeacademy to learn html and also youtube. I've done a little bit of 3d modelling in university. I found it interesting and also did visual communication, which I learned how to use photoshop. Yeah I guess I need to make more games of my own. I'm aiming to make small games that people can play on flash game websites. Within the games industry, Programming and Art are the two key areas in games development? 

 

Do you work for Ubisoft Reflections in Newcastle? What Universities do you work with? I attended Northumbria University and did BSc Computer Games Design / Production. I had a guy from Ubisoft Reflection, come in and teach some of our module. Teeside University have links to Ubisoft. 


Edited by tega12, 08 February 2014 - 09:14 AM.


#6 Tom Sloper   Moderators   -  Reputation: 9703

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Posted 08 February 2014 - 11:10 AM


I haven't made any games of my own, but I have been thinking of some ideas.

 

That does not make you sound unique or interesting. Everybody has ideas. Ideas are easy.


-- 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.

#7 ambershee   Members   -  Reputation: 524

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 06:52 AM

I'm going to be blunt, but honest with my feedback - hopefully it will be helpful.

 

The main thing that I can see here is that you're almost certainly not ready for an internship. Reading your latest post, it seems like you have almost no functional skills at all, and the minimal experience you have with some tools have never been developed to a point where they could be useful (I could be wrong here, but this is how you're coming across to me).

 

Did you complete your degree course? I'm actually quite worried that someone can complete a Bachelor's of Science in 'Computer Games Design and Production' without ever making some kind of a game, or at least completed a game mod of some significance.

 

If you want to move forwards in games, you're going to need to develop tangible skills and generate yourself practical experience. These two are the most important thins to be concentrating on, as building games is in itself an extremely valuable learning experience. To quote Laurens Corijn's (tech artist over at DICE) recent post over at Polycount:

Less talking, more doing. Write your idea down, get Unity, watch tutorials, start making something.


Substitute Unity with whatever suits you. If you're interested in web games, perhaps pick up HTML5 or Flash instead.

#8 S1CA   Members   -  Reputation: 1399

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 08:27 AM

How many games have you made yourself? Do you enter competitions like Ludum Dare? (etc etc) How many mods/levels have you made for existing games? Have you learnt to do any programming and/or art? Have you showcased your games (and other creations) much on forums such as this one? Have you covered a broad range of game genres in the stuff you've made (when it's a real 'job' you have to produce good work even for genres and IPs you hate)?

 
I haven't made any games of my own, but I have been thinking of some ideas.
...
Yeah I guess I need to make more games of my own.


Definitely! smile.png

Most ideas sound good. Most look good on paper too. In reality most have major flaws. Whenever I tell people (outside the industry) that I make games they tell me their 'great' games ideas (that are usually "it's just like XYZ but birds instead of planes") or how the film script they have in their head would make a great game. Sometimes (rarely) people even have ideas about actual gameplay mechanics. Everyone who plays games has some ideas and things they'd do differently.

Talk is cheap, ideas are cheaper - but how do you know an idea is going to work or be fun to play?

Turning those ideas into a reality by actually making something is how you prove your designs work. It's ok if your ideas fail - it's actually good if they fail - that's good experience, and if you get used to failing early it saves you time (and money once it's a job).

An incredibly important skill for a games designer is to work within constraints (time, hardware power, etc). You only fully realise the constraints inherent in your ideas by putting them into practice.

You might do some of that stuff on a degree course, but it's really not enough - your peers are coming in with completed games, mods for existing games and lots of little side prototypes that they've done across multiple genres simply because they love doing it not because they were required to do that as part of a course. This isn't an industry that does apprenticeships - you have to do that part on your own!

BTW to prove things like core gameplay mechanics ideas shouldn't need too much technical or art skill. 2D prototypes or simple boxy 3D are sufficient to prove most. On a related note, when something's actually playable, that itself generates new ideas and improvements.
 
 

Do you work for Ubisoft Reflections in Newcastle? What Universities do you work with? I attended Northumbria University and did BSc Computer Games Design / Production. I had a guy from Ubisoft Reflection, come in and teach some of our module. Teeside University have links to Ubisoft.


Yep, I work at Reflections smile.png The universities we work with change from year to year, and the level of connection varies and involve more than just placements (e.g. guest lectures), so "all of the local ones" is the most accurate answer.

Edited by S1CA, 10 February 2014 - 08:30 AM.

Simon O'Connor | Personal website | Work


#9 tega12   Members   -  Reputation: 117

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 12:53 PM


Did you complete your degree course?

Yes I did complete my degree. 

 


without ever making some kind of a game

 

I did make a game using actionscript in my first year. 

 


or at least completed a game mod of some significance

 

I have used a oblivion level editor in my second year to make a level quest. 


 



#10 wh1036   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 11:12 PM

Try cold-contacting local game companies just to see if you can come by and have a tour of the office. If nothing else, it will be a great learning experience and an opportunity to meet some people in the industry. In my case, I was extremely fortunate and after a day of observing and hanging out with the people at a company, I was offered an internship (I was told later that even though the company had the occasional intern, they never advertised internships).

 

I think the biggest thing that helped me out was that I was genuinely interested in everything I was seeing and being told. I was friendly and professional to everyone I met, and sincerely thanked everyone for their time. I appreciated the educational opportunity and wasn't harassing them asking for a job, and was honest about my technical abilities when I was asked. Just don't be discouraged. I emailed about 30 companies before getting a single response.



#11 Kyle Rowley   Members   -  Reputation: 106

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:51 PM

Jagex have some student internships:

 

http://www.jagex.com/careers/jobs/



#12 tega12   Members   -  Reputation: 117

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 06:51 PM

Jagex have some student internships:

 

http://www.jagex.com/careers/jobs/

 

Ok cool thanks. I've seen it. Kings have a internship program as well. I applied for that a few weeks ago. 



#13 Valoon   GDNet+   -  Reputation: 317

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Posted 01 March 2014 - 05:19 AM

Also if you have a good portfolio and you feel you have what it takes, some advice a guy in the industry told me (it was for sound tho but I guess it's around the same) is to apply for internship everywhere you want to and don't wait to see if they do internship or not. They almost never post their internships.


Edited by Valoon, 01 March 2014 - 05:20 AM.





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