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Member Since 21 Oct 2009
Offline Last Active Dec 16 2015 11:09 PM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Requesting a resume critique

17 July 2011 - 09:14 PM

Hey Elijah! I just recently got into the games industry, but have already been pretty critical of resumes we receive. Know that most companies get hundreds of resumes per day, so me being critical is just that.

Seeking an entry level position or internship as a software engineer or game designer.

This is totally bogus.
- First, software engineering and game design are two completely different disciplines. Software engineers are programmers, while game designers do very little programming in comparison.
- Second, game design isn't an entry level position. Saying that you're seeing an "entry level position" in game design is completely hypocritical because that position does not exist.
- Third, this is about you, and it should be about the company. What are you going to bring to the table? Think of it from a recruiter's standpoint. They have recruiting "objectives" to fulfill for the company, and your objective should perfectly mesh with theirs.

For education, I would not include your GPA. Your GPA matters if you're in college applying for your first job. After that, it ceases to matter. If you have some outstanding GPA or received honors based on grades, you can include it, but anything less than a ~3.5 and you should probably pass on it.

Purely a curious note, but are you 100% sure you're allowed to talk about everything on your resume? Some of the stuff seems borderline proprietary. I'd check!

Your published projects are cool, but should be condensed down quite a bit. A lot of them are huge bullet points that no one is going to read. Not only that, but you list them in the wrong order - Series of Tubes and Simon Evolution should be up at the top.

"Projects in Progress" are total BS. If they're not finished, don't list them. You'll get a chance to talk about what you're doing in interviews, but if you don't have a demo or a finished product, don't list it.

None of your listings focus on results. For example, "How many downloads did Series of Tubes get?" Or "What did Universal Video Player do for the company?" How many people use the "Mobile Physician Search Directories" or "MyHealth" apps? Focus on results here - how did your contributions make an impact to the company? Most companies are results focused, and your resume doesn't show that.

Your website, http://www.renegadeinteractive.com/, loads absolutely nothing on the front page. You'd easily lose the job here. It reads "Not found. Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here. Wanna try a search?"

Lastly, nothing on your resume says "gaming." This is probably the most killer, because it looks like you're a skilled programmer, but not a skilled game programmer. I went through a similar thing with my resume for outstanding results. You should have a section entirely devoted to "Game Experience and Development." Right now, you're just clumping them all together.

Despite all of this, I do think your resume is good enough to get into the industry, but you'll have to do some networking. Get started on some awesome gaming project and buy a GDC pass, and start networking. You won't be able to get in without it.

In Topic: College Major

15 June 2011 - 10:57 PM

It sounds like you're approaching the dilemma very wrong. Neither "major" is going to get you a free ticket in the gaming industry, so when choosing a major, you should be considering what you genuinely enjoy. Don't let grades dictate that either. If you enjoy computer circuitry and hardware, go into computer engineering. If you enjoy programming and software, go into computer science. I got into the gaming industry with a degree in Industrial Engineering (essentially applied statistics). Most people would look at that and go "that's not relevant at all" - I can't program well enough for the industry, and I can't do anything related to art or level design. My main "skill" is giving a thorough business analysis of player data and development processes, and I did enough work on a portfolio to show how I could make UI mods to make systems more efficient.

To actually get into gaming, you need to ask yourself "What skills am I going to bring to the industry?" After that, you should ask "How am I going to demonstrate those skills?" To really maximize your chances of getting in, you'll need to do a lot of work outside of your normal courses. If you want to become a coder, you need to program games that work. If you want to be a level designer, you need to make levels using Hammer, or Maya, or some other level design software, and start getting downloads. If you want to be an artist, you need to start making art samples for your portfolio. If you want to be in QA, start writing bug reports.

Know that there is no "design" position in which you can just sit around and talk about how the game should be. Every job in the industry pays you because you have a skill, and because you work hard. There is no "sit around and do nothing" job. There are so many ideas for games, improvements to games, etc. that the industry doesn't need to pay people to generate them. Literally, you don't get paid for ideas. Anyone can come up with ideas for a new "raid boss" or "dungeon boss," and anyone can come up with the ideas for new characters or "champions." The industry pays you for actually having the real skills to implement them.

So if you really want to get into the industry, you should get in the habit of brutal hours of tough work. The development side of games is very different from the consumption side, and you'll need to show recruiters that you're ready to be a developer, and not just a crazed consumer with "good ideas."

In Topic: Looking for tips and critique on a Portfolio

02 June 2011 - 10:14 AM

The real problem with your portfolio is that you don't have any finished projects.

Everything there is just showing how you can program nice <30 second videos. But anyone who knows c++ and spends a tiny bit of time with DirectX, OpenGL, or Unity3D can do that. You're showing the basics, but not real powerful projects.

Make something that people use, or that people will want to use. Make a project that can really "wow" the recruiter with statistics, or at the very least, your knowledge. You want to be able to talk about how many downloads you've got, or at least what skills it demonstrates.

Look at this post: http://www.gamedev.net/topic/602712-best-places-to-post-free-games-i-have-made/

Notice, his projects are finished projects.

In Topic: Question about me

13 March 2011 - 02:43 PM

My general opinion about your resume: lots of vague, no specifics, and more importantly, no results. When you list off work experience and work history, you should be detailing impacts - what specifically did you do, and why did it matter.

Going on to specifics:
- Your objective says "problem solving, and interpersonal skills," which is a bit ridiculous. Every software development position is about solving problems, and interpersonal skills is a checkmark for all business oriented jobs. Not only that, but can you even quantify what a "problem solving skill" is? Programming knowledge is concrete. You should be going about this as "management abilities," if anything.

- Your education section is pretty small, and could be expanded out if you wanted to. There's a LOT of whitespace here. Several people like recommending that you list off relevant or interesting courses as an attention grabber, but that's up to you.

- "Integrated C++ programs with Java" is very specific, but tell us nothing about your place in the company or what it was doing for the business or project. The sub-point here is the same way: that's great that you can tell us what it is, but you're not telling us what it does. Try this out "Created Critical C++/Java Integration Module for the XYZABC project" - This implies that you were doing something for the company in addition to your technical competence.

- "Developed GUI for the integrated C++/Java programs" - again, it's very specific, but not specific enough and not telling us about the why. Why did you make this? What was the point? Was someone just throwing busy work at you? Try this out:
- "Designed and Programmed GUI for integrated C++/Java programs that increased speed of completing XYZABC task by 20% for the company customer support team.
- "Compiled and integrated feedback from customer support team to further increase ease-of-use and speed."

The difference is that I'm focusing on more skills (design, programming, compiling feedback) and focusing on results (the goal was to increase ease and speed of completing a task). I'm telling you not just what I did, but why I did it.

- "Implemented Bioinformatics algorithm for Profesor's research" - and what did it do? How did it impact the research?

- "Web Development research" - again, there's 0 focus on results.

- Leadership Activities
- - - TERRIBLE. Terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible. If they started reading here, your resume goes in the trash instantly.
- - - You don't list anything that you've done as a leader. Tell us SPECIFICS. Why are YOU better than some other leader? I've got an application from Joe Bob here, and he says that because he was the leader, he reduced organization costs by 30%. Meanwhile, you've just monitored and coordinated some activities. I'm sure ANYONE in your group could do that.
- - - What did you do? Why do YOU matter? What's SPECIAL ABOUT YOU?

- Technical Skills: is this really all you know?

- Activities and Interests: got anything really interesting here? Are you a Scuba Diver? A Pilot? An intense Skiier? Anything that's actually interesting? Traditionally, these sections are used as conversation starters. Someone looks over your resume and gets to the bottom and thinks "woah that's cool." Neither of your things invoke that response.

In Topic: Portfolio of a Game Designer

13 March 2011 - 01:14 AM

I'll be the one to crush your dreams, since no one else seems to want to give out a reality check here...

"Designer" is a vague position that offers nothing tangible. No matter what your position is, you're always designing elements of the game. Artists are designing art assets. Sound Engineers are designing sound files. Level Designers are designing levels. Writers are designing stories. Producers are putting their input into all of the above. You can't just say "I want to be a designer" without something marketable.

The position of "sit around and think about ideas for games" does not exist. It just doesn't. Think of how businesses in general work: you get paid for possessing a skill set. The generation of game ideas is not a skill set because everyone in the industry has that skill. Saying "I have good gaming ideas" as a game developer is equivalent to saying "I know how comma's work" as an English writer - it's not a skill, it's a check mark.

You need a skill that's valuable, and you need to prove its value before getting a job. Ideas aren't valuable. There are millions upon millions of ideas out there, and the odds that your game idea is actually the next Angry Birds is literally one out of a billion (and if you really think your idea is the next Angry Birds, why would you give it away for just a salary?)

Here's the point: what do you think your job is, and why can't you do it now? Seriously, imagine who your future boss is, and what tasks he's going to give you, and do them.

To give two brief examples:
- I got a job as a Producer, starting out with systems. For me, I pictured my future boss as someone who wanted UI elements that enhanced system flow, so I went out and made a few World of Warcraft and Warhammer add-ons that did just that. I went through feedback iterations, released them to the public, sent out updated versions, and eventually had the opportunity to show them in an interview to the person who would be my future boss.
- A guy interviewing the same day was interviewing for an artist. He had done the same thing - pictured his future boss who wanted completed art projects using the latest tools that were based on rendered 3d models, so he went out and made them. He then released them to the public to get feedback, incorporated the feedback, and created a very polished portfolio that was truly impressive.

You need a valuable skill. Think in terms of money - what can you do that adds real financial value to a game.

Your portfolio should say "I am worth money because I have a unique skill."