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Dave Weinstein

Member Since 08 Mar 2006
Offline Last Active Yesterday, 05:18 PM

#5309656 Hostility in the field

Posted by on 06 September 2016 - 07:04 AM

We are working at multiple removes, here, since we have deliberately incomplete information.


Layoffs are common in the game industry, having been laid off is certainly no bar to anything. And while in the initial round of job hunting, all those laid off are competing with each other, as years go by, the people you worked with previously should be your best path in to new jobs -- if they are at a company looking to hire, then "I worked with this person at Studio X, would love to work with them again" is the fast path to an in-person interview. If that is not happening, then the problem is more likely to be the applicant than the industry. I say more likely because if relocation is out of the question, or there is simply bad luck on hiring cycles, then that is not going to apply.


The rest of high tech is absolutely hiring, and is so desperate to hire that it will hire people whose programming background is "spent three months in a bootcamp". Someone with an extensive professional programming history in the game industry (a field which is held in unreasoned respect by the rest of technology, who presume it is more technically demanding than it actually is) should be able to easily move over. It is certainly not the case that the rest of high tech is *more* prone to ageism than the game industry is -- the game industry skews remarkably young in staff demographics.


So, as we said when your friend was posting here in person, the reported incidents don't match our experiences of how the software industry (in and out of games) works. Without more details, that makes the claims less credible.

#5308225 Masters Degree in Video game design

Posted by on 27 August 2016 - 10:22 AM

The Idea guy sounds good but I was thinking a position more like of director-type. I have particular skills in storytelling and writing and outlining the main storyline. 


If you want to write the storyline for games, David Gaider wrote an excellent piece recently: https://medium.com/@davidgaider/i-want-to-write-video-games-d83da40fdf8e#.8jekzqaiy

#5301954 Portfolio Question.

Posted by on 22 July 2016 - 07:58 AM

The supply of skilled entry level game programmers vastly exceeds the demand.


Every restriction you put on jobs (genre, platform, programming language, location) you will consider makes it harder to land that first position.

#5299595 Posibility of getting to game industry?

Posted by on 07 July 2016 - 08:02 AM

How can I, a senior programmer enter into this industry maintaining my title and compensation, when I possess the knowledge and work ethic, but lack the industry experience.


You probably can't. The game industry wages are significantly depressed versus the software industry as a whole, because of the labor oversupply.


So even if you were brought straight across at a comparable seniority and title, compensation would very likely take a notable hit. 

#5299427 Are there too many Unity Developers?

Posted by on 06 July 2016 - 10:14 PM

The term "Middleware developer" is not what people talk about. They talk about "game development", which includes middleware development, they are not two separate, exclusive fields anymore.
Your missing my point, those two things go hand in hand and as I already stated, is much more valuable to be well versed in both, more so the latter because it is generally a more difficult technical skill to acquire that talks years of discipline.

As you pointed out earlier, this is a forum for people wishing to break in.

In order to write an effective reusable component (be it a key library, a tool, or an engine component), you need to be extensively familiar with the requirements. That is a level of seniority and experience which doesn't apply to someone entry level.

They are far better served by spending their time *using* an existing and solid framework to make actual games. If they ever do need to write their own engine (or be a key engineer writing an engine for an employer), they are much better served by having made games than they are by making toy engines.

#5299424 Are there too many Unity Developers?

Posted by on 06 July 2016 - 09:32 PM

I'm just saying, in a day and age where everyone creates a home-brewed engine of some sort and learns the knowledge required to do so, is much more desirable than familiarity with click/drag operations.

What you need to do to be a game developer is make games.

Back in the late 1990s, there was a game development channel on EFNet. Mostly aspiring game developers, and a handful of professionals.

And they would say "I am adding this to my engine" or "I am going to redo my engine to support that", and we would say, "Just make a game."

And they would talk more about the technology they would add to their engine.

A few years later, I wandered back in. Same people, mostly. Still talking about what they would add to their engine, still never having actually made a game.

If you want to be a game developer, make games.

If you want to be a middleware developer, make middleware.

#5299412 Are there too many Unity Developers?

Posted by on 06 July 2016 - 06:05 PM

Like Promit already pointed out, what engine you use does not matter. But here is my opinion, using tools does not make you a game developer. Anybody can pick up a set of tools and create something passable because somebody else has done all the hard work in creating those tools. Be that guy if you want a job and to be successful.

By implication, you would need to therefore write your own compiler, and OS, after first designing the CPU you intend to use. 

#5299411 Posibility of getting to game industry?

Posted by on 06 July 2016 - 06:03 PM

Ive been programming for quite a while now but because of tough competition I wasnt able to get a programming jobs. 


So, here is the thing.


Competition for jobs (especially entry level jobs) is insanely high in the game industry, because the labor market is flooded with entry level talent. So, lots of competition, low pay (relative to comparable jobs outside of games).


Outside of games, there are people getting really good jobs after doing programming bootcamps, or other non-degree programs, because the labor market is tilted in the other direction -- lots of jobs, not a lot of capable talent.


If you want to get in to professional programming, getting in via games is much much harder.

#5298067 Have I been aged out of the industry? And where else can I go?

Posted by on 25 June 2016 - 08:39 PM

I have no faith that employers will make the right decision to recognize my skills and talents; I believe they will only see that I have not been paid to do web development, medical imaging, etc., and end the discussion there.


So, there isn't anything we can do here to change that. 


I can tell you that there is a massive demand for programming talent -- to the point that bright people can do sub-1-year training bootcamps and get jobs. I can tell you that outside of the game industry there is a perception (accurate or not) that game programmers are *higher* skill than the industry norm. I can tell you that job "requirements" from employers are little more than wish lists in many cases.


But I cannot help you believe that.

#5298061 Have I been aged out of the industry? And where else can I go?

Posted by on 25 June 2016 - 07:31 PM


I wish I could have received that advice 20 years ago. I can't imagine that employers will accept my existence at this age with so little applicable skill - transitioning now would require a far more forgiving environment that exists.



Programmers transfer out of the game industry all the time. I find it difficult to believe that a programmer with decades of experience has no transferable programming skills anywhere else in software.

#5298044 Have I been aged out of the industry? And where else can I go?

Posted by on 25 June 2016 - 05:43 PM

The game industry is really the only part of high tech that has a talent oversupply.


It sounds like you should focus your efforts on other parts of software development, if you need your skills to be absolutely in demand.

#5297261 Salary Research

Posted by on 19 June 2016 - 06:05 PM

The value of a degree (in software) is highest early in your career, where it helps to get a foot in the door.


You may well end up working on a team where half the people have graduate degrees in CS, and half dropped out of college. The further along your career goes, the less important formal education is.

#5297260 Real find job in game industry with my 2d skill level ?

Posted by on 19 June 2016 - 05:50 PM

I'm leary of advising anyone to use "concept artist" as a break in goal, because I don't ever recall working with someone who was purely a concept artist -- concept art was just one of the tasks an artist might be doing.

#5289371 getting fired in software industry

Posted by on 29 April 2016 - 09:17 PM

So, here is the thing. 


There is a balance between "dig into this yourself" and "ask an expert in house". If you spend a week trying to find the source code, you've clearly gone too far. If you ask a question about every function, you've gone too far in the other direction.


The problem is, this is a balance that people find *by* working in professional environments, it isn't something that gets taught in school, so far as I know. 


This is why entry level engineers are basically a loss early on; a big part of the ramp up is how things work in a professional environment, not just "how we do things differently here". Better companies know this, and the manager will either mentor the engineer, or assign a mentor. Worse companies, well, leave you to sink or swim.

#5287389 How beneficial can personal projects be?

Posted by on 17 April 2016 - 09:00 PM

When you work on a project at a company, the results do not accurately display your own ability because you were part of a team frob. Everyone contributed. Having a portfolio is a means of isolating your own abilities and showing your own work, not the work of your teammates as a manifestation or extension of your own. I feel that your logic is unsound in your evaluation of potential candidates.


Except that when we hire people, we're hiring people to work on a team. Someone's ability to contribute effectively in a team environment is actually more important than what they do when they have absolute control and can do whatever they want on whatever schedule they want.