Jump to content

  • Log In with Google      Sign In   
  • Create Account

Dave Weinstein

Member Since 08 Mar 2006
Offline Last Active Today, 09:04 PM

#5222547 How to figure out if I'm on the right path

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 10 April 2015 - 10:21 PM

So, your pitch to them is that you left the game industry to do something else for a couple of years rather than make games in your non-preferred language.


That's not going to go well with "Passion for making and playing games", and while they may want one released title, having released a mobile game a few years earlier and nothing since is not helping you on the professional history.


Also, they were asking for "many years" of rendering programming experience, from your initial post, I don't get the sense that you meet that requirement anyway


You asked if it would be better for you to move back outside of games rather than switch languages. I guess the question is, which is more important to you. To be programming games, or to be programming in C++? Because that's the question as you presented it.

#5222431 How to figure out if I'm on the right path

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 10 April 2015 - 09:37 AM

Don't worry about it. You will be switching languages and platforms continuously over the course of your career.

#5221907 Online Portfolio Feedback

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 07 April 2015 - 12:48 PM

I cannot recall ever seeing someone hired as a Technical Artist out of school. Leave that one out.


Similarly, I can't think of a time when I'd hire a programmer purely for prototyping -- if they aren't at the skill level to be doing production work, I'm not going to hire them as a programmer at all.


Figure out what job you want, and give a detailed portfolio showing what you contributed.

If it's programming, show me code. 


If it's scripting, show the scripts.


If it's game design, show me the design documents.


When I was looking to hire entry level, I wasn't looking for a jack-of-all-trades, I was looking for a solid candidate for exactly the role I needed to fill.

#5221895 Online Portfolio Feedback

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 07 April 2015 - 12:11 PM

Are you looking for a job in design or art?

#5221439 How to figure out if I'm on the right path

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 05 April 2015 - 12:14 AM

I actually wrote about this not that long ago.


Learning new languages (and being fluent in multiple languages) is something that I consider part of the baseline for being a professional developer. 

#5220828 Game Design Degrees

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 01 April 2015 - 05:50 PM

Bluntly, you want a degree with the maximal value for what you can afford.


So, certificate programs are effectively useless. No one cares about a certificate in game development, except the community colleges which want students.


Associates degrees, again, the degree isn't going to open any doors for you.


When looking at a Bachelor's degree, you want a degree with regional (that is to say, traditional higher education) accreditation, not national (that is to say, normally associated with trade schools) accreditation. The dedicated game development schools (DigiPen, Full Sail) are, as far as I know, still both nationally accredited. What that means for a prospective student is that if you wanted to go to graduate school, you would discover that you would need to get *another* Bachelor's degree first, because they won't count the one you have in game development.


Finally, I should caution you. The average career in game development is still quite short. Skilled programmers should have no trouble moving outside the industry (and getting a nice pay bump in the process). Artists? Well, everyone and their goat has a web site now, and the demand for art content is quite high. Producers? Producer maps straight over to Program Manager in the rest of technology, and again, will likely get a pay bump. Designers? The only people who need game designers are game companies. 

#5219477 I'm good at programming, is it enough?

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 26 March 2015 - 06:01 PM

If multiple people think you are coming across with a bad attitude, you might want to consider that you either do in fact have a bad attitude, or alternatively, are having communications issues.


Either way, the problem is yours. You are the one trying to break into the game industry.

#5216280 Starting fresh

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 13 March 2015 - 09:02 AM

Go read Peopleware.


The third edition is now out: http://www.amazon.com/Peopleware-Productive-Projects-Teams-Edition/dp/0321934113/ref=dp_ob_title_bk

#5215517 Getting out of the industry?

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 09 March 2015 - 04:32 PM

The game industry, even at the top end of programmer salaries, does not pay competitive wages compared to the rest of high tech.


It's simple economics. There is a talent oversupply, and that depresses salaries.

#5215332 Getting out of the industry?

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 08 March 2015 - 06:52 PM

I have been threatening for years to pitch a "How to Break Out of the Game Industry" panel for GDC.


When I decided (because, bluntly, the continual crunch burned me out) that it was time to leave the game industry, my path out was actually the fact that I had built a lot of tools for game development over the years. Look for points of congruence between what another part of high tech needs and what you have done in games, and take advantage of the halo effect that "professional game developer" has in the eyes of some people looking to hire, and find your way out.


Do you need to stay in your local area, or are you willing to relocate? Who do you know outside of games but inside of high tech? What sounds *interesting* to you as a career path to take? Where would you ideally like to live? What sounds like the most interesting thing to work on? Big company or small company, you ideally want someone you know and who knows your skills to be walking that resume in the door.


Start looking now. Write a resume for outside the game industry, and tune it and the cover letter for every job you are looking for. You just need to find the right position, it is going to be out there.


I will disagree with Tom, I would not have this discussion with your employer. When you have your next position lined up, give them two weeks notice. Having a discussion with them about it is far more likely to have your employment ending on their timetable rather than yours.

#5213584 Epic List of Interview Questions

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 28 February 2015 - 10:44 PM

I tend to like more open questions. One of my favorites is "Write an Elevator".

#5212722 Getting Destroyed in Programmer Screeners

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 24 February 2015 - 10:41 AM

The reason you don't advance to the next round can have nothing to do with how you answered the question.


The Game Industry has a talent oversupply, especially at entry level. This is further exacerbated by the instability of the industry; at any given point in time layoffs are putting experienced developers back into the labor pool.


So you could literally be the perfect entry level candidate, cream of the applicant pool, but if two days before they decide who to bring in for in-person interviews they get applications from experienced devs, you are going to fall out of the list.

#5212048 Getting Destroyed in Programmer Screeners

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 20 February 2015 - 09:58 PM

Not one of them will improve my ability to "create a queue structure that has manual alloc and dealloc methods that do not use heap, but instead, a provided 2048 char/byte array as storage" I couldn't even force a scenario like that if I wanted to into an indie game. Why would I?


So, that sounds very much like they are looking to see how comfortable you are with actually implementing and understanding data structures, rather than just using libraries. Yes, you probably won't be writing your own systems (and arguably, most of the time, you shouldn't be), but making sure you know how to as an open-book question seems reasonable to me.


#5211111 how to know most hack possiblities and find best way to handle them

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 16 February 2015 - 10:06 PM

Encryption of network traffic has really only one purpose -- to prevent a third party from seeing the contents of the message traffic. 


That's it.


It doesn't even prevent a third party from tampering with the data (that would be message authentication), it just is supposed to prevent them from reading it.


Someone cheating is not a third party, they are a hostile endpoint, and that's another problem completely.

#5210602 I this going to be ok as a Network message class

Posted by Dave Weinstein on 13 February 2015 - 11:39 PM

If you were going to make a custom packet in binary. you need to add a packet header in case data is corrupted, or hacked.

Usually the header includes

1. Message ID

2. Message type or class

3. Checksum

4. Actual data size


The checksum is likely wasted data. It isn't necessary assuming that your transport layer is TCP or UDP, since those are already doing those checks. And a checksum is useless against an actual attacker.