Search Time: 14 weeks
Positions/companies applied to: ~80
Posted positions applied for: ~50
Non-game companies applied to: 5
I was laid off on Aug 20th and was given my offer of employment by Zynga on Nov 23rd. I pretty much saw the lay offs coming, so I started applying a few days before I was laid off. This amounted to approximately 14 weeks of searching before I had an offer in hand (a quite good one at that). During that time I applied to approximately 80 positions across the US. Note that about 50 of those were actual posted positions, the other 30 were unsolicited contacts. I applied particularly heavily, whether positions were posted or not, in Texas (since I'm currently in Austin) and in Chicago (since my family is only a couple hours driving distance away). Out of the 50 positions that I applied for, admittedly, many of them were outside of my experience level/breadth, but it is always worth a shot! I also spoke with a single recruiter, though I never got any contacts out of it. The 5 non-game companies were local and were web and software development companies.
Now onto that last number, the number of interviews - 14. Saying 'interviews' is a bit of an overstatement, that is really just the number of companies that I got anyone to call me, generally meaning their HR department. 5 of them I never got past the HR, or initial phone call. That leaves 9 companies that I actually got real developers on the phone and/or I met in person. 2 of those companies weren't hiring at the time, but got me on the phone (and video Skype!) for interviewing about about future openings. That narrows it down to 7 companies. 2 of the remaining companies closed the positions without hiring anyone, due to hiring needs changes. The remaining 5 companies that I had at least 2 interviews, and that didn't close the position without hiring anyone, were EA Mobile, Zynga Dallas (formerly Bonfire Studios), Bioware Austin, BancVue (local non-games company looking to start an edutainment division), and KingsIsle.
All five of these companies were outside of my family friend gaming Wii (primarily), DS, and PC development experience. Bioware Austin and KingsIsle both have MMO projects. Zynga Dallas was a mobile developer and is now a social games developer. BancVue is a banking software company developing an online edutainment product. EA Mobile is well, cell phone games. The company that I made it through the carnage with is Zynga Dallas.
Zynga Dallas started as Bonfire Studios, which formed out of a lot of the former Ensemble team. They were actually among the first companies I contacted. They were still Bonfire Studios at the time and they had a posting for a Senior Producer. I didn't have the level of experience they were looking for, but I sent my resume in anyways, presenting myself as a potential Associate Producer for their team. I managed to get onto the phone with their Senior Producer at the time, who informed me that they didn't have a position for me at the moment, but to keep checking back with him, as there was a good chance they would in the near future. I kept e-mailing him every week, finally getting him back on the phone again 2 months later. The rest, as they say, is history! They're a fantastic team with the backing of social games giant Zynga. I look forward to starting work with them this coming Monday [smile]