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      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Job Search Metrics

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I promised a summation of my job search metrics awhile ago, and now I'm finally sitting down to finish compiling it and to write it out. Not sure if anyone will find this useful or beneficial, but I figured I'd throw it out there just in case [wink] Some of these numbers may be slightly off, due to my record keeping being my e-mail, but they are pretty close.

Search Time: 14 weeks
Positions/companies applied to: ~80
Posted positions applied for: ~50
Non-game companies applied to: 5
Interviews: 14

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]

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