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OklyDokly

What do I need to work for Rare?

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Wow I noticed that Rare are recruiting, but on their website, they said nothing of the requirements, other than that you should know C/C++ or Assembler. What do you reckon it takes to work for them? Surely it''s got to be hard to get in?

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I guess you could try calling their HR department - they may be able to give you specifics of the job requirements.

And yeah, I reckon it''d be tough to get in!

Paul Cunningham

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I have just finished my degree in software engineering and i sent them a demo disk of my directx stuff.

I got the shortest rejection letter ever!!!

Dear...
You have not been selected for an interview.
Rare

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Think I''m gonna apply, even though it''s fruitless.....

Sending off about 30 applications, just spent the last day, searching every UK games company I can find on the internet

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That''s what i did a few months ago, no job though. A friend of said it was probably becuase i wasn''t available for work due to still being at Uni. When he had his interview they wanted him to start immediatley.

Think i have decided to use agencies instead, when i get back off my hol''s, I only finished Uni yesturday, need a break and i am taking my computer with me so i can work on a better demo.


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Cool sounds a bit more promising lol

btw I noticed, if you need some examples of what demos should look like, or just advice on getting into the games industry, Blitz games has some good material at:

Blitz Games

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Thanks for that.

Didn't mean to sound negative and good luck with your applications.

Datascope also have advise for graduate/Demo stuff.

Also, one of companies, can't remember which, turned me down becuase i didn't state my wanted earnings. They claim they tried to contact me, but they didn't.

[edited by - Defcom on May 29, 2003 4:16:57 AM]

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Oops, how embarrasing. It was Blitz games who rejected me over the ''wages'' I gave them 2 phone numbers, 2 email address and my postal address and yet they claim they couldn''t contact me to rectify this all important information. Who wants to work for a company with that kind of incompetance. Plus who cares about the wages, there seem to be a minimum wage for game programmers, which i am willing to work for. And... surely wages are to be discussed at the end of a succesfull interview.

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In the end, about tweleve. I too found a list of UK companies a few had allready gone under, some looked like they were about to. I was quite discriminative (is that a word?) I have wife and kids was hoping not to move to far, so i was initially looking for long standing companies within 70-100 miles of sheffield.
warwickshire-leeds-machester...
I am still waiting for a rejection letter from codemasters.

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1) Rare have had recruitment adverts in Edge every month (apart from two notable occasions) since ~1993 with pretty similar wording (I had an interview with them around then before I had any in-house experience).

2) The advert doesn't necessarily mean there ARE actual vacancies at the moment. It lets them stockpile CVs so that they can get people in for interview as soon as there are actual vacancies rather than them having to wait the usual 1-2 month lead time between the vacancy arising, the design of the advert, the publication of the magazine and people applying.

3) Talent, enthusiasm and a good demo is enough for most companies. With previous industry experience being required for the less junior roles and smaller companies.

4) The development part of the industry is in a bad way at the moment (publishing is ok, and retail is great). The publishers' fate is directly linked to the stock market which isn't in such a good state at the moment and developers' fate is directly related to publishers.
Unhappy/Risk averse shareholders results in cutbacks at the publisher which turns into canned titles (e.g. two of the top 10 publishers each canned around 20 titles this year). Each title equates to a development company recieving advances each month to pay the wage bill (developers aren't able to grow with the current business models used in the industry). A canned title results in termination of advance, which usually ends up with a whole team redundant and in the case of smaller companies (particularly those with single teams) a complete destabilisation of the company.

5) That does mean there's a lot of competition for development vacancies from industry experienced people. That does mean less junior positions AND the salaries being driven down.

6) I'd seriously advise against bitching about individual companies or even giving specific details of discussions with them on a public forum (that they might be reading).
The industry is tiny, and very close knit - people move from company to company regularly, talk on industry mailing lists/private newsgroups, get together at conferences etc - i.e. everyone knows everyone else. If you get a bad name or piss someone off, your name WILL spread, and it will affect you in a "don't employ him, he'll slag you off on message boards" kinda way.

7) If you're going for a design position you'd better be DAMN good. Those jobs are much rarer than tester, programmer, artist, producer jobs. Game Designer jobs are also the ones that everyone (in and out of the industry) thinks they can do easily, and the one that requires a lot more than just "thinking up ideas for games".

--
Simon O'Connor
Creative Asylum Ltd
www.creative-asylum.com

[edited by - S1CA on May 29, 2003 10:42:40 AM]

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I am normally very diplomatic when posting, but i do feel company X were dishonest.
I would have much prefered 'sorry your not good enough' or 'we don't currently have vacency right now'
Warthog rejected me with 48 hours with a very nice letter.


[edited by - Defcom on May 30, 2003 2:51:31 PM]

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I''m sure they are looking for a lot of industry experience also (assuming they are even hiring right now)... That seems to be the key in getting jobs these days.

I doubt they are looking for someone right out of school.

-- Steve --
Blue Fang Games

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lol that''s ok, I have a degree, and one freeware published title.

Only a 2.2 though although it is an excellent university I went to, among the top ten in the country. Still I''m quite worried about the 2.2, should have worked harder in uni....

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Rare are very talented people but also complete arseholes. I''ve thought that since about 1984 when they allowed their ''Ulimatelay the game'' name to be used to flog a load of inferior products to the game buying public. The last actual game that was made by the real Ultimate (now Rare) team and released under the Ultimate name was ''Gunfight'' in 1984, however they had to wring as much money out of the name as possible by selling the name off. The buying public were very effectively hoodwinked.

Yes, their recruitment policy sux ass too. Goldeneye was good tho.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
most of the Rare talent left halfway through perfect dark (many beleive this is the reason the laster part of the game is weak in comparison to the first half) - some of them set up a company - free radical and made the timesplitters games.

also the goldeneye project leader Kartin hollis has also left and started a new company names Zoonami, currently working on a gamecube title for nintendo - but not a fps.

also there were reports of 25% of rare staff leaving at the time the were sold to Microsoft.

also i been told that they get there staff turnover is terrible, they get people right out of college and work them like dogs until they quit, probably why they have been constantly advertising for staff for ages.

doesnt sound like a nice place to work does it.

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quote:
Original post by OklyDokly
one freeware published title


That is, of course, an oxymoron...

Hmm. Are your teamwork and communication skills as good as your programming skills? After all, you''ll probably spend at least 25% of your time in meetings. Is your CV slick, does your demo portfolio autorun with a ''portfolio browser?'' Is it clearly an advantage to them to hire you?

Oh, and never mention salary until they do.

Superpig
- saving pigs from untimely fates, and when he''s not doing that, runs The Binary Refinery.
Enginuity1 | Enginuity2 | Enginuity3 | Enginuity4

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
most of the Rare talent left halfway through perfect dark (many beleive this is the reason the laster part of the game is weak in comparison to the first half) - some of them set up a company - free radical and made the timesplitters games.

also the goldeneye project leader Kartin hollis has also left and started a new company names Zoonami, currently working on a gamecube title for nintendo - but not a fps.

also there were reports of 25% of rare staff leaving at the time the were sold to Microsoft.


A common trend in the games industry (during happier times) is for staff to work somewhere for a couple of products and then move on to another company. There''s a hell of a lot of nomads in this industry.

Doesn''t mean very much at all really. I could provide plenty of examples and counter examples regarding staff turnover.



quote:
also i been told that they get there staff turnover is terrible, they get people right out of college and work them like dogs until they quit,


That''s not at all uncommon in the industry. The casual attitude amongst dev staff in general does let in some shark like management practices occasionally. That''s assuming that hearsay about Rare is actually true rather than just some fanboy/tester nonsense from fatbabies.


quote:
probably why they have been constantly advertising for staff for ages.


LOL. They''ve been advertising in Edge *every* month (-~2) for the past 10 years (~10 years ago when I was interviewed by them). They can snap up talented people very quickly that way (i.e. no print lead time). They can also stockpile CVs to fill vacancies when they arise (it was a few months after sending my CV to them back then that they invited me down). A regular advert doesn''t mean they can''t get new staff!


quote:
doesnt sound like a nice place to work does it.


Twycross has a pub, a tractor dealership and a few houses - oh and a zoo - umm very scenic & pleasant, what more do you need. The labradors were friendly enough too . Bit of a pain if you don''t have a car (£13 in a taxi from the nearest train station - and that''s once you''ve found a driver who knows where it is ).

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Wow, not checked this post for some time, but I do actually work for Rare now.

It is a lot better place to work than some of you people think, they have a lot of respect for their employees, and the offices are really nice.

Thanks for your help through my application process anyway, really did assist me getting through.

Ciao

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OklyDokly, congratulations! I have an interview with Rare coming up. Could you possibly give me some hints e.g. what they are looking for in a potential employee. What was the interview like? What sort of questions did they ask? Technical? Personal? Did they give you a test? Any help will be much appreciated.

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