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Needing Information and Advice

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Let me begin by thanking you for looking into this post, it is greatly appreciated. I am currently a student in a game design program and have almost earned my bachelors. I am posting because I am passionate about this industry and greatly wish to be successful, and to help in achieving this success I would greatly appreciate some information and advice from any seasoned professional in this industry. I am asking that any professional who is willing to answer a few simple questions to fill out the questionnaire below. I would appreciate responses to every question asked, but if you are at all uncomfortable answering any question please keep in mind that you are in no way required to do so.

It should be stated that gaining this information is actually for a school project. So my intentions are purely academic.

I would like to add that it is my aspiration to become a game producer, as I am just as much a businessman as a game designer. And to help in facilitating this I plan on continuing my education and getting a masters in business.

1. What is your name? Title and surname are adequate. (i.e. Mr. Smith)

2. What position and/or title do you currently hold in the game industry? (i.e. art director, audio technician, etc.)

3. How many years have you worked in the game industry?

4. What are some titles that you have shipped which you would consider notable?

5. As I said before, it is my aspiration to become a game producer, and to help in achieving this I will be pursuing a masters in business (possibly through night school). I also plan on finding a job in the industry and working while going to school in order to gain at least two years of experience by the time I graduate. Would you consider this a wise course of action or would you suggest something else?

6. If you answered yes to question 5, and keeping my career goals of a producer in mind, what would be the wisest entry-level position for me to pursue while going to school? (i.e. art, QA, etc.) And why? Please note that the position of a programmer is not an option with my skill set.

7. In any afore-mentioned entry-level positions, how much can I expect to earn as a yearly salary? And how many hours a week can I expect to work?

8. I currently have several games and numerous art assets in my portfolio. Keeping my career goals of a producer in mind, what should I push in my portfolio to speed myself along that road?

9. It has been suggested that gaining a job outside of the industry in the form of a management position might be more beneficial to me than getting a grunt job such as QA. The only problem I have with tis logic is that it gyps me out of time which I can claim as industry experience. What are your thoughts?

10. Do you have any advice or comments that you would like to add?

Thank you for taking this time out of your busy day. Your help in this matter is deeply appreciated.

[Edited by - jthompson166 on July 21, 2010 1:24:19 PM]

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Why not just post the questions here? You are much more likely to get a response. I doubt there will be much they would tell you in private that they wouldn't do in public.

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1. See sig.
2. Independent designer/producer and university instructor.
3. Over 25.
4. Complete list is on my site.
5. Yes.
6. That's for you to decide.
7. See the latest game industry salary survey ("View Forum FAQ," above).
8. Just the best stuff.
9. Yes.

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He is basically saying "Yes, I have comments to add but you didn't ask me to write what they area".

1. See portfolio in sig.
2. Was in the industry until very recently. See CV in sig.
3. 3 years and 9 months ish.
4. All of the ones I worked on so far.
5. Trying to hold down a full time job while studying sounds incredibly difficult. If you can pull it off, it be good for your CV. Not sure if I consider it 'wise' though.
6. Have you got skills in any other area of discipline?
7. Depends on the role and location. There are salary surveys kicking about that you can look at.
8. The one that gets you a level entry role. Eg, if you are going for an artist role, then Art related material. Level Designer, levels. etc.

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1. Ben Sizer.
2. Software developer.
3. 4.
4. We don't really work on 'shipping' titles per se.
5. Qualifications + experience always help in life. I don't think there's any prescribed route to being a 'producer' that is shorter or more guaranteed than the route you suggest.
6. I would say that you need to consider where you want to work and who for. Games companies don't have a uniform set of roles, nor are their hiring policies consistent.
7. Pay varies wildly by role and location. I'd say you would expect to work 40 hours a week, more on occasion.
8. You need to show evidence of production. To me. that means time and resource management primarily.

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Thank you, Yaustar and Kylotan.

In terms of what my other skill sets are. I have enough software experience to (theoretically) break into an entry level art position. Or QA is always an option. I also have design experience and projects that I've managed, but that will, probably, help me little at first. It's something that I think I'm just going to have to play by ear, and see what comes along. I have a generalized degree so that should help in breaking into any entry-level position.

I do realize the difficulty in working full time as well as going to school, and that's something I've been mulling over. That's why I'll really have to look into what kind of part-time job opportunities are available, if any.

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Original post by jthompson166
What [advice] is it that you would like to add?

Read, read, read.
Start with these:
http://www.industrygamers.com/ (subscribe to daily newsletter)

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