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TylerYork

Where do game developers hang out?

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Hey all,

I want to get into the game industry, and one of the ways that I want to do this is to meet game developers. I am not looking for a job, just networking. I'm here, so that's a good start, but I could use some tips :)


Any idea of good places to find game developers, both online and offline? (Online in particular, since that's easier for me)

Thanks!

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Hey all,

I want to get into the game industry, and one of the ways that I want to do this is to meet game developers. I am not looking for a job, just networking. I'm here, so that's a good start, but I could use some tips :)


Any idea of good places to find game developers, both online and offline? (Online in particular, since that's easier for me)

Thanks!


Online = Here
Offline = depends on where they live.

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Hey all,

I want to get into the game industry, and one of the ways that I want to do this is to meet game developers. I am not looking for a job, just networking. I'm here, so that's a good start, but I could use some tips :)


Any idea of good places to find game developers, both online and offline? (Online in particular, since that's easier for me)

Thanks!


The best place is right on this forum... You can also search for other game development forums and follow website like #AltDevBlogADay

Offline you can most definitely find game developers at the Game Developers Conference :)

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Any idea of good places to find game developers, both online and offline? (Online in particular, since that's easier for me)

Offline: any place they serve alcohol. Especially if there's someone with an actual income around to pick up the tab.

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Game developers who are employed by a game company "hang out" at the office, then they "hang out" at home.
Game developers who work independently at home "hang out" at home, where they work and live.
Don't bother looking for that one bar where all the game developers go to drink their troubles away -- it doesn't exist.

A lot of employed game developers (again: "employed by a game company") don't care about going to developer meetups, since they already have a job, and they don't get to go home enough, so the attraction of developer meetups doesn't exist for them.

Freelancers and team leads and company higherups often to go developer conferences and such for the learning and the schmoozing -- you can run into those folks at those events. Make sure you have your own business card, use it to collect their cards, and be a good listener. Nobody's waiting to hear YOUR life's story and your dreams of getting into games. http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson54.htm

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Check www.meetup.com for your area. Here are two for where I live:
http://www.meetup.co...Game-Developers
http://www.meetup.co...r-Social-Games/

If you're looking to break in, there are lots of smaller companies that go to those. It looks good to have a few smaller titles on your resume when you're looking to get hired, and that'd be the place to find teammates too. EDIT: I'd look for local game jams too.

Personal opinion: I don't see a lot of hiring in the AAA console industry (I don't see it growing in general, which is why I left), but like Tom said you might get lucky at a developer's conference or career fair. I think new comers would be better off gaining skills relevant to mobile, social, and downloadable games, at least for the short to medium term.

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They hang out near the office.

If you're in an area with a handful of studios around, you can frequent restaurants at lunch time, book stores after work, etc.

You will definately see industry people. I suppose the trick is recognizing them.

I can't bring myself to try to offer cheesy generalizations. I'm not sure I even consciously know what all it is about them that I find recognizable, but suffice it to say that I find myself spotting them all the time. And most likely, just like anyone else in the area, I'm probably seeing developers far more often than I realize.

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Go to GDC/other conferences/conventions and network. If you are lucky you might get an invitation to a mixer. Always remember the real reason you are there and don't drink too much! Open bars can do that to some people lol. Join IGDA and find a SIG that interests you. Do you have a Twitter account? If not, get on that NOW! Twitter is probably the best online resource to get connected with other professionals in the industry - students, devs, teachers, and people that share the same passion as you do are open and willing to discuss games. Find your local Game Jam and participate in it. This is an excellent way to network with students and devs. Sometimes Game Jam hosts will actually invite developers to give you input and judge your game. There are tons of ways to network with people in the industry, these are only a few of those ways.

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Devs generally hang out in places where the players can't find em. :)


edit:
As for networking with devs, you generally need something to bring to the conversation.
Not that you need special social skills to hang out with devs, but If you're just getting started and wish to talk about something on a more professional level (making connections and networking), you might come off as rather annoying.

Personally I know dozens of people that "want to make it in the industry" and I find it quite annoying when they bring it up.
Not because of their goal, but mostly because they get ahead of themselves.
I don't particularly care for their "awesome game ideas" or their requests to "introduce them to <game director of game they play>".
In the latter case, even if I do have a direct line to some devs, I'm sure they don't want to bothered by someone without a resume either.

It's hard to put this in words, but basically: it's annoying to talk to someone about something they don't know enough about yet.
What I'm getting at, don't seek out devs before you've got some experience under your belt to show you're more than one of the zillion players dreaming to make their own game.
Networking only works if you can leave a good first impression.

Don't run too fast.

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