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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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[quote name='TylerBetable' timestamp='1312481953' post='4844611']
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!
[/quote]

Online = Here
Offline = depends on where they live.

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[quote name='TylerBetable' timestamp='1312481953' post='4844611']
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!
[/quote]

The best place is right on this forum... You can also search for other game development forums and follow website like [url="http://altdevblogaday.com/"]#AltDevBlogADay[/url]

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

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[quote name='TylerBetable' timestamp='1312481953' post='4844611']
Any idea of good places to find game developers, both online and offline? (Online in particular, since that's easier for me)
[/quote]
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:
[url="http://www.meetup.com/Vancouver-Indie-Game-Developers"]http://www.meetup.co...Game-Developers[/url]
[url="http://www.meetup.com/Vancouver-Social-Games/"]http://www.meetup.co...r-Social-Games/[/url]

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.

[b]Personal opinion:[/b] 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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They do hang out at Pubs drinking until they can't think any more. If you are thinking of breaking into the industry you need to look like a bunny. Best advice is get one bunny on your side and infiltrate that way (unless you are a bunny).

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Don't quit your day job. That's the best advice. Best to view game development as a fun activity instead of a career. Only the creme-de-la-creme actually get the job and even then they are likely to struggle. The worst thing about "breaking in" is the anti-social problem at interviews ... these people will not believe a word you say so you have to prove everything and Hammer the evidence deep into their brains (maybe it helps to be a Bunny) ... also they do not care if you worked your B**t off at Uni and in your old job, they would always rather hire their friends or someone they wanted the chance to push about in an office.

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[quote name='Azgur' timestamp='1318343609' post='4871450']
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.
[/quote]

On this note, I hear that some IGDA chapters are having the problem that their meetups are too overrun by students and indies that don't know too much about what they're doing. There haven't been enough professionals guiding the direction of these meetups, so they started to take a more exclusionary approach to organizing and promoting them.

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On 10/13/2011 at 10:55 AM, DavidNash said:

On this note, I hear that some IGDA chapters are having the problem that their meetups are too overrun by students and indies that don't know too much about what they're doing. There haven't been enough professionals guiding the direction of these meetups, so they started to take a more exclusionary approach to organizing and promoting them.

And let's not just pick on those outside the industry. Not everyone in the industry is particularly knowledgeable, good at what they do, great to work with, or good to hang out with. Sometimes the people running/organizing those events are the type of people who are trying to run their career on image, connections, and being an "insider". They get old pretty fast.

But consider this... What do you get when you put the two together? I know of one weekly get-together organized by a couple of industry recruiters and attended mostly by student hopefuls. The recruiters make a big deal about how it's a social gathering and they won't talk business. Basically it's an unholy orgy of social awkwardness designed to make the organizers feel like Gods. Few industry professionals can stomach it.

Edited by vreality

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Personally, if I were you, I wouldn't "stalk" developers.
As many here have stated, when we're not at work, chances are we're trying not to talk about or hear about work.
If some fresh guy comes up to me with the intent of networking when I'm tired and half-sober, chances are I'll tell him to get lost.
There's a proper context to everything, and 'hanging out' won't net you a job.
I'd advise you read Tom Sloper's lessons rather than hang out with devs at a local pub.
Aside from these 'ever-scanning H.R.' most devs turn their lights off when they're off.

On the other hand, the best networking you can have is from working within the industry in an entry-level job.
If you put some effort into it, people will notice you, and people don't live and die within the same studio (I may be generalizing because there are 4 major studios where I am, so anyone feel free to correct me).
People move around, and before you know it, you'll realize that the people you knew from that first studio are now in 14 different studios. That's 14 studios you can get some insight on, and 14 studios where you can network based on the people you know there.

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[quote name='JustChris' timestamp='1318442439' post='4871929']
[quote name='Azgur' timestamp='1318343609' post='4871450']
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.
[/quote]

On this note, I hear that some IGDA chapters are having the problem that their meetups are too overrun by students and indies that don't know too much about what they're doing. There haven't been enough professionals guiding the direction of these meetups, so they started to take a more exclusionary approach to organizing and promoting them.


[/quote]

Nope the indies were the developers and the students were their friends. Its a Bunny industry -face it.










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[quote name='Tom Sloper' timestamp='1318528641' post='4872255']
[quote name='Access_Denied' timestamp='1318528503' post='4872254']Its a Bunny industry [/quote]
What does that mean?
[/quote]



perhaps it isn't a career that will stay useful after a certain age.

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I think I lost interest in working towards reachable goals that have no realistic reachable profit, instead of a career after all that animation, 3d art, programming, scripting etc, they (the interviewers) put you on the spot "stars in their eyes" style and make you dance like a monkey until you go blue in the face, then they cooly press the button to open a trap door laughing behind your back (dragons style). I for one think it would be great to be on the other side of the desk because I would fire every single one of the people that refused to employ me. Although I am not bitter and would probably let them return to their jobs if they could produce a good enough demo on their own.

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[quote name='Access_Denied' timestamp='1318539443' post='4872306'].... Although I am not bitter and would probably let them return to their jobs if they could produce a good enough demo on their own.
[/quote]
Well. Okay, then!

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[quote name='TiagoCosta' timestamp='1312485025' post='4844632']
[quote name='TylerBetable' timestamp='1312481953' post='4844611']
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!
[/quote]

The best place is right on this forum... You can also search for other game development forums and follow website like [url="http://altdevblogaday.com/"]#AltDevBlogADay[/url]

Offline you can most definitely find game developers at the Game Developers Conference :)
[/quote]

Hey, thanks for mentioning this. I'm actually now writing for AltDevBlogADay (you can find me <b><a href="http://http://altdevblogaday.com/author/tyler-york/">here</a></b>)

They are a really cool community of developers and it sounds like they don't have a lot of good marketing advice, so I'll try to fill that niche for now by sharing everything I know :)

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