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Video game production masters thesis survey

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According to the Valve employee handbook “Hiring well is one of the most important things in the universe, nothing else comes close.” Assertions like that are what motivated this study to exist. There has been little research on the best methods of selection for candidates seeking work within the industry; this study will attempt to gather data on what data firms are collecting from potential candidates.  Researchers at Full Sail University are asking that any professional in the video game industry take the time to fill out a short survey that will gather data on their experiences in the hiring process.  This data could help develop employee selection practices tailored for Video Game Industry candidates.




            Please follow the link  to take the survey at the reputable and safe website, surveymonkey.com. Thank you for your valuable time and interest in broadening and strengthening the talent within this industry.

Edited by maxcapper

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Your questions in the survey were interesting. They clearly show your educational system bias rather than any real-world understanding.

Yes, there are some simple programming tests that an individual can take to determine if they are a reasonable programmer or not. You can test an artist to see if they understand color theory. You can test a technical writer to ensure they understand grammar. But that is only the smallest part of the hiring process.

This is a creative field. How can a Meyers Briggs test validate creativity? How can there be standardized test for an art portfolio? How can there be a standardized test for designers? How can there be a standardized test for finding creative and innovative technical solutions?

This is a field of synergy and diversity. We need the mix of high-energy and low-energy, innovative and traditional, spicy and bland. Hiring via test score will often give homogeny. Adding a disruptive influence -- the opposite of what a test would yield -- often helps transform teams for the better.

Finally, the hiring process (the interviews and the first few months of employment) are more like dating and courting, and is not something that be easily enumerated by examination.

If you had gone for an MBA rather than video game production, these would all be fairly clear.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but from my view it looks like you are asking the wrong questions for your stated purpose.

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Thank you for participating and I appreciate your feedback, heavy handed as it was. To be clear, I am not asserting that a Myers Briggs test can be used to determine and individuals creativity, in fact there is almost no research to support that. This survey was designed based on the methodologies that existing research has been found to be most effective and prevalent across many other industries. Perhaps it was not clear in the first post but the purpose of this survey is simply to attempt to identify the attitudes towards hiring practices in the industry and examine what studios and other firms within the video game industry value most when searching for potential candidates. 


I am very aware that the industry thrives on a diverse mix of personalities to create the games we love. However, you cannot deny that stability within a team and organization is paramount to having a motivated workforce. An article on the International Game Developers Association website states that that cost of hiring new development team personnel can cost a studio up to $32,000 per person. In an industry that has a long standing issue with employee turnover, this is a figure that can quickly rise and cripple a project. It goes on to say that 50% of surveyed professionals do not expect to last more than 10 years in the industry when nearly the same amount stated that they would like to work in video games for their entire careers. 


I agree that blindly using tests and hiring based on those scores is not a good practice, but if an organization takes time to construct a comprehensive profile for the position they need that takes into account not only the skills and background needed but also the personalities and attitudes of the people that the position will be working with, then certain tests can be a very valid and supplemental tool. 


Again this survey is just an attempt to gain a big picture view of what the industry is doing in respect to selection methodology and the attitudes of industry professionals towards different constructs found I the hiring process. 


I hope you have found this helpful in clearing up the purpose of this survey. I appreciate your opinion and hope that you can look beyond my educational path and see that I am just trying to give people a better understanding of what the industry is doing. If you, or anyone is interested in the results of the survey once I am done collecting responses I will be happy to share the results. I can be reached at Maxcapper@fullsail.edu


Here are some of my sources for the facts that I stated

O'Donnell, C. (2007). Quality of life in a global game

industry. Retrieved from http://www.igda.org/articles/codonell_global


Hunter, J. E., Schmidt, F.L. (1998). The validity and utility of selection methods in

personnel psychology: practical and theoretical implications of 85 years of research findings. Psychological
Bulletin, 124(2), 262-274.


Ullah, M. (2010). A systematic approach of conducting employee selection interview. International

Journal of Business and Management, 5(6), 106-112.




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My comments are

1) your question about marital status better come back "not influential" for all your US survey'd people. Race, gender, marital status, etc. are all protected under US anti-discrimination laws.


2) Because I don't think your survey covered the right questions to drill down into this. What a person can do and what they say they can do are two different things. Friend-of-a-friend recommendations usually mean something more than just a resume. And a good resume usually means nothing without something to back it up.  It isn't so much that the resume has little to no influence, but that I'm used to checking a resume vs. interview questions.  If they say they have 8 years experience in shader programming, they damn well better be able to whip up a quick shader for me. But right off saying "i have 8 years exp" vs "i'm right out of school" makes little difference if the person can demonstrate in portfolio or phone interviews what their actual skill level is.

Edited by KulSeran

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