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Experience in the industry

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I read a lot of good posts in this section.

 

As someone who has industry experience, I'll offer what I can. 

 

Doesn't matter, if you write the best code, draw the best monster, or can animate and rigg with your eyes closed. You're jumping into a vast world. If you truly want that job start at the bottom of list as a QA tester. I did it for about a year, wasn't my thing I made really cool gaming contacts at Activision and Infinity Ward. And I've gotten the same line. dozens of times "grab yourself a programmer and artist" if QA doesn't interest you, I highly suggest you find indie work and work on a bunch of indie games, not at once. You may get the next angry birds, and publishers love that.

 

rule to the wise

 

Its not what you know, its who you know

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I didn’t give you the -1, but I probably know why it was given to you.

 

As a professional in the industry, it is not as if I have asked every single coworker how he or she started in the industry, but I have asked almost all who have been close to me, and I know not a single person who started as a game/QA tester.

 

I think your point is to try to get into the industry in any way you can, and since anyone can be a QA tester it is an easy way in, and then your goal is to make contacts.

I agree about making contacts, but I disagree about your position when you make those contacts.

 

Contacts do help, but only if they have any semblance of respect for you.  As a “contact” myself I don’t really see myself holding too much stalk in a game tester or QA tester.  What do you expect me to do?  Introduce you to Sony because you “assure quality in games better than anyone”?

 

 

I will explain how I got into Tokyo (my main goal) with a short story.

My first game-related job was in Thailand, overseas, as a programmer.

Due to my desire to live in Japan I took Japanese lessons in Thailand and then one day my company moved to another floor in the same building where a Japanese company was just around the corner.

Upon spotting them at any chance I could I practiced my Japanese and showed interest in their company and their country.

 

Skip 1.5 years and they hired me into their Japanese office.

 

Yes, this is clearly an example where contacts matter.

Because that is extremely true, my advice is to move to a place where contacts can be easily made.  My choice at the time was Bangkok, and as a result I had contacts from around the world.  I worked in France too before Japan, because I had French contacts.

 

But if I had been a lowly QA tester I can assure you that I would have been overlooked when the Japanese company, or even the French company wanted someone to do their game-programming business.

 

To be frank, even as a programmer who my French boss (a 7-year veteran of Ubisoft) touted as being exceptional I still took 4 years to finally get into Japan via contacts.  After monthly non-contact applications to various companies that all ended in failure.

 

 

It’s already that difficult when you are a professional in your own industry.  Add to that the fact that QA is seen as one of the easiest jobs on the planet, and certainly one that a real game programmer or designer could do better, it doesn’t help your chances of making any meaningful contacts.

 

And I am somewhat speaking from experience on the other side of the fence, because going to past GDC’s I met people who wanted to get into the industry “for real”, and a few had some experience in QA.  Sorry to say that I frankly never considered getting back to them because that just doesn’t mean much.  Not as much as is needed for a contact to recommend you to a place.

 

My advice: Get a job in the industry where you belong and show your stuff there.  If you are an amazing programmer, artist, or musician, people will see it, and your contacts will have faith when they recommend you to a company or job.  Just as I have faith in recommending Ronald Jenkees to my current office.  He roxors the boxors.

 

 

L. Spiro

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I know not a single person who started as a game/QA tester.

 

I know some.  I know one who is now a Vice President at Activision. I had lunch with one at GDC who became a producer on Halo and Call of Duty.

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I know not a single person who started as a game/QA tester.

 

That's where I also started out. Heck, I think its still pinned in here somewhere!

Its not 'the' avenue, but its definitely a viable one.

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I know not a single person who started as a game/QA tester.

 

That's where I also started out. Heck, I think its still pinned in here somewhere!

Its not 'the' avenue, but its definitely a viable one.

 

It wasn't I who said that.

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I knew that Tom, seems something went wrong when I did the quote, I most certainly didn't intend to pin that on you (afterall, you're the one that pinned it in the first place).

In fact, just tried to re-quote the quote and it keeps pointing back to Tom Sloper even though the first line is L. Spiro... Odd.

Edited by Orymus3

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Nope, not really.

I have started as a level designer for major project/

 

Easy ways are bad ways. Being a tester, a person will spend most of his or her time doing useless stuff (for their career that is).

Just imagine, you have to be a tester for 8 hours a day (and ontop of that add some time for lunch and for all that wonderful time you will spend in traffic or subway) for, lets say, a year.

Now imagine all the amazing stuff you could learn and create if you spend this year following your passion, no matter what it is, level design or VFX.

 

Indie game developement is much better way, as it will require you to do what you want to do, instead of waste time testing other peoples' games.

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