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How can I get hired at Epic Games?

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When I say hired I mean even as a janitor. As a child I happened to play all of the games made by Epic MegaGames. Jazz the Jackrabbit and Jill of the Jungle were in fact the first two video games I played. I started learning to program at 7 to imitate these games and made a pretty neat side scrolling game with a level editor which I later lost due to hard drive crash. In my teens I played countless hours of Unreal Tournament and later Gears of War. These games among others inspired me to start developing a game engine.

I realized that Epic games was located in Cary, NC which was close to where I lived, that they were the developers behind the games I played so much as a child, and that they were the developers behind the Unreal engine which happened to be one of the most popular commercial engines. Instantly wanted to work there after realizing all of this. Parents home schooled me and failed to do the proper paper work for me to graduate. Mainly as a result of my ex telling them that I didn't believe in god which lead to them kicking me out and cutting all ties with me. Had to get a GED which in turn means I had to go to a Community College.

Community college advisor tells me to take computer programming in order to transfer to NCSU for computer science. Completely wrong, I wasted 3 years to be left with a useless degree and 15k in student loan debt. Not to mention that I put my game engine on the back burning for those three years to focus on school and work. Doubt I have enough years of financial aid left to go back for a general science degree in order to transfer or to finish a computer science degree from scratch even if I were accepted into NCSU. Lost the shitty job I was working at for the past 7 years recently due to a schedule conflict with my classes and am now jobless.

I felt the best I could do was move to Cary in order to be closer to Epic Games and NCSU. Now I'm 25, living in Cary, jobless, still have to take community college classes so I don't have to pay back student loans, and I don't know how I'm going to be able to ever achieve my goals. I just want to get my foot in the door because I'm tired of working for years towards this goal and making practically no progress. I would stop at nothing just to get a job there no matter what they have me doing.

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Did you try to apply for a job in there?

They need a lot of people, not just senior core programers. Try (maybe) to sneak into epic on some other technical position than the programming one, and prove your programing competence from there on (as a 3d modeler/animator/script demos writer/betatester/udk demo creator....). Get to friend up with some colegues from development department, help them, do some ToDo's, correct bugs you find as a betatester yourself and so on.

 

My main point is to get signed with  epic on  any technical position, this will enable you to prove yourself as programmer easily I believe.

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How can I get hired at Epic Games?


By being a more attractive applicant than the other applicants. Your post unfortunately reveals a lot of unattractive qualities in you. Your post goes into unnecessary self-pitying detail and omits important information that could have helped us advise you.

Community college advisor tells me to take computer programming in order to transfer to NCSU for computer science. Completely wrong, I wasted 3 years to be left with a useless degree and 15k in student loan debt. Not to mention that I put my game engine on the back burning for those three years


Your advisor did not give you bad advice, unless the courses you took at CC were not transferable (that is to say, didn't count towards the program at NCSU). Stop categorizing your CC experience as "useless" and a "waste." You learned a lot. And I think it's impressive that you got a GED and a 3-year college education on your own - so you should stop with the "oh poor poor pitiful me" nonsense.

You say you have a "useless degree"? What degree is it, in what subject matter?

And you should make a game, not an engine.
http://scientificninja.com/blog/write-games-not-engines
http://www.gamedev.net/topic/627759-make-games-not-engines-but-how/

Most of all: You need to stop poisoning your mind with all the negativity. More reading:
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson27.htm

 

None of them count towards a computer science degree at NCSU and only 6 credit hours out of 73 will transfer from what I was told. However, this information was from another community college adviser at Wake Tech. She handed me a paper with what I need to transfer this time. I should probably talk to an adviser at NCSU though. I'm not sure how taking introductory classes on tools and languages I was already extensively using counts as a productive use of time, and I honestly can't think of any new skills I have picked up in the last three years that came from community college.

I have no idea what information you think I was omitting but I assure you that what I have said is an accurate account of events. Additionally, I am writing a game engine because I like to program. I am neither particularly good at or enjoy 3D modeling, animation, drawing or writing music. So I was trying to procedurally generate content for a game which is why I was writing an engine and not a game since no tools exist to do what I want.

Edited by SteveDeFact0

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1. I'm not sure how taking introductory classes on tools and languages I was already extensively using counts as a productive use of time, and I honestly can't think of any new skills I have picked up in the last three years that came from community college.
2. I have no idea what information you think I was omitting


1. It impresses hirers to see that you got a GED and put yourself through 3 years of CC.
2. You say you have a "useless degree"? What degree is it, in what subject matter?

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1. I'm not sure how taking introductory classes on tools and languages I was already extensively using counts as a productive use of time, and I honestly can't think of any new skills I have picked up in the last three years that came from community college.
2. I have no idea what information you think I was omitting


1. It impresses hirers to see that you got a GED and put yourself through 3 years of CC.
2. You say you have a "useless degree"? What degree is it, in what subject matter?

 

Computer programming which is a 2 year degree but took 3 as work interfered and I could never get all of the classes I need. I still have to take 2 more semester to finish. Between two community colleges which I am registered for they only have 2 of the 4 classes I need in fall and they didn't have any of the classes I needed for summer so I could not go. Won't actually graduate until after next spring and that is only if they actually offer the classes I have been needing... So in reality it will have taken me 4 years to get a 2 year degree if I am lucky.

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Do you know that it is perfectly acceptable to take other jobs as part of being “on the way” to Epic Games?
There is a reason why every single job application for every single company lists “or equivalent experience” in the education field.
Why don’t you solve your money and experience problems at the same time and just get a job at a smaller less-demanding studio and stop racking up debt?

You have a GED. Now stop wasting time and use it.
You are 25 for sake’s Pete. How old do you want to be when you get your first entry-level salary?
I got my GED and started with my first entry-level salary when I was 22. I really don’t see the complication here.

I always had the goal of working in Japan but that doesn’t mean I would just do nothing until it eventually happened (hint: it would have never happened).
Just because my goal was Japan it doesn’t mean Japan is the only place I could work.
You build up to your goals, and getting hands-on experience is more valuable than school past a certain point and especially age.


L. Spiro

Been sending out my resume daliy and have never even gotten a reply. I think they are automatically weeding me out since all the jobs I am applying for require a bachelors in computer science.

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Epic has a general policy that they don't hire programmers unless they have several years of experience in the industry.

The fact that you do not have a list of published titles is causing the automatic exclusion. It is not your degree they are looking at, but your credits listing.

Gain a few years of experience using their engine at other studios, and after that they might consider hiring you.

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Epic has a general policy that they don't hire programmers unless they have several years of experience in the industry.

The fact that you do not have a list of published titles is causing the automatic exclusion. It is not your degree they are looking at, but your credits listing.

Gain a few years of experience using their engine at other studios, and after that they might consider hiring you.

No, I was talking about software companies in general. There is only one other company I've aware of which uses the unreal engine in this area but I don't think they are hiring. I'll give it a try though.

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Epic has a general policy that they don't hire programmers unless they have several years of experience in the industry.

 

 

I only wish this were true.  I have two ex collegues who now work at Epic Games and they can barely program.  They got head hunted for basically being forum whores on the Unreal tech forums and on moddb.  Neither of them have ever worked on a full game or shiped any of the mods they were supposedly working on.

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Epic has a general policy that they don't hire programmers unless they have several years of experience in the industry.

I only wish this were true. I have two ex collegues who now work at Epic Games and they can barely program. They got head hunted for basically being forum whores on the Unreal tech forums and on moddb. Neither of them have ever worked on a full game or shiped any of the mods they were supposedly working on.
Interesting.

I haven't worked there, but I have talked with some of their bosses who explained the policy. Their biggest feature is that Unreal Engine is heavily licensed. It is easier to take people who are trained elsewhere using the engine and then pick and chose among those with demonstrated skill. You pay a premium for it, but you also don't need to pay to train people up from novice college graduates.

Probably more likely it is just that those specific individuals slipped through the cracks because of forum participation and they took a risk assuming they were better than they were --- which is the very reason to have the policy in place to begin with.

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Hi Steve, I've been a lead programmer and hiring manager at places like NCsoft and Disney Interactive (where I worked on the Epic Mickey games).

 

Here's how entry level type dudes made an impression on me and eventually got hired ...

 

  • Example programs. This is more important than a Comp Sci degree IMHO. I want to be able to download something "cool" from your website/blog and run it. It needs to run without crashing and work without me having to fiddle too much. I want to see source code too. Your code should compile without errors or warnings and to the best of your ability be easy to understand and follow. If you're going to get hired at Epic your work must be in C++ and should have something to do with the Unreal Engine.
  • Be super cool and friendly.
  • Be modest. When you are asked, "How would you rate yourself on C++?", give yourself a low score. It's a trick question. I've been programming AAA video games for 15+ years and I wouldn't give myself anything higher than a 7.

Also, you have a tinge of desperation in your post. Leave that at home smile.png

 

And be okay with taking a job at some other studio while you build your Xp. Epic isn't going anywhere soon. You can always apply in a couple years time (hopefully with a shipped game under your belt) if you're not ready yet.

 

 

Best wishes,

Seanba

 

pretty great advice

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