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ISDCaptain01

How did you get into the industry?

13 posts in this topic

That's right, tell me your story of how you started working in the game industry. I want to see the different variety of ways people got in. So start busting out your tales folks.

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Very, interesting topic. I guess I'll start sharing.

Even though my story is quite an ordinary one (and maybe boring), as I'm just starting in the industry ^^'

I went to a generalist programming school. In my 5th year of study there is possibility to have a part-time internship during the 6 first month of the year, and a full time internship during the last 6 month. So I gave resumes to game studios, I went to some job interviews, and I got my first part-time internship in a game studio. And when this one finished, I did (and still doing) another internship, full-time, in another game studio.

And here I am :)

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  • QA for games company in Australia
  • When company went down, started a business doing software QA for serious games + web development
  • When business made enough money, locked myself in my house for a year to learn JS and make small games
  • Moved to another country (with a bigger games industry) with portfolio of small personal games, GitHub repos, prior experience, and about a year of savings hoping I'd find something leaning more towards coding
  • Found something (phew)
Edited by Drakonka
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Although I'm no longer in the games industry it was a case of:

 

1) Send off CV
2) Attend interview (and complete a test)
3) Start Work

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  • Study programming
  • Make friends and stuff
  • Get intern job at a games company for 6 months
  • Friends get hired from their internship at a different games company
  • They tell their boss, who can't find a programmer, that I am a good programmer
  • I apply for a job
  • Go in for interview
  • Trial day
  • Get the job

I suggest making lots of friends, being an active part of the game dev community in your area.

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I taught myself programming at late 13 or early 14 as a way of getting able to make my own game ideas, knowing that no one else would program them for me.
It turned out to be more fun than design so I stuck with it.

Since in high school it was obvious that I was going to make video games I did homework my own way: by playing (and programming) video games.
As a result I got straight F’s and dropped out of high school.

Best decision ever. I was able to go to a 2-year community college much sooner than I otherwise would have been able.
Since they focused just on programming, I was able to graduate early after only 1 year instead of 2 (see how easy it would have been to keep my interest, high school?) with a grade of 100% in Java and 172% in C++ (lots of extra credit).


I had not only gotten out of high-school early I also got out of college early, so when I was 22 I moved to Thailand, got a temporary job teaching English just to help me get by, and after a few months got my first industry job at Sanuk Games in Bangkok.

 

 

L. Spiro

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I wrote a very extensive and detailed GDD for a turn-based RPG based on an existing IP.  I contacted the owners with the design and they contracted me to make the game (I'm good at presentations).  I got attached to a small studio of artists and programmers that immediately folded, leaving the project in limbo.  When the IP owner wanted to focus on tablet apps, I made a amicable departure.  What a year!  Thrilling highs, terrifying lows, and zero games made.

Edited by GoCatGo
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My sister's friend's dad owned a development studio, and when I was 16 I asked him to let me see some example questions he would give prospective engineering hires. He gave me the programming tests he gives candidates, I took it and (unbeknownst to me at the time) did well. Two years later when I graduated from high school he contacted me about an internship. So I interned there for a number of summers, eventually becoming a full time employee.

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My sister's friend's dad owned a development studio, and when I was 16 I asked him to let me see some example questions he would give prospective engineering hires. He gave me the programming tests he gives candidates, I took it and (unbeknownst to me at the time) did well. Two years later when I graduated from high school he contacted me about an internship. So I interned there for a number of summers, eventually becoming a full time employee.

 

I can't upvote this post so's I'll just give you a THUMBS UP in boring text here.

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Walked out of college after a particularly bad year and got a job at Day 1 Studios near Baltimore - now part of World of Tanks developer Wargaming. It was straightforward enough. I'd been hanging on this site and others (Flipcode, Revolution3D, even DevMaster) and coding projects for a huge chunk of my life. I had the technical abilities to join an engine team and begin contributing, though in retrospect the maturity issues had yet to be fully addressed at that point. (I was 21 at the time.) Spent a bit over a year there, shipped Fracture for 360 and PS3.

Edited by Promit
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Age 14: I played a lot of Commander Keen. One day while playing, I decided I wanted to make a video game. I found that way to make a game is to learn how to write code.
Age 15: I tried to learn QBasic. I didn't know what I was doing. I failed.

Age 16: I took a visual basic 6 class in high school. I thought I knew what I was doing. I didn't.

Age 17: I took an intro C++ course. I struggled. My mindset was in VB, so the transition was difficult. I barely passed with a C.

Age 18: I sit down and commit to really learning C++. I make my first game in Direct Draw. It was a 2 player space ship combat game (asteroids style). I start a web development business as a means to raise money to start a game studio.

Age 19: I start attending community college and take a few additional programming classes. I am mediocre. Business isn't going well. I join the Marine Corps and go to boot camp and training for 6 months. Country goes to war in my last week of boot camp. oops!
Age 20: I resume community college. I get an internship as a network admin at a financial company in seattle. It's the tail end of the dot com bubble. 
Age 21: A vietnam vet from my unit calls me up and asks me to go to war in Iraq with him to work as a web developer. I quit my new job and go to Fallujah to write PHP code out of a tent. I teach myself PHP and MySQL. Three months later, my app is done. By the end of my tour, I had built a PHP/MySQL web app from scratch to manage $1 billion worth of reconstruction projects. Riding on that success, I went to the US embassy in Baghdad and made a version of the same app to manage the logistical supply chain of all goods coming into Iraq. I completed that in two weeks, it tracked another billion dollars worth of goods. It was my greatest accomplishment to date.
Age 22: I return to community college, and take more programming courses. I'm starting to get the hang of it.

Age 23: I suck at math. I keep getting a C in Pre-calc 2 because I don't know how to properly study and teach myself hard math. I can't seem to memorize the trig formulas. More schooling! My web design business is almost a complete failure at this point due to a shortage of clients.

Age 25: I go to Iraq again, for 1 year. I work as a sys admin for the information management office at the Marine Expeditionary Force headquarters. I am exposed to sharepoint for the first time. Our sharepoint admin leaves, so I take over. I am exposed to virtual machines and transition our whole server room to VM's. There are some problems, which causes a few 36 hour shifts.
Age 26: My military enlistment ends. I return to community college. I forgot a lot, so I have to spend some time retaking classes (Calculus and data structures).

Age 27: I transfer to the University of Washington to get a degree in computer science and software engineering. I discover philosophy and decide to minor in it.
Age 28: I graduate with a 4 year degree. I don't know what to do now. I'm living off of my meager savings, trying to invest it to make it last. I mostly play games and try to make my own in C#/XNA for a year while half-heartedly looking for work.

Age 30: I get hired to work for General Dynamics through a friend. It's a job where I train soldiers how to use the state of the art command and control software (called "Command Post of the Future" CPOF). My salary was $61k/year. I tell my boss about my programming experience. Six months later, I'm in Afghanistan working in the knowledge management office as a "Sr. Sharepoint Developer". It's mostly just a glorified HTML coder, with a few custom webparts.
Age 31: A fellow contractor worked for Trace Systems, another military contractor. I liked the way his company took care of him. I quit GD and get hired on at Trace for an offer I couldn't refuse. I work in Afghanistan for a total of 18 months (12 hours/day, 7 days/week). In my free time, I start working on a game engine. I dump 98% of my earned money into investments.
Age 32 (now): My investments have done well. I have lots of money. I can finally do what I've always wanted and have been setting myself up for: making my own game! I continue working on my rudimentary game engine from my bedroom. 10 months later, I hire an artist, scrap my engine and switch to UE4, rent out an office space in downtown seattle, and start working really hard on my first commercial game. By this point, my former weaknesses in programming and mathematics have become my strengths (though, there's still a lot to learn!). Despite all my setbacks, my #1 redeeming trait seems to be a very high level of persistence (and maybe risk taking).

What's next? Who knows.

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I didn't, nobody wants to hire me :(

 

It started with making mods for a game, that gave me the game dev bug. So I decided to spend £30k to go to university, after graduating top of my class (with the highest level of Bsc Degree) I wait for a company to finally want me. that, or kickstarter I guess :/

 

 

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Learned C++ during high school years, made a Half-Life mod during University years. During university, I heard that a nearby game developer had visited the students in the "games" course to look for interns. I rang them up the next week and asked for an interview, which they agreed to. Traveled the 3 hours to their studio, and they seemed impressed by my C++ knowledge and my experience with that mod (gameplay, AI, graphics, networking, UI, paticle systems, level design, art workflows, plus working with a multi-disciplined team), so they gave me a job a week later. Making that mod for 4 years in my spare time turned out to be way more valuable than my entire degree!
 

What a year!  Thrilling highs, terrifying lows, and zero games made.

In my first 4/5 years in the industry, I worked on games based around: Stargate SG-1, Jaws, Star Wars, an original car-chase game, ESPN, an original exploration game, and National Geographic but none of them were released! It took 5 years of cancellations until I finally got my name on a shipped title.

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I was actually attempting to "get in", so to speak, for several years, without much luck.

 

The last couple of years, another developer funded a small racing game project I had started, and so it became more serious. It will be released hopefully in a couple of months.

 

http://hyperdrive3d.com/

 

In the meantime, it apparently made for a good portfolio piece, so, though a recruiter and after multiple interviews/tests, I landed a job at Bohemia Interactive Simulations.

 

Though, nothing is certain yet, per company policy I'm still under a 3-month trial period(it's still my first month), so, we'll see. :)

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