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wallacekcy

Advice on roles

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Hi,

 

I have just managed to land my first job in the gaming industry, which I will work as a mid level gameplay developer for a pretty well known game company. Prior to this I have worked as a software engineer in a Computer Graphics focused software development house for around three years. I have always had a passion for Computer Graphics, and always wanted to work on the graphics in the game industry.

 

Now, gameplay programmer, as far as I know, only really work on the interaction between the players and the games, such as game mechanics, UI, AI, etc..., correct me if I am wrong here. I asked if there would be any tasks related to Computer Graphics during the interview, and the answer was a flat out no. I have accepted the offer nevertheless, due to my lack of experience in the game industry, so I thought I could do with a couple of games under my resume.

 

Now here's my worry, that my career path is heading completely tangential to the direction I want to head. I understand that if I keep on developing graphics demo's, I would still be able to catch up, but is that sufficient for me to switch to an engine programming role or a graphics programming role?

 

I think people usually look for people who had experience in such role, rather than in other roles, I am not really sure. Are programmers able to switch between teams easily? I'd imagine not every programmer would be able to switch to something like a physics role without a pretty steep learning curve that companies usually cannot afford.

 

 

Any advice is appreciated.

 

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Might you become pigeonholed as a gameplay programmer? Yes. That's possible. But at the company where you've been hired, at this time, you'll be filling a need they have. Do a good job at it, and look for opportunities to volunteer for graphics-related tasks when your workload permits.

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In my experience, you don't need to worry too much. Make sure your leads/producer know that you're always interested in doing more of the graphics stuff, and I'm sure some opportunities will come your way. If you show capability then a sideways move to keep you happy would probably not be difficult to get after project or two.

 

That's based on my experience in small to mid developers though. Might be a different story in a very large company where bureaucracy and HR can often get in the way of things.

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It is fairly rare to get a job in a specialist role as an entry level candidate. If someone is hiring for an AI specialist, or a networking specialist, or a graphics specialist, they are almost never looking at entry level for that position.

 

Don't worry about it.

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