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jenson001

How valid is freelance experience in good game developing companies?

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Hi friends, 

 

I am a recent college graduate. I have learned game development myself through online videos and books rather than going to institutes. I have a little experience doing freelance jobs for my friends and some online online freelance opportunities. Now I would like to work for any reputed game developing company to secure a steady income. I have contacted a  professional job recruiters in Toronto named The Executive wing to know about it and they suggested that experience is important in this industry. Though freelance experience is good, they say company job experience may have higher value. Do I have a chance to get a good job in gaming industry with my limited freelance experience? I would appreciate any sort of advice.

 

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This is the toughest stage but still very feasible. 

Are you a programmer or an artist? 

 

Either way you've got to build a portfolio to show potential employers.

 

While continuing with online tutorials and books, start a little but well thought-out, purposeful and ambitious project. 

 

When you get the project to a fairly advanced stage, you should include both your project and your freelance work into the compilation for your portfolio and begin to apply for Junior and entry-level roles.

 

Don't be discouraged if you don't get through to the interview stage or don't get past the first interview. Always ask for feed back so you can see how to improve yourself for the next role you apply for 

 

If you want to review your interview performance you can post the challenges here and the experts here would help you analyse your performance and guide you on how to improve next time

 

Same with your project, if you are stuck or have any problems post here for solutions

 

 Good luck, keep working hard and I hope you get a great job soonest

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0. How valid is freelance experience in good game developing companies?
1. I am a recent college graduate. I have learned game development myself through online videos and books rather than going to institutes.
2. I have a little experience doing freelance jobs for my friends and some online online freelance opportunities.
3. Now I would like to work for any reputed game developing company to secure a steady income. I have contacted a professional job recruiters in Toronto
4. and they suggested that experience is important in this industry. Though freelance experience is good, they say company job experience may have higher value.
5. Do I have a chance to get a good job in gaming industry with my limited freelance experience?


0. It's valid, depending on the details (see above replies).
1. What degree did you earn in college?
2. Work for your friends is of questionable value (especially if the employer is aware that they were your friends). Was that paid work? Those online freelance jobs, were those paid work? Will those hirers speak glowingly of your work when asked by a new employer?
3. Recruiters is the wrong way to go. Employers have to pay extra to a recruiter, and are not likely to hire a raw graduate through a recruiter. You need to apply directly, without going through a recruiter.
By the way, I assume you live in Toronto if you are applying to companies in Toronto? Location, location, location. Read the FAQs. http://www.gamedev.net/page/reference/faq.php/_/breaking-into-the-industry-r16
4. They're right.
5. A chance, yes. Anything is possible (with two exceptions).

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If the freelance work was paid then you could put it on your resume.  But even if paid, if the game(s) never got released or if your friends didn't have some kind of registered company then it gets kind of sticky as to whether or not it is 'professional' work to be put on a resume.  Either way that work can go to your portfolio.  To a recent graduate your portfolio is more important anyway.  Companies know that graduates have little to any real world experience so they look to see what kind of work you have done in your portfolio. 

 

Lots of graduates get jobs in the industry with no previous experience.  So don't worry too much about it.  Just make sure that your portfolio is strong and that your basic skills are sharp.  It can be a multi month process to get a job in the industry so don't fret too much if you don't have something lined up quickly.  Keep applying to other places and use the free time to improve your skills.

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Do I have a chance to get a good job in gaming industry with my limited freelance experience? I would appreciate any sort of advice.

 

Yes, you have a chance, as others pointed out.

 

The key thing is that you do not exist in a vacuum.  There are many other people out there who are also competing for these jobs.

 

Employers sift through the applicants they have at the time they have a need.  If they only have a small number of local applicants, say less than five, they'll likely bring them all in.  If they have an enormous pile of applications they'll sift through them.

 

 

Considering that, you may have a stellar resume and great work history, but because of reasons completely outside your control  --- perhaps a nearby studio recently closed down --- there may be better applicants available so you don't get the job.

 

Alternatively, you may have mediocre resume and poor work history, but because of limited supply of workers you may be the best applicant of the pool. In that case it is a great opportunity to build your experience and push your own limits.

 

You don't exist in a vacuum and you cannot control those external factors. Sometimes it is hard for even for experienced developers to find a job, sometimes it is easy for everyone including those with no real experience.

 

 

Studios rarely hire raw entry-level workers. Normally they have some things they need to get done and they want to hire people who have been recently working in those specific things. Generally when looking for a few people there are several people with years of industry experience in the pile of applications. Generally also there are a few local recent graduates with amazing portfolios. The big benefit of raw entry-level workers is that they are generally far cheaper than experienced developers, and (unfortunately) they are more easily abused. Be cautious and look for signs that the studio abuses young workers with 'crunch' and unpaid overtime, look for a studio that is good but wanting to save money by hiring less experienced developers. 

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First of all thank you so much for helpful replies. I graduated in computer science. I am a programmer, not an artist. All of my freelance works are paid although discounts were given for works done for friends. All of my friends who I worked for, have registered companies and I am credited for the work done in their websites, which I hope can be useful. Once again thank you for the replies and as you all suggested, I will keep my hopes up :) .

 

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