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About MAEnthoven

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  1. Requesting a resume critique

    Hey Elijah! I just recently got into the games industry, but have already been pretty critical of resumes we receive. Know that most companies get [i]hundreds[/i] of resumes per day, so me being critical is just that. [quote]Seeking an entry level position or internship as a software engineer or game designer.[/quote] This is totally bogus. - First, software engineering and game design are two [i]completely[/i] different disciplines. Software engineers are programmers, while game designers do very little programming in comparison. - Second, game design isn't an entry level position. Saying that you're seeing an "entry level position" in game design is completely hypocritical because that position does not exist. - Third, this is about you, and it should be about the company. What are you going to bring to the table? Think of it from a recruiter's standpoint. They have recruiting "objectives" to fulfill for the company, and your objective should perfectly mesh with theirs. For education, I would not include your GPA. Your GPA matters if you're in college applying for your first job. After that, it ceases to matter. If you have some outstanding GPA or received honors based on grades, you can include it, but anything less than a ~3.5 and you should probably pass on it. Purely a curious note, but are you 100% sure you're allowed to talk about everything on your resume? Some of the stuff seems borderline proprietary. I'd check! Your published projects are cool, but should be condensed down quite a bit. A lot of them are [i]huge[/i] bullet points that no one is going to read. Not only that, but you list them in the wrong order - Series of Tubes and Simon Evolution should be up at the top. "Projects in Progress" are total BS. If they're not finished, don't list them. You'll get a chance to talk about what you're doing in interviews, but if you don't have a demo or a finished product, don't list it. None of your listings focus on [b]results[/b]. For example, "How many downloads did Series of Tubes get?" Or "What did Universal Video Player [i]do[/i] for the company?" How many people use the "Mobile Physician Search Directories" or "MyHealth" apps? Focus on [i]results[/i] here - how did your contributions make an impact to the company? Most companies are results focused, and your resume doesn't show that. Your website, [url=""][/url], loads absolutely nothing on the front page. You'd easily lose the job here. It reads "Not found. Sorry, but you are looking for something that isn't here. Wanna try a search?" Lastly, nothing on your resume says "gaming." This is probably the most killer, because it looks like you're a skilled programmer, but not a skilled [i]game[/i] programmer. I went through a similar thing with my resume for outstanding results. You should have a section entirely devoted to "Game Experience and Development." Right now, you're just clumping them all together. Despite all of this, I do think your resume is good enough to get into the industry, but you'll have to do some networking. Get started on some awesome gaming project and buy a GDC pass, and start networking. You won't be able to get in without it.
  2. College Major

    It sounds like you're approaching the dilemma very wrong. Neither "major" is going to get you a free ticket in the gaming industry, so when choosing a major, you should be considering what you genuinely enjoy. Don't let grades dictate that either. If you enjoy computer circuitry and hardware, go into computer engineering. If you enjoy programming and software, go into computer science. I got into the gaming industry with a degree in Industrial Engineering (essentially applied statistics). Most people would look at that and go "that's not relevant at all" - I can't program well enough for the industry, and I can't do anything related to art or level design. My main "skill" is giving a thorough business analysis of player data and development processes, and I did enough work on a portfolio to show how I could make UI mods to make systems more efficient. To actually get into gaming, you need to ask yourself "What skills am I going to bring to the industry?" After that, you should ask "How am I going to demonstrate those skills?" To really maximize your chances of getting in, you'll need to do a lot of work outside of your normal courses. If you want to become a coder, you need to program games that work. If you want to be a level designer, you need to make levels using Hammer, or Maya, or some other level design software, and start getting downloads. If you want to be an artist, you need to start making art samples for your portfolio. If you want to be in QA, start writing bug reports. Know that there is no "design" position in which you can just sit around and talk about how the game should be. Every job in the industry pays you because you have a skill, and because you work hard. There is no "sit around and do nothing" job. There are so many ideas for games, improvements to games, etc. that the industry doesn't need to pay people to generate them. Literally, [b]you don't get paid for ideas[/b]. Anyone can come up with ideas for a new "raid boss" or "dungeon boss," and anyone can come up with the ideas for new characters or "champions." The industry pays you for actually having the real skills to implement them. So if you really want to get into the industry, you should get in the habit of brutal hours of tough work. The development side of games is [i]very[/i] different from the consumption side, and you'll need to show recruiters that you're ready to be a developer, and not just a crazed consumer with "good ideas."
  3. The real problem with your portfolio is that you don't have any [b][u]finished projects[/u][/b]. Everything there is just showing how you can program nice <30 second videos. But anyone who knows c++ and spends a tiny bit of time with DirectX, OpenGL, or Unity3D can do that. You're showing the [i]basics[/i], but not real powerful [i]projects[/i]. Make something that people use, or that people will want to use. Make a project that can really "wow" the recruiter with statistics, or at the very least, your knowledge. You want to be able to talk about how many downloads you've got, or at least what skills it demonstrates. Look at this post: [url=""][/url] Notice, his projects are [i]finished projects[/i].
  4. I am in need of some professional help. Please send your valuable comments. To know more about me, kindly click the link below.
  5. Question about me

    My general opinion about your resume: lots of vague, no specifics, and more importantly, no results. When you list off work experience and work history, you should be detailing [i]impacts[/i] - what specifically did you do, and why did it matter. Going on to specifics: - Your objective says "problem solving, and interpersonal skills," which is a bit ridiculous. Every software development position is about solving problems, and interpersonal skills is a checkmark for all business oriented jobs. Not only that, but can you even quantify what a "problem solving skill" is? Programming knowledge is concrete. You should be going about this as "management abilities," if anything. - Your education section is pretty small, and could be expanded out if you wanted to. There's a LOT of whitespace here. Several people like recommending that you list off relevant or interesting courses as an attention grabber, but that's up to you. - "Integrated C++ programs with Java" is very specific, but tell us nothing about your place in the company or what it was doing for the business or project. The sub-point here is the same way: that's great that you can tell us what it is, but you're not telling us what it does. Try this out "[b]Created Critical C++/Java Integration Module for the XYZABC project[/b]" - This implies that you were doing something for the company in addition to your technical competence. - "Developed GUI for the integrated C++/Java programs" - again, it's very specific, but not specific enough and not telling us about the [i]why[/i]. Why did you make this? What was the point? Was someone just throwing busy work at you? Try this out: - "Designed and Programmed GUI for integrated C++/Java programs that increased speed of completing XYZABC task by 20% for the company customer support team. - "Compiled and integrated feedback from customer support team to further increase ease-of-use and speed." The difference is that I'm focusing on more skills (design, programming, compiling feedback) and focusing on results (the goal was to increase ease and speed of completing a task). I'm telling you not just what I did, but [i]why[/i] I did it. - "Implemented Bioinformatics algorithm for Profesor's research" - and what did it do? How did it impact the research? - "Web Development research" - again, there's 0 focus on results. [b] - Leadership Activities[/b] [b] - - - [size="5"]TERRIBLE. Terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible.[/size][/b] If they started reading here, your resume goes in the trash instantly. - - - You don't list [i]anything[/i] that you've done as a leader. Tell us SPECIFICS. Why are YOU better than some other leader? I've got an application from Joe Bob here, and he says that because he was the leader, he reduced organization costs by 30%. Meanwhile, you've just monitored and coordinated some activities. I'm sure ANYONE in your group could do that. - - - [b][u]What did you do? Why do YOU matter? What's SPECIAL ABOUT YOU?[/u][/b] - Technical Skills: is this really all you know? - Activities and Interests: got anything [i]really[/i] interesting here? Are you a Scuba Diver? A Pilot? An intense Skiier? Anything that's actually interesting? Traditionally, these sections are used as conversation starters. Someone looks over your resume and gets to the bottom and thinks "woah that's cool." Neither of your things invoke that response.
  6. Portfolio of a Game Designer

    I'll be the one to crush your dreams, since no one else seems to want to give out a reality check here... "Designer" is a vague position that offers nothing tangible. No matter what your position is, you're always designing elements of the game. Artists are designing art assets. Sound Engineers are designing sound files. Level Designers are designing levels. Writers are designing stories. Producers are putting their input into all of the above. You can't just say "I want to be a designer" without something marketable. The position of "sit around and think about ideas for games" [b]does not exist[/b]. It just doesn't. Think of how businesses in general work: you get paid for possessing a skill set. The generation of game ideas [i]is not[/i] a skill set because [i]everyone[/i] in the industry has that skill. Saying "I have good gaming ideas" as a game developer is equivalent to saying "I know how comma's work" as an English writer - it's not a skill, it's a check mark. You need a skill that's valuable, and you need to prove its value [i]before[/i] getting a job. Ideas aren't valuable. There are millions upon millions of ideas out there, and the odds that your game idea is actually the next Angry Birds is literally one out of a billion (and if you really think your idea is the next Angry Birds, why would you give it away for just a salary?) Here's the point: what do you think your job is, and why can't you do it now? Seriously, imagine who your future boss is, and what tasks he's going to give you, and [b]do them[/b]. To give two brief examples: - I got a job as a Producer, starting out with systems. For me, I pictured my future boss as someone who wanted UI elements that enhanced system flow, so I went out and made a few World of Warcraft and Warhammer add-ons that did just that. I went through feedback iterations, released them to the public, sent out updated versions, and eventually had the opportunity to show them in an interview to the person who would be my future boss. - A guy interviewing the same day was interviewing for an artist. He had done the same thing - pictured his future boss who wanted completed art projects using the latest tools that were based on rendered 3d models, so he went out and made them. He then released them to the public to get feedback, incorporated the feedback, and created a very polished portfolio that was truly impressive. You need a valuable skill. Think in terms of money - what can you do that adds real financial value to a game. Your portfolio should say "I am worth money because I have a unique skill."
  7. Portfolio

    So, I was a little skeptical at first of these things: - [color="#1C2837"][size="2"][/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"]Is this really the domain name you want to be associated with? It's a cool domain name for an artist, but at the same time, you've clearly done more than just "sculpt hell." Regardless, I don't think this makes for a professional first impression of who you are and what you can do.[/size][/color] [color="#1C2837"] [/color] [color="#1C2837"][size="2"] - Organization[/size][/color] [size="2"][color="#1C2837"]Your qualifications are [i]really [/i]impressive for an art position. Your portfolio shows a lot of fantastic skills: technically capable, creative, artistic. But overall, you're lacking the "wow factor" on the front page. It's presented like a blog, and while you mention a few cool things, most recruiters or HR folks aren't going to go much beyond the first page. You should make sure that the first thing they're presented with is something that says "Hey, I can do the job you're looking for." For actual art people, you want your works front-and-center. Personally, I would make a landing page and use sections like "Awards, Works, Resume, Contact."[/color][/size] [size="2"] [/size] [size="2"][color="#1C2837"] - Resume[/color][/size] [size="2"][color="#1C2837"]You should get a resume section exclusive to your website. Going to About --> Resume is confusing. Aside from that, your resume is very poorly organized and is probably the #1 thing working against you.[/color][/size] [size="2"] [/size] [size="2"][color="#1C2837"]Overall, I think your work looks great and you've demonstrated that you have the skills. But I think your main problem is actually getting people to your website. Very few people are going to pick up your resume and actually type in "," so work on that part.[/color][/size]
  8. About You

  9. First Game Industry Interview

    Expect to be grilled on anything technically relevant to either the position or something you list on your resume. You will be expected to both read and write code, so make sure you "brush up" on that if you need to. On the Core Technology team, the #1 thing they want to know is "can this guy actually code what we need?"
  10. Review my resume

    Your objective is wordy: - Seeking an internship for the position of Software Development... - Change to: Seeking a Software Development internship that utilizes my programming knowledge and capabilities. Under your work experience, you still haven't told us what the programs actually did. It's great that you're listing off technical experience, but we still don't have any information about what the program actually [i]does[/i]. Saying "made a program that uses XYZ programming languages" lacks what the program does. Doing better, but still not all the way there.
  11. 2 associates vs a BA

    I'm a bit surprised no one's mentioned the benefits of a BA across multiple industries. While an Associate's Degree for Game Development [i]might [/i]help you get into the industry, it's going to leave you in a hole for a long-term career. Remember that you want more than just a [i]job[/i] in the industry - you want a career. The promotions and raises are going to go to the guys that are the most qualified, and for programmers, a lot of those qualifications revolve around technical expertise. Some of that expertise you can pick up on the job, but a lot of it you will get in school. The other hole of an associate's degree is that it's difficult to apply to different industries. You're putting all your eggs in a very flimsy basket. If you can't get into gaming, you won't have any other potential career paths available to you. I also disagree with the premise that "game designer" is not an entry level position. Right now, no one's stopping you from designing games. Go pick up Valve's Hammer (it's free), or if you're looking for something more intense, pick up Maya (not free). Make a fully functional level for a popular game. Enter it in contests and start winning some. But you have to actually [b]make[/b] something and show that you're capable of the position. To give a few examples: Team Fortress 2 holds map contests every quarter or so. The maps are incredibly well done and polished, consuming over 1,000 hours in just a few months to a single map. Blizzard Entertainment's game designers had a thing about "block outs" in Maya at one of the BlizzCons. Just remember that there is no such job as a "designer" that sits around all day think of game ideas or modifications and telling other people to do them. Video games are a serious industry that only pay you to do things that are "hard" to do. Anyone can come up with game ideas - [b]designers have valuable skills beyond creativity[/b]. Get those skills.
  12. Asking If Companies Need Free Work?

    You should know that, for a lot of companies, you're not part of "free" in any way. Traditionally, interns don't provide much value and generally cost more than they're worth. When you take up a few minutes of your boss' time every day, you're costing the company money.
  13. Great story, good job.
  14. Review my resume

    [font="Garamond"][size="3"] Your objective is unclear and vague and completely focused on you. Your objective should be focusing on what you're going to contribute to the company. Compare these two objectives: [list][*][b]GOOD: [/b]Game design or development position that utilizes my programming knowledge and management abilities while advancing my career in the computer gaming industry.[*][b]BAD: [/b]Game design or development position that advances my career in the computer gaming industry.[/list] The first says why they want me and highlights general skillsets, while the second says what I want. Your education section is wishy-washy. "Third Year Student" doesn't make any sense. They're only going to care about when you graduate. Formatting could also be sexier to preserver vertical space. None of your related experience is actually related. All of your "related experience" stuff is vague, wishywashy, and not result-driven. Talk about what you did that makes you special. How did your projects make impacts to the company? What modules did you specifically create? What were the programs you made? Just taking some more stuff off my resume again: [list][*][font="garamond"][b]GOOD: [/b]Established new company-wide internal bug reporting system on the platform using Apex. Migrated all previous bug reports to new system. Wrote detailed user guide for employees.[/font][*][font="garamond"][b]BAD:[/b] Created new program for employees using Apex.[/font][/list] [font="garamond"]If you're laughing at the bad, look at yours: "Developed software programs for Professors" - how much more vague can you possibly get? The word "software" is redundant here too.[/font] [font="garamond"]Youth of the year - no one cares what happened to you in high school.[/font] [font="garamond"]Comcast scholarships - no one cares[/font] [font="garamond"]Dean's List - no one cares.[/font] [font="garamond"]Co-founding NSA is cool, and should be expanded out more.[/font] [font="garamond"]Game Development - Talk about what you actually DID for your games. Expand this section out. If this section doesn't take up 50% of your resume, it's not big enough.[/font] [font="garamond"]Research - pitiful. This is working against you in its current iteration. Tell us what you did in your research. Describe the methods used. What was YOUR part.[/font] [font="garamond"]Tutor - No one cares.[/font] [font="garamond"]The core problem with your resume is that there's absolutely 0 focus on the skills related to the gaming industry. You list off project "categories" rather than actual projects, and you don't come anywhere close in describing the projects themselves or, most importantly, your contribution.[/font][/size][/font] [font="Garamond"][size="3"] [/size][/font] [font="Garamond"][size="3"][font="garamond"]You need to talk about your contributions, your skillsets, and why you matter. Your resume should read as "Here's my skillset - here's why I matter." Right now, your resume is formatted to be just one in the crowd, or in this case, one in the "reject" stack.[/font][/size][/font]