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Elijah Chapman

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About Elijah Chapman

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    Game Designer
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  1. Elijah Chapman

    Introduction and Career Questions

    I've been reflecting today, and realized after reading your comments that pulling myself into two different disciplines isn't going to get me anywhere fast. To add a little more specifics to the conversation, I've got four years and some change experience working in unity, most of those experiences were with teams (including one larger scale yet-to-be-released indie project). Across those teams I gained a lot of leadership experience, in the formal definition of the term, and I also handled most of the heavy feature implementation, (ai behaviors, pathfinding, ability modules, etc). Most of the teams I worked on were during my degree program, if that has any bearing on the conversation. Having said that, I will be focusing my efforts on things that demonstrate my design abilities. It seems that one of my misunderstandings was that prospective employers wouldn't take my work seriously if it wasn't shown within the context of a full game, so thank you very much for clearing that up! I've worked a lot on different sorts of design documentation in the past, from small concept proposals, to technical documents on specific features, to full game design documents. I'm really proud of my previous work in these areas, and very confident in my ability to do that sort of work in the industry, but I'd like to work up some updated examples. If I could impose just a bit further, have I interpreted your advice correctly, and would you be willing to take a look at some of my work when I have completed these examples? Thank you all very much, your advice has been invaluable, and it's really helped me make sure that I'm not spending effort on things that won't help very much.
  2. Elijah Chapman

    Introduction and Career Questions

    I clearly still have a long way to go, and a lot to learn, but I'm committed to finding a place for myself in the industry. In the immediate future it seems a good course of action might be getting involved with a team to do something tangible. I noticed that there are some boards here for those purposes, would that be a good place for me to start? Additionally, I've been intentionally somewhat vague about my specific skills and contents of my portfolio, but if it would be of any help I would be happy to share those. Thank you again for your willingness to help!
  3. Elijah Chapman

    Introduction and Career Questions

    Thank you for the great replies gentlemen. To be a bit more specific, I am interested in doing either design or programming, I understand that it would be unusual to be in a position to be doing both. My degree is in design, and I have done a lot of work and would be comfortable in that position; but I also have a computer science background, which made it a bit easier for me to tackle the majority of the programming for the projects that I have worked on so far, compared to the people I was working with. This led to me, in almost all of my projects thus far, being the person who's figuring out the implementation of features, dealing with bugs, etc. All pretty normal fare. There's a bit of a mismatch between the skills, when working solo I find it very difficult to stretch myself design wise without completely outstripping my ability to actually build what I've designed, but I have taken recent steps to rein myself in on both fronts, simply so that I can have finished games to show. Hopefully this is the correct approach, because I have nearly thirty larger scale projects that got to various stages of completion, before I ran into something that was simply beyond my abilities at the time, and I didn't want to continue adding to that list. I should probably also mention that I do have some work experience in the industry, I was contracted as a programmer to an (as of now) unreleased project, and worked on it for more than a year until it became untenable to keep up with that, finishing my degree, and dealing with my health. From my understanding, there are far more programming jobs than design jobs, so I've been trying to hone my skills such that I'm a strong applicant for those positions. The most important thing I could say about myself is that while I may not have every one of a laundry list of disparate prerequisite skills, I learn quickly, and work hard. Hopefully I'll be able to find a position for myself in which I can be interacting with people who are much more capable than me, and can accelerate my growth by learning from them. Now for some specific replies and questions: @Kylotan Thank you for your reply, I always appreciate an opportunity to learn be more precise in my speech. I've noticed a fair amount of industry professionals speaking about how, particularly for programming positions, the job listings tend to include a wish list, and that the company doesn't necessarily expect an applicant to be able to do literally everything on the listing. Because of this, it has been encouraged that prospective employees just give it a go anyway, and see what happens. Now certainly I wouldn't ever want to find myself in a position where I get hired into a job I'm simply not capable of performing, but in a general sense would you say that you agree with the dynamic, and should I be perfectly strict in regards to what I can do vs. what the listing states? @Tom Sloper Thank you as well for your reply, and thank you for being very clear! I will certainly take a look at the resources on your website. As for my portfolio, what exactly makes it "strong"? Currently I have design documentation, level designs, links to some finished projects, and I'm working as we speak to finish some small projects for inclusion on my portfolio. What sorts of things would be both achievable, and make the best impression, considering that I intend to apply for both design and programming positions based on my portfolio. Are the people who would be evaluating my portfolio going to make judgments about my abilities based on the art (or lack thereof) of my projects? How much should I aim to have? As for location, I live effectively in the middle of nowhere, so remote work would be nice but I am always open to relocation as a matter of necessity.
  4. Hello everyone, I'm excited to have finally worked up the courage to participate in this community, I look forward to meeting you all! My name is Elijah, and I'm a somewhat-recent graduate from a game design bachelor's program. I was aware before I started that career prospects in the game industry could seem pretty challenging for a newcomer, and figured I'd be up for the challenge. In the year or so since I graduated, I've worked on several projects, mostly by myself, and run into roadblocks of one sort or another on each of them (mostly relating to scope, but also some things that I'll mention in a bit). Because of this, I have some things, but not much, on my portfolio to show for my efforts. I can speak more about any of these things at length if it helps, but my general concern and line of question is around how exactly I should gauge my current status, competencies, contents of portfolio, etc. My primary studies were as a designer, and I'm very comfortable doing that sort of work, but I also have a good deal of experience doing development out of necessity. To be direct, what exactly should I be capable of to be confident in my capacity to get hired, and perform well in my position? I've had so little dialogue with people in the industry around this that I effectively have no idea of how my current capabilities measure up to what employers would expect from me. Maybe that's the wrong question entirely, let me know if that's the case. My goal here is to become better informed, know what my next steps should be, and hopefully gain some confidence in the somewhat terrifying (to me) job market. Wouldn't hurt to meet some new people either. I can provide skills, portfolio website, resume, etc. at request, but at the time of writing I'm not entirely sure what would be most needed, and I hope not to clutter up the post unnecessarily. I anticipate your feedback, and hope I haven't done too poorly trying to jump into a new community.
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