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Weston Bradford

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  1. Weston Bradford

    My Qs for Game Developers

    Thanks guys. This is great information. I'm considering collecting retirement where I am and moving into my dream job afterward, but we'll see where I land. I've been dancing on this fence for far too long.
  2. Weston Bradford

    My Qs for Game Developers

    For an example I did a quick job search and found "Technical Artist" for Walt Disney Studios which required the following: "Required Education Bachelor’s degree or higher in Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Computer Science or equivalent professional experience" The degree Im working on is called "Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art", my major is "Studio Art", and it has a concentration called "Media Art". Do you think it would be in my best interest to change my concentration to "Graphic Design"? The difference is that "Media Art" has classes in media art, computer imagery, and game design. "Graphic Design" has a bunch of graphic design classes. A link for reference if you want to see what I'm talking about: https://catalog.unomaha.edu/undergraduate/college-communication-fine-arts-media/school-of-the-arts/department-art-art-history/studio-art-ba/index.html#concentrationtext Do you think Disney would be less likely to give me an interview, or the interview would be more difficult because I'd have to explain my degree?
  3. Weston Bradford

    My Qs for Game Developers

    Why is it, would you say, that people aren't interested in staying in the industry when they're older? Maybe because low pay, no management positions available, tired of drawing rocks and crates, tired of job hopping?
  4. Weston Bradford

    My Qs for Game Developers

    Am I correct in assuming that this instability is because studios will hire a bunch of people for a new project, even into "permanent" positions, then lay them off once the project is complete?
  5. Weston Bradford

    My Qs for Game Developers

    Ageism, Benefits, Education, Experience, Locations, Competitiveness, Industry Crossover, Contracts My Big Qs about the game industry before I get into it. I wanted to contact HR from several companies to ask these questions, but I can’t figure out how. I don’t know anyone in the industry. I want my answers straight from the horse’s mouth because I’m in a bit of denial about my ability to join the industry, so here I am. A little about my position. I loved art in high school and I still do projects here and there. I joined the military straight out of high school and am looking at the end of my enlistment (+2 extensions due to my inability to decide what to do with my career). My problem is that I want to change my career field, but the only thing I have interest in is doing digital art (2D, 3D, environment, character, what have you) for a AAA animation or video game company. I realize it will take time to get there. I’ve been so interested that I have experienced emotional stress by the thought that the industry might not be right for me and my family. I’m looking at 3 big options at the moment. 1: Separate from the military with my GI Bill, go to college full time for Media Art and get a part time job. 2: Separate from the military and get a well paying job doing what I do in the military, and slowly work towards games over the next several years. 3: Stay in the military, work on art education and skills, retire in 13 years, then go for games. So here are my questions. Ageism: I’m 26 and would like to get into the industry now, but I likely will be unable to for a few years due to financial trouble. That’s why options 2 & 3 are good. But 3 means I’ll retire from the military at 38. And 2 likely means not making game art a career for another 5 years or so. That makes me worry about my age in the game industry. I’ve seen a disturbing number of articles and posts talking about how there are very few in game development older than 40. I don’t want to work towards a career that wont hire me by the time I’m ready for it, nor do I want to join a field that will be done with me by the time I’m 40. Is all this hype about age discrimination in the game industry really that bad? Is it any worse than any other career field? How many people work in your studios who are 40+, relative to the size of the studio, and what kind of roles do they play? Benefits: I realize these are different company to company, but what is typical? Of smaller companies and of AAA ones? Health insurance, family insurance, education, time off (paid/not paid)? Education: Do game companies typically hire from particaular schools, famous ones, or ones nearby the studio? Or is it solely based on portfolio? I’m enrolled at a state school (UNO) that seems to me has a pretty good Graphic Design/Media Arts program. What might the employer think of state schools? Experience: What kind of experience should I be looking to obtain to get into a AAA studio? What should I have on my resume and in my portfolio? Locations: It looks like 80% of the jobs in the US are in California. Mostly based on the population and cost of living, I’m not sure I want to live there. Will I be hard pressed to find opportunities outside CA? I know there is some stuff near Seattle, WA, which sounds great. Pretty sure there isn’t much here in Omaha, NE. Competitiveness: I know crunch time (whether a management failure or not) is a big thing. I’ve worked 70 hours in a week before and studied on top of it, so I’m no foreigner. Is it a regular thing though? Besides that, what do the managers expect from their employees as far as skills and growth? Do you have to be the best to advance in your career? What does advancement look like? Where is the glass ceiling? Industry Crossover: As I mentioned before, I’m interested in game art as well as animated movie art. I imagine these are so closely related one could readily hop between the two. Is this true, and if not, why? Contracts: Are most game development jobs temp jobs? Will I be hopping from studio to studio for years on end? Are AAA studios like that? It sound like an adventure, but I don’t want to have to move my family every year or two. I thank you greatly for any answers you provide.
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