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Moving away from the games industry

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#1 staticVoid2   Members   


Posted 03 March 2014 - 02:59 PM



I've been working for a games company for the past two years (programming) and I've recently applied for a new job in a software firm which does web development using java EE.


The reason I applied for the job was mainly because it was in my home country and that I've been finding it very difficult recently to live in a place where the culture is so different from my own.


I have an interview with this company next week but I don't if moving away from the games industry is the right decision, there are lot of pros and cons I can think of for moving and for staying, namely things like property prices are a lot cheaper, salary will most likely be higher but at the same time I almost feel like I am throwing in the towel with the games industry.


I was wondering if anyone here has had a similar experience? and how different a software firm is to a games company? (I know I probably have it quite easy not having to wear a suit and tie etc.)


Any advice?



#2 frob   Moderators   


Posted 03 March 2014 - 03:44 PM

I recommend you get a copy of the book "What Color Is Your Parachute?".


You will probably find multiple copies at your local library, as well as recent copies at book stores. It has been out for a long time so you can visit most used book stores and find a bunch of copies for cheap.


If you don't have time to read the whole thing, look for the section where the author discusses the flower diagram. Some editions it is in an appendix, other editions it is within the main content.  You are looking for this part


Then work through the process described in the book to build your diagram. It can take some serious work, some people take multiple weeks of soul-searching to figure out their personal answers.


If you have worked through the process carefully, you will discover a highly personal diagram that lets you see:


* Where you want to be geographically, and why

* Passions and interests you want to follow, and why

* People and environments you want to work with, and why

* Values, purposes, and goals you have in your life that will affect your work, and why

* Working conditions you want, and why

* Levels of responsibility and Salary that describe both reasonable values and ideal values

* The skills and traits that you feel define who you are as they relate to the six areas above


When you take those collectively it can be an incredibly powerful (and sometimes overwhelming) view of yourself. 





With that in hand I think the answers to the questions you asked, including the pros and cons as they apply directly to you, will become immediately visible.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I occasionally write about assorted stuff.

#3 frob   Moderators   


Posted 03 March 2014 - 03:47 PM

Also, I'm not quite sure this is an ideal fit for the Lounge. Moving to the "Breaking In" section, although this might almost be a "Breaking Out" post.

Check out my book, Game Development with Unity, aimed at beginners who want to build fun games fast.

Also check out my personal website at bryanwagstaff.com, where I occasionally write about assorted stuff.

#4 Tom Sloper   Moderators   


Posted 03 March 2014 - 08:08 PM

Any advice?


It's not clear what kind of advice you're looking for. My advice is to ask a clearer request for advice.

And I like frob's book suggestion.

-- Tom Sloper
Sloperama Productions
Making games fun and getting them done.

Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice.

#5 alnite   Members   


Posted 03 March 2014 - 11:31 PM

I am not in the game industry right now.  I switched around 4 years ago, after working on a failed game startup with crazy long hours.


I do not regret switching away.  However, that does not mean that I hated or gave up game industry completely.  There are moments where I would like to make a game, but it'd be my own game, not someone else's.  So you do not have to give up your passion in games.


Switching away also allows you to see what everyone else has been doing in the enterprisey technology -- what technology, tools, and practices they use.  Gee, DB, enterprise solutions, cloud technology, Big Data, Hadoop.  Even though some people may find them boring, I don't.  It's really up to your personality.


My lifestyle since then has changed a bit.  I play less and less games, because my crowd at work are naturally more diverse.  When I moved away, I realized game industry is a very exclusive community.  They love playing games, they love seeing pretty graphics, and they discuss games.  It's a very adorable community, and I meant that in a good way.  There are also some that are on the extreme side.  Hearing stories that you have to be a serious player of LoL if you work at Riot Games sound ridiculous to me now.  Moving away from it, if anything, actually benefits my perspective of the industry, and I could reapproach it later, if I want to, with a fresh pair of eyes and knowledge.

#6 Buster2000   Members   


Posted 04 March 2014 - 02:36 AM

I moved away from the games industry into finance when all the games companies in the UK started to close down.

The biggest advantages are:

  • Much much higher salary (3 - 4 times what is currently offered as a CTO position in the games industry).
  • Bigger Bonus
  • Better methodologies, better code quality, less hacks
  • A lot easier to find work, move jobs, advance your career, move into mangement.
  • A lot easier to experiment with multiple programming languages, APIs platforms.
  • No crunch, no weekends, no forced overtime.

The biggest disadvantages are:

  • Once you leave the games industry for a few years it is very difficult if not impossible to get back in unless you go indie.  (You think breaking in as a newb was difficult? this is worse).
  • There is a lot of Kudos that goes with being a games programmer that you just don't get making applications.
  • Outside the games industry there tends to be a lot more meetings and time management reports and other bullshit
  • You will really miss working in the games industry.

Edited by Buster2000, 04 March 2014 - 02:37 AM.

#7 emcconnell   Members   


Posted 04 March 2014 - 06:55 PM

I've left and re-joined. I left f2p mobile games and went to a 3d printing company. Now I'm going back to gaming and working with autistic kids making therapy video games.


I haven't found it hard to re-join the game industry. Having small indie projects on the side is more than enough to justify your passion and will lead to game companies actually coming to you. I recently turned down a technical designer position at a major AAA company after not being in the industry for a year (I can't work for a company in which EVERY glassdoor review says it's the worse job ever haha).


I think the archaic idea of "If you leave the industry they'll never take you back" shouldn't apply anymore. Some companies might think that but those are the companies that aren't going to pay you anything, work you to death, leave your names off the credits and lay off 90% of the talent. You don't want to work for them anyways. I've really enjoyed working a stress free 9-5 and working on my own games on the side.

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