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Postby MadMind » Mon Nov 05, 2007 3:46 pm

I'm just curious, does anyone know if companies such as Ravensoft and Human Head offer any non-technical more entry-level get-your-foot-in-the-door type jobs which don't require years of school/experience?
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Postby Beer Moon » Tue Nov 06, 2007 9:44 am

In the past I have applied to both as a game tester position which I figured might help me get my foot in the door, but they never really seem to be looking for any.

I would just set up an appt and go talk to someone if you think you have some skills that might be useful. They are generally pretty slim operations though.
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Postby uwstudent » Mon Nov 12, 2007 1:39 pm

Both houses are Development only. That means that all of the corporate backend stuff (legal, marketing, mfg, etc) are done by the publisher (ie Activision). Frankly you need some design/programming skills before they'll even look at you. And to be perfectly honest, you probably need to know the right people. VG design is one of the hottest fields right now and the competition is pretty fierce. Maybe a few years ago you could get in with little or zero experience but I doubt now you could.
Try this article:
http://kennhoekstra.com/musings/getajob.html

(There's also a misconception that just because you play a lot of games means you know how to design one, which is complete bullshit ) :wink:
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Postby Shipley » Mon Nov 12, 2007 6:01 pm

playing a lot of games doesn't hurt though. being well versed in the very successful as well as daring games from the text based adventures of the the 80s to the MMOs of today does mean that you know exactly what games did it right and what did it wrong.

the problem is that unlike music, writing, or even acting, you can't just take the best of what you see and copy it because theres a computer involved that doesn't just spit out a level that you want to look like world 1-2 from Super Mario bros. On the other hand, in 10 minutes or so I can usually copy any guitar riff by ear, or work up passable impression of an actor in a role. games are not as natural as human talent because of years of computer know how. I am sure I could make a kick ass game that would rival even the best this year. Only problem is I lack the computer skills, which is the difference between playing a song on the piano and humming it.
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Postby MadMind » Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:59 am

A number of years ago either Raven or Human Head had an article on their website written by one of their employees about how to get a job in the game industry.
What I remember of the article is that it was incredibly pessimistic and it that it seemed basically meant to ward off anyone searching for jobs as game-testers (which as previously mentioned, neither company offer) and any cock-eyed optomists away from even thinking they have a shot at working in the exclusive field. I mean for video game fans to have the gall to think they actually have a chance to work in the industry!

He went on to make a point of how there is no longer any such thing/position as "video game designer" as in "one person, one vision" of days gone by.
But I say a singular designer leading a team with his/her vision isn't necessarily a thing only of the past and is still something to aspire to.
List Of Video Game Designers
People like Yu Suzuki, Hideo Kojima, Shigeru Miyamoto, Shinji Mikami, David Jaffe, Clifford Bleszinski (Cliffy B), and Tim Schafer lead teams with their vision(s).

It's an unfortunate casualty that the video game industry has morphed into such an elite force of workers. I long for the days of the beginnings of Atari when people were hired off the street, singular designers became rock-stars, and the work vibe was relaxed and fun.
Last edited by MadMind on Wed Nov 14, 2007 2:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Shipley » Wed Nov 14, 2007 9:13 am

http://www.everydayshooter.com/
this game just came out on PS3 and was made by one man.

but thats kind of not the point. games are more like movies which require a lot of people to co-operate. So Miyamoto makes Mario with the help of about 40-50 other people.

the real problem is trying to break into the games industry here is like trying to break into the movie industry here. you want a job as a game designer, go to Seattle. Go to LA. Go to San Fransisco. Go to Boston. Go where lots of games are being made. I hear developers in England are starving for people. get a work visa, and go there. you can't make it in Hollywood unless you actually go to Hollywood.
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Postby MadMind » Fri Nov 23, 2007 1:06 pm

On the subject of singular designers...
Jeff Minter speaks of game dev disillusionment
Maverick indie developer disappointed with Space Giraffe sales, pondered quitting game development.
Jeff Minter, the creator of cult indie games including Llamatron and Revenge of the Mutant Camels, has written on his blog that he feels disheartened by the fact that Frogger outsold his latest title on Xbox Live.
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Postby Shipley » Sat Nov 24, 2007 12:52 pm

Jeff Minter forgot that more people have played Frogger than ever played any of his old games anyway, never mind that Space Giraffe doesn't exactly sound like an awesome game anyway.

I love new games, I love indies, I love fresh stuff. But I own Frogger and not Space Giraffe because dammit, Frogger is still fun and I wasn't impressed by Space Giraffe's demo.
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Postby uwstudent » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:42 pm

Shipley wrote:playing a lot of games doesn't hurt though. being well versed in the very successful as well as daring games from the text based adventures of the the 80s to the MMOs of today does mean that you know exactly what games did it right and what did it wrong.



yea, but you get these kids who have only played video games all their lives and have played EVERY SINGLE GAME EVER MADE and really want a job making games ... then you ask them what a NURBS is and they give you a blank look. Sorry kid, maybe next time.
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Postby Shipley » Tue Nov 27, 2007 12:47 pm

Well that shouldn't matter too much since no PC or console game uses NURBS.

these kids would be better as critics though. far too often I see writers who do not bother to play through the games they're paid to write about. No movie critic gets up after the first hour and says "well, i've seen enough!"
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Postby MadMind » Wed Nov 28, 2007 2:02 pm

Personally I think there are much more important attributes to have to design games over and above technical know-how.
Tech know-how can be learned. Creativity, imagination, and a passion for gaming however...

So NURB you, you mother NURBer.
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Postby Shipley » Wed Nov 28, 2007 3:42 pm

There are certainly lots of developers who could use more 'idea men' to script and conceptualize games while the programmers do the rest.
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Postby zoben » Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:31 am

I work for Human Head. The thing about game testing is that we will bring in several people to test the game towards the end of its development but it's not traditionally a paying gig. At this time much of the art staff has shifted to testing the game since our work is mostly done (except for tweaks and polish). Publishers will sometimes bring in people to test the game and give their opinions, whereas we're focusing on fixing bugs and improving gameplay. There is only truly testable content at the tail end of a long development schedule so it's not really feasible to have a full-time game tester position. For very large companies or publishers who release games every couple of months it could be different, I don't know.

I'm not nearly as eloquent as Kenn from Raven so I'll just agree with most of his points. I knew when I was hired that I was lucky to get into such a competitive industry, but obviously it takes a hell of a lot of hard work. I would never discourage a kid with a passion for games who aims to get into the business. People just tend to stress that it is very competitive so you have to stand out.

PS: I don't know shit about the programming side but for aspiring artists I'll say that we get a lot of our new people from MATC. They have a great animation program there and many of the teachers are acquainted with people from Raven and HH. Sorry to sound like a shill for them, it's just the truth.
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Postby MadMind » Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:14 pm

There was a time (when I was younger) when I thought game testing would be a fun/good job - that time has long past. I'm too old to be a game tester or intern.

I wanna skip the whole school thing to acquire a job I'd enjoy. How about some free on-the-job training? Why? Because I'm special 8)
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Postby zoben » Mon Dec 10, 2007 4:30 pm

If you are special that changes everything! It's a one-way ticket in.
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