Finding Your First Job
|Photo Credit: Ivan Radic
Students or recent grads that I meet often ask me how to start-out in the games industry (or creative industries more generally). Typically I give the same advice so I thought it might be useful to share it here.
1 - Show that you can be flexible. People hiring for junior roles don't expect you to be an expert (even if they hope you'll become one later) but they do like you to be adaptable, willing to pitch-in anywhere you're useful and be able to understand the disciplines of the people you're working alongside.
- Want to be a coder? Then make a game (or more!) and show it to as many people as you can for feedback. It doesn't matter much what you build it in - Unity, Scratch, GameMaker? I believe a recent Big Indie Pitch winner was built in Construct 3. Partner-up with an artist and a sound designer to show you can work in a team, or just do it all yourself to show your breadth of knowledge - no-one's going to expect it to be great art, just try and create something that's fun.
- Want to write? Then write a basic setup and then use one of the many freely available text adventure engines to build a game based on it. That way you get to show your creativity at the same time as an understanding of what's involved in making a game.
- Want to make music or sound? Put a collection of work together in a variety of styles and then use that to put a 45-60-second sound-reel together which you can quickly and easily share with anyone you meet.
- The first apologised, said they were busy with a deadline and asked if I could come back another time.
- The second brought me in, spent about three hours talking me through what they did and exactly how they worked before wishing me good luck and saying they'd bear me in mind if anything came up.
- The third made me a cup of tea, told me all about their business and - after I'd shown them my portfolio - offered me a paid internship starting on the following Monday.