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Default If you could get a job making RPGs…

May 26th, 2009, 23:44
Looks like it's time to start looking for a new job. Crap. And the habit into which I seem to have fallen (if two go-arounds count as a habit) is to start off looking at the game industry… Then have a sudden (and brief) fit of sanity and accept an offer from a former co-worker.

First time around, I was looking at Bethsoft. Mind you, this was a year or so before they squeezed out the big O, so I call that an opportunity best skipped. (Also, pro-tip to job hunters: they can't contact you if you put the wrong number in your contact info. Proofread!) Three years later, I started poking Junction Point, only to watch in horror as they were eaten by a giant mouse. And now, it may be time again…

So as a pleasant thought to take my mind off, you know, stuff, I'm trying to think of an RPG company that makes games I like, and… uh… Man, I can't think of any. Not one. Used to be plenty of studios I liked, but they're all dead. Or they went the way of Bethsoft. Or how Obsidian has proven that they are not Black Isle. Besides, California?!? No thanks.

The only guys I can think of are indies like Basilisk (maybe I oughta drive across town and hassle them). The closest to a pro house I can think of is that shindig Stardock is starting up, and that's only because the premise sounds promising ("Like Baldur's Gate, only turn based!"). And while Michigan is darned close, will there be anything left after the auto industry finishes collapsing?

So while I'm waiting for another former co-worker to offer me a chance at sanity (I hope), are there any other RPG devs in the States worthy of ignoring my resume?

Sure, this thread's mostly for chuckles, but I'd done insaner things. (No, I'm not telling.)

Also, perverse irony: this morning that book I ordered on programming PS3's showed up in my mailbox. Damned ill omens. That's what I get for even thinking about consoles.

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chase away the hoofed liar.
Roof and doorway, block and beam,
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May 27th, 2009, 01:39
Have you considered moving to Europe where they are doing some really interesting and innovative things with games!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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May 27th, 2009, 11:07
I used to dream about a job in the industry - but then it became Hollywood 2, and now I dream about actually making it on my own.

Unfortunately, I'm apparently too lazy to work sufficently hard - because I never seem to find the time to be creative these days. I've got so many projects that never got finished, and my current one is still in its infancy. But I've sort of run out of excuses.

Technology and tools are at such a level, that the sky is literally the limit. With C#, XNA, Photoshop, 3D studio, and software of similar such power - there's really no excuse for me NOT to make SOMETHING.

Oh well, we'll see.
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May 27th, 2009, 20:32
They say most people get their next job through some kind of personal connection. If that's true, then working that network would be your best bet.

But if you want to evaluate what the game industry has to offer, then there's nothing like face time. I would call every head of development at every game company and ask them for two minutes of their time. In that two minutes, without describing yourself, tell them what you can do for them.

If that leads to a conversation, great. If not, fine…move on to the next. With any luck you'll end up with a half-dozen job interviews. Get as many of those companies to fall in love with you as you can. That way you'll find out all about them. Then decide.

My two cents.

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May 28th, 2009, 20:13
If you're going to get a job in the industry, you need to find a company that makes games you like, and work on a game you want to play. Thing is, I was looking around, and there's no company that excites me any more. And I have yet to find the time or enthusiasm to install Witcher, Drakensang, or any of the other games I've bought in the last year or two. Any more, the aggravations of trying something new outweigh the effort. Having another go at Daggerfall, BG, Thief, or even grinding another seraphim to 100+ in Sacred1 is much more appealing.

I'd rather play a Wizardry clone than anything I'm seeing on the store shelves these days. Midlife gamers crisis, maybe?

Hammer, anvil, forge and fire,
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Roof and doorway, block and beam,
chase the Trickster from our dream.
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May 28th, 2009, 22:08
Hmm, the only person making a Wizardry Clone lives lives somewhere in Australia. I don't think you're willing to work that far away.

I understand you feelings I was laid off from the Software Company (*AP) I worked for due to Economic conditions. It took about 2 months to get a Job working for a Business Partner of the Company that let me go.

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May 29th, 2009, 09:19
Why be so picky, i mean - go w/ someone in the game industry period just to get some work, so you get paid, and some on-the-job experience. If youre sitting around waiting for "the one", it's just like relationships, chances are youll be sitting around waiting forever. And if you dont have any experience, chances are "the one" very well may not be interested.

"Yeah, I uh played your game and really liked it. Hire me." Yeah.

From what Ive read, the best way to get in if youve got no real game industry experience is to start making some killer mods, scenarios, modules whatever for games. Produce something impressive, using someone's game, and hopefully other people like it too.
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May 29th, 2009, 22:35
Sound advice, though I'd add one important detail: finish whatever you start. Anyone can start a mod, but finishing one is what will get your foot in the door for an interview. If all you can show are incomplete mods, you will be ignored.

At this point, I have plenty of things for the "Hey, look at me!" attention gathering. For me personally, however, the question is whether I want to continue pursuing indie stuff in my spare time, or make a full-time job of it. Unfortunately, my current job (for the next 60 days) has eaten most of my life for the past year, so I haven't been able to do much of the indie thing. Leaving me tired and cranky. But mostly tired.

Hammer, anvil, forge and fire,
chase away the hoofed liar.
Roof and doorway, block and beam,
chase the Trickster from our dream.
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May 31st, 2009, 23:08
If you consider both Bethesda and Obsidian beneath you, then I doubt anyone in the industry is going to be up to your standards.

BioWare's games are not an exact perfect fit for the games I want to play. That said, I GET PAID TO MAKE VIDEO GAMES. Even if I don't like every aspect of the plot structure or the combat system, it beats the crap out of writing technical documentation or marketing copy.
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May 31st, 2009, 23:55
None of the major developers or publishers put out games exactly as I like, but I'd still jump at a shot in the design department. Bethesda, as much as I've disliked their current run of games, is going strong, and will probably have a solid hit if/when Elder Scrolls V comes out. Possibly a Fallout 4 as well. So if you can get in the door there, that would be a good place to start; they have good prospects for remaining stable in the next few years.

Alternately, start your own company. Sure, you might not be able to eat for a couple of years, but who needs food?

It was the night before Hogswatch…

I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity - Edgar Allan Poe
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June 1st, 2009, 06:58
Originally Posted by PatrickWeekes View Post
If you consider both Bethesda and Obsidian beneath you, then I doubt anyone in the industry is going to be up to your standards.

BioWare's games are not an exact perfect fit for the games I want to play. That said, I GET PAID TO MAKE VIDEO GAMES. Even if I don't like every aspect of the plot structure or the combat system, it beats the crap out of writing technical documentation or marketing copy.
I think people are different when it comes to WHY they do something, at least that's how I see it.

When I was a kid, dreaming about working in the gaming industry, I had no concept of the realities of business - nor had it "evolved" to what it is now.

I, personally, have no idea why anyone would WANT to get paid to make video games, unless those video games are of the kind that takes genres forward or evolves gaming in some way. Not that there's anything wrong with that kind of job, or that it's beneath any of us - because even talking about being beneath or above in terms of an entertainment industry is pretty silly. But to me, working for Bethesda or Bioware would be just another job - making ends meet. The only problem I'd have, is that I'd be aware I was actively supporting a direction that I personally consider destructive to what I want gaming to be about. Since it's my passion, I don't think I could really enjoy working on some game, like the next big AAA thing. Sure, it'd probably be creatively interesting - but there are many things like that, but it'd never be with full creative control. That's why I prefer doing everything according to my own wishes - no matter if I ever get anything done or not.

I just need what I do to make sense to me, personally, which is why I couldn't stay on working the in private sector - and why I'm now working in an effort to make a difference other than how much money some random company earns.

Naturally, much of that has to do with my background and the cultural differences where I come from. I don't think highly of "the american dream" nor do I see money as a healthy replacement for actual needs. So, I guess there is that.
Last edited by DArtagnan; June 1st, 2009 at 08:39.
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