Are Indie/Mod teams a must ?

polycounter lvl 6
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aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
Hey,
In a way I guess you can say portfolio is all that matters... but I hear both sides to this. Some say this is the way to get a foot in the door and others say different. I am only 18 years and a freshman soon to be sophomore in college. I need advice on what I should do... Should I just take the 3 years till I am out of college and just practice by myself or should I join indie teams? I have been part of some in the past so I know how things work in them.
Do you necessarily need to have a released title or have worked on any mod/indie games to land a job in the industry?

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  • skankerzero
    Team experience is always a plus.

    Lots of lessons are learned when you first work with other people.
  • TrevorJ
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    TrevorJ greentooth
    Hey
    I think working on a mod is a huuge help/bonus that employers look at. Not only does it show some experience in game art, it shows that you can work with others(maybe), and its also good incentive to get things done for a portfolio, if the rest of the team is kind of counting on you to get your stuff done. I think the tough part is finding a decent mod, with at least some level of organization. There are a lot out there. My boss said it was one a definite helper when he was looking at my resume.
  • crazyfingers
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    crazyfingers polycounter lvl 8
    Mod teams can help with motivation and if the mod is relatively well received (little rare but it happens) it can pretty much count as a shipped title on your resume, it always looks good to say i worked on "x". But it's hardly a requirement. Whatever you feel helps you make the best and most relevant art possible is the best road to take. BUUUuuuut... you can also make money working on mods in some cases (wont be much, but it'll get you ramen/ beer money).

    Best advice I can give is get your head out there and see what mods are going on you might be interested in, it rarely hurts to see what's out there and you can do some networking to boot while having some extra motivation to do art. It's also just good to have people to communicate with professionally and your work feels more meaningful.
  • aajohnny
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    aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
    Okay thanks guys, what it I am part of mod teams but they all fail lol, do I still put that on my resume or cv? or leave them out?
  • aajohnny
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    aajohnny polycounter lvl 6
    Hmm makes sense. Thanks :)
  • Kwramm
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    Kwramm greentooth
    aajohnny wrote: »
    Okay thanks guys, what it I am part of mod teams but they all fail lol, do I still put that on my resume or cv? or leave them out?

    yup. reel matters. If the mod failed but you still have some pieces of awesome art from it, show them. If it failed and you got nothing to show, don't mention it (even though sometimes failed projects are the ones where you learn the most ;) )
  • Autocon
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    Autocon polycounter lvl 9
    Its more of the experience you gain of working in a production like environment and working with team members that is the real benefit in working on a mod or with an indie team. At the end of the day all that matters is what YOUR stuff looks like in your personal portfolio.

    Think of failed mod like a badly reviewed game. Maybe the game design was lousy but the art was some of the best. An employer will not look down on you as an artist because the game you worked on sucked. Its more of the work you did to try and help make the game a success.



    All games, mods, schooling, self teaching is all about two things. The amount of work you put into it, and what lessons you learned from the project that really matters.





    Also no, indie/mods are not necessary at all to get your foot in the door.
  • PredatorGSR
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    PredatorGSR polycounter lvl 7
    If you need art in your portfolio you are better off working on personal projects than on a mod team. What working on a mod team does is help you on the resume and interview side. Having real world mod experience to talk about during an interview is huge when you don't have industry experience yet. My first job, I spent probably 70% of my interviews discussing my mod experience as if it was real job experience, and it sold me as someone who knew what he was doing even though I hadn't been paid to make art yet.

    So if you have a solid/kickass portfolio but no experience working on actually making art that has gone into a game, I would definitely recommend mod work. Think of it as an internship. But if your portfolio is weak, work on that first.
  • leilei
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    leilei polycounter lvl 9
    It's all about the leader's motivation to consider, it's what makes this all a hit-or-miss ordeal. The ones that do it for the love of the game end up being more successful (Counter-Strike was built with the love of guns and Rainbow 6's crappy but strivingly awesome online multiplayer, not to mention the 2 leaders actually did stuff) than ones who do it for PR and attention (often with "Valve will buy us we'll be RICH!!!!" as the mind goal, rather than being fresh).

    I know some are still going nowhere for over 8 years still sticking with the latter... shall not name names, but I know one of them tried to assemble a contest here for a project that died soon after.

    And then there's this totally different animal, being open source game projects, where the motivation is mostly about promoting a license or some Free Software philosophy. The crap threshold line is highly differing, but they don't care since the license allows improvement and most assume a "if you build it they will build it" kind of attitude. It's not exactly secure for portfolio doings since then you'll have to give your source PSDs and such to suit some project's GPL license. This is probably the killer of them with the vulnerability of letting your art loose in a modifiable legally derivable fashion. The leaders you'll find there mostly are more about a Free license than a game's creative direction.
  • Tyler
    Leilei: really?

    OP: indie teams give you team experience. Don't think of them as a money maker. But look for the teams that show promise.

    At the end of the day. Most teams are doing it for the fun, with the possibility of selling it fora profit share sort of deal if it's any good. If your looking to make portfolio art, why not make stuff that 'could' make you some money and a job. Instead of art that'll just get you the job.

    Of course pick something that interests you :)
  • Ennolangus
    Autocon wrote: »
    Its more of the experience you gain of working in a production like environment and working with team members that is the real benefit in working on a mod or with an indie team. At the end of the day all that matters is what YOUR stuff looks like in your personal portfolio.

    Think of failed mod like a badly reviewed game. Maybe the game design was lousy but the art was some of the best. An employer will not look down on you as an artist because the game you worked on sucked. Its more of the work you did to try and help make the game a success.



    All games, mods, schooling, self teaching is all about two things. The amount of work you put into it, and what lessons you learned from the project that really matters.





    Also no, indie/mods are not necessary at all to get your foot in the door.

    ^^ this, well said!

    I like the comparison said here that a failed mod is like a badly reviewed game: yea there's tons of games out there we say sucked and review poorly, but developers and artists did work on that game. Some of which who will be proud regardless of it's success.

    I'd say always include the mod work on the resume. Would you not include a place you worked in studio on your resume, even if the game they launched that you worked on sucked? of course not.

    Though you may bump companies/projects off your resume the more you advance, but including them as you start doesn't hurt.


    I don't this it's a 100% you should have mod on your resume, but it doesn't hurt!
  • Klumpmeister
    quick money without the publisher bullshit is always a plus.
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