How did you get into the industry?

I started a new sticky thread where I want to archive people's stories about getting into the industry.

http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=89972

I'm trying to figure out a good way of running it. I want people to post their own stories so their avatar and signature can be directly associated with the post. The other method was to create a normal thread where people post their story and I cut and paste it into the sticky thread.

Which is better?

I would prefer there not be any discussion in the sticky thread to avoid anything unnecessary. This way the people that need it most can get the information they need asap.
Although, I do recognize that there is a lot of discussion that could be had with the topic.

What do you guys think?

Either way, I would love to hear the stories you guys have. Video game industry or not. These stories are valuable to those on the outside looking in.

Replies

  • thatanimator
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    thatanimator polycounter lvl 6
    penis + mouth = job

    I'm not the only one!


    ..right?




    edit b4ban:
    internship during my final 4 months at school, just continued to full time after that..quit 4 months later and moved to japan..2 years later, moved back..back at square 0..
  • slipsius
    I love the idea of having your avatar/signature linked to your story.

    I think having a non sticky might be good if people want to ask questions about stories, or comment. But i think thats up to you if you want the extra task of copying their story to the sticky.
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    penis + mouth = job

    I'm not the only one!


    ..right?




    edit b4ban:
    internship during my final 4 months at school, just continued to full time after that..quit 4 months later and moved to japan..2 years later, moved back..back at square 0..

    I was expecting, "oh you just walk right in" but ew..o.O

    For me its near impossible getting in to the game industry so I am planning on making my own game studio. Tougher than begging for internship and sucking a dick for it? I think so. :)
  • chrisradsby
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    chrisradsby polycounter lvl 8
    Yeah it's very nice to read about peoples stories, get a little background :) Sticky would be nice, but it's a lot of work copying all that information into the sticky all the time.
  • eld
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    eld polycounter lvl 11
    penis + mouth = job

    I'm not the only one!


    ..right?

    The only way, everyone else is lying!
  • Rick_D
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    Rick_D polycounter lvl 10
    Nitewalkr wrote: »
    I was expecting, "oh you just walk right in" but ew..o.O

    For me its near impossible getting in to the game industry so I am planning on making my own game studio. Tougher than begging for internship and sucking a dick for it? I think so. :)


    or maybe get a better portfolio and apply to a lot of studios?

    don't know why people think making a successul startup is easier than getting a job.
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    Rick_D wrote: »
    or maybe get a better portfolio and apply to a lot of studios?

    don't know why people think making a successul startup is easier than getting a job.

    lol better portfolio, yes it may work for me to make a kick ass 3d/2d portfolio with background of some what 3d animation and more of programming with no +3 years worth of experience. I would give it a try, but I wont get anything.

    I didnt say what I am studying and what I intend to achieve is easier. Its probably something close to going through hell perhaps. But in the end it will pay off, because than I'll know if it works or if it does not with me.
  • rolfness
    eld wrote: »
    The only way, everyone else is lying!

    only one penis?

    Oh and Im not in the industry.. my dream is to pay a bunch of people to make my dream game !
  • Rick_D
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    Rick_D polycounter lvl 10
    Nitewalkr wrote: »
    lol better portfolio, yes it may work for me to make a kick ass 3d/2d portfolio with background of some what 3d animation and more of programming with no +3 years worth of experience. I would give it a try, but I wont get anything.

    I didnt say what I am studying and what I intend to achieve is easier. Its probably something close to going through hell perhaps. But in the end it will pay off, because than I'll know if it works or if it does not with me.

    and this is why this thread is needed. you don't need to be able to do EVERYTHING just to have a good portfolio/get a job :rolleyes:
  • Joshua Stubbles
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    Joshua Stubbles polycounter lvl 12
    CounterStrike and networking. I started off making custom model replacements for CounterStrike. I ran into a char artist in the community named Anderin, who ended up getting a job at a small hole-in-the-wall studio in Illinois. He got me some work with their parent company, doing shit for a military sim. A few months later, I was asked to interview for the game studio itself (Magic Lantern Playware). I got the job. From there it's been all networking in getting a job, not so much actual applying. I've now worked for a handful of small indie devs (@Timegate now) as well as large corporations like IGT and Microsoft. I can easily say I prefer the small studio vibe better. :)
  • Neox
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    Neox interpolator
    rolfness wrote: »
    only one penis?

    Oh and Im not in the industry.. my dream is to pay a bunch of people to make my dream game !


    So how much do you pay?
  • Bigjohn
    I thought about posting my "story", but there's nothing to it.

    Did some figure drawings for fun. Saw that I liked it. Liked the subject matter in games (Orcs and Barbarians and whatnot). Decided to be a character artist. For 3 years I had a crappy job, and in my spare time I worked on my portfolio. Put new stuff in, took old stuff out, and sent out a resume.

    Repeat that for 3+ years, finally got a job.

    Connections didn't help me. Tricks didn't help me. Just worked on my shit until I was hireable.
  • skankerzero
    Bigjohn wrote: »
    I thought about posting my "story", but there's nothing to it.

    Did some figure drawings for fun. Saw that I liked it. Liked the subject matter in games (Orcs and Barbarians and whatnot). Decided to be a character artist. For 3 years I had a crappy job, and in my spare time I worked on my portfolio. Put new stuff in, took old stuff out, and sent out a resume.

    Repeat that for 3+ years, finally got a job.

    Connections didn't help me. Tricks didn't help me. Just worked on my shit until I was hireable.

    I think that's a great story too though.

    You should post it up. Just elaborate a little on some of the details.

    My goal is to get stories of all different kinds up there. I want new people to be able to go in and relate to something someone said. Mainly so they won't feel like they're the only ones going though things.

    Also, a big THANK YOU to the guys that have already posted up there. I really appreciate it a lot! I'm going to sit down and read through them all now.
  • rolfness
    Neox wrote: »
    So how much do you pay?

    eh kinda hard to answer..

    I actually have thought about this quite a bit, Ive funded other projects before (outside games) some did ok others not so good, Ive often thought of starting something small but professional and working with possibly the unity engine for the two major mobile platforms. I know someone in the US already doing this and they themselves have had mixed fortunes (1 top 10 for iOS out of 4-5 attempts).

    But how to go about setting up something like this and structuring it properly (equity sharing probably but even this Im a bit wary of as how to balance pay and equity etc..), choosing the right platform and type of game to develop is a bit of a minefield. The guy I know wasnt in the games industry to start and he said well you kinda just have to learn along the way and suck it and see.. Im not a big fan of expensive turkeys myself and plus I havent had a concept in my head where I thought wow I like this.. lets do this shit.. so still sitting and watching things develop. That friend of mine has quite a bit of cash so can afford to bankroll trial by error method of production.

    I did think about an initial budget, as with investment you do have to be comfortable with what amount of money to put into a project because theres always a very large risk that you'll never see it again. Plus how do you put on a price tag to something when theres so many unknowns. I think it would be better to have an idea and then estimate how much it would cost to bring that idea to life.

    so yeah.. still a dream :P may stay a dream but who knows

    edit

    so my main reason(s) for staying here is
    1 keep in touch with the tech
    2 keep in touch with peeps
    3 great source for games to play...
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    Rick_D wrote: »
    and this is why this thread is needed. you don't need to be able to do EVERYTHING just to have a good portfolio/get a job :rolleyes:

    Lets have more than 100+ successful stories and than we'll discuss why I wont be able to get in to game industry by JUST following the artist's way. :)

    Actually, I am kind of hoping for someone to write a story about him turning from being alone almost anti social. Someone spends most of the time in one room and study all day to become social and successful.

    Shall we?
  • Bigjohn
    Nitewalkr wrote: »
    Lets have more than 100+ successful stories and than we'll discuss why I wont be able to get in to game industry by JUST following the artist's way. :)

    Actually, I am kind of hoping for someone to write a story about him turning from being alone almost anti social. Someone spends most of the time in one room and study all day to become social and successful.

    Shall we?


    I thought I just did that...

    3+ years, spent every moment I had outside of my regular jobs (which I kept just so I can pay bills and eat) on making art. 3 years dude. Nobody said it's easy. And yeah, it's harder than it "should" be in my opinion. But don't tell me it's not possible.
  • Tigerfeet
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    Tigerfeet Polycount Sponsor
    I just wanted to thank everybody who's shared their story already. I really enjoy reading about how other people get their start. The stories of people changing countries are particularly inspiring :) It reminds me that halfway across the US isn't really as far as I think!
  • Geezus
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    Geezus mod
    I decided to follow my childhood dream of making videos games. Having zero artistic "talent", I researched numerous schools. I finally decided on The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

    I spent the next 4 years busting my ass, in and out of school, working on my craft/career. Spent copious amounts of time on various forums, specifically Polycount. I ended up doing some tutoring and Teacher's Assistant work at the school. I started applying to any studio that had an open spot... knowing I wouldn't land my "dream gig" right out of school. I found work at Red Storm Entertainment within a few months of graduating. I moved out to NC. I got laid off several years later. I found work at Bethesda last year. I took a contract position, hoping to bust my ass enough to land full time. I landed full time after about 9 months. So here I am, in MD. Despite the traffic... I love it. :D

    I'm assuming this thread is more for people aspiring to enter into the industry, so...
    Moral of the story? Bust yo' ass, be willing to take risk, be somewhat prepared to relocate. <3
  • skankerzero
    Geezus wrote: »
    I decided to follow my childhood dream of making videos games. Having zero artistic "talent", I researched numerous schools. I finally decided on The Art Institute of Pittsburgh.

    I spent the next 4 years busting my ass, in and out of school, working on my craft/career. Spent copious amounts of time on various forums, specifically Polycount. I ended up doing some tutoring and Teacher's Assistant work at the school. I started applying to any studio that had an open spot... knowing I wouldn't land my "dream gig" right out of school. I found work at Red Storm Entertainment within a few months of graduating. I moved out to NC. I got laid off several years later. I found work at Bethesda last year. I took a contract position, hoping to bust my ass enough to land full time. I landed full time after about 9 months. So here I am, in MD. Despite the traffic... I love it. :D

    I'm assuming this thread is more for people aspiring to enter into the industry, so...
    Moral of the story? Bust yo' ass, be willing to take risk, be somewhat prepared to relocate. <3

    excellent! I expect you to post in the sticky!
  • Nitewalkr
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    Nitewalkr polycounter lvl 7
    Bigjohn wrote: »
    I thought I just did that...

    3+ years, spent every moment I had outside of my regular jobs (which I kept just so I can pay bills and eat) on making art. 3 years dude. Nobody said it's easy. And yeah, it's harder than it "should" be in my opinion. But don't tell me it's not possible.

    No You did not sir. Everyone including yourself had some sort of link to the outside world. The place where I work are random and people that I meet, most of them do not welcome different breeds than their own and they certainly are not game-oholics or have creative passions like we do.

    I am looking for a specific example. Thanks for your concern tho.

    Yes, after I have few models made, I'll start working on the portfolio web page(s) and start applying. That wont stop me from working even harder to what I exactly what to achieve.

    PS: I have no idea why most people on polycount think that I am stupid or a retard person when I talk about creating my own game studio and all. I know it is hard as hell but it is do able and I will experience different and maybe have a very bad experience from it, but many big branded companies that you work at or dying to work at, started off that way. Ever thought of that?
  • Joopson
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    Joopson Polycount Sponsor
    Nitewalkr: Keep working hard at 3D and you'll get a job.
    If you're antisocial, force yourself not to be, if only for a while. I'm antisocial too, and still in college, but I try HARD to push myself in regards to working in 3D.
    If you really want something, and if you really put effort into it, nothing can stop you, not even yourself.

    So start a company if you really want to. But if you're just saying that so you won't have to go out of your comfort zone to get a job, just suck it up and try harder to get a job.

    Regardless, I love threads about getting a job. Can't wait until I work in the industry.
  • Bigjohn
    Nitewalkr wrote: »
    No You did not sir. Everyone including yourself had some sort of link to the outside world. The place where I work are random and people that I meet, most of them do not welcome different breeds than their own and they certainly are not game-oholics or have creative passions like we do.

    Maybe I didn't make myself clear?

    When I said I worked random jobs for 3 years, I meant Construction, Moving Furniture, and even some shady shit. Definitely not the kind of people who play video-games. And I never talked to any of them about it either. Although I did have my family which were supportive.

    And if you read between the lines you see that I gave up my social life for it. I worked on my art stuff in whatever spare time I had. Which means I didn't use that time to socialize with others, definitely not the people I worked with.

    Not sure how more anti-social than that does it get...

    Which BTW, looking back at it now, I'm not sure it was worth the price.

    And what difference does it make if they approve of what you do or not? You like doing it, just do it. You make it sound as if you're reluctantly trying to get into the industry, which is not healthy.
  • Justin Meisse
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    Justin Meisse polycounter lvl 13
    Nitewalkr wrote: »
    Lets have more than 100+ successful stories and than we'll discuss why I wont be able to get in to game industry by JUST following the artist's way. :)

    Actually, I am kind of hoping for someone to write a story about him turning from being alone almost anti social. Someone spends most of the time in one room and study all day to become social and successful.

    Shall we?

    You're steadfast belief that you can't do it is exactly what's holding you back.
  • Geezus
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    Geezus mod
    This is a thread of joy! Take the arguments to private messages! JOY, I TELLS YA... JOY!
  • skankerzero
    Thank you Geez for that post! great read! :)
  • Geezus
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    Geezus mod
    Thank you Geez for that post! great read! :)

    Absolutely man. Thank you. I dig the idea. I look forward to reading more stories. :)
  • skankerzero
    Thanks for the story Swizzle!
  • Saman
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    Saman polycounter lvl 7
    This was a really good idea, skankerzero. It's some good reading and very interesting to know the story of some of the people here on the forum. If anything it helps the beginners to know what a struggle some people have gone through in order to get where they are at the moment.
  • xvampire
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    xvampire polycounter lvl 10
    those stories put me to shame a bit, for complaining about life T_T ... good job guys
  • makecg
    No story here yet, just working on my shit trying to get better.
  • seth.
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    seth. polycounter lvl 8
    not sure that Im worthy of the sticky but heres the basics

    ....back in 2009 I decided to quit the toy soldiers industry that I had been in for 12 years and learn game art....I started out with a copy of maya the digital tutors pen knife DVD, and a spot on a uni course. Learned the tech in the first year at uni and worked my arse off over the summer of 2010 ( not really working if you love what you are doing though is it?) Anyway, went back to the second year of uni and only lasted the first semmester just cos the academic side of things was getting in the way of just learning the trade y'kow.....so Jan this year I signed on as an unemployed game artist (even though I wasn't sure that I was good enough to be entry level still) and spent 7 months working my arse off again...I went through the same thing as I guess most people do with the doubting and such and was on the brink of financial ruin to be honest when I managed to land a gig as a Jr character artist...I'm still a pup in industry terms but I am loving all of it. Polycount has been my motivation at times, just wanting to get the next update out there for critting but mostly you just have to remember that sitting thinking about doing art will get you no-where compared to actually doing it....even on the dark days....keep your head down, work hard, and there is a light at the end of the tunnel I think.....

    uhm yeah thats it I guess, if anyone gets anything positive out of it then bonus :D

    *edit* just reading the sticky now....fantastic story jesse...and great thread idea too ( i forgot to mention that )
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter lvl 13
    Started off in about 1995 doing some basic computer animation after doing airbrush art for about 7 years, decided that airbrush was gonna die out and I was right.
    Moved in to cg making short films and then got the mod bug. Made a mod called 'pearman' for Unreal tournament which got published and appeared on pc gamer cover disc.

    pearman_092302_06.jpg

    I did spend 5 years trying to get in to the industry, got very depressing at times, not a sniff of a job.
    Was on the dole for a long time, got a part time job at tkmaxx and worked on my stuff in the afternoons.
    Then got my break at Blitz games which didn't turn out well. Didn't really fit in there TBH.
    Being unemployed for so long robbed me of my self confidence a little

    Almost gave up after that but decided apply for one more job at Swordish games and got taken on as a graphic artist. Stayed there for 2 years, then had a few personal probs and ended up at frontier games. Got sacked after a month:)
    Went to monumental games after that , which was ok, but was still having a few personal issues which i won't go in to.

    After that I started freelancing and was doing ok up until the credit crunch, then work just fell away.
    still struggling a bit, but I am still enjoying the work, which is the most important thing to me:)
    I am very sad that it didn't work out at some of the game companies I worked at, could have stayed on at swordfish, but I ended up going back to london and am still living there, working mainly on advertising stuf, with the occasional game trailer/game prototype.
    Unless things change quick my games career is over and I will move further in the cg/previz/postproduction area.
    I could have mentioned all the really depressing stuff that happened on a personal level, but I want to keep it from getting too maudling

    Happily married(15 years) , with 17 month old daughter:)
  • skankerzero
    Thanks to all you guys that have been posting in the sticky!
    Ruz wrote: »
    Started off in about 1995 doing some basic computer animation after doing airbrush art for about 7 years, decided that airbrush was gonna die out and I was right.
    Moved in to cg making short films and then got the mod bug. Made a mod called 'pearman' for Unreal tournament which got published and appeared on pc gamer cover disc.

    pearman_092302_06.jpg

    I did spend 5 years trying to get in to the industry, got very depressing at times, not a sniff of a job.
    Was on the dole for a long time, got a part time job at tkmaxx and worked on my stuff in the afternoons.
    Then got my break at Blitz games which didn't turn out well. Didn't really fit in there TBH.
    Being unemployed for so long robbed me of my self confidence a little

    Almost gave up after that but decided apply for one more job at Swordish games and got taken on as a graphic artist. Stayed there for 2 years, then had a few personal probs and ended up at frontier games. Got sacked after a month:)
    Went to monumental games after that , which was ok, but was still having a few personal issues which i won't go in to.

    After that I started freelancing and was doing ok up until the credit crunch, then work just fell away.
    still struggling a bit, but I am still enjoying the work, which is the most important thing to me:)
    I am very sad that it didn't work out at some of the game companies I worked at, could have stayed on at swordfish, but I ended up going back to london and am still living there, working mainly on advertising stuf, with the occasional game trailer/game prototype.
    Unless things change quick my games career is over and I will move further in the cg/previz/postproduction area.
    I could have mentioned all the really depressing stuff that happened on a personal level, but I want to keep it from getting too maudling

    Happily married(15 years) , with 17 month old daughter:)

    Ruz: Post this up in the sticky! Great story!
  • imyj
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    imyj polycounter lvl 6
    Good idea! I always love hearing about how other people got into the industry, no matter what level they're at (I'm still a nub!). I added my response up in the other post, but thought I'd leave this here for anyone who's interested. It's a list of tips I typed up for art students looking to get into the industry based on my mistakes/experience so far; someone else might as well learn from them! :)

    http://pastebin.com/Ds83RY0s
  • Ruz
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    Ruz polycounter lvl 13
    no worries skankerzero, will rewrite it a bit to fit in the format of the sticky, when I get some time.
    great idea for a thread though
  • skankerzero
    bumping thread to remind people to post their story!
  • flaagan
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    flaagan polycounter lvl 12
    I got in by self-teaching the udk fx system (UT2k4), met up with the then current fx artists at Cryptic and got input from them, ended up getting referred by college friends there and getting hired on.

    I got out ~4 years later being fired from Cryptic. Not quite sure what I want to do since then (~ year ago).. got a full time job as a buyer and running the CNC router at a semiconductor cleaning equipment company. I'd love to work on games again, but 'next gen uber real' doesn't quite interest me, and having consistent shit-for-luck trying to get started on some mobile / tablet game ideas, so I dunno. I'm just glad to have a full time job regardless...
  • Flynny
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    Flynny polycounter lvl 9
    I haven't read all the replies but I will mention mine ;)

    I was browsing this forum (been a very long time lurker, ive always been an animator btw not an artist but here is cool for seeing awesome shiznit).

    Congratulated an artist that had got hired at a studio that was close to where I lived (this was a wednesday i think), I mentioned that id be spamming them soon with my reel.
    I was messaged on here by the Art director (thursday) whether or not I would mind my details being passed on.
    I instantly replied that day.
    I was contacted again but by email this time directly by the Animation Director a day or 2 after about if I was genuine and would like to do there test.

    So by I think Tuesday Id been sent the animation test files and was given a weeks deadline.

    Bearing in mind I was not confident in Maya I bashed out the test in a few days, animated fk on this character for every frame (I didnt know how to set up an ik rig lol.)

    Sent the test back a few days later at the wee hours of the friday after.
    Was emailed the same friday morning if id like to visit.
    Visited the studio a few hours later. (probably about early evening)

    Felt good had an awesome interview.

    The hour was over and I was back on the train going back then at about 4-5pm Friday, I was emailed 30 mins into my commute back, Id been given an offer.
    Accepted, asked when I could start.

    Ended up starting on Monday after that weekend.


    Still the fastest hire I think this studio has done, and im still here a couple years later ^^
  • crazyfool
    My stories a long one haha, goes through getting in anyways possible without any connections, to leaving a good job and changing up to be a character artist, which was a mission in of itself.

    The Beginning

    Basically I worked hard through uni doing illustration and graphic design, had no idea what I wanted to do until my big brother got a job at climax racing in Brighton UK (changed to Black Rock, now in liquidation) as a vehicle artist. He would tell me about his day and I would be so envious. He managed to get in through working for a few weeks for free and then they said at the end he was good enough to hire, he then after a few years went onto Zoe mode and is now running his own studio :D

    So I worked hard as a sales assistant at a gamestation after uni whilst working on my portfolio in my spare time, Worked my way up to senior sales and then assistant manager and ran the shop for a while until they got a new boss in who completely ruined the shop so my drive to get out was growing on a daily basis. Sent out DVDs and fancy printed CVs to all the local companies (about 20) got a phone interview with codemasters but failed it miserably after I didn't know an artist he mentioned, nobody else replied. My portfolio was pretty shocking so wasn't too surprised, then I saw an advert on the forums for a job as a junior at Climax Portsmouth. emailed the recruiter with some samples and said I have a DVD on the way, he mailed me back straight away and the DVD arrived the next day and I got a phone interview same day to set up an interview the week after.

    The Interview

    Went to the interview and it was really scary due to all the security doors, looked like fort Knox haha, but met the studio creative director and art director. They asked if I knew anything about VFX and I said 'no,' thought that would be it but I had a tour where I spoke to one of their lead vfx artist and he showed me some cool UDK stuff which I tried to dissect and got it right, then I sat down with the lead VFX on their wii team and got on really well, he explained the game engine and VFX basics and was really impressed as I understood it all and we had a good one two going on. Left the studio with the creative director saying 'don't get too down as there's plenty of opportunities out there.'

    First Job

    Got a phone call 3 weeks later asking if I wanted the job, I was over the moon as I was finally in games and the salary was miles better than my assistant manager wage, even if it's not character art I was still really happy. Moved to Portsmouth and spent 1.5 years there working on overlord and silent hill and a few DS titles. Apparently they went through a ton of applicants and I was by far the best as I had an eye for detail and willingness to learn. My first week I animated meshes and created particles for the very first time and by the end I was training up people and taking on the most complex sequences they had whilst dabbling in all the other disciplines when required. My love for characters though meant I kept hassling the character team and we all grew as really good friends and they were in talks with bringing me on the team. I really can't get over how amazing game developers are, there's almost no incompetence and everyone's really interesting and nice which is madness compared to retail.

    Recession Woes

    So me and my lady were living together and her folks got hit hard by the credit crunch at this time with redundancies, bankruptcy and eviction notices so she moved back home to Eastbourne UK to help them. I didn't last long with only seeing her at weekends so decided to leave Climax and work hard in becoming a character artist.

    Moved back home and lived off my savings for a year living out of baked bean cans. worked my buns off on the forums levelled myself up quite a bit and started freelancing after the credit crunch put a massive hold on studio hiring, also lost over 60% of local studios due to liquidation. Did a few gigs here and there which kept my money up but it was becoming increasingly difficult to get contracts and my self confidence was shot to pieces due to bad experiences where I worked my hardest for clients but got taken advantage of (not naming them or even putting them on my CV). I had a lot of offers to work around the country at big studios and even a few overseas but I had enough of moving around for the industry and wanted to settle down some. Becoming a lecturer in New Zealand almost swayed me though haha.

    The Light at the end of the Tunnel

    Then beginning of this year I had a great opportunity of working in-house at a not so local high profile studio or working freelance with a specialised character outsource company in London as a digital sculptor/character artist. They sold me on working on different projects all the time and not bogged down with one IP for years, also no travelling is a biggie for me and them being the nicest/coolest people Ive ever met helped alot too. I've been doing contracts with them since May across numerous high profile titles and have grown as an artist considerably, Even got put in ImagineFX last month with a studio interview with them. My sculpting, modelling, eye for detail and workflows have increased considerably and got my confidence up again, still not that confident though haha.

    So that's my story, I got no idea where it will take me next, I'm hoping we are going to see some real nice start-ups down here that I can join later on (hopefully my brothers) or ideally keep working as I am and make loads of money whilst saving for a deposit for a house and starting my family :) If the opportunities aren't there then I don't mind getting a regular job again but remaining a character artist would be the ideal, but our governments making it increasingly difficult as they screw over the working man on a daily basis :(

    wall of text ......end!!!!
  • skankerzero
    hey guys!

    post your story in the sticky!
    http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=89972

    Those are great reads no matter how long they are.
  • Rick_D
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    Rick_D polycounter lvl 10
    The Beginning
    Friend made maps for Counter-Strike. I playtested with him. Tried to make my own, failed. Learned to model, joined mod teams, did a little of everything. realised I could do this for money. Made a portfolio. Applied to 50 companies.


    The Interview

    Went for a couple interviews. Wasn't a dick, wasn't weird. Took the usual month or two to get back to me. I can't see how people could have trouble in interviews; be interested, ask questions, don't be weird, don't be a dick. Be prepared, have your portfolio online, on a DVD, on a USB stick, make sure there is no room for error when it comes to them seeing your work. Be prepared to talk about your work in game development terms, be understood, be useful, be humble.

    First Job

    2 shit games and a mental breakdown. Be prepared for the first job to suck.
    However, this is important to remember: work hard, don't go crazy and be exploitable, but don't just sit back and relax now that you got a regular paycheck. Work hard, get better, learn about development from all angles, get involved where you can and offer help if needed. Listen to and learn from your peers, even the biggest dickhead will have some good ideas. Make sure your shit-filter is functioning correctly and take in everything.
    Network, don't be weird or a dick, you will most likely see these people again, or they will know someone at the next studio you apply to, don't burn bridges.

    Recession Woes

    What recession?

    The Light at the end of the Tunnel

    Friends I made during mod days and on forums, connections into better studios. I ended up going from better to better studios.
  • Karmageddon
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    Karmageddon polycounter lvl 7
    The Beginning

    Went to DigiPen to get my BFA and graduated in the guinea pig class in 2008. My brother and his wife also are in the industry and graduated from DigiPen's AAA program when it still existed and my brother basically kept an ear out for a contract gig at X studio as my starter job (and boy did it pay like one).


    The Interview

    There was none. No call or email or anything. While I was crunching my final semester my brother did the talking at X studio and told me I was in. I have disagreements about this now, but my brother was in no place of power to persuade anything that was unfair. They were going to ramp up to finish their game anyway.

    First Job

    Stressful but learned a lot. Pay sucked. Could have made more money serving coffee and I knew I was mostly there for the experience instead of the pay. I loved the game and the work I got to do for it. The social drama was a mess. I was tricked into a blind date with the studio bachelor relatively close to my age on the first day and after I made it clear I won't date coworkers, hell broke loose since he had a lot of friends in the studio. Again, loved the work, hated the drama. After being strung along about FT hire by the art director, I was let go with a 9 day notice before my 9 month contract was done. We went gold that week.

    Recession Woes

    Couch surfed a lot until I had a place to land anchor. After 3 months of unemployment I was offered a full time TA position at DigiPen to help students and teachers. Got to answer techy questions and teach some courses, and model/texture/animate assignments for instructors (like modeled a simple environment for the students to texture in Photoshop). This was my survival job, and like my previous one I was grateful to have, but I knew I wanted to be back in the games industry and quit after a year. Stuff went into storage unit, couch surfed, and busted ass on portfolio for six months revamping everything I had.

    The Light at the end of the Tunnel

    I had made a list of things I wanted on my portfolio before I began applying to places. I felt ready around mid November and job hunted for three weeks (though I think one doesn't count cause Mon-Wed were Snowmageddon of Seattle and Thurs-Fri was Thanksgiving weekend). I got an email from my current boss saying they needed somebody to work at Hidden Path. I had the interview etc and got the job, have been working on Counter Strike : GO since then. I'm a very happy camper and do feel very lucky. I really like this place and hope I can stay here for a long long time.
  • Kevin Johnstone
  • skankerzero
    post your stories in the sticky guys!!

    >_<
  • Rick_D
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    Rick_D polycounter lvl 10
    move them there for us >_<
  • skankerzero
    i actually want you guys to type them over there so your name, icon, and signature will be associated with the post.

    This thread will die, but that one will live on for some time.
  • Wells
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    Wells polycounter lvl 13
    good thing reading comprehension isn't required in our industry :poly124:
  • SouthpawSid
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    SouthpawSid polycounter lvl 7
    edit

    shit, sticky :poly136:
  • Dudestein
    Just added mine. Sorry it's so long :(

    I've really enjoyed reading everyone's stories, it's awesome getting to hear how folks got started.
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