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Does chasing a career in gaming make anyone else feel like the industry is toxic?

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ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
I deleted this post before but I'm reposting it.

I'm just curious if anyone else has these thoughts. It takes a lot to even make a baby step in pursuing a career in the game industry,especially the art side. I just feel like damn man...you can be a absolute skillful artist and still not get a job....its easier to get in the NBA or NFL or even starting a company....than it is to get an ENTRY level job or even an internship in gaming. I'm just wondering how does this effect the mental health of the artist pursuing the goal of a job (AAA).

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  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    This post isn't meant to disrespectful, it's just I honestly believe with the same amount of effort alot of artist and designers put into a gaming career they would already have starting careers in anything else. Like high school sports players have better chances of getting drafted to college teams with the same amount of effort and craft study time... I'm definitely not giving up I'm just disappointed by the way the industry chooses to run itself. Its simply  ridiculous to say it's a healthy career path.
  • Eric Chadwick
    It's definitely very difficult. Mostly because supply far outstrips demand. You may want to look into related CG jobs to make the search a bit less insane. Medical, military, education, simulation, gambling, ecommerce, these all have valid CG positions. And are really not all that different in the end from a game job.
  • Darth Tomi
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    Darth Tomi polycounter lvl 12
    A friend of mine used to be an artist. Pretty good too. Finally went back to school to learn how to do something else entirely cause he got sick of "struggling to pay the rent."

  • Eric Chadwick
    Why did you remove this? This is a valid topic, and it's something that can help other people with the same question.
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @Eric Chadwick Sorry, idk I thought it was too bunt but it's back up.

     And that advices was something I never thought about. 
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @Darth Tomi 
    Being an artist in general will make you question wtf am I doing lol. But I've had those thoughts too man.  "like damn if i would have just gotten a BS degree in engineering I would at least have money to buy the programs to legally learn the trade."Maybe schools should just have game design as a minor consideration under engineering degrees.
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @Alex Javor  First thank you for your service in protecting the country (assuming your an American). 

    I agree with what your say and will definitely take that market option into account. Like I stated in the description making your own business from the gaming community might even be easier but the industry changes every 2 years or so. Im just saying for people who want to a job. It just seems a bit like the industry only want a Lebron James or Connor McGregor from the start. But most will never get that pro level training. The industry changes every 2 years so even if you went to school or self taught.... youre  ikely still behind on the new things.  Like companies have in house plugins for software that make things easy while anyone outside the industry are studying outdated pipelines.
    While youre playing catch up you will likely could have used the time,effort,energy or even the money you spend on these programs and third party plugins on something like product design certificate or degree.

    Again these are just thoughts I dont disagree with what you state earlier. 
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    I'm not sure you really got to be Lebron James. How far are you from other people who recently got jobs? I'm sure if you post in 3d some people can help you identify your weaknesses. There's some really talented professional artist who hang around ya know.
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
  • Alex_J
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    Alex_J high dynamic range
    I meant your art. Like compare it to professional artist.
  • tahakitan
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    tahakitan polycounter lvl 6
    to many schools and people graduating every year.  At the same time, not enough jobs to go around. I would say it isn't the industries fault but the schools and universities for outputting more graduates than the field can take in.  All the school cares about it getting your money and don't think about the person after that.  That is especially the case for art degrees.  Because of this, you need to stand out alot to get a job.
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    tahakitan said:
    to many schools and people graduating every year.  At the same time, not enough jobs to go around. I would say it isn't the industries fault but the schools and universities for outputting more graduates than the field can take in.  All the school cares about it getting your money and don't think about the person after that.  That is especially the case for art degrees.  Because of this, you need to stand out alot to get a job.
    I think it's a bit of that and a pinch of self delusion on the artists part. It's like making it in any entertainment sector... It's not impossible but it can certainly be improbable. Having self awareness and the ability to research independently are two crucial skills for anyone's development and success in life. 
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @Taylor Brown and that's the point everybody knows it a skill based industry everybody knows its hard.... but so is architecture,  so is product design, and yet is way easier to find a job. Hell video ,broadcast, visual effects Studio production is more likely than the game industry and they are hard to get into. I would know I fought for those jobs and got them. It feels like this the only artistic endeavor in the entertainment industry where you have to sell your soul.
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    Eh I think my soul is pretty well intact. I found a company that is owned and operated by down to earth artists with some business sense. They put people first. It runs against the horror stories and it's only one company out of hundreds... But these places do exist
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @Taylor Brown When I say "sell your soul" I don't mean you're doing anything wrong. I mean you sacrifice and forgo an incredible amount of time, effort, relationships, and fun to a purpose.  But that's awesome I would hope to be that fortunate. 
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR interpolator
    @Taylor Brown When I say "sell your soul" I don't mean you're doing anything wrong. I mean you sacrifice and forgo an incredible amount of time, effort, relationships, and fun to a purpose.  But that's awesome I would hope to be that fortunate. 
    For me, the sacrifice is worth it. It was either bust ass doing what I loved on the side with a dream fueling me or give in to continuing to break my back with manual labor or service jobs. 

    Edit: I should add that I was working full time, doing 30-60 hours weeks of study on top, with a toddler. If you want it bad enough, you just make it work. Did I have times where it all didn't feel worth it and questioned what I was putting myself and my family through? Yes. Are stories like mine unique? No. It takes some grit to keep it going through the ups and downs.
    I had a question about your current employment at Dekogon.

    Is that a studio job or remote because that is a very different scenario compared to what OP is targeting which are AAA in studio job's and these are an absolute hell for many artists starting out to be considered at for a variety of reasons.

    Dekogon being an outsource art asset supplier operates very differently, similar to CG Trader owing to the remoteness of their approach.

    As I understand there are no benefits, and the work is flexible and freelance? 
    Do you file taxes as a self employed contractor or salaried employee? 

    Also you've mentioned your role as Art production coordinator, so how much of your time working with them involves doing actual production art compared to management work?

  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    It's remote. The entire company is remote and we have artists in what feels like every country. Nothing in the original message indicated to me a discussion strictly on AAA in studio jobs.

    Id say its about 70/30, admin and management being the bulk. I stuck my hand up for the role because I had applicable experience from past jobs and I believe in my company and want to help it grow. The admin side isn't my passion but it's gotta get done and I have bills to pay in the end ;) I'm also still learning the ropes as an artist. I'm very grateful that I get to work with people whose art I looked up to when first starting to learn... Dekogon was my goal from the beginning
  • NikhilR
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    NikhilR interpolator
    It's remote. The entire company is remote and we have artists in what feels like every country. Nothing in the original message indicated to me a discussion strictly on AAA in studio jobs.

    Id say its about 70/30, admin and management being the bulk. I stuck my hand up for the role because I had applicable experience from past jobs and I believe in my company and want to help it grow. The admin side isn't my passion but it's gotta get done and I have bills to pay in the end ;) I'm also still learning the ropes as an artist
    @ScopeDragon- I assume you are talking about applications to AAA studios? Better to confirm that.

    Dekogon is a good start, but with OP comparing the industry to the NBA or NFL or even starting a company, I assumed he was looking at more from a job comparable to what those fields offer in the manner of company benefits and an on site workspace with all the perks (and politics) considering what you need to do get a start in them.

    I'm thinking a more appropriate comparison would be with IT jobs. Game industry particularly AAA companies are more comparable to marketing/sales companies than art production houses which is why most of the budget goes into marketing and they operate on that scale.

    I personally feel that what Dekogon is doing is really great since it gives an artist more freedom and variety and prioritises them.

    Ironically outsourcing is also one of the primary reasons why there is so little work to go around for so many applicants but the matter of hiring depends on many factors and more often portfolio is just one aspect of it.


  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @NikhilR 🤣 Yes, I'm referring to AAA jobs where youre in house. I'm currently working with a remote indie studio myself but I'm referring to AAA Studios. I'm just trying to pontificate on the AAA hiring practices and the way its ran in general.  Just seems like the industry practices would have matured with the money like any other industry.

      Like of course Google is near impossible to getting into right because of the number of qualified candidates. But youd think qualified candidates in this industry would at least be able to have better chances in  a mobile company like gearbox or gameloft. But the culture is dog eat dog for salaries that dont even match google.
  • Neox
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    Neox ngon master
    @Alex Javor  First thank you for your service in protecting the country (assuming your an American). 

    I agree with what your say and will definitely take that market option into account. Like I stated in the description making your own business from the gaming community might even be easier but the industry changes every 2 years or so. Im just saying for people who want to a job. It just seems a bit like the industry only want a Lebron James or Connor McGregor from the start. But most will never get that pro level training. The industry changes every 2 years so even if you went to school or self taught.... youre  ikely still behind on the new things.  Like companies have in house plugins for software that make things easy while anyone outside the industry are studying outdated pipelines.
    While youre playing catch up you will likely could have used the time,effort,energy or even the money you spend on these programs and third party plugins on something like product design certificate or degree.

    Again these are just thoughts I dont disagree with what you state earlier. 
    In my experience they also all just put their pants on, one leg at a time

    they might have some internal tools, but nobody expects you (as an outsider) to know their internal pipelines.

    get your foundation down, show what you like to do, do it well. speed is not a factor when starting out, hitting the quality bar is more important.

    maybe it would be helpful if you posted your portfolio so we can take a look and maybe say in which field your work is lacking?

    "its easier to get in the NBA or NFL or even starting a company"

    i would highly doubt its easier to get into the national leagues of any sport

    starting a company tho... everyone can start a company, there are company forms you can start with a handshake and without paperwork. there is nothing to starting a company.
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    When I say the odds of getting into a NBA seem higher I'm talking about; if 2 people start different career paths while in grade school. Put in the same amount of passion for game art and to basketball forgo the same amount personal, emotion, recreational sacrifices to practice the skill and learn the craft. Both manage to get a scholarship to college. The kid who dedicates to basketball is waaayy more likely to get drafted than the artist....


    @Neox   Well here is my portfolio : https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ktsCr3S2C9UQaPq-z1Vl8n3tnt-i7dDK
  • slosh
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    slosh quad damage
    I'm going to disagree.  Thousands of kids grow up playing basketball (probably as early as age 3-4) and only a handful make it to college, from which a handful make it to the NBA.  The odds of someone making it in the games industry is INFINITELY higher than someone making the NBA.  The analogy is a bit comical to be honest.  Is it easy to make it in games?  of course not.  But if you put in the effort, create a solid folio, create good connections and relationships, you will make it in IMO.  Luck will also play a role in determining how fast you get in possibly.  And AAA isn't the only way to break in...plenty of smaller studios willing to take a chance on younger artists.  
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @slosh well are you guys hiring 🤣
  • Taylor Brown
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    Taylor Brown ngon master
    Personally, I don't spend my time thinking about breaking in to AAA till I feel I am creating art at or near that level. You just hone your craft and it will open doors for you in time if it's your end goal. 
  • Barbarian
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    Barbarian polycounter lvl 9
    Let's look at statistics. 30 NBA teams with up to 15 players on roster = 450 players. There is a ceiling every year for the number of total draftees.
    The Video Game industry (not counting ArchViz or other related 3D entertainment jobs) has a much larger pool. Just searching Artstation and other sites for job listings demonstrates that there is a much higher chance of getting into the games industry than the NBA. You can always go Indie as well.
    The games industry is a meritocracy for the most part. If you want to make it you can and will.
    If you are tying to become a character artist you have a more difficult road ahead of you and there are fewer opportunities (and the competition will be higher).
    Winners don't make excuses. Refocus and keep improving your skills.
    I started as an Indie and invested my own money into my company. I am self-taught (art wise, but I did get a degree in programming) and learned from my experiences and from the many great peers that I met that gave me great advice along the way. Make art/make games, keep improving. Don't quit. Keep a positive attitude. That is the secret to succeeding. I only want to work with winners not whiners.

  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @Barbarian I dont know if you read the whole post. I'm not whining I'm just stating my opinion and ask people for their opinion. Just pontificating. I deleted the first time because I didn't want it to come of that way. Never the less trust ima fighter in the figurative and literal sense. Not defeated just taking a step back to look at what I'm trying to do.
  • sacboi
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    sacboi quad damage
    If you're looking for another gig, put your stuff up on ArtStation because it'll likely attract more eyeballs for one thing and here's why:
  • Barbarian
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    Barbarian polycounter lvl 9
    @Barbarian I dont know if you read the whole post. I'm not whining I'm just stating my opinion and ask people for their opinion. Just pontificating. I deleted the first time because I didn't want it to come of that way. Never the less trust ima fighter in the figurative and literal sense. Not defeated just taking a step back to look at what I'm trying to do.

    Good to hear. Apply your energy and fighting spirit to win. I agree with sacboi that you need to get on Artstation.
    The way forward will be a struggle, but once you decide you are willing to fight for what you want achieve--you will make it. Struggles and obstacles are not "toxic," they are part of life. The struggle is what will make you better. Most people give up or are not willing to pay the required price to get what they want.
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    @slosh That's literally the most to the point advice I've gotten about thing portfolio wise. Thanks @slosh
  • ScopeDragon
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    ScopeDragon polycounter lvl 2
    Barbarian said:
    @Barbarian I dont know if you read the whole post. I'm not whining I'm just stating my opinion and ask people for their opinion. Just pontificating. I deleted the first time because I didn't want it to come of that way. Never the less trust ima fighter in the figurative and literal sense. Not defeated just taking a step back to look at what I'm trying to do.

    Good to hear. Apply your energy and fighting spirit to win. I agree with sacboi that you need to get on Artstation.
    The way forward will be a struggle, but once you decide you are willing to fight for what you want achieve--you will make it. Struggles and obstacles are not "toxic," they are part of life. The struggle is what will make you better. Most people give up or are not willing to pay the required price to get what they want.
    You bet!
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