- 1 Category Game Industry
- 1.1 How to Get In
- 1.2 Being a Developer
- 1.3 Art Disciplines
- 1.4 Education
- 1.5 Portfolios
- 1.6 Resumes
- 1.7 Cover Letters
- 1.8 Job Searching
- 1.9 Going Indie
- 1.10 Freelancing
- 1.11 Interviews
- 1.12 Art Tests
- 1.13 Salary Research
- 1.14 Negotiation
- 1.15 Relocation
- 1.16 Employee Rights
- 1.17 Pages in This Category
Category Game Industry
Links and articles about the game industry: how to get game jobs, how to manage your role, etc.
How to Get In
- Getting that first job Polycount Forum thread<
>Good advice for an artist trying to enter a game studio.
- Getting into the Game Industry (Inspiration of a different kind) - Polycount Forum thread.<
>Amazing thread full of information from working game artists about how they got into the industry.
- How to Break Into the Industry - by Destin Bales<
>A treasure trove of great advice by a veteran game developer. Multiple topics covered: understanding the industry, education, resumes and portfolios, finding jobs, interview prep, career development, etc.
- Why is it hard to find a job in game industry?<
>Discussion on LinkedIn about what it takes to get that first game industry job.
- Game Industry Advice to students - by Athey Moravetz <
>A great article by a 5-year veteran game artist about what it takes to get into a game artist job. Very straightforward and accurate.
Being a Developer
- What has the games industry been like for you? Polycount Forum thread<
>Game art veterans share what it's really like to be working in game development.
- Is the games industry really dying? by Dan Teasdale <
>Analysis of game industry layoff data.
- Valve Employee Hand Book <
>Greg Coomer says "We wrote this book to make it as easy as we could for new people to join the company. It was fun to capture these thoughts and put them all in one place. Let us know what you think." Cached: attachment:Valve_Employee_Handbook.pdf
- The Belly of the Whale: Living a Creative Life in the Game Industry - by Bob Bates<
>GDC 2010 lecture about how creative types can survive and thrive in the game industry. Highly recommended by many Polycounters.
- How NOT to hire an artist - by Jon Jones<
>Response to the inflammatory article How to hire an artist by Christopher 'xdragonx10' Gregorio.
- The Co-worker - by Adam Bromell<
>Polycount News article about what makes a good team co-worker.
- lists the various artist roles in game development:
- Leadership in the Games Industry Polycount forum thread
- What Game artist career is more difficult? Polycount forum thread
- Lack of Environment Artists Polycount forum thread
- Difference between Environment and Prop Artists? Polycount forum thread
- Percentage of environment artists .vs. character artists at most studios Polycount forum thread
- What's the difference between a level designer and environment artist? Polycount forum thread
- Portfolio Advice by Nate White has succinct summaries for what the various game disciplines should show in their portfolios, also all-around good advice for entry-level people.
The basic argument in the Polycount community is between going the self-taught route or going the formal education route. The best path seems to depend on what kind of person you are: self-motivated or team-motivated.
Artists on Polycount generally agree it is rare to find schools that teach current high-quality game art techniques. The web and forums are often the best places to learn these, maybe even |-) . We see it time and again... the students who succeed at entering the work force after graduation are almost exclusively those that work on their own side projects, beyond the course material. Would they have been better served without using a school?
Beware of education scams and debt! Schools can cost a lot of money and some promise easy employment afterwards, but unfortunately the reality is not so forgiving. Student loan debt can also be a crushing burden for many years, especially with the relatively low wages most game artists make. See the blog post Don’t go to art school, the Polycount forum thread Profit Schools - Can we condemn them publicly?, and the Penny Arcade episode "On Game Schools".
- 100 Things Every Game Student Should Know - by Kaye Elling<
>100 fugly slides of things that every budding game developer (who is studying at university) should know. Read it!
- has links to tutorials and advice about creating an artist portfolio for a career in game development.
- LinkedIn Profile Tips: The 10 Mistakes You Want to Avoid and Why - by Neal Schaffer
- Getting Your Résumé Read - by Joel 'joelonsoftware' Spolsky
- Sorting Resumes - by Joel 'joelonsoftware' Spolsky
- Writing that all important cover letter? Polycount Forum thread
- Cover Letter Polycount Forum thread
- [[Resume / Cover Letter Critique request Riot Games]] Polycount Forum thread
Most game developers get their jobs by word of mouth, this industry puts personal contacts first and foremost. Networking is key; keep in contact with your friends and former co-workers.
- Work Opportunities Polycount Forum section has job postings.
- Another website to find a video game industry job Polycount Forum thread has several links.
- Game and Mod Development Article and Some mod guidelines Polycount Forum threads have advice about joining a mod team.
- Industry tips: How to find a job in the game industry - by Christopher Natsuume has some frank advice about job searching.
- The Phone Screen - by Joel 'joelonsoftware' Spolsky has info about how companies weed out applicants.
- It seems to be impossible to find a job as a Modeler in this industry - this Polycount forum thread has good advice about how to actually get hired as an artist in game development.
- cgStepInside Studio Map - map of animation and game development companies.
- gamedevmap - map of game development companies.
Indie means developing, marketing, and publishing a game independently.
- How to Start an Indie Game Business (WIP) TIGSource Forum thread with links to resources
Freelancing means creating assets for pay, working alone as an individual. See Freelance.
- Job Interview in a hour or so, what questions should I expect? thread on the Polycount forum.
- When eyeballing a studio... thread on the Polycount forum (what questions should you ask during your interview).
- Interview Advice thread on the Polycount forum.
- In need of interview advice thread on the Polycount forum.
- 10 Tips for Your First Interview - by Dave Sanford<
> Time-tested interview strategies:
- Get there early
- Know thyself
- Follow up
- Four Steps to a Better Job Interview - by Brad Karsh<
> Four simple things to improve your interviews.
- Relax, not a battle of wits.
- Job description = questions that you'll be asked.
- Have answers about why you did certain things.
- Have questions about them.
- Ten Tips for the Interview Follow Up - by Carole Martin<
>How to avoid a non-response after your interview.
- job interview, 2-3 hours, why so long? Polycount forum thread<
>Game developers talking about the interview process they do, or have been through.
Game companies often ask their art applicants to complete an art test, to gauge their talent relative to that company's particular needs, and to make sure you can actually do the work (portfolios can be faked or stolen).
- Art Test Master List GameArtisans forum thread has some example art tests.
- "Large art tests as the first stage of candidate selection. Acceptable?" LinkedIn discussion (registration required) with seasoned artists weighing in on their art test experiences: unpaid vs. paid tests, how long is too long for a company to ask you to spend on it, plagiarism horror stories, non-response after submission, etc.
Art test threads and links:
- Jagex Art Test
- Naughty Dog texture artist test
- Environment Art Test advice?
- Art test and no response, normal?
- Is it bad to ask for tips on an art test? There isn't an NDA
- Art tests
- Art Tests : How much time to spend?
- Art Test Help/Suggestions
Do the research to figure out what a fair offer is for your skill level and geographic area.
- 2012 Game Industry Salary Survey - from Game Developer magazine (mostly USA). See also 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.
- Senior Artist Salaries at Computer Software companies in United States - from Glassdoor.com (USA) Customize your search, and enter your salary data for full access.
- 3D Artist Salaries in the United States - from Payscale.com (other countries available)
- The Foreign Labor Certification Data Center - Online Wage Library (H1B Visa Applications) - from the US Department of Labor (USA)
- Wages In The VFX, Animation, And Games Industry - by 'VFX Soldier' features a spreadsheet of wage data mined from the H1B Visa database.
- 2012 UK Games Industry Salary Survey. See also 2009 (UK)
- VFXWages - a global database of hourly monetary rates of people in the film and television visual effects, animation, motion graphics, and gaming industry.
Salary negotiation is an essential skill that will be put to the test after a successful interview.
- Salary of a game programmer (artist, designer, or producer) - by Christer Ericcson, Sony Computer Entertainment
- Industry tips: How to not ask for money - by Christopher Natsuume
- Know Your Rights - The Myth of Pay Privacy - by KC Labor (USA)
- Bargaining for Advantage: Negotiation Strategies for Reasonable People ($) - by G. Richard Shell
- The game industry and relocation, how bad is it? - Polycount Forum thread.<
>Insight into the relocation process.
- Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines is an excellent resource on a great range of employment issues. Pricing guidelines, legal info, copyright law, sample contracts, how to negotiate, and more. Highly recommended!
- National Labor Relations Board (USA)
- ACAS: Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (UK)
- Directgov Employment Terms and Conditions (UK)
- Know Your Rights - by KC Labor (USA)
- Discussing issues at work, grounds for firing? Polycount forum thread has information about workers discussing their compensation with one another.
- EA rumored to layoff 500+ Polycount forum thread with cautionary tales about what happens when people get laid off or fired, or when companies close. Back up your work regularly, for portfolio use!