IRC chat

As a weekly event I'm running an IGDA IRC chat channel every Tues 8pm AEST Brisbane time (7pm in Melb/Syd due to daylight savings) to answer games industry questions for students and others looking to get into the industry, or to discuss industry topics with hobbyists. Occasionally we get guest speakers from industry. A bit of background - I'm a Designer and mostly know about the Brisbane industry and I've been helping run the IGDA Brisbane Student Chapter since before I had a job in the industry. However, questions about any field are welcome, I'll answer them as best I can and if i can't I'll do my best to get answers from others at work. Others from industry are very welcome to come and help answer questions :)

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irc://irc.slashnet.org/igda

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Connect then type: /join #igda

Ash
Ash2006-10-31 05:34:21

Mdobele's picture

Might help if you post a little bio of yourself Ash. Who you are, what your current role is, previous titles and current ones in the works etc.

Ash's picture

Hey Mick, good point. I've been working as a Game Designer at THQ for the past 1.5 years. I also won an IGDA Student Scholarship in 2003

Carlin's picture

I'll see you there.

souri's picture

Any chance of a transcript once it's done?

Ash's picture

Went for 2 hours and there was a lot of questions. I'll be doing it again next week at the same time Thurs 8pm. I will post a transcript and get other people's answers to some of the harder questions in a bit.

Mdobele's picture

Grrr I completely missed it!

Looking forwards to next weeks.

LiveWire's picture

I didn't realise it was THIS thursday. I'll try to rememeber for next week though... assuming I'm not out watching X-Men 3 that is.

Myself, I've been in the industry for one year now, working as a level builder for Krome Studios in Brisbane (currently working on Spyro). Prior to that I did about 2 1/2 years at QANTM including both the dipolma and degree of animation.

unknownuser2's picture

Hey good idea, I wanted to do something like this a few months back, but it never came to fruition! I'd like to come along too, I might be able to give some helpful advice to dashing young hopefuls out there [:D]

Ash's picture

Hey Ben and HazarD, any help would be great! Come along and we can answer questions together, as i found it hard to keep up.

LiveWire's picture

8pm tonight! Just a reminder to students out there.

I'll be on this time, and I'l try and drag Mdobele along too, provided he hasn't got a raid on or something that is... gotta get that epic loot!

Mdobele's picture

lol and where was I tonight.......getting that epic loot. ( I am sad )

Bah I'll be there at IGDA BBQ on sunday in the 1 in a million chance someone actually wanted to ask me something.

Ash's picture

Transcript 1

If anyone wants lines of this post edited/removed, contact me via a forum post or Sumea private message

=================================================================

Start of #igda buffer: Thu May 18 21:59:58 2006
* Now talking in #igda
ok its 8pm lets start, my name is matt, i'm a designer at THQ. i want to help out with any students looking to get into the
games industry. if you've got questions, ask away
i'll do my best to answer them or if i can't, i'll get someone at work to give a better answer
How did you get into the game design industry?
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* Guest08 is now known as caroo
Hiya Caroo
hey Caroo :)
thought you'd show up
G'day mate. Hello everyone. ^^ haha. thanks.
* Jade reposts Ash and Souri's question and statement to Caroo in private.
I did a degree in software engineering at university (non games focussed), while studying games programming and design in my spare time. i also applied to the IGDA for a scholarship in 2003 which i won. after graduating i worked in the software industry for a few months (after a few rejections), then i was successful in getting a job as designer at THQ which required a resume and written test. Design had always been my passion over programming
hi caroo
* Jade is now known as romijade
: Ash. G'day. I'll introduce myself. I'm chris Watts. I'm currently in melbourne self studying and working on a game design folio. It's mostly visual based and im using multiable media applications to make up a interactive folio. And g'day to you to mate.
What is your experience in gaming? What did you play when you were young that are influential to what you do now?
(are = is)
sounds great caroo
can we have a look?
*Just brought "black" today. It's a very visualy appealing game.. but fun and game aspects leave alot to be desired* yeah sure. gimme asec
http://www.sumea.com.au/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=32 the top 4 posts is one of my projects updates. i update bi monthly
Does having a programming background help in your profession as a game designer?
issue 5/6 has a video... and this is a good question souri. I'm not much of a designer. more artistic based and written. how does no programming experience fair for a wannabe designer [such as myself]
im not much of a programmer* sorry T_T
at college the artists and programmers snoobed each other
to souri's question: going back to my first computer, it was a BBC. since then i had a nes, snes, pc, ps2, xbox. i've played and enjoyed almost genres of games, my favs being RPG, FPS, Action/Platformer and RTS, my least fav sports and hardcore simulations. playing a wide range of games and genres is very important and helpful to a designer as it gives you a feel for many play styles, game mechanics, and reference for creating and discussing a game in progress with colleagues. even for artists, animators and programmers i believe its important to know the competition well and be able to set the bar for your work.
i was watching friends at work play black the other day
What would be a typical day for you working at THQ?
Personaly i beleave in my own heart that artists / designers / programmers are equal in importance. o one should be ranked in that respect. you have management. but a designer is not better then a artist. nor a programmer better then a designer. As each is valuable for a different reason. Well as far as shooters go black is..while appealing visualy.. i had more "fun and enjoyment" out of time splitters future perfect. each mission po
I think some of the messages get truncated after 5 lines in this java client
yep, mirc has a buffer limit as well
I'll keep it short then..well..try to. i've got alot of guestions.
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hi Speedu
me too, so i'll be waiting patiently to post my ones :)
helo
let us know when you're ready for the next question, ash
to souri's q about programming helping a designer: Yes, programming definitely helps in my current design role at THQ as the designers here need to be able to script code in levels. with a programming background i find this very easy, whereas others who need to learn to script from scratch would have a much steeper and difficult learning curve. That said, not all designers at the company script, some (the more higher ups) work purely with documentation and high level gameplay decisions, some with combat and tweaking properties in the editor without any scripting required. Also, at different companies it may differ as the design role is not the same across all companies. You would be able to get an idea of company requirements from job webpages
sorry if i am slow to respond, it takes a while to write a thorough answer
i'll make sure i get to all your questions, if i miss one just remind me
5 line limit matt
lol
Ok. The first question Ash. How did you attract the attension of THQ. I find it hard to attract any attension [with the expection of one nice producer that unfortionatly cannot hire.] to any of the studios in melbourne. I've got a few ideas on what to do. but how did you spark their interest as they look at so many resumes going through? I currently have a book in scripting. im going to learn it after im done on my level.
keep it simple and to the point so it doesn't get CUT off lol
or split it over more than one post
has any of my text been cut off?
* romijade smiles at Caroo.
yes matt
pretty much all of them
Ash: (the more higher ups) work purely with documen....
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and ga... what's ga? games?
Ash: and reference for creating and discussing a ga....
to caroo about no programming experience as a designer: it is possible, there are designers at THQ with no previous programming experience, they were trained on the job, but having the experience is a definite plus in several companies
are there different kind of designers? like ones that mainly just design game play and ones that design what's going to happen etc?
reposting cut off stuff: some (the more higher ups) work purely with documentation and high level gameplay decisions, some with combat and tweaking properties in the editor without any scripting required. Also, at different companies it may differ as the design role is not the same across all companies. You would be able to get an idea of company requirements from job webpages
What are all the necessary skills for doing game design well, and can it be taught?
* Guest94 is now known as AshAlt
repsoting cut off text: and reference for creating and discussing a game in progress with colleagues. even for artists, animators and programmers i believe its important to know the competition well and be able to set the bar for your work.
does that mean that if you want to be a character designer etc... if you're not marketable then you need to work harder to attract the potiential employers of your talents and skills?
to carlin's Q: A typical day at THQ for me at the moment involves documentation (pen-and-paper) design for our next game that is currently in preproduction. writing up level designs, flow, speccing out systems for programmers/animators/arists/designers to implement, every few days meetings to discuss and reviews things too. cont-
Ash: What games have you worked on?
(cont...) during production a day involves level building using THQ's in house editor, placing objects, writing script code, testing, tuning gameplay, discussions with artists/programmers/animators, design meetings.
Indeed the requirements are on the webpages. however. mostly all studios in melbourne want 2years experience or 1 produced game. I know this controdiction is stale and we all know that we can't get experience with-out a job. So then. how did you get their attension. I'm guessing it wasnlt by dancing in a clown outfit [an in-joke with a few mates of mine.] or was it a case of being in the right place at the right time?
oh so u are leveldesigner as well
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to caroo's Q: It can be very hard to break into the industry, i know what it's like. You need to be able to face many possible rejections before being successful. Sometimes it's not just talent, it's timing. Some companies may just be full and not looking to employ at the time you are looking to join. Some jobs are also unadvertised so you need to network and cold canvass employers, send out resumes to get your name on the pile (cont..)
when designing do you look at psychological studies on what would appeal to the said target audience.
(cont.. caroo's Q) I originally applied to THQ for a programming position but in the interview my interests in design referred me to instead apply for a design position - this was not an advertised position, so it was kind of lucky. i did a design test, they liked it and hired me and 2 others in the same month. to attract attention - polish your resume, make it unique and visually stand out, sumbit a portfolio if you have one (cont)
(cont...) a portfolio that shows some of your talent, e.g. a designer applying to an rpg company may creating a 15 minute mod (this is all the time they'll have to play it, if any) showing off solid gameplay, creative writing, and technical expertise (a scripted sequence), check out websites for other tips, ill also ask this question to some leads at work. what is your field caroo? design?
to frostblade: there are several types of designers and it can vary from company to company. Typically you will have leads that manage and direct high level gameplay decisions, level designers to build the levels with artists/animators/programmers, an environment designer who guides consistency and lore for the worlds/levels, a combat designer who focuses on combat only, a weapons designer, technical designers who do heavy scripting, etc
sorry, "typically" only applies to lead and level designers, the rest can vary from company to company
jade, if you'd like to help out with answering any questions, feel free
Ash : Well learning everything on my own and at home. i guess my fielt is bohemian freestyle. but really.. my talents are in the art/gameplay/story aspects of a game. While games are not storys at their core. A compelling storyline and memorable characters connect to the player and engage him or her to continue playing. look at these two pictures. one shows the multable aspects of creating art in a game. i know that process making it
AshTHQ: did u have any experience (prior to becoming a pro) making fan modslevels for other games as amateur?
Sure thing, thanks Ash.
I'll admit. I'm NO game artist. but i know the processes. and that is a plus in communication.
Our company primarily develops handhelds, so the game design positions are somewhat different to what Ash describes. Designers need a thorough understanding of gameplay mechanics. It also helps to understand the development needs of everyone else in the team.
You're going to have give a background of yourself, romijade :)
to souri: game design can sometimes be tough to define. my opinion is that it takes both technical and creative expertise to do design well. creative because its important to give players exciting new things to do, technical because software is complex and we need to design within limitations and know what is possible and what isn't. management skills are also important as you work frequently with animators, artists, programmers, etc. (cont...)
I'm an associate producer at Torus Games. I've been there for 6 months and my first published title was Curious George on GBA. I did a four month internship at Auran before that.
* Carlin asks how important do you think degrees are for getting into the industry? Is passion enough?
(cont...) knowing about the business of game production is also important - for this, reading articles on gamasutra.com and gdconf.com is great
Ash makes a very good point about knowing a bit about the business side of things. We often have designers help us write pitches to publishers.
to souri: yes, i believe game design can be taught, but just like art, directing or any field, at the end of the day it comes down to how clever, insightful and hardworking the person is to how good they will be
People skills are important too.
Right, Ash?
I may not be int he industry yet. But i think. yes. passion, drive, determanation to learn and gut is what you need for any position in any industry you love. I know that it's not always gonna be fun when in the industry. sometimes it's gonna be an ass.. but to make something great. a learning tool as games are. entertainment as a interactive medium.
to frostblade: if you're not marketable, yes you should work to making yourself more marketable, many websites about resumes, interviews and game development "breaking in" advice will help you with that
there;s a talent in listening to opinion and intaking it in the right way too. creativity can't be taught though.
to romijade: I previously worked on a 4 player party game based on Spongebob, an RPG based on Avatar (a popular US cartoon, currently only on Foxtel in Australia), and preproduction on another game unannounced as yet
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In your opinion, has the fact that games have gotten larger and more complex made them better?
* Guest93 is now known as mageJ
Avatar is a great cartoon. It'll be good to see the game. Are you doing work with Halfbrick?
I believe creativity can be taught. you just neve rnoticed it. your whole life. movies.. games..books.. they hare been filling your head with new ideas..old ideas.. worlds and emotions. media can shape people as our mothers and fathers can. ..and yes i saw a few episodes of avatar. quite a cool cartoon. creative concept.
i can watch 100 movies but are those my ideas? no... there are people who are full of ideas and people who are full of other people's ideas
to caroo: to get into THQ i sent in a resume via email which was for an advertised junior entry level programming position, which referred me to an entry level design position. other than entry level positions, you can get experience from working on a free indy project, a mod, or sometimes a star wars outfit will work (this is true there is a story on the internet). work in a similar industry art/programming/etc can also help
(cont... to caroo) i will also pass this question onto leads at work for other responses
(cont...) networking at local gatherings can also help. e.g. if you are in melb then try visiting the igda chapter meetings
Ah but your ideas don't come from nothing. a new idea is usualy a fusion of old ideas and your creativity. I would have to say a owe my creativity to the genus of others. I wne tot the last IDGA meeting [lan party]. it was a blast. we can all thank romi for that!
went to* ..i do apologise for the spelling.
(cont...) on networking - dont appear desperate or only there for a job tho, get to know people and enjoy the time and good things may happen
Thanks caroo, but the event was a combined effort from several other developers too. But yes, IGDA meetings are a fantastic way to network. So are conferences like FreePlay.
When I was interested in applying at Auran, I invited the project's producer out for a coffee and a chat about the industry.
to speedu: yes i do level design as part of my job
Not only did he become a friend, but he took interest and helped me get my internship.. perhaps that is something you can try, Caroo?
to frostblade: i have studied psychology and user interface testing in the past, yes it can help with design
Haha. dont stress Ash. i was there to just have fun. I got to talk to a few about my folio. but i didnt ask for a job. Most of the guys are just nice people. Which is good as a room full of egos only makes counterproductive seething. And yeah romi. that is a great idea.. although for a guy to guy it would defiantly have to be a few beers. not coffie.
AshTHQ: Carlin also asked a question about the importance of earning a degree, is passion enough.
Ah yes. i need to knwo this to. as i dont have the money or a uni or Aie course. Hell I'm helping my dad pay off bills so we can move in time. XD but it's ok.
to speedu: before getting into the industry i had dabbled in Q3Radiant, UnrealEd, GameMaker 2K, NWN, some work experience on graphics programming for a great barrier reef simulation, and a 2d shooter game that didnt get finished
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hi
hi Yeap
: I Worked part time for 6 months as a concept artist for a MMORPG game. Made a new race and developed their social structure , buildings and weapons . G'day yeap!
to carlin about degrees: degrees help because to employers is shows you are disciplined to work within a field and stick to completing a goal, it also shows a level or expertise and grades. that said, passion is sometimes enough but not always. it can vary from company to company. i have read many stories on the internet about people getting hired just from mods (no degree) or from (cont...)
(cont...) or from having done a degree in biology to getting hired as a designer at gas powered games (during dungeon siege 1). have a search around the internet for more info.
romijade makes a good point, people skills are very important, especially as a designer because you need to frequently work with/request things from others
thanks for that
hi yeap
As a current university student in Sydney aspiring to be a games designer, is it likely that I will have to move to Brisbane or Melbourne for a job?
From what i can gather then. their is no definative answer to the "what do you need" complex. Every studio seems to be different in both standards and what a designer does. That being said. One should try to be flexable. I think wether or not i like it i better delve into my big book of scary scripting. What are you studying Yeap?
Bachelor of Media in Multimedia
unfortunately there isn't any 3d involved, it's mainly photoshop, flash, and media subjects
with a lot of theory, and i'm doing electives geared towards creative writing
sounds good
do they encourage you to keep up to market "wow" standards?
Multimedia as in grathic design or flash and fireworks? I know the term multimedia is quite flexable. But being a bachelor...I'm guessing its so much more then that. which is a damm good thing.
to souri: my opinion is that games getting larger and more complex does not inherently make them better. it still comes down to using what you have and the skill of the people creating the game to create something enjoyable and worth playing. also, better tools and more processing can create more freedom but on the other hand it can also raise player expectations.
graphic design and multimedia are very different
that's what I studied.
it looks like it's more directed towards web development and flash
they are. But a mate of mine did a tafe multimedia course. told me it was a total waste of his time, just learning flash. Yeah Yeap.. thats where they seem to be taking it.
im in my first semester of 2nd year
to romijade: I really like the Avatar cartoon too, Halfbrick is doing the handheld version of the game, which is all done through our producers and a bit of the lead designer, they show us the occasional build but the rest of us dont have contact with them
yeah I know someone who want to tafe to do multimedia... they pass and still produced meh work
Yeap, it's likely that you'll have to move. There are relatively few studios in Sydney, compared to Brisbane and Melbourne, though there are a few. The Sumea website has a list of dev studios.
I want to start off doing QA until I get some real world experience and then move into design
frostblade. well. if it works for them. good om them. ...hmmm Yeap. I'v been told by a few desingers that starting in QA isn't always the best idea..
I emailed Team Bondi about doing part time work 2 days a week, or full-time for the duration of my June-July holidays, but they said they don't do part time
Games you enjoy from a game design perspective? Favourite game of all time?
And what makes good gameplay?
where you don't have to sit there for 10 mins pushing buttons to get to the game play part
What makes good gameplay.. oooh the easyist and hardist question in the world for a game designer to answer.
to yeap: i wouldnt say its necessary to move from sydney to brisbane or melb for a job, although it can depend on whats available at the time. i believe microforte was recently hiring around sydney, irrational is also a great company in canberra, check out sumea there is a list of all companies in the area
hm
to caroo: it varies from person to person and company to company so i tried to stay generic with my answer. have a talk with me in private later or in email and i will help give you some custom advice for your particular situation :)
do many companies hire part-time QA staff so I can get experience while studying at university?
AshTHQ: On the subject of art and game complexity: What are the most important factors you have to account for on any given next generation title you design? Example: art for rpgs / new options with physics / or any other major difference that effects what you can or cannot do with a next gen title.
: i know melbourne house is always hiring full timers.. but i think they are one of the only few big wigs that hire so much. and with ataris troubles the future of melbourne house is uncertain. poor blokes. Transformers was fun in its own way.
AshTHQ: Have you heard of Chris Crawford's new interactive storytelling engine 'Storytron'? He wants the gameplay to be less about objects and goals, and more about the characters. Users play through selecting verbs, etc from menus, but he seems confident that interactive storytelling has a future that video games don't. Do you think Storytron will be a success?
does keeping up to date with the latest creative gadget designs and fashion help with making better and more appealing game art?
to souri: my fav games include System Shock 2, Deus Ex 1 & 2 (yes i said 2), Final Fantasy 7, FreeSpace 1 & 2, Jedi Knight 1, Planescape: Torment, Solar Winds, Star Control 2, Blade Runner, i loved their gameplay and story both in high regards (i believe it takes both to be a great game). currently i'm playing Beyond Good & Evil which has a beautiful design also
Beyound good and evil really WOWs me at the start. it's execution is brilliant.
Final Fantasy VII was the first proper RPG I played, it rocked :)
to romijade: i think good gameplay comes from a combination of things - solid core mechanics, controls, interface, level design/architecture, freedom, interesting choices, scaling smoothly from simple to complex gameplay, and other things i would need a bit longer to remember :) how about you?
quest log feature... must have it
for a good game in general i believe story is also very important. games that say something meaningful about the world or humanity in particular i admire, such as Deus Ex, Torment
: quote from the book : A theroy of fun. "Games are not stories. Games tend to be experiental taching. Stories teach Vicariously. games are good at OBJECTIFICATION. Stories are good at empathy.
at the end... "do you feel entertained and want to play more or turn it off and try to get a refund?"
to yeap on QA hiring: in brisbane there are not many that i know of, if any. as far as i know, Krome, THQ, Creative Assembly, Pandemic, Auran all have full time QA staff. some like Auran also make use of free beta testers over the internet for games such as Trainz (essentially hardcore fans that could be considered free part timers)
maybe romijade can tell us about parttime QA hiring in melbourne?
thanks
guess I have to wait until I finish my degree to get my foot in the door
: for me though. a good game.. a fun game abides by surtain conditions. for examble. Diablo 2 rans on the convention of "aqasistion" Starcraft works ont he convention of "superioty" and everyones favorate. World Of Warcraft works on both of these convensions. Games are ether a power trip, a compelling drama, a learning tool or leasure fun.
*thinks about guild drama on warcraft hehe
: YOU STOLE MY SWORD!!!
there was also a comment before about designers saying its bad to start in QA - maybe, depends on where you are. let me just say that some great designers began in QA. Harvery Smith was rejected many times for entry level design positions, he eventually settled for starting in QA working for peanuts, about 10 years later he was lead or senior designer on Deus Ex
: these two designers are both very cynical od many things.. however they also put across valid points.. hang on a sec. i'll get a transprit off one if i can.
ok ill answer the remaining questions up to this point and i'll be back again next week for more
cool, thanks for spending time frantically answering these questions :)
now pls get back on msn
Everybody says that QA is the best place to start off if you want a career in design, I disagree, as this is really the bottom of the barrel, and as a level designer you will be doing QA anyway, making sure that your levels and other designer's levels play right - that the level itself as with the other levels are balanced within the context of the game. Not to mention that you will probably get the chance to design other elements, n
If you can avoid QA, then I say do that and go try and land yourself a junior or level design position - this is harder than it sounds, especially as these are rarely advertised for. The thing about QA is, is that you may actually get stuck in QA and go nowhere at all, and you will most likely be the first bunch laid-off as well.
<-- all that was his email to me on the subject.
to mageJ: this is a tough question still being discussed in forums like GDC. some people are saying its Emergent Gameplay, other Physics, others say nothings different in terms of gameplay its just higher production values (art, animation, etc). Jason Rubin made an interesting speech called Game Graphics: Who Cares? i recommended you look it up as well as other GDC articles. ill also ask others at work about this. (cont...)
Thanks Ash i'll be sure to tune in next week
caroo: The problem as I see it is that there are so many talented level designers out there looking for jobs, that to get an entry-level position as one I would need to be highly skilled in this field
yeap, that applies to everything out there
(cont...) Rubin's talk was about how each next gen is getting less dramatic a shift then the previous one. snes to ps1 was big - 2d to 3d, ps1 to ps2 was less (better 3d), ps2 to ps3 is less (better 3d again). its going to get to the point of having 10000 hairs on a head instead of 1000. for companies to survive they still need to focus on the core that hasn't changed, great gameplay which has been available all the time
still have to cater for the eye candy fans i'm afraid
*gasp* you mean we'll have to think!.. NOOOOOOOO!!!!!
sorry, am afk a bit. happy to answer any questions via PM or msn sometime, caroo has my details.
and if i don't get a chance later, i'd like to say thanks to Ash for this initiative
frostblade: but if I start off with level design as a lever to become a designer, then I'm not planning on being a level designer for the long haul and the time taken becoming as skilled as other pure level designers could be better spent learning about game design
YES! I will pass her msn of doom onto you! ... i personaly accept and eargaly await the challenge of harder design.
to yeap: yep i've heard of followed chris crawford's work over the years. it has been taking him a long time to produce a solid, tangible demo. maybe it will be a success eventually, but personally i think other game developers are going to beat him to it
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but that is just part of life, the more you know the better and you can't have everything you want when you want it... knowing more is always good
damm.. got refeshed and wiped. if anyone whispered me please rewhisper.
to frostblade: yes keeping up to date with gadgets and fashions can defintely help if the games you are working on relate to that material. modern is cool but unfortunately a lot of games are medieval or futuristic so beware
well as long as it doesn't look like trash it's ok right lol
frostblade: true, but if I was to start learning level design now, it could take me years to reach the level of people already looking for jobs. So that would mean I would take years longer to get my first industry job than QA
then I guess it's about the time you spend to getto know the people who will get you to places instead of depending on standing out via knowledge and skill
I've heard that working in QA some places, you get to know the people and offer feedback and suggestions on the design, and this can get you into a design role eventually
personaly Yeap. keep working on what your working on now. home your skills.. research the job you want. maybe put some extra design work at home. Use your flash skills to make animated previews of your ideas. Be nice to others in the industry and get to know a people.
ok thanks for the questions everyone, i hope my answers were of help. i'll post this chat to sumea, ask a few of the questions to
others at work, and i'll be back next week at the same time. good night all :)
yeap: why so pessimistic ? Relax, Learn, produce, communicate, and work on finding your balance between social capital and productive skills, and try not to worry so much about how the dice fall, just start rolling them and taking chances.
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thank you too AshTHQ
AshThq: Thanks.
Thanks Ash^^
thanks for answering :)
Have a good evening.
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thanks
too late
That was interesting. *rubs his chin*
Yeap: maybe go for a job, but keep on learning in free time
yeh
oh wait that was his alt
indeed it was.
End of #igda buffer Thu May 18 21:59:58 2006

Ash's picture

Transcript 2

If anyone wants lines of this post edited/removed, contact me via a forum post or Sumea private message

=================================================================

Session Start: Thu May 25 19:33:08 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
[Edited]
ok its 8pm lets start, my name is matt, i'm a designer at THQ. i want to help out with any students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions, ask away
i'll do my best to answer them or if i can't, i'll get someone at work to give a better answer. if there is anyone else here from industry, feel free to help with answering questions
I've gotta get off my butt soon and learn a scripting engine. I've got a huge upto date book on it. I'm just more artisticly based as a designer. And whats inside this book scares me..nah thats a fine answer. gotta love what you do XD
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hi
hi
We are the knights..that say YEAP!! ..g'day yeap ^^
k, i'll start... with a self-centered question :)
AshTHQ: As a final year student finishing a four year double degree for Information Technology and Creative Industries (Communication Design) what advise would you give to someone like me in regards to looking for and giving myself the best chance at securing a job in the field i'm interested in (designer)?
Ok Ash.. I got a question: The first few months at THQ..how did you find it. did they just throw a hard task at you. or start you off slow?
Work and complexity wise.Answer Scrows Question first ^^
*advice
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Scrow: i'd say polish your resume and cover letter, try to work on a mod/indy project to get some experience while you wait (and make sure you pick a worthwhile project), network at igda events if there are any in your city but without being annoying to industry people
In other words talk to them. they're people to. When at the lan party at torus i only talked to two guys about my projct..and that was only about the project..not inquring about jobs or positions.
what makes a polished resume and cover letter? i can imagine the obvious things, but is there anything specific that some people may not think of?
caroo: they started off slow and gave me training, i got to watch episodes of the cartoon the game was based on, and learned how to use the their in-house editor through training sessions and practical tests (cont..)
AshTHQ: With regards to what you said above about mod/indie projects, how do you know which ones are worthwhile and likely to go the whole way?
(caroo cont...) however, the senior designers were often busy on the current project as you would expect, so it did require a good amount of aptitude and learning on your own as well, as well as previous technical and creative work experience to handle things
: AshTHQ: I'm glad to hear it. I kinda had the idea that they'd give some leninse and training. How do you think you would of faired if they just dropped you into the deep end?
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to expand on "not being annoying", what caroo said is true, get to know people and talk about yourself and your position but don't sound like you're only interested in getting to know someone because you want a job from them
unfortunately it can turn people off
And it's a small industry. I'd think that if you annoyed enough people you'd find it very hard to get a job here.
caroo: if they dropped me in the deep end it would have been significantly harder but i would have survived :)
any other questions? can be for any field or part of the industry, not just design
Ok Ash, I have a question. They don't have like...Overlords / Slavemasters behind you, watching your back and what your doing all the time, do they? I find it harder to code when people are watching :)
Effex: :) at THQ, no. we are given schedules and direction, then free to go about our work as long as we meet deadlines and expectations. you will probably find that the further you go up the less you get watched, i have a friend at Obsidian where most people are seniors and are thus given freedom and trusted to do their jobs right. i can't say for other companies, maybe others here can answer for theirs?
AshTHQ: With regards to what you said above about mod/indie projects, how do you know which ones are worthwhile, since only a very small portion actually end up going the whole way?
: Ash. About design. I'm torn between what i should focus on more. The academics of design [what is fun in gaming and that sort of stuff] or the technicals of design [Scripting Langerages and the like] which is more important initialy to get through the door. I'm equaly working on both sides of the fence.
Yeap: it is very hard unfortunately to find worthwhile projects. try to filter your choices by: picking a game genre you like, picking a genre your target/local employers make, a project with a realistic (small) scope (cont...)
caroo: while I'm not in the industry, I believe technical design is done by the lead programmer, or a software engineer. again, not in the industry, but that's hte impression I get.
I'm currently listing the different types of entertainment we get from a video game .. I've found 25 so far. Some are very very similar though.
Like Obtaining - Improving - Expanding for example. all closly linked.
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(Yeap cont...) sometimes it may mean doing a mod by yourself, e.g. a designer can realistically do a 15 min (gameplay length) fps or rpg level design to use as a demo to employers that will also give you ample tech experience with a game engine, for a programmer pick a project that you can write a portion of the engine that isn't dependent on others to complete their work first (e.g. renderer, AI)
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thanks
Ash: in other words.. something like what im currently working on. : http://www.sumea.com.au/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3716
earlier you mentioned polishing my resume/cover letter. what makes a polished resume and cover letter? i can imagine the obvious things, but is there anything specific that some people may not think of? unique to this industry i mean.
caroo: i would say keep working on both half/half, i think both are equally important. some companies may lean more towards one or the other, but i believe covering both keeps your options more open. i'll also ask at work about this one
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Ash : Solid mate. thanks a bunch
Smokey': there is two kinds of technical design, programmers deal with implementing the hardcore systems, and designers scripting and using a 3d editor (at many companies)
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what about trying to gain experience in more risky areas of design? An example is Chris Crawford's storytron technology. The alpha of the authoring tool is out, but it takes a long time to gain proficiency in its use. If the technology flops, will storyworlds I have created still have value on my resume? (the storyworlds are text-based with menus of verbs to interact with characters)
caroo: analysing and listing out types of fun in a game and why they are fun like you are doing is a great exercise, and something that separates game players from game designers :)
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caroo: you ever read The Escapist online magazine? http://www.escapistmagazine.com
Yeap: It's my pholosify not just in getting a job but in life that nothing is a waste of absolute time. If you find it fun and worthwhile. Do it. If you have doubts. Look into other designs. Unreal gives you a whole engine to work with..no i havn't ..what is it about?
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so where is the igda chat supposed to be at?
Ash: not just a great experience. I also find it fun. XD
you're in it. AshTHQ is fielding questions so far.
caroo: it has articles with a more academic style aimed towards people in the industry more than players
oh ok sorry
:)
g'day Lingo.
hi all
Yeap : awesome. I'll look into it.
caroo: I just found out they pay for article submissions (25c per word), so if you want to further extrapolate on your ideas it could be a nice idea to email them and try and get published
Scrow: most of the resume/cover letter stuff i can think of is generic to any industry and there's plenty of great websites around to help with that. i'd say the cover letter is a great place to put in specialised info such as personal selling points, aspirations, etc (my advice is also to keep a cover letter to 3 paragraphs of text max, not including headers/footers)
a lot of their articles seem to be written by people already in the industry though
i'll also ask about this at work Scrow to see if others have any ideas
Yeap : Well see. i'll have to put my stuff through 3 editors frist just to dispell my horrable spelling XD
thanks Ash
AshTHQ: another question if i may. most if not all positions require x amount of years experience as a professional in the industry, but if you're just starting out fresh from uni how do you ever get work?
caroo: hehe. I emailed them suggesting an article I wished to write, but the editor never replied to me :(
that relates to my next question also: Is starting as a game tester/QA a viable method for becoming a designer?
Scrow : I've been told this by so many people in a lot of industies. "you have to be the best of the best of the noobs. XD"
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Yeap: in my opinion, risky areas such as storytron can be exciting to some companies but unimpressive to others. employers will often consider how your tools/engine experience transfers to their workplace - if they are working on an fps, then working experience with UnrealEd is going to be more attractive to them than storytron (cont...)
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(Yeap cont...) time is also something to think about, if storytron takes 1 year to learn and create something decent, think of how that compares to 2 6 month projects with the Source engine and Neverwinter Nights engine which tranfers to a lot more relevant industry experience/tools knowledge
Yeap : Books help aswell. I brought a book on the unreal engine. Not only has it told and teached me how to use its main fuctions easly. but it also dedicated a 1/3 of the book to maya. which i can now do basiv modeling and texturing. I might never use it as a designer. But to know how it works is a great advantage to have.
Ash: sorry, i came in late, the questions seem to be pretty much revolved around design, does this mean you work on the design side of things? cos i hadsome questions about breaking into the programming side of things
Lingo: this is an igda student help chat :)
ah, i see thanx :)
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i believe the objective is to cover all areas LingoManiaC. use wannabe designers are just hogging the chat atm.
*us
LingoManiaC: ask away, Ash will do his best to answer the question to the best of his knowledge.
Wannabe being the ding ding term XD
Scrow: its tough i know :) try to look for junior positions that dont require experience (rare as they are, they do exist), network with igda local meeting to find out about unadvertised junior positions or companies hiring, and try to get experience in the mean time with a mod, internet indy project, or startup company. this is a tough question ill also get others from work to answer
ah ok great thanks :) then if i may, Ash: i am like a physics enthusiast and have enjoyed working on physics simulations in my spare time, i'm pretty much fresh from uni, i was just wondering if you had any idea what kind of stuff they might be expecting from someone like me fresh from uni at a job interview in terms of the physics demo?
ah okay, that covered another question i wanted to ask sometime later about whether junior/assistant/entry level positions even existed.
glad to hear they do
Scrow: starting as a QA/tester can indeed lead to becoming a designer, as can starting as an artist or programmer
(i know thats a question thats probably out of your scope, sorry ;) )
: make the first page of your cover and resume stricking aswell. maybe a simple pic of a bunny and at the top "read this resume or the bunny gets it!" Scrow: I've seen advertised..in two years.. four entery designer positions. so while they exsist.. rare means rare..
Lingo: no probs :) yes i am a designer at THQ. you can ask about anything you like however, i will answer as best i can and if i can't answer it i will ask other programming leads at work :)
and i guess when i say "they" i don;t mean any people in particular, just lead programmers or interviewers in general
ah ok thanx :)
Ash in regards to THQ could you tell me what software packages are used by artists currently
sorry if i'm a bit behind in answering questions, it takes me a while to write replies then read a bit more down the page :)
understandable
no probs :)
don't mind the eagerness
Lingo: this is a question i'll have to ask to programming leads at work :) do you want to be hired as a physics programmer or general programmer?
hmm, well i was thinking of being a general gameplay programmer, but physics is my main specialty at the moment, but i want to branch out into controlling character animation, game progresnio logic etc...
but physics programming is my strongest selling point currently
thanx :)
poppin: at THQ the artists use Maya 6.5 and in-house scripts to export the files to our custom game engine
: Lingo: Know a little bit about each type of programming but focus and become a really good programmer at one aspect.
poppin: this is THQ Brisbane only, i don't know about international THQ studios
caroo: thanx that sounds like sound advice :), physics programming would be the aspect i am focussing on, other areas i have only touched upon recently to make myself a little bit more relevent to games
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Yeah I realise that, thankyou very much. D you know if they hire max trained Jnr artists?
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i'll ask around to find out what other brisbane studios use, i believe maya and 3ds max are the most popular. i'll ask about the juniors, there have been a few new hires over the past couple years, i believe either maya or 3ds max is regarded equally
Apart from Ash. Is anyone else here in the industry?
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Lingo: i'll take this into account when asking thanks
thanx :)
Yeah most of the brisbane studios are just max and Maya. melbourne house are the only Australian studio I know that is soft image
any more questions? if not i'll wrap it up
ya, if there's no one else first
I have asked all that I had to (not much)
go ahead scrow
yeah, i don't have any more questions :)
besides the mod/indy project stuff, is there anything else an aspiring designer such as myself could include in a portfolio that'd help in getting work?
boardgames?
: toy designs and "why this toy will sell"
Scrow: writing a game design document. i'll ask at work for other ideas
i've read some stuff from John Passfield's blog and he mentions creating design documents for games i'd like to make, and card/number games developed in something as simple as flash
ah okay. yeah, i'm working on stuff now.
design documents i mean
In my eyes. toys and games go hand in hand. They're a different type of design but designing a good toy takes as much skill as designing an aspect of a game.
kinda difficult fitting it inbetween uni though
yeah it's hard i know what it's like fitting in uni then more work in your spare time
it's good to plan ahead. start with small, realistic goals that you can achieve rather than grandiose designs that will only get half done in the spare time you have
would you recommend creating a design document for a fully fledged game simply for the sake of making a design document, with no actual intention to MAKE the game during uni?
just as a way to prove written skills, and communicating an idea clearly
yes, as long as the design is well presented, looks fun and grammar is solid, it's a good exercise
great, thanks. i think that's everything i could think to ask for now.
anyone else? i'm going to shutup now :)
also take into account how much time the hiring employer has to read your design or play your mod - they are very busy and will often only browse it or play the first 5-15 mins, if that. keep the work focussed on impressing them in that short amount of time
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hey ben what software do artists use at Krome
anyone can answer this one, what are some good sites to find indie projects other than moddb.com ?
sup, sorry i'm late, did i miss anything?
i had a question before about it
hi livewire. krome modeller right?
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yep
level builder
max and maya at krome isn't it?
we use max and maya
thanks
before i started there i only knew max though, and now i use maya
it dosnt really matter what you know, so long as your actual work is strong
its not hard to learn the other, only took me acoule of weeks
you got your entry into the industry at krome?
a friend of mine stated there recently too, he's previously on used max and he's picked up maya now
yeah, straight out of qantm, been there a year now
okay, in terms of Jnr places do you have many for 3d artists?
i am really hungry, be back in a sec, i need some food!
thats cool
Yeap: you might try sourceforge.net, gamedev.net or sumea.com
yeah another firend on mine just started as a character modeler/animator
finsihed qantm last year
krome is always hiring, i saw another add on sumea the other day
okay, I put in an application just prior to E3 about a Jnr 3d artist job, I just heard back from HR recently
: Livewire : Just wondering. You've probably seen my work on Sumea.. how often do krome hire junior game designers?
i'm afraid i dont know what the go is with designers
you can also check out http://www.sumea.com.au/sumeawiki/owbase/ow.asp?p=IGDABrisbaneStudentCha... the Jobs links
they are looking for jnr level designers at the moment, but i thoink that means prop/enemy placement
actual game design i dont think there are any juniors, at least not hired into that roll
Livewire: Yes ive seen that advertised. But admittably im more a game designer then level designer.
yeah there are ads out for level artists and designers I think, I dont have much level work in my folio though
what krome project are you working on currently if you dont mind my asking?
spyro
:)
thought so
I think I spoke to you at supanova
you might of, i was there and i spoke to a lot of people :)
i have a question for everyone, whats the best game you've played in the past year?
past year! but some many good games have come out!
games? i don't play games anymore :(
does it have to be a recent game?
.....lets see
if not the past year, then of all time :)
Spongebob Squarepants: Lights, Camera, Pants!
Halo 2, though the designers in the room might say the levels were designed pretty atrocious
and ty3
lol
i liked the physics though
mario kart ds, tetris ds, kirby canvas curse, metroid hunters (yeah, i'm a DS freak)
Shadow of the collisis was good for its simplistiy of design.. but all time Dark Chronicle
best? hmm, might actually ahve to go for resident evil 4 on the gc - fantastic
livewire stole all my answers (except Metroid Hunters)!
beyond good and evil for me
Dark Chronicle just had so much to offer. and such innvative ideas.
what is that on
yeah I would say mario kart DS, Katamari, shadow of the colossus, guitar hero
dark cronicle
those are my recent favourites
PS2 ... hard to get though.. its the sequal to dark cloud
and OBLIVION!
i want to play oblivion
i've been very impressed with the design on WoW, though i cant say its the best game i've played
oblivion! yes awsome! at least for a few weeks until i broke the leveing system by out leveling the leveled enemies :)
heh... WoW. i needed to quit that game. time sinks + uni = fail
WOW is a fun game. but i swore myself off it while im working on my folio. its just to much of a time guzzler and distraction.
then it got dull
yeah oblivion is fun but it is a short fun
WoW, HAH!!! I've given up, and taken up that game 3-4 times now :P
Oblivion has to have one of the most half assed hourse jump animations though ..
ok thanks for the questions everyone, i'll post the transcript to the sumea education forum and get some other answers from work. feel free to leave or keep chatting as you please :)
currently in the 'given up mode', but i give it 2 months before i'm hooked again :)
thanks ash
: Livewire: can i ask you a question?
ty Ash, it's been interesting. :)
Thanks Ash it was very informative
yeah thanx :)
i'm going to head out now. got an assignment due tomorrow :(
later peeps, maybe i'll see some of you sunday.
: How do you find working at krone studios. As a whole.
yeah see you then scrow
Krome*
your welcome, bye everyone
Cya Ash.
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cya
o_O No wonder no one was uploading art for the last week on Sumea. I stuffed things up :o
cya
gtg
cya
Krome is a great place to work at
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it's very relaxed and they do their best to avoid overtime
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and if we do a lot of overtime they try to make it up to us
: Exelent to hear.
whats the latest youve had to stay back?
not very late yet, though the end of the project is very neer...
i've had to come in on weekends a few times though
i prefer that to staying back, as the longer i stay back the less i get done
yeah true
: so they are a rather fair bunch to work with X3
oh and is the office like a dark dungeon or is it pleasant?
yeah everyone gets along pretty well it seems
i enjoy it anyway
no dungeon, but it is getting crowded
though we refer to the floor with the hellboy team on it as 'Hell'
whys that?
because they work on hell boy
because they're on hellboy
Yeah I would think krome was starting to get crowded it has expanded a fair bit of late
Do you work near Malus? XD
Whats it like designing and level building on a game like spyro?
yeah he's behind me
keeps fiddleing with my pc settings when i go to lunch
i'll have to lock my pc in the future...
how are artist applications normaly handled at Krome, you have a HR department so do they sort and organise applications to ford to art leads? and if so do they only forward on application for current openings?
caroo: i dont actually do any levle design, i get a template mesh and build the rooms based on that
: alright. well how do you find that?
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poppin: not too sure, i imagin that they forward on most applications reguadles of weather they are hiring or not, i'm pretty sure some people inknow got hired when they wern't looking
okay thanks, do you ever get to check out applications that float through the office?
producers love wow
caroo: makes building the levels very easy! :) but we get to put in a fair bit of input ourselves. we have a lot of control over what the rooms look like visually so long as it fits the style. design wise not so much, though we do get to influence it a bit occasionally
mik say's he'll be on righter after this raid....
I put a pic of the Krome building in the Sumea wiki :) http://www.sumea.com.au/sumeawiki/owbase/ow.asp?KromeStudios
Livewire: Do you think that could maybe convince one of Krome game designers to come on to this chat next week? their probably busy people. But still
i could ask
Sweet. Thanks mate.
havent seen an application with a cosmonaut by any chance? hopefuly not in the bin though it would be understandable.
afraid not
at krome do you have access to the 'fine wine cellar'? (from picture)
i'm not sure where the entrace to that is actually
You guys need a sign on the building, pandemic is easy to spot with their giant gas mask logo on their new building.
what are you working on, Livewire?>
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spyro
is halfbrick doing the spyro handheld development or is krome handling it internaly?
not to sure what's been announced about the handhelds
thanks anyway
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do you use zbrush at all at krome?
i dont, spyro is current gen, though i think they do on hell boy
yah the screens of hell boy looked like they had zbrushed the normal maps for the skin designs HB has
so you work on environment assets on spyro?
yes
mostly i build the environments, though occasionally i'll do props which are placed in the levels
what kind of work did you have on your applications when you got hired?
my demo reel had three levels from two games, and one i only showed a few shots off. it was short too, i was careful to show only the best stuff and hide anythingthat dragged it out or got boring. quality over quantity
caroo: yeah, i dont know anything about that. thats the business side of things
my answer above was just a guess
And how did you find the first few months of your new job mate? did they start you out in an easy task?
ahhh I see so you got hired with full levels, what games where they for? was this your last year game project?
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yeah, two levels from my final project at qantm the preivous year, and one level from the year before (old and pretty bad work in comparison, but i liked the artwork so i chose shots that showed only good stuff and hid all the bad ;) )
where you one of the people that worked on the scooter game?
at my interview i showed off work from two more levels i'd done since then
yes
i did the town map and the battle arena -quickest level ever. i just re-used all the assets from the town and lit it differently
was that renderware that game?
I can't remember it all that well
it was ogre, wasnt it?
we used the ogre engine for rendering, ragnet i think for network, novadex physics maybe. i cant remeber all that well either! that was the coders concern anyway
okay, I remember I only got to play a bit of it, I was fairly busy at that agdc
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do you have any experience with normal maps? would you say that as things progress normal map knowledge would be fairly important on applications?
no, yes
which means i should really get into it :)
hehe, they are a bitch at first, mainly because I was working with limited documents in relation to the software I had to use
we'll, ive played around with them a bit, but havnt used them seriously yet - the modeller challenge will change that though
yeah I am looking forward to that too :)
problem is the day it starts the DS lite is out :( but the challenge is like 4 months so plenty of time
and new super mario bros next month too...
yeah well I am planning on stealing my brothers copy of new super mario bros when it arrives in the comming days (import)
Nintendo really need to stop relying so heavly on two fictional brothers.
maybe when they stop paying the bills

LiveWire's picture

oh no! All my bad spelling for the world to see!

unknownuser2's picture

Gah I missed it again! Dag Nabbit. I need a bloody reminder in my ear. [:(]

Makk's picture

Gah! I would have liked to join in, not that I would have anything important to say :P
But I play basketball on thursdays so I might not get in anyway.

Carlin's picture

Is this going to be on again tonight?

Ash's picture

Tonight we had the pleasure of Troy Nickel, Founder and Director of Kalescent Studios who helped answer some questions. :) Next chat will be on Thurs 8pm June 8.

Transcript 3

If anyone wants lines of this post edited/removed, contact me via a forum post or Sumea private message

====================================

Session Start: Thu Jun 01 19:36:16 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
[Edited]
ok 8pm, can keep chatting if u want or ask questions
the usual: my name is matt, i'm a designer at THQ here to help out with students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions, ask away. i'll do my best to answer them or if i can't, i'll get someone at work to give a better answer
i like design and art but I don?t think im creative enough to do it in the long run
umm.. i got nothing how about you caroo?
Ok.. hmmm... Ash mate. Touchy subject.. but about australias payrates in the games industry..is it competive and fair to that of american statistics? http://www.sumea.com.au/seducation.asp the averages are at the bottem. if this is a hard subject you dont need to answer this.
there is a game salary survey done by gamasutra/game developer mag you can compare it to http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20040211/olsen_01.shtml 2003, the 2006 is only released in the magazine, can't see it online
and i take all my game dev mags to sit on my shelf at work so i don't have them here to compare
here's a 2005 summary http://www.hustlerofculture.com/me_we/2006/04/it_doesnt_pay_t.html
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please repost that last one mate
here's a 2005 summary http://www.hustlerofculture.com/me_we/2006/04/it_doesnt_pay_t.html
i remember reading it online at the gamasutre site, I think you can access it you just have to dig
thank you.
by the looks of it, yes i'd say it's competitive, also taking into account that many australian companies want to attract the best international talent as well which requires competitive salary and lifestyle benefits
from my brief stay in america and looking at economics, also take into account the difference in cost of living in america (just converting to the exchange rate doesnt really count), 50000 here is almost like 50000 there for living per year because dollar costs scale up
like a subway here is $6 aus, a subway there is $6 usd last time i went, i was expecting it to be $3 usd or something
lol
Ah. On the boat of "talent" ... we wanna get others to come over to here becouse of their skills. Do you think enough empathsis is put on nutering local aspiring talents? we have many game courses..but most are hazzardly expensive [like aie] and dont allow a hex like system. which denies those who are in the lower income bracket. Do we make sure that talent stays in our own country?
yeah the majority of hires are still australian from what i see in companies
Where do you see the industry in 5 years time? Number of jobs? Consumers? Average pay?
i saw something that made me chuckle... the AIE is sponsoring a grant for different kinds of people..and one of the catagories was "Women seeking careers in the Games, Film and related creative digital industries" I kinda find this silly.. as im guessing video game studios are Equal Oppatunity Employers.. If a female shows as much skill as a male i think they should be treated equaly.. no more or less. SO why have they gone and g
Do you see any major changes on the way?
tough one. i can't say for sure, only give my opinion. some companies will fold and some new ones will emerge as seen from the past few years. there will be more consumers as gaming gets bigger each year. pay would probably go up to match the cost of living/inflation
caroo: your msg got cut off at "they gone and g"
what do u mean by major changes?
gone and given grants on a gender only basis? it seems a little silly. I know that woman in games is rare.. but nothing is stopping them as i see it.
Probably because if some women start taking it up as a career then more will follow, as it will be more accepted
i personally think its a good idea. the problem is that many companies want more diversity, to get away from just boys making games for boys in a certain macho way. however, just leaving it to women to apply is not going to solve that problem, they need motivation. so sponsorships drum up that interest to get things moving faster. i think its a good idea.
if that would be the case. then it is for the best. I tihnk we'd all like more divercity in games.
In my course there?s about a 15 to 1 ratio of male to female students, more then i was expecting
they mostly move into different designs. i know one guy doing interior design at a uni. 25 students.. 3 are men.
What is it currently around in companies in Australia?
*is somewhat suppriced no one else showed up.
i think games or engineering careers are seen as quite macho or nerdy to a lot of girls. at uni i did engineering courses with very few girls around and heard and read lots about companies wanting to get more women into engineering the same way
my guess is maybe 1 to 20 ratio
Well.. you can't force them to like an industry they dont really care about XD most females i meet dont really care for mainstream games.. but not all. just most.
So I guess with our super accurate research we can say it?s on the rise.
sure hope so XD
some of it however is just misconceptions and unknowns of what people in games or engineering do on a day to day basis
at uni i heard about companies and lecturers doing talks at high schools to show students what it actually means to be an engineer and what do you do. some dont even consider it as an option because they just dont know what it involves
one of my other friends started off doing a course in design enginnering. hes a pritty artistic guy..so when he saw that it was mostly math and calulations he quit after a year and now does another type of design at uni
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hello guest63
* Guest63 is now known as jason
hi carlin
i guess everyone forgot
<.< just a tad
hi jason
* jason is now known as Guest401714351
yeah i don?t think it was promoted enough
well.. you could always do what the army does.. make it look like an adventure..while its acually quite diffucult and intence.
yeah souri prob forgot to put it on the mainpage
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jason whats your story? Are you a student? Developer? Something else?
i actually worked for a dev company in sydney...
Its not around anymore... i think
persception?
nope
I was with Imaginary Numbers
ah. What did you do there? a deisgner? Programmer or artist?
artist
has something happened to microforte ash?
ive only heard rumors
ah ok
* AshTHQ is now known as Ash
MMOs are always a huge risk to take.
yeah definitely
i mean.. how much resourses do you think Auran is putting into fury? and we have to be realistic aswell. apart from W.O.W. 500,000 subcribers is about as good as one can get.
although.. money could be made back fast with 500,000
500,000 is a *very* difficult amount to get
yep. and thats the point.. MMOs are what everyone consives to be the future of gaming. [i tihnk its only half true - there is always be casual non PVP games]
there were many talks at gdc about MMOs. lots of companies see how much the top games like wow, everquest and lineage are making monthly and think - if we could just tap into 2% of that market we'd make a killing. but u can't just *tap* into 2% of the market, (cont... )
http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1.html only 5 seem to have over 500,000
people find mmmos they like and tend to invest and stick to the same one, all their friends are there and their many hours of investments into their characters. there are so many companies making mmos and they get pitiful shares of the market and fold, it's very risky
this was coming from some of the experts at gdc
I worked with one guy. doing concept art for him for 6 months while i studied and he wanted to make a huge MMORPG.. problem was is that he was trying to make it vast...WOW scale and without paying for any of the work [ i took it on becouse it was experience and i at school at the time] the point being. MMOs are not the way to go for your first game design XD .. do you think fruc will make back its investment..it looks promising..but.
yeah that chart is *amazing*, its exactly what they're saying. and there's hundreds of little games you've never heard of down at the bottom below that orange one
Fruy*
Fury* ...yay!
it's a market dominated by the giants, very hard to tap into the market share compared to single player genres that people finish quickly then move onto the next game
I personaly think ... one other huge game will come out and cut into WOWs share...but only one..and chances are..it'l be UOS [universe of starcraft]
i think there will be a huge shake up when wow starts to die, think about it, 6.5 million mmo players looking for a new one to play
lol caroo
its also fair to mension though that many of these MMOs fail becouse they dont offer anything new to the table that WOW already does.. wow is simple and easy to play..thats its design genius.
Blizzard will make sure to release something in order to retain their 6.5 million
they wont let them go easily
most are fantasy...boring medievil with lettle inviguality.. guild wars is a great example..oh its free..but.. its quite sterile and only leveling upto 20 is kinda..eh.
yeah blizzard is smart, they will hold on for a long time i reckon
<.< i want my god damm starcraft MMO now!!.. hhahahah..nah.. blizzard have forsaken us with starcraft.. ghost is turning into a duke nukem forever.
when you look at sequels to everquest and lineage holding on to customers by making a new mmo game doesn?t seem work
i dont believe they are stupid enough to do a sequel, they've planned 12 expansion packs ahead apparently
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<.< god mighty fuck...
* Guest53 is now known as Hazard
i read it in a interview somewhere
Hey People :D
hi hazard
hi guest.. no that wasnt to you...g'day
hello hazard
talking about mmos
I almost Forgot again tonight
but i made it!
Awesome XD
wanna introduce yourself to the others JT
maybe they have some questions for u :)
Sure!
My Names Troy Nickel Im the founder and Director at Kalescent Studios :)
i tend to get a lot of design q's cos i'm a designer
G'day Troy. Im caroo...you..propably know that <.< .. eh. how are you mate?
i assume they can ask about things like production, management, starting up a company?
We are mostly an outsourcing house - working with other developers across the world with art / code and level design stuff.
In the past 2 years weve contributed to 16 titles from GBA right through to Xbox360 and PS3 :)
Hey Caroo!
Hazard - Hows that all going for you and your work colleages mate? Outsourcing. XD hey
Are you holding your own or growing?
Well Its a rollercoaster to be honest, i wont candy coat anything
it has its extreme highs and its implosive lows.
im guessing you get your on and off seasons.
Hmmm not really on or off seasons
More sporadic?
Imagine a neverending battle with someone who is yoru equal in every way, knows when your going to parry
knows when your going to lunge
you get glimmers of hope, when your sword nicks his arm, but then gobsmacked when he hacks off one of your limbs
there was a question before about how australian salaries compare to american in the game industry, do u think its on par hazard?
Good question
Well... personaly mate i hope you keep afloat and thats not kissing ass ether. I wanna see the australian industry grow and strenghen. both studios and specialty outsoursers.
I think the salaries are fairly similar, though i think america has the foundation in place in order to seek highly experienced individuals. Rather than allrounders who can plug holes.
not saying au doesnt have that - just i think America has more of that.
Thanks Caroo - We are battling, we dont get alot of support from AU studios to be honest - but that doesnt really matter :D
hazard speaks the truth
Weve been declined already on 3 titles, for indian outsourcers from AU based companies because we simply couldnt compete with their prices.
thats becoming our biggest problem - though thats being felt worldwide.
have u heard of Tose?
Hazard - You probably know i'm aspiring to be a game designer. From your experiences and views.. any personal advice or tips you would be able to share with me in my quest to become a good designer. ...thats..really..bad mate.
what do u reckon of tose
I actually havent heard of Tose Ash
Ill have to google
k np, its a japanese outsourcing company
Caroo - I see the work your putting into your projects, and personally im really impressed.
Keeping up that level of motivation is the biggest challenge i believe youll ever have to conquer.
especially working alone.
So my advice to you would be, do absolutely anything in order to get your projects done. If you work better after playing 2 hours of WOW then do so every night
if you find games a distraction - then dont play at all and treat them as a reward ;)
Also - I wouldnt be doing anything different to what your doing right now
plaster your efforts all over the place
in as many places as you can
Nods* i do agree.. motavation i have in spades because of my ambissions.. but some days you go on lows.. you know. Basicly im battling 5 schools to get a position. XD ..and haha i swore myself off WOW until i get an industry job..it pains me every day. i cry myself to sleep XD hahaha. JK .. yep. i'm damm supriced im the ony real person who uses the design section of sumea
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You'd think more would use it.
I hate to plays devils advocate - but its really in my nature :P
hello alor
hello
hi alor
Hey Alor :D
hello Alor
Do Australian studios get much work from America due to time zones. For example they can ask for something in the afternoon and it will be ready when they start the next morning?
Carlin: A majority of my clients are american based, and yeah we do have some arrangements like that.
XD yeah.. normaly motavation. but a dream gives you a boost when things turn to shit.
Although a majority of the things we produced cant be done overnight
hope and disappointment makes me sad.
Remain Positive, and aim high, just always try to be level headed and look at your situation, your position, and the work that your producing for a specific job that your aiming to get and see if it looks good from all angles.
<.< g'day alor. you a student or industry? thats choice advice Hazard. ^^ I approve.
how can anyone just play only 2 hrs of wow?
lol
might as well quit wow...
Ive never played - so i cant really answer that ;)
i agree with haz, drive hard for your dreams. there may be hiccups and disappoints along the way but keep at it and you will get there in the end
use the parental timelock tools lol
I've played wow. I felt like i was on drugs all the time. don't ever play it... it will ruin you
WOWs new slogan. : world of warcraft - over 5 million lives consumed.
hmm, "played
2 hrs quickly becomes all night... all day... 24/7 until you drop dead
Its true, Caroo youll be stretched to your limits, and just when your about to give in ( and you will get to this point at some stage in the games industry ) youll get a breather enough oxygen to keep you fueled up to the next air pocket :D
i still play but not hardcore like before
never raid... never go back to that... it's insane...
some people in the guild are now grinding the gear for the second and 3rd lvl 60
: That i know Hazard..and it might happen closer then then i know. I'm currently waiting for a word back for a level design position at krome... im to work on hellboy. and i've been warned that crunch is comming in 2 months or so... this of course is if i get the job. I don't think their all to eager to pay relocation for a junior position XD]
Are there any other questions that i might be able to answer from anyone ?
THats good news Caroo - Good luck :)
any artist jobs out there? contract etc?
2d field
They seemed eager. Mainly becouse their editor is closly linked to unrealED. and by luck..guess what im using XD??
Theres more jobs available than there are people to fill them Alor
where can i look for that stuff?
Yeah for artists and programmers at least XD...
everyone has to start somewhere and sometimes sacrifices have to be made. take the opportunities u get and work from there is my advice
cgtalk, sumea, polycount, zbrushcentral, conceptart.org, gamesindustry.biz, indygamer....... the list is long
designers...not so much.. its take what you can get and work with it! which..if its my first job.. i dont have complaints about.
so basically look at the job section and post example works and hope to get a response hey
hellboy by what they said can be done might be quite interesting to work on.
Get to know people, thats the best and biggest asset.
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Id say about 80% of all hiring is done from people knowing someone
" i know a guy "
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hazard speaks the truth again :)
Hey Mark :D
a lot of hires come from networking and knowing people
Hey guys :)
hi makk
Hi Makk
within a company, often when the leads look to hire, people ask around or talk about friends they've previously worked with etc. there is a lot of ppl at thq that have come from previous connections in australia or overseas
hello makk
yeah Im totally familiar with that too Ash
It seems to be the nature of it
<--- needs to get less shy and get out there
because they know how they work and what they're like in a team already
exactly
Get out there alor - what is your background ?
*blush* did i miss your intro ?
graphic design - specialise illustration
" ok who do i have to sleep with to get a job around here XD hahahahaha " ...oh thats a scary scary thought.
actually we use to talk a bit on msn... but it looks like you haven't logged on there for a while
lol
caroo
ash will not be happy if i did that
How confident" are companies about hiring poeple with no industry exp? Say, is it experience better then a strong portfolio with no experience in the biz?
gotta go cut my typing hand.
?
Aloreal
Hah!
aloriael
it has been a while
yes
Damn girl get out there!
Makk - I would have to say, hiring people with no experience means you either need 1) friends who can vouch for you at the studio or 2) a damn good folio or work
well i'm not sure how... i get all awkward when i meet people
Caroo - i thought i told you to stop practising your katana whilst typing on the keyboard....
bugger!
XD but but... BONZAIIII!!!....thats gonna hurt come winter
great 13 degrees again
Makk - mate im in the same boat. just keep at it and work hard.. having people that dont ignore you helps aswell.
yeah, for sure man
Yeah its colder than a witches tit up here
where are you located makk?
yeah caroo's determination is an inspiration to the likes of me
Ballarat, 90 mins out of Melbourne
and yep, its bloody cold down here :(
My secrit - ....power metal rock music.. XD !!! DRAGONFORCE!! ...
i'm in bris, sorry i dont know too much about the companies hiring/expanding down there
through the fire and the flames baby!!
i actually don't have my speakers plugged in
Makk have you applied for junior positions to all the melbourne based companies ?
nope not yet Haz, Im still trying to build up a stronger folio of work. Though I have my eyes on a few companies around there
caroo, what does that stuff sound like?
alor - im on msn all the time, but you arent :P
that's odd. unblock me lol
your not blocked :|
i should deleted you and add again then
Ash - Tose looks awesome :)
... really..really fast eletric gaitors and drums.. and usually singing about questing/determanation
gaitars
didn't work
wtf
:) that's good, our producers at work do projects with them
maybe i should change my email again
it says offline still
yeah Troy your never on anymore
i know :P:P
??
caroo man, you really need some spellcheckers lol
im on 24 / 7
see makk having same probs
not now at this hour!
hmmmm
you're like never on since last year
maybe i blocked everyone in a fit ofrage
one second
XDooooooh yeah. so do.. well the documents are improving. i look through them twice over before posting now..still find mistakes here and there though. hahaha XD
coz we were on wow or something ;p;
haha
my msn died after i was on wow a lot
now only 2 people ever talk
well there you go
i knew wow was evil
firey satanic doom doom of evil more like it
cos wow has built in msn with games
its the nemesis come to punish
people on wow go ... what is msn?
what's an email?
*craves* for Wow
oh i don't have an email address... you have to look for me on wow ...lol
http://www.mmogchart.com/Chart1.html care to comment?
whoops missed a lot of the chat was away for a bit
80% farmers
hi hazard alor and makk
hello jason
Creating a fun virtual chatroom whereby people can interact and do fun stuff together = winning formula with a good marketing budget.
hi jason
Hey Jason :)
lol that smile looks shifty
im a shifty character suits me just dandy
;)
yeah if you have lots of people playing... it doesn't matter if our epics look ugly or not... still grind for it coz have no life to go back to and it's all fun
speak for yourself alor
:P
haha
hehe... there's actually people who take a few hours to go to tgym
i dont get how ppl can loose themselves in a game as much as ppl have with WoW
So Ash - from that chart, what does WOW do that is 50 Times better than DOAC
have u played it jason?
anyone played both
nope thats probably why :P
play it and u will understand. then again, don't... :)
Ive only ever played wow from the 14 day trial
it's a whole new game at lvl 60
hehe i played guild wars and that was boring too i thought
I have to agree Jason12
alor -cause you get to ride a horse?
lol
i think i understand why people delete their gear and characters when they quit
why?
woot troy you're on msn
i am ?
have nothing to go back to ... and starting again is tough
yep, you sure are
it just poped the window that you logged on
ahh i see
But i cant see either of you
hmmm
after experiencing all the epics... end game fun.. without that... might as well quit
i've played DAOC, EQ, SW Galaxies, DDO, EVE, Auto Assault + others and i must say - wow has a better interface, easier accessibility, smoother controls, content richer and more immersive, then once it has a large population it just snowballs from there due to word of mouth and wanting to be with friends and a highly populated world. walking around in an empty dead world mmo is boring. which makes the genre very hard and risky for others to break into the market share
i hope that all made it into the java chat client
int?
haz, did you see my messege on MSN came up?
*continues to listen to nhumanly fast gaitar solos.*
when i was playing guild wars i was clicking on an enemy to kill him and level up and even though its supposed to be fun all i could think of was the fact that Im wasting my life clicking the mouse
Yeap id have to say you hit the nail on the head, i dont think it does any paticular thing 50 times as good as DAOC,
Caroo - fast guitar ?
YEAH! ..that thing-me-boop
really fast... O.o
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Makk - Nope :'(
ahh bugger too late
fast guitar = petrucci
"to break into the market share"
petrucci?
if you like rock / metal and blistering guitar you should find some dreamtheater
any more questions?
ok thanks for coming everyone, i'll post the transcript to sumea

Carlin's picture

Thanks Ash, Hazard and everyone else for coming, answering our questions and giving us an insight into the industry.

Aloriael's picture

Just a reminder that it will be on again same time Thursday.

[img]http://img48.imageshack.us/img48/4425/lolscreen3go.jpg[/img]

Scrow's picture

thanks for the heads up, i would've missed it otherwise.

better start thinking of some questions.

Ash's picture

Special thanks to Jade, Associate Producer from Torus Games and Troy Nickel, Founder and Director of Kalescent Studios and for helping answer questions on production, art and management.

Transcript 4 - Thurs 8 June

Session Start: Thu Jun 08 19:47:06 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
* Topic is 'Begins at 8pm'
* Set by Scrow on Thu Jun 08 19:27:14
hi ash
lol, nice.
Scrow: I'd look at choosing an area to focus on and get really good at it.
It's good to have basic knowledge of everything, but if you want to be really valuable, you'll need to become a pro.
hi scrow
yeah, design :D
You read all the articles on gamedev.net Scrow?
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not all
hello
hi
hi Ash and Carlin
hello Carlin
hey both ^^
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Scrow: Do so. And research Tom Slopers advice.. and maybe go to dperry.com too.
hi jade
And gamasutra.com for articles. Read, read and read.
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XD
well that's one thing i can do Jade
i can at least say i'm a pro at reading the english language :)
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beware that tom sloper is quite cynical
writing might be a different story though
Well, it's just that the more you can learn from it, the better.. there are a lot of good discussions by people with different experiences.
Read 100% but like, discard 90% and form your own opinions.. but one thing I've learned is that you'll never stop learning.
And once you get a job in the industry, you'll discover even more.
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bbs
yeah, i figure that when i get into the area i want to work i'll probably have like 5-10% of the skills and knowledge i'll need to do the job well, and the remaining 90-95% will be learnt from experience
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Scrow - of course it doesnt hurt to dabble and get your mind around some of the programs used in the indusry
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i know jade is associate producer from torus, is anyone else here from industry?
its 8pm. my name is matt and i'm a designer at THQ. i want to help out with any students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions, ask away
i'll do my best to answer them or if i can't, i'll get someone at work to give a better answer. if there is anyone else here from industry, feel free to help with answering questions
k, i got a few questions again.
Question 1: i've read a few times that when applying for a designer position at a game development company it is common process for an applicant to
complete a test. can you provide some insight into what a typical test of that type would entail? if it's something you can't tell people that's
fine, I don't expect you to give me specific questions, but can you hint at the gist of the kinds of topics covered?
damn formatting
sure scrow
there will be questions about design, processes and giving specific solutions to design problems, let me think of a few examples
i remember the test pandemic gave out for designers..that was fun!
btw if anyone has production questions, i'm hoping jade will be able to answer them. back to scrow's q
ok, I have a question you might be able to answer :). When looking for jobs to apply for, I often see that they all require some sort of expirence. Is that a must for most places, or just a general rule of thumb?
<.< altohugh i SWEAR they nicked my transmoglofyer idea. i put that on the test..and now its a mind trick you can use. heh heh.
scrow: examples - how would you redesign X game/genre on a PC for a console or vice versa, what is your favourite game and why, what makes a good linear map, what makes for a good nonlinear map/game
draw an interface mockup for X game/genre under these conditions/rules
i see
caroo, can u give a few generic examples too without getting into trouble with pandemic?
how long would a test typically take to do. i mean how much time do they allow?
i know i could spend hours thinking about and sketching that sort of stuff out, but i imagine you don't get that sort of time :P
: AskTHQ : sorry mate i dont understand. could you reword that?
He meant about the test for designers. I think.
can u give some examples of game designer test questions without stating exactly what the ones were on the pandemic test because they probably want to keep the test private
sure.
vivin: experience is a general rule of thumb as companies more often want experience devs, seniors or leads. junior positions are rarer but they are around. for some places, the regular positions (non senior, non lead) can be either experience or "equivalent experience", e.g. a degree, work in a similar field, mod experience, etc for the same number of years
Ok one example.. without being pasific and applying to probaly many compies tests is the good old "what is your favorate game? Why is it your favorate game? How do you justafy it being your favorate? And how could the game be improved?
scrow, from experience i imagine the tests are generally 1-3 hours, or some are take home
cheers ash, clear's things up
oh okay
thanks for that ash and caroo
you're both welcome
i've got more questions but i'll wait for a bit so others can jump in
doesnt look like theirs much others :P
Also one thing some ask that gets people a little unstuck is sometihng like this: Outline the steps you would take to go from an idea for a game to the actual building of the game with programmers and artists. So basicly this means you better knwo pritty well what the development process is.
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go ahead scrow
k, i'll throw in another question. this one might be outside the scope of what this chat is for, but i'll ask it anyway.
Question 2: it has been suggested that design documents are good to include in a portfolio when applying for a designer positions, but Ash has mentioned (in a previous chat) that the people responsible for short-listing and selecting new designers are very busy and wouldn't have time to read a large design document. with that in mind what sorts of topics would you suggest a design document should include and how much detail should i go into fo
what's the best formula to strike a balance between making it short enough for those people to read in full, and to do that without short-changing myself, so that i can sufficiently demonstrate my ability to articulate abstract ideas, problem solve etc.? Is there a template that can be followed? What should the overall length be (page numbers)?
scrow the first paragraph got cut off at "detail should i go into fo"
detail should i go into for each topic?
thanks :)
sorry for the verbose question O_o
it's all good, still reading
I would be asking more questions, but they would mostly be about the art side of things, while it looks like you guys mostly deal with the design stage, so ill just read :)
i believe there should be summary versions of the document. even in companies there will be 1 page overview of the game, a 5 page extended summary including the core systems and mechanics, then the full document. i would suggest starting small and expanding out (cont)
vivin: just go ahead and ask. Ash would be working with artists I'd imagine so he could have some useful insight that you might find valuable.
vivin - what do you prefur to use. maya or max. ive used and dabbled in both. i find them pritty much matched but i like maya for its more customisable interface.
if you would like to write a full design document to test your abilities, for sure go for it. however, weigh up that the investment of your time is going to be large, and the employer is likely to only browse that full doc in a few minutes (cont)
I started off using 3d max, but went towards maya as I was planing on being highend/film 3d. Im still using maya abit, but also learning lots of other programs like softimage and zbrush2
as for templates, have a search on the internet, there are actually a few on gamedev.net and chris taylor (dungeon siege) has also released one if you google for it
yeah, i've grabbed a few templates
For some reason I found maya to be more to my liking, but I know if I want to get into making 3d for games, Im going to have to learn 3dmax again
vivin - good stuff X3 im using it to make meshes for unrealED for a mod im making.
you will also find design doc advice in game design books and internet sites, check out the links on the igda brisbane page in sumea and tom slopers website
yep. i've done some research on the net. need to pickup a book or two on the subject though.
Caroo- cool, I acturally use dedicated modelling programs to make mesh's, I just use maya to rig/texture/etc
i was surprised to find a couple of good game design books in my uni library even tho its was non games uni :)
Scrow - most books on "game design" as i own 2 are pritty much theoretical. when buying books grab a "level design" book aswell. which is far more technical.
ash: would you say between 7-10 pages is reasonable for an employer to read?
or shorter?
you're welcome to ask about art questions vivin, i don't know if i'll be able to answer them tho :)
haha, ok. How tight do programing/artists/designers work together? I guess would have to be some sort of good comunication between them.
if it was a senior or lead they might, but for a junior i expect they probably wouldn't read 7-10 pages based on the number of junior applicants they would get per week
heh, well as a student fresh out of uni at the end of this year i doubt i'll be applying for any senior or lead designer positions
vivin, yeah they work pretty closely together, often requesting things from each other, passing information and how to use each other's work/tools, etc. communication is an important skill to have
ok, how big generally are Aussie game companys?
i'd say 3 pages is a good length with clear headings and bullet points
3 - 140
okay, thanks
that's just my opinion, i might ask at work about that
and any idea on the size of big companys like EA etc?
i sent some previous week's questions around to some leads but none replied yet, i guess they're too busy cos we're currently in beta near the end of the project
email me or PM on sumea :)
will do
studios in america that work on games that need to be out in months can be as big as 200 staff on one project. keep in mind tohugh they want the work done in half the time.
Question 3: besides design documents and short mods (15 minutes of gameplay), is there anything else you can suggest that might be good to include in a portfolio for a game designer applicant?
the smaller independent companies are as small as 3-5 people. larger companies that are a few years old with a steady income and publisher can be 30-50 people. even larger ones that run multiple projects with multiple teams inside the office can be 70-120+
Scrow - a Kinder Supprise!!
lol
heh, yeah. or a fat wad of cash
Scrow - no..even better.. a Smerf!
* Jade|Afk is now known as Jade
hmm ok, I guess if you were looking to specialise at a certain thing i.e 3d modelling, then usally the bigger companys would be a better place to target since most small companys have mostly jack of all trade's people right?
When it comes to documents, make it as clear and concise as possible - remove any unnecessary words. Use lots of pictures, tables and graphs as you can. Plenty of white space and a good font are extremely important. And always say the most important things first or make them very easy to read - using bold is a good way to attract the eye.
each EA studio would have 200-400 i expect. one of the biggest in the world, the Ubisoft Montreal office has about 1400
wow, no wonder why Ubisoft always has more than a few openings lol
vivin - no two companies seem to have the same class of people and sets.. the term level and game designer and artist for that matter is very flexable and what you might not do in one company might be a nessercy in another for the same class of position.
Hey Jade, now that you?re here I wanted to ask about the role of a producer. What is it a producer would typically do at a game dev company? Is there much of a correlation between a producer and a designer? My understanding is they?re responsible for ensuring things are done on time, within budget and according to specification. Is that an accurate description of you job?
*of your job
i could be wrong about EA, they have about 6000+ employees and about 15 studios i think? i'm not sure exactly but the number per studio is easily in the hundreds
EA - We will consume you all!!!
lol
ubisoft montreal does multiple projects like the splinter cell series, prince of persia, etc
It's a good overview, Scrow. The position of a producer can vary greatly from company to company. Budgets, schedules, meetings, pitches, milestone builds, phone calls/emails with publishers..
kinder OT, but anyone see the assassin's creed? trailer looked nice
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ah okay
ash: did you catch my question #3?
* Guest74 is now known as Hazard
Hi Everyone :)
O.O go to the supreme commander website and watch their movie clip.. oh its a new level ofkickass
hey Hazard
hey hazard.
hey hazard
there's an echo in here ;P
scrow q3 - i asked this one at work but unfortunately got no replies yet :( i'm scratching my head but other good things for the portfolio could be experience in a similar industry (e.g. software company, art modelling, interior design), hobbies/interests that align with your employer (not very easy to guess tho)
I tryed dling it, but didnt work (trys hard not to take the topic OT :P)
there's an echo in here ;P
Scrow: Producers and designers should work together. I've had to hold brainstorming sessions and I've been involved in doing design work too, but games usually benefit more by having a dedicated designer - even just maintaining an updated game design document can be a full time job on some projects.
experience in other companies can also prove you're good working in a professional environment and in a team, as well as getting some similar field experience
hi hazard
hazard are you able to introduce yourself and perhaps answer some art questions from vivin?
oh, another artist? awesome :)
okay, this is my final prepared question....
Question 4: what level of drawing/illustration talent does a designer need, if any, to do their job well? I only possess rudimentary drawing skills i.e. attempts at drawing hands appear more like a disfigured bunch of bananas, so i was just curious if it was something i should be working to improve.
vivin asked this before hazard: hmm ok, I guess if you were looking to specialise at a certain thing i.e 3d modelling, then usally the bigger companys would be a better place to target since most small companys have mostly jack of all trade's people right?
Hi Everyone again :)
Vivin
Yeah ive found that actually quite prominent
smaller companies definately look more for jack of all trades - ie people who can fill all kinds of roles for the least amount of cash
whereas the bigger guys are definately more toward hiring someone because they are an excellent texture artist
or 3d modeller, even 3d modellers are broken up into environment, mechanical and organical in some of hte bigger places.
ok, cheers. So, looks like im moving to america then :P
assassin's creed sounds cool, i watched some video interviews about the game design :)
and then again broken up to high and low poly models i guess? (in terms of ingame and cinematics?)
takes me a while to read through stuff as i'm answering, i'm about a page behind atm scrow :)
Vivin - yeap for sure
each studio tends to have its own pattern but generally speaking
Sorry to introduce myself again, My Names Troy Nickel im the director at Kalescent Studios.
Funny thing about in-game cinematics. i've been learning the Matinee movie clip maker in unrealED. It's a simple enough program but in game movies have seem to all but repliaced the classic high poly FMVs..save for a rare intro sequance.
oh cool, sorry first time here :)
I was acturally about to send my reel to Kalescent Studio's, any good tips before i do? :P
hah!
Please dont make a big fancy flash intro that takes 30 odd seconds to open and fancy buttons, bells and whistles everywhere.
make it short, only containing your absolute best work
scrow q4 - rudimentary drawing skills for a designer is ok, though having more is a bonus. only one of the designers at thq can draw well, reading about some other leads from large companies in america they can't draw either but can explain well what they envison. drawing is a plus tho if you have it
vivin: yeah, shower hazard with compliments and gifts
;P
often on company job pages it might be one of the Optional Bonus requirements
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haha, any hints on which gifts? ;)
you'd have to ask Hazard
* Guest01 is now known as Makk
thanks ash. that's somewhat of a relief.
Hey guys :)
hey makk
hi Makk
Hey Makk
hi makk
g'day Makk
random Q: Do many 3d artists also handle concept art?
And is it important to be able to do cconcept art if your a 3d artist
any more questions? on design, production, art or management
can u help with makk's question hazard?
i would say, its a plus to be able to do concept art, it would deffintly help in terms of creating good looking models and such
still, i know of some 3d artists who have never picked up a pencil :P
at thq one of the 3d level artists also does character concept art, then there are 2 other dedicated concept artists that do no 3d
I see, so its probably a more of "if you are capable of doing it" sort of thing. And depending on how many concept artist they have
i would guess so, and would depend on size of the company. But you probably shouldnt take my word for it lol, im still looking for a job :)
Makk: Blizzard wont even hire you as a 3d modeller if you dont have a strong background in 2d / conceptual arts
its like a pre-requisite
i can understand why
it does make alot fo difference
Just a guestion for those who are in the industry.. i did a phone interview a week and a bit ago for a level design position. i tihnk i did pritty well at it. but they said they'd call me back when you have sorted out who gets the job. its been a week and a half already. Anyone got an idea of how long its gonna take?
I'm waiting on the outcome XD
to the aesthetics of you models
you can tell the difference between a good 2d artists who makes a 3d model and a good 3d modeller that has no 2d skills.
often they are much more rigid.
lol Sounds alot like me last week aswell, good luck on getting it :)
another plus for being good at 2d would be good at anatomy, that helps alot interms of making good clean models
mm yeah
caroo, it could take a couple more weeks. i would recommend make a quick phone call to the hr department, preplan what you will say in advance - your name, that you applied for a position and you're very interested in it, and politely ask what the progress is on their decision. interview guides often call this the interview follow up call, you can read more on the internet if you like
i hope you get it man!
I agree with Ash, you should follow up after about 2 weeks or so.
Be polite and friendly, but not so keen that you appear desperate.
if you also applied vivin, good luck to you too i hope you both get in!
I...would probably come of as desperate.. XD .. i gave the hr lady an inquiry e-mail on monday to ask how it was comming along. she said just to wait. so i think i'll do just that and let it be for however long it takes. You just get anxious XD
and thanks Ash and Jade.
your welcome
any more questions? i might head off for the night if not
hey thanks Ash, I some how dont think I would get it, since the first thing they asked was "what sort of experience do you have?" :P
i'm all out of questions atm
nah, im good Ash, thanks for helping out.
nope, im done
heheh
i'm sure i'll have more by next week if you're doing it again
sure thing
g'night Ash and thanks for your time
i'll tell you all hwo it pans out next week.
Seeya Ash :)
yeah, goodluck with that Caroo :)
yes, thanks to all the industry folks for their time, and to the rest who offered their advice.
bye ash :)
ok thanks for coming everyone. thanks jade and hazard for helping out with answers that was really great for everyone :) goodnight
see ya Ash ^^
I think I might go too, Lost is about finished (was taping it) so I might go and watch that
* Disconnected
Session Close: Thu Jun 08 21:29:48 2006

Ash's picture

Next chat will be on Thurs 8pm, 15 June. I'll make it a weekly event from now on, so long as people keep turning up! :)

nexx's picture

Argh I keep missing these things!

How did it go? I will try my best to make it next week.

Ash's picture

Transcript 5

Session Start: Thu Jun 15 19:56:45 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
got some good questions lined up thise week scrow? :P
no, i've got none this time
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* Guest04 is now known as Caroo
hey ash and caroo
i wasn't even going to come because of that (especially since the log is posted to the forum anyway), but figured I'd come in case some questions occur to my while looking at other people's questions and the answers to them
hi
hey ash
i dont have any questions either... i was hoping to just listen in >.>
hellos
hi
heh, we can all just sit here silently then, twiddling our thumbs
It took the DS almost 5 months to sell the same as 2 weeks in Japan... Yet it's still beating the PSP...
:)
lol, its looking like that.
8pm! my name is matt and i'm a designer at THQ. i want to help out with any students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions, ask away
i'll do my best to answer them or if i can't, i'll get someone at work to give a better answer. if there is anyone else here from industry, feel free to help with answering questions
if you're here from industry, please introduce yourself and i hope you can help me with answering questions :)
anyone get back to you from work about questions you either couldn't answer or thought someone could provide more details on from last week?
ok, a quick question. If one is going to be starting in the industry, where would one find info on average pays and such? I know its normally a per person based, but still?
i had a response from work about submitting a design doc with a resume which ill post in a minute
cool
* has been working hard on a nice and pritty project that will hopefully grab some attension in the HR depertments of studios.
* Scrow is now known as Scrow_semi-AFK
i have paraphrased the following from the design director at work
ZOMBIES!!!! ...ok.. a question for Ash... could you cut up into parcentages the fequncy of different tasks that you do in your job.
It is encouraged to NOT send in design docs with a resume. It causes expectations that are totally unrealistic and also copyright/legal issues if we ever do anything even remotely related to the idea. The best way is to submit a resume, preferably with some creative writing examples, or even better, mods or map designs etc.
After that there is a designer test, and if all went well, we would then take it to the "so do you have any pitch or other stuff that would help your cause".
As to how long we spend? Usually we will do a pass on the test in less than 5 mins. We have read many and I know what I am looking for. If they have other stuff to back it up and it is easy to look at/run etc, then I might spend another 10-15 mins. If I can't get it to work for any reason, I just won't bother. There is simply not enough time in the day.
let me know if that got cut off
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i think i saw the whole thing ash
just testing the line length i can post
doesnt look like much questions being asked -.-;
<.< i asked one..there still hope!!!
i think scrow asked about that design doc one last week
oh sorry caroo i forgot while i was posting!
yea, i think he did.
im on it now
got distracted
its cool mate
caroo, are you currently in the industry?
ash: i might email/PM you about that reply you paraphrased above, if that's okay?
in preproduction it was about 90% documentation (45% level design, 45% general gameplay/mechanics design), 10% meetings/emails/discussions
sure scrow
vivin: Me... almost... its a matter of getting myself known enough and showing quality work. Im currently waiting for a call back form krome that feels like its never gonna come. apart form that if that falls through i have a sweet ass folio im gonna be mailing out soon next month.
ah, nice. kinda like where Im at, yet im waiting abit before sending my reel out. Need to finish a few things off :P
during production its about 10% meetings/emails/discussions, 60% scripting, 20% level layout/placement, 10% conversations writing/logic
By scripting how do you mean? Using a level editors scripting engine to make events in the game? or the scripting engine like lau to change some options in the games coding?
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scripting in a Lua-like language to do game logic, events, fx, spawning, quests, items, conversations, cutscenes, etc
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* Guest96 is now known as caroo
T_T if something was posted about my question.. could you repost it ash please?
scripting in a Lua-like language to do game logic, events, fx, spawning, quests, items, conversations, cutscenes, etc
How much knowleadge of Scripting did you have before getting the job at THQ?
quite a lot, i did a degree in software engineering
*has been told by a few deisgners that while its desirable few compaines expect you to know a scripting langerage off the ball.* So then programming in a sence is one of the main aspects of being a designer?
yes at certain companies
rpgs need it, some fps games use a lot of scripting, e.g. hl2, ut. some games don't need it - just layout and map design
ash: is it wise to send in resumes to companies that aren't even advertising for the position you're interested in? would they just see it as the applicant spamming?
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* Guest71 is now known as caroo
basically, should i just send out my resume to all the major development companies in Australia at the end of this year when I finish my degree?
yeah i think it's ok, they will just put you on the pile in reference for the future if they don't have anything at that time
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do they "really" put those resumes on a pile that doesn't include the rubbish bin though? ;P
For someone who has never programmed and has basic math skills. How diffucult would you say learning a scripting langarage is?
yeah if it's a good one
it will take a few months of solid work
caroo: programming/scripting doesn't really require maths, unless you're doing computer graphics and/or physics.
* nods * yeah but from what i've been glancing over in my big book of scripting tutorials.. it doesnt look like its simple ether.
ash: have you had any experience with internships?. I wouldnt mind doing one, but not having some sort of money coming in is abit of a bugger lol
i didnt do one but i know some guys that did some at auran during the qantm break
i believe qantm has a special deal set up with auran for that tho
during my uni summer and mid year breaks i did 3 jobs work experience, 2 paid, 1 not
at engineering companies, doing programming, had to apply and find it myself
and I guess if your doing well at the internship, then your more likly to get hired full time since they know how well you work.
yep
its pretty rare to find a company that does them tho
yep, sure is. Another thing thats really stopping me for applying for them is the fact of moving overseas todo one.
<.< indeed. impossable at melbourne.
* Carlin_away is now known as Carlin
hello
* Carlin sets mode: +o AshTHQ
* Carlin sets mode: -o Carlin
hi
I've come to somewhat of a conclution that melbourne, while having the most studios..[although it can be argued] these stuios are tight and highly skilled. with little to no room for any bloke wanting to start unless your with the AIE which has been known to do deals with some studios.
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deals : student jobs... not money XD hahaha
* Guest68 is now known as Hazard
Hi Guys
hi
G'day Harzard.
hey hazard
hi hazard
hows the modelling comp coming along hazard?
Im still on holiday at the moment vivin wont be starting until i get back :)
For that matter.. hows the holiday? ^^
ah ok, np :)
caroo: refreshing thats for sure
Harzard : Does everyone at your studio go on holiday at the same time or does someone just assume to take care of things while your gone?
Our studio is a small place, when i go away, everyones on a break :)
: hahaha. nice!
ok i'm off, seeya everyone!
shit that was quick - am i late
Seeya Ash - what time do these things start ?
* Jade wakes up.
starts at 8:00 ;P
8pm brisbane time
seeya ash ^^
ahh crapola -okay ill remember that
what time is it in melb?
9pm
9pm
cya ash^^
i should probably put that on the post, sorry, we don't have daylight savings up here
same as here
day light savings isn't on atm
whats the time in brisbane?
9:00
so its the same as melbourne then?
there's only a difference in times during the summer
I dont suppose anyones got any arty questions or any questions about starting your own business / venture in games ?
That i might be able to help with
:Hazard - oh dude..where to start XD
ok, i'll just say EST then
i would, but i dont want to bug you :)
Thats why i come to this chatroom - to be bugged!
lol, well.....(has to think of something now)...
sure hazard... what's the current market like for freelancing, where you develop a game from the ground up yourself (mobile games or handheld) and then find a publisher for your title?
Hazard : For a standard business of trade.. they say your should have enough money to sustain yourself and your company for at least 3-6 months.. how long where you in the red for?
does that kind of thing even exist?
wheres some good info on the business side of setting up a game company?
* AshTHQ is now known as AshTHQafk
Scrow - Its ripe for casual or mobile phone style of games. Get in there, and get your stuff out there.
tis called experience, vivin :)
you'd be crazy not to get experience in someone else's company before starting your own
I know of a couple of guys who do exactly what you mention
lol, yea i thought that would be the answer :P.
gotta serve before being a leader - thats the best way to do it in my experience
Jades right, starting a company straight out of school / uni without any other working experience game related or no is a recipe for disaster ;)
because there is a lot more to it than just a text book can teach..
games is a risky business as well
most small companys put all their resources into their current project right?
Harzard - And adding to my statement , did you have to initialy borrow money?
Caroo - If your asking how long i was in debt for - the answer is never.
i believe so, though they should have someone doing networking and looking ahead for a next project
Caroo: No i didnt borrow any money, i used my own savings :)
smart man hazard :)
[21:05:52] Scrow - Its ripe for casual or mobile phone style of games. <---- what do you mean by "casual"?
Hazard - Smart indeed. Well. what did you do before you made your own company?
The last thing you want to do when taking a risky venture when your chance of sucess is slim is to use someone elses coin.
like, solitaire?
Scrow - Sorry i meant small easy to develop games. Usually knocked out by a team of 1 - 3 in a month.
There are mobile phone game publishing companies that will pay 25,000 - 30,000 US for a polished mobile phone game.
:O
damn
i was considering doing that
I keep sayign to people, theres more work out there than they think there is.
starting a company which employed a single staff member.... ME.
i havent exactly been following the mobile game scene... are the games improving in graphics any?
and developing mobile phone games
Its a great way to make your mark
hmm
especially if your looking to be a game designer - because essentially you get to build the whole thing ( maybe outsource your art to me :P )
i just uninstalled a whole bunch of Nokia SDK stuff last night cause I'd given up on pursuing it any further, lol
Harzard - The guys at wicked witch software are an expample of a good mobile development team. from what i gathered in work experences there they had many contacts and contracts...5% of them australian and the rest around the asian sector
Vivin - Youd be surprised about the graphics, there are games rivalling Gameboy Advance graphics on mobile phones, really *really* polished pixel art etc
: they made one of the first MMORPGs on mobile.. the whole thing is 64K in size XD!!! insane
so... anyone want to start up a mobile game company with me? lol
* wants to gain experence in a bigger companie first ^^*
wow, is that like procedural or something?
Actions definately speak louder than words in this industry.
or maybe it's just text with avatar icons
:P
There are alot of what i like to call 'ideas people'
lol or that jade
an idea is worth what you pay for it
^_^
but if you cant contribute to a idea in any way other than be a driving force behind it, there isnt much romo for you.
room even.
Hazard - I got this great idea for a game.. and if i tell you you make it ok. and i have no skill or imput to how this game works. just the basic basic concept XD
* Jade is a driving force :(
caroo - you forgot to type [/sarcasm]
Jade - thats probably a major factor in why you found it tough to get in - would i be right or wrong ?
naw, I didn't find it that tough to get in
just worked for free for a few months
* Jade = producer.
ive got an awesome idea for another psp game...wait for it..... how about another driving game? :P (people with psp's will get what im saying :))
XD i was being sarcasm... and that will usually get you in.
though i do contribute to design :)
Vivan - i've already said that on one of my game theory rants XD
i was just tryna be a smarty pants about the 'driving force' thing, Hazard.. don't mind me
yeah i was more reffering to an individual who 1) has an idea 2) starts a company 3) gets other people to 'have a crack at his idea'
oh yeah..
isn't it common saying that developers who have the ability to make games, would rather work on their own ideas than someone elses?
Hazard - that doesnt work....in any industry...
: not just games. i got a great example.
unless you're lex luthor
:) i love smallville
Caroo - It doesnt work, your right, but those 'idea people' are getting rich and you and me are not.
Jade- Or chuck Norris
haha
if they have the money to start the company
and they hire somebody else
then they are bringing more to the table than just an idea
but there are a lot of 16 year olds with ideas in the help wanted forums
thats it right there
that are ceo's
*if*
* Jade grins.
Ive come across hmmmmm at least 20 i would say in the past 2 years
Money is always the factor.. but i'm interested to know..what would be the brake down of people in the industry to their previous statis [lower class , middle class, upper class.]
they attempt all kinds of "please help me, then once the games off hte ground youll be paid" scams. Now of course you and i could look at that and laugh - ubt youd be surprised at the amount of people that put 4 - 6 months into these peoples ideas for free and walk away tainted and burnt.
depends - there are companies that employ students, who are usually working for minimum wage
and there are companies with experienced professionals that get paid middle-upper class wages
very few would be filthy rich though..
or better yet, free :P
I'm not talking about in the industry..but more so where they came from. im guessing most are lower-middle class.
probably
if your totally focussed on money, being a developer is not for you lol
most australians are, aren't they?
becoming a publisher would probably be more your cup of tea
* Scrow_semi-AFK is now known as Scrow
Hazard - what is this..money thing you speak of?
: it doesnt appear in my vocab XD
it's what pays for my CoH account and my sibe puppies
(",)
sorry.. can't resist the dumb smileys.. it's one of those days
so Hazard, what are your plans for the future with your company?
small, medium or big company? what would you choose and why
: expanding?
try and take over the world? *cough*
What would it cost for a team of 2-3 people to start a mobile phone company?
*game company
money well its something that the world believes has value, its not real, and it contains but a fraction of any real value ,though it is real at the same time in that you can touch it and use it in exchanges of services or goods.
i would say that depends lots of things Carlin
Jade: Funnily enough im going to be taking a step backwards and downsizing :)
that is in hte near future
correct me if im wrong, but back in the old days, ppl started up in someones garage lol, but i guess times has changed
Hazard - I see.. so these green papery thing ive been eating.. ..downsizing? why so?
well to be blatantly open and honest, i feel like butter scrapped over too much bread.
Hazard: that a good thing?
oh that's right..
nice way of putting it
overloaded
:(
Instead of growing in as masny directions as possible too quickly
definately a smart choice
skyscrapers have strong foundations for a reason
Hazard - so your just setting into one type of outsoursing instead of 5?
and they're always focused on being a skyscraper, the one thing that they're good at!
Caroo - Exactly
Hazard - that would be a smarter move. if you perfect and become a leading outsorser for that one item. work should come to you easly.
i have no doubts anymore about that ;)
Hazard - well then in that case best of luck to you. if youve gotten this far im confident you'll seceed in your goals.
Ill suceed because im too stubborn to give up ;)
You made a comment about starting in garages and whatnot
thats still fairly common
but maybe not a garage
a small studio apartment
more like it :D
Hazard/Jade: In terms of the mobile phone thing, what is most common. A group of 2-3 guys make a mobile phone game off their own volition and then approach publishers/mobile phone companies OR said publishers approach the dev team to develop a game specifically for them?
Scrow good question
In m yexperience, until you have some reputation and credits - you wont ever be approached.
But approach specific publishers with a finished product and your away.
okay, but what's the process for approaching publishers with a finished game? do you just send an email off to some random dude and hope it eventually gets to the right person? ;P
in terms of a 3 man team, I guess all 3 would have to be pretty good all rounders right?
thats a learned skill just like any other Scrow
that's one of the biggest mysteries for me about the industry.... all the "process" of how things begin and how one thing will lead to the next step etc.
being a good networker is a valuable skill - and yes, definately your mail has ot find the right person.
Dont expect to just latch on to someone, and bingo your away, its a long hard slog its where i would say over 75% fall apart.
vivin - from the 3 man team i would suggest at least 1 be a dab programmer 1 be somewhat decent artist and the other have some knowledge of sound
Scrow: I've only worked on one mobile game and it was Nokia asking us to create a demo for a new phone line that was to be shown at E3.
i'm going to latch onto you Hazard, and you're going to make all my dreams come true
dont shortcut on sound!
Scrow - Your wish is my command
:)
they -really- like anything that is marketing oriented.. spectacular graphics that will help sell the game is like, huge on their list
aww, :(
so.. really find someone who can pitch the title well - and have fantastic art
i want to create fun and addictive puzzle games for mobile phones, with basic graphics. heh
guess it's the wrong market for that then
or rather, I "did".
the sorts of games that an hour could disappear with, while sitting on a train on the way home from work.
ah, those games are good :)
Scrow - perfect
big market for those
but tough competition
but yeah, like i said. i uninstalled a bunch of Nokia SDK/Phone emulator stuff last night because I have a bad habit of spreading my efforts too broadly. I'm focusing on only one things now.
scrow - you might be able to, just not straight through nokia
*thing
reduce and simplify and reduce again ;)
nokia ain't the only mobile gurus out there :)
and you'll get there Scrow, just don't give up
and if you need specific advice, i think ash is organising this as a weekly event
so you can always come and bug..
Hazard
*innocent smile*
[21:49:02] reduce and simplify and reduce again ;) <--- in regards to what?
mmm g'night guys
thanks for chatting
tootles Jade
thanks jade :)
thanks again
* Jade is now known as Jade|afk
anytime :) especially if i'm in a chatty mood
* Jade|afk pitter patters out.
im out to guys, gotta get up early tommorow, might see you all here next thursday ;)
okay vivin will do ;)
seeya
^^ cya
* vivin has quit IRC (Quit: Leaving)
Ill be off soon too if theres no more questions
* Hazard has quit IRC (Quit: Leaving)
* caroo has quit IRC (Quit: Leaving)

LingoManiaC's picture

is this still happening this week? i haven't been able to make it on previous thursdays

Frostblade's picture

Reminder:

It's on at 8PM EST

Ash's picture

Transcript 6

Session Start: Thu Jun 22 19:57:42 2006
Session Ident: #igda
* Now talking in #igda
hi ash
hi scrow
* nexx has joined #igda
its 8pm. my name is matt and i'm a designer at THQ. i want to help out with any students looking to get into the games industry. if you've got questions, ask away
oh, i was just saying before you popped in Ash, did you get my email?
i'll do my best to answer them or if i can't, i'll get someone at work to give a better answer. if you're here from industry, please introduce yourself and i hope you can help me with answering questions :)
hi nexx
sup
sorry i havent checked my email in the last few days scrow
i sent it via sumea, so i don't know which email it got sent to either
it was in regards to your workmate's feedback
on design docs
I'm a level designer at Krome, only been there 3 months so I'm still very much an industry newbie, thought I'd pop in and see what this thing is all about :)
ok ill check it out soon
cool nexx. if you're allowed to say, what game you working on?
sure nexx, well if there are any questions, shoot
we're trying to smoothe the minds of students...about their worries and etc
Hellboy
ah nice
how do u like it at kromw
krome
it's awesome :)
heh
have they been hiring many ppl lately?
i "know" someone at krome through a forum/chat i visit
lol they're always hiring
Hey Guys
was a post on sumea recently iirc
Sorry - Back now.... mmm food
hey haz, did you go to that vanilla slice place?
did you get the one of those junior level designer positions that were recently advertised on sumea nexx?
Not yet, im still on the sunshine coast, coming back to brisbane soon - ill be sure to drop in and clean them out so youll have none :D
nah this was 3 months ago, I sent in a resume and portfolio when i saw them advertise back in Februrary
anyone played Oblivion?
nope :/
i'm getting a new laptop next month and will probably get it
newp. don't think my computer would run it very well
playing NSMB though
Hey ASh - Oblivion is awesome
a borrowed a friend's copy to run on my gf4 but i don't think it has the right shaders, it was all white with blue outlines
sweet hazard
id say its one of the bext games ive played in a long long time
upgrade the driver?
*shrug*
i think it requires shader model 3.0 cos it says min card is a geforcefx on the box or something
whats NSMB
new super mario bros.
Gforce 5 onwards youll be okay best to have a 6 or 7 though
ah, i played thru the first world on my friend's ds at work, good fun
yeah i'm gonna get a laptop with gf7
nice!!!
:)
it gets really cool when the levels are deformable and stuff
just slightly anyway
how can we get more people in here
let
let
let's make alts
we can post it as a news item on sumea
and take on different persona's lol
i havent been doing that the last couple weeks, i should have
I would have given my right arm to have an opportunity like thise 4 - 5 years ago!
get on the mmo's and tell them to log off and log on here?
need people for the different positions within game development too. programmers, artists (concept, 3d, 2d etc.), animators and so on.
but then again using a tablet with a nub for an arm probably wouldnt be good for the career in arts.
true
they need to develop mind reading art software for that
i've kinda exhausted a lot of questions i can think of in the last few weeks
how does being in the game industry affect your social life?
more will pop up as I build up a folio, but that will take time
i watched a fantastic story of an artist who lost both of his arms in an accident, its taken about 5 years but he is now painting with his mouth. Holding the brush with his teeth.
and hes even better than before.
hey there is a good interview on mtv with harvey smith (deus ex), will wright (sims), god of war designer, and cliffy b (unreal) from e3, worth watching, they cover many interesting topics and opinions
Frost - what social life ?
i saw this photo of this guy holding a pencil with the nub of his remaining elbows to draw people in the streets
Im sure its not that bad for people working 9 - 5 , but running something of your own, kiss your social life goodbye.
like any job with overtime, it's less spare time, more work time
might be easier to draw with feet than mouth though
[20:20:14] hey there is a good interview on mtv with harvey smith (deus ex), will wright (sims), god of war designer, and cliffy b (unreal) from e3, worth watching, they cover many interesting topics and opinions <--- yeah, i saw that
god of war designer is david jaffe btw... not sure if i spelt his last name correctly
great piece of work that game
that's the one, i'd never heard his name before so i forgot
you can pick it up for $20 - $25 at EB Sale on atm
i don't have a ps2 though :(
wtf
lack of money and time made me a one console owner
xbox?
i'd get a ps2 just for the metal gear series, god of war, dragon quest VIII and a few other games.
nah, i'm the odd fellow who own only a gamecube
dragon Quest 8 is awesome, im about half way through that at the mo
classic characters and voice acting
i temporarily swapped my ps2 for my friends gamecube to play all the gc only games
i'm such a metroid and zelda whore
Baiten Kaitos ?
did u play metroid on nes and snes?
not at the time they came out, no.
i have played them since however
i was disappointed by the gamecube metroid
super metroid got me hooked on the series
super metroid is awesome
i enjoyed it for what is was. it's not +really+ at metroid game, but it's still a quality game in its own right.
how do u do bold
*dfsf*
ctrl + b
+bold+
and then do it again to close the tag
+dfdfd+dfdfdf
i c
that was +bold+ of you
lol
any questions?
none pre-planned this week
more will come as i continue to work on my folio
what you working on Scrow?
which i'm doing as a blog, projects, and scrap book
looks like you're the only student
or sketch/note book rather
* LingoManiaC has joined #igda
nexx: i'm looking at how one would go about porting the RTS genre to the Nintendo DS, about to start creating an Unreal 3rd person adventure mod
hi lingo
hey :)
and will be doing some simple 2D games, probably in flash.
do u have any questions for us?
cool
i'm only here for a little while, been wanting to catch it but thursdays is tough for me
ah
yeh i had a couple
fire away
you are 1 of 2 students here
* Frostblade sets mode: +o AshTHQ
ok thanks :) um i was wondering, my java experience far outweighs my C++ experience at the moment, and i need a job while i try to fill up my folio with more C++ work (i intend to be a C++ programmer for consoles pc etc...) currently i am more suited to java stuff like mobile phone games, i was wondering if it was hard to jump from the mobile phone game development industry to the more traditional game development industry?
* Frostblade sets mode: +o nexx
non mods are not students hehe
haha
good question
tyhanks :)
to be honest i dont know the answer. but i can guess that much of your experience in coding and the process of games development skills will transfer across, if you learn C++ and 3d APIs in your spare time to give yourself an advantage that would be a bonus
i am little hesitant to apply for work in that industry cos i am afraid it might get me sort of 'typecast' as a mobile phone game developer
i would say start programming in c++, do some demos. i studied java at uni, only 2 subjects i could choose to use c++ to do assignments, the rest i learned in my spare time
but i was hired as a designer not a programmer, so it's hard for me to say
yeah that makes sense
try your hand at using directx and opengl
i had a physics engine coded up in java but when i demoed it in a job interview i got the impression that they believe any experience that isn't in C++ is useless, even though something like verlet inegration and constraints as concepts are independent of the language its implemented in
i used opengl in the java one and opengl is pretty much the same whichever lnguage its in, just you got "gl."s and 'GL.'s in java
though directx experience would be valuable
unfortunealy 99% of console/pc developers not doing mobile/webgames use c++
thats why they say that
but yeah my plan was to spend next 6 months or so doing C++ projects, just thinking of a job to do in the meantime
oh yes, don't get me wrong, it certainly seems reasonable
i sit next to the producer at work who deals with half brick on hand held games, i will be able to get a better answer from him about it
ah ok thanx :)
didn't mean to sound bitter or anything, afterall c++ would just be more efficient if its coded properly
yeah u didnt sound bitter
ah ok cool :)
:)
the turn outs pretty disappointing
yeah i will post it as a news item for next week
its a bit invisible as a forum post
ran out of questions maybe
possibly, i mean its a shame i haven't been able to make thursdays very often
its really quite a good opportunity
are there other aussie centric gaming sites that you could get it posted to also?
i dont know
http://www.australiangamer.com/
http://www.ausgamers.com/
thanks
what have the previous turn outs been?
one of the guys at australiangamer.com is a sumean i think
8-12 ppl
better nights have had like 6 people i think
ah ok 8-12
Yug is his online alias
anyway sorry i have to head off now, thanks heaps for answering my question, its been one of my top concerns lately
i hope i can stay for longer next week
later Lingo
seeya lingo
cya mate

ame LingoManiaC-afk
/nick
try that
* LingoManiaC is now known as LingoMAniaC-afk
thanks sorry
used to quake consoles i guess
* LingoMAniaC-afk is now known as LingoManiaC-afk
no worries
hey ash, what game are you working on at THQ?
Avatar?
yep
what systems is it coming out for?
xbox, ps2, gamecube and wii
yay, GC doesn't get the shaft
i was going to pickup Ty3 yesterday, but none of the stores had it... over ever stocked it.
actually i can stay for longer :D
* LingoManiaC-afk is now known as LingoManiaC
i found out from someone at Krome that the PAL version was never released for the GC.
so anyway, when is Avatar due for release?
a few more months, some time before christmas
:)
thq likes putting stuff about before christmas
*out
makes sense
yeah
btw Ash, i know you mentioned it long time ago, but what kind of work did you do before you got into THQ?
i was a software engineer
oh wow
at connell wagner
for how long?
i wouldn't mind doing that, get experience witht he software development cycle
* Hazard has quit IRC (Quit: Leaving)
about 5 months
oh ok
so were you applying for programming positions as well as design positions?
yep
ah i see, wow, i would have thought the designer one would have been harder to get at the entry level
thats a pretty good achievement
yeah i was kind of lucky, its fairly rare
:)
so what kind of work did you set up for ur programming portfolio?
did some AI and directx demos
hmm ok, i was thinking of trying a game, and i've been thinking a lot about the architecture design, though its not necessarily something you see on the screen, if the architecture design is similar to the kind they would use in real life work, do you think they would appreciate that?
do u mean the software architecture?
cos it doesn't seem right to do a more hacky implementation even though it might look the same when you run it and be faster to do and use it as a demo
yeah i mean the software architecture
the more hacky one would also be less code for them to read through if they were to read through
good software architecture is very important for stability and usabilty, i'm sure that good engine code would be appreciated by them
it shows professionalism and maturity
current games that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars or millions to make cant afford to be hacking implementations
http://wii.ign.com/articles/713/713795p1.html
wow
ok cool, cos thats the way i wanted to do it, but i was just wondering if they would understand the trade off, if they would appreciate a more stable engine that does less and is designed nicely or a hacky one that works and does more
anyway guys I gotta head off. Will try and make it next week, hopefully more people :) cyas
* nexx has quit IRC (Quit: +Miranda IM!+ Smaller, Faster, Easier. http://miranda-im.org)
i'm quite sure they would
ok i'm off too, got a few things to do
bye
Session Close: Thu Jun 22 21:23:13 2006

Ash's picture

This IRC chat will be on every Thursday 8pm until further notice. See original post for more details

souri's picture

Ok, I've been meaning to help promote Thursdays chats a bit more, but I've just been seriously busy with things. Obviously making a news post every week will be a bit too much of a bother, and I was about to make a graphic on the main page of Sumea, but instead I've made a permanent link under "What's on" on the main page for the chat. There's a small script which checks the date of the server, so if it's a Thursday, it'll make that link flash. The clicking the link will take you to the IGDA Student Chapter page on Sumea, and you can update that page via the wiki to put in all the chat/irc/java applet details.