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Two Years in AAA: What I Wish I Knew as a Graduate - Penelope Davison

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Two years ago, I was writing my first game design doc on my final year project at uni. Fast forward to today and I’m working on live service event systems on ‘The Sims’ at a AAA studio. Not a bad start, but I can say that one of the hardest parts of being new to an industry and finding your feet, is that you don’t know what you don’t know. While I’m not an industry veteran yet, some things were still trial by fire, and there are some things I wish someone had told me earlier.

This talk is about all the things I’ve learned since writing that first design doc to now – including what the transition from student to professional life was like, and what I wish I had known earlier. This talk is for people interested in learning about what the next steps after uni are like, especially anybody struggling to see how they fit into an industry workplace, the steps I took to secure my internships, networking and contract negotiation basics, insight into what working at a larger studio is like, what design looks like in a practical setting, how to bring value as an individual to a studio, and general things that I found helpful as a baby game dev.

Penelope Davison