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Old 08-09-2011, 03:42 AM   #1
marvinhawkins
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Default The "shipped games" conundrum

Hey All,

I'm working on games on my own. The main reason is because I can. I'd like to be a designer someday. Every industry person I've talked to has given me this advice "Make your own game, give yourself the experience."

My question though is this: How much weight do these individual indie developed titles hold with human resources/hiring managers? If I port my game to iPhone, or release on my own website (not Steam) does that count as a shipped title? A follow up, is it more quality/title type that matters? In other words, I'm making a top down shooter, most triple A's aren't working on this type of stuff.

Thanks for your help
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Old 08-09-2011, 06:21 AM   #2
tsloper
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marvinhawkins View Post
1. How much weight do these individual indie developed titles hold with human resources/hiring managers? If I port my game to iPhone, or release on my own website (not Steam) does that count as a shipped title?
2. is it more quality/title type that matters? ... I'm making a top down shooter, most triple A's aren't working on this type of stuff.
0. Subject: The "shipped games" conundrum
1. Sort of, and not really, and who cares. At least it's a portfolio. Nobody is expecting every applicant to have self-published. That's a highly different thing from what most applicants do. THINK PORTFOLIO. That's what you're making.
2. You're asking about the danger of being pigeonholed as a 2D guy in a 3D market. Yes, that's definitely a problem. If you want to work on 3D games, you need to have 3D stuff in your PORTFOLIO. Self-publishing iPhone games and Steam games isn't the way.
0. The subject line of your post indicates that you think self-publishing is the same thing as having "shipped games." That's not what the phrase means. To have "shipped games" is shortspeak for having worked with professional teams already, on games that have been released into the commercial games market. Sounds to me like you're an entry-level guy, applying only to jobs that require industry experience. That's the wrong approach. If you're an entry-level guy looking to break in, don't apply to experience-only jobs. Read about the "Stupid Wannabe Tricks" and the "Barrier-Busting Tips":
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson24.htm
http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson27.htm
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Old 08-10-2011, 04:57 PM   #3
marvinhawkins
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Hello Mr. Sloper,

Thanks for clarifying. It is somewhat confusing when reading a job description.

Thanks for the articles too. I haven't checked your site in a while, but I'll make it my business to go through the updated content. I am entry level in the sense that I haven't had any professional game development experience. But, I've been working in marketing (non game industry) for two years. I've also, kept a game blog, and worked on my own games.

I went to a (game art and design) school that says that the four year degree is worth 2 years of industry experience.

This article resonated with me: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm

I'm fully willing to cross over into games through marketing. My biggest issue seems to be listing my experience in a compelling way.

p.s. I fully admit that I am not in a game industry hotbed (Chicago) though it once was.

Last edited by marvinhawkins : 08-10-2011 at 05:02 PM. Reason: forgot to mention the actual question
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Old 08-10-2011, 06:08 PM   #4
tsloper
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Hi Marvin, you wrote:
Quote:
1. I am entry level in the sense that I haven't had any professional game development experience. But, I've been working in marketing (non game industry) for two years.
2. I went to a (game art and design) school that says that the four year degree is worth 2 years of industry experience.
3. This article resonated with me: http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson41.htm
I'm fully willing to cross over into games through marketing.
4. My biggest issue seems to be listing my experience in a compelling way.
5. p.s. I fully admit that I am not in a game industry hotbed (Chicago) though it once was.
6. Last edited by marvinhawkins : Today at 06:02 PM. Reason: forgot to mention the actual question
1. Great, so what do you think about working in marketing at a game company? Of course, if you did that, you'd have to stop publishing your own games on the side...

2. And what other lies do you now know that that school told you?

3. Great, read http://www.igda.org/games-game-february-2004 -Getting In Through Marketing

4. Read http://www.igda.org/games-game-october-2006 -The Experience Experience
Just list your job experience truthfully, and do a good job marketing yourself through your blog and your cover email.

5. So where are you planning to move to?

6. And what IS the actual question? I couldn't find it.
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Old 08-10-2011, 07:17 PM   #5
marvinhawkins
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I think you answered it already. The original question was:

"Do self published games count as relevant professional experience in the eyes of employers?"

I asked because I don't have the relevant experience, but want to make the most of what I can do. (Which is make my own games.)

Yes, I'm fine with marketing. I'd even be fine with not working on my own projects.

Haven't decided yet on the moving, but I really like San Francisco.

Thanks for the advice
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Old 08-10-2011, 08:26 PM   #6
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OK, hope you'll read those articles. And more.
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