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Old 09-17-2008, 08:59 PM   #1
TG1
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Default Austin GDC 2008 - an initial summary

First of all - a big thanks to Jill Duffy for organizing the career seminar, it was awesome and gave me alot of insights about the gaming industry and how to get there. (My only regret is that I didn't have the nerve to participate in the game pitch session or the interview RPG session )

Here is a bullet point summary of how things went at the conference:
  • I got to meet some of the forum people in person
  • I got to meet alot of other really nice people
  • I gave away alot of business cards
  • I collected alot of business cards
  • I gave away quite a few copies of my resume
  • I found out that writing "Software engineer" on my conference pass was a great idea
  • I got a general idea as to what I can and can't do in the industry with my current experience
  • I got a general idea as to what I need to do in order to be able to do more things
  • I got a general idea that I might be able to do that without getting a masters degree in gaming
  • I found out that my biggest hurdle in getting a job in the US is getting a Visa
  • Because of that I will probably need to look for jobs in other countries
  • I actually had an informal interview with a recruiter from one of the bigger game companies (which will remain anonymous for the very slim chance I might actually get a job there, don't wanna jinx it )
  • Got to see the geekiest movie ever made
  • Enjoyed it alot (The beer helped...)
  • Became a moderator

All in all I can say that "This was a triumph, I'm making a note here, big success".
I mainly came to the conference to network, meet people in the industry and people like me who are trying to get into the industry.
This was a great experience for me, and I recommend it to anybody who can afford it, I will deffinetly try and attend future conferences.
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Old 09-17-2008, 10:46 PM   #2
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Awesome, well done! It was very good then ^^
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Old 09-18-2008, 04:56 AM   #3
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Sweet glad you had fun and learned a lot. And congrats on joining us moderators.
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Old 09-20-2008, 11:40 AM   #4
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I was gonna make a post about my Austin experience too, so I will just jump in.

First a bit about my background: I am a student in AI and my work experience can be summarize as 1 week of "QA" at Lionhead (3 years ago) and a 3 months internship developing games on Java on cell phones. I also am from France so I will face the Work Visa problem that most foreigners fear. These 2 issues (lack of experience and being a foreigner) were the 2 main concerns I had to find a job in the game industry.

I really didn't knew what to expect from the Game Career Seminar and this is what I got:
  • Fascinating sessions about problems we will all have to face to enter the game industry.
  • Personalized feedback from Industry professionals concerning my specific issues. (go talk to them after sessions )
  • I met awesome people that are in situations similar to mine. I am glad most of them will become my peers and that I got to meet them now.
  • I got the confidence to stand up in front of those people to share my ideas and questions.
  • I had a "fake" interview which provided me with priceless informations on what I'm worth and dissipated most of the fears I had regarding interviews.
  • Thanks to a particular individual, I went to the Sony party and got some "pro" tips on how to approach persons at parties.
  • But most of all, I had a bast. These 2 days were the best I've had in a long time. I would recommend anyone to do the financial investment to go there and see with their own eyes that it's worth 10x more.

Things I will do differently next time:
  • I will come sooner because I didn't had time to properly network at the Exhibit Hall.
  • I will eat. No seriously, during the 2 days I only ate at the Tuesday night party and just before the wrap up party.
  • I will bring more cigarettes. People I hanged out with will know what I am talking about :P
  • I will travel light at the convention center. No need to bring my backpack with my computer in it. If I really need to browse the web, I can use my iPhone. And if I need to carry brochures and stuff, most booths offer free bags.
  • I will not bring my backpack to a party. Because it makes me look like a dork.

That's it! Next step: The Montreal International Game Summit in November.
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Old 10-07-2008, 09:56 AM   #5
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I find it truly awesome that you guys had the chance to go to the Game Career Seminar at GDC Austin.

I personally long to do the same, but the main issues are the dates and money.

I'll have to work on amassing an investment to go all the way from Brazil to Austin and somehow minimize the negative effects of missing work and college during the September period.

Nevertheless, congratulations to you guys on making good use of such an amazing opportunity.
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Old 10-07-2008, 10:40 AM   #6
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That's great feedback! Thanks, TG1/Tamar and Fugus/Clement.

To those of you who don't know, there are a few ways to get into GDC for free (IGDA scholarship and CA program, to name the top 2). I'll start a new thread on that topic and will let other readers give their tips as well.
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Old 10-07-2008, 11:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillduffy View Post
To those of you who don't know, there are a few ways to get into GDC for free (IGDA scholarship and CA program, to name the top 2). I'll start a new thread on that topic and will let other readers give their tips as well.
Sounds good!
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Old 10-07-2008, 02:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jillduffy View Post
That's great feedback! Thanks, TG1/Tamar and Fugus/Clement.

To those of you who don't know, there are a few ways to get into GDC for free (IGDA scholarship and CA program, to name the top 2). I'll start a new thread on that topic and will let other readers give their tips as well.
Looking forward to that!
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:57 AM   #9
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Reading these two posts make me really regret not going to this! Hopefully I can make up for it when going to the video game expo in Philly in November!
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