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Old 12-18-2008, 07:36 PM   #1
nef
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Default And a passion for games...

Why is it so many companies list:

"A passion for games"

As a requirement for an engineering position in the game industry? I thought this made perfect sense, until I started working in the industry.

My opinion is, fuck your passion of games. I want to work w/ someone who has a passion for:

- Good design.
- Elegant code
- Efficient code
- "Best" coding techniques
- Learning/Self improvement (Most important)

I've see so much terrible code I wana slap people. IMO an engineer should be more concerned about how his system can handle the requirements of the design team and how flexible it is to change, than how X game mechanic works.

Maybe it's because I don't work on games I would personally ever pay a dollar to play, but I'm a coder because it's what i love to do. I love games, sure, but I don't do the best damn job i can and improve myself after every project because I love games. I do it because I care about my ability as a software engineer. Fuck "passionate for games". It's high time they removed that from the list of "requirements" for a games programmer!

Although, I'd let it slide in the "Pluses" section
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:08 AM   #2
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Plus isn't it obvious that you are passionate about games, since you are applying to a game job.
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Old 12-19-2008, 05:45 AM   #3
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Very true, if you weren't passionate about them you'd settle for a better paid application engineering job with benefits and civil working hours.

The requirement I hate is "A flexible approach to working hours". Yes we all know that games usually require overtime, but including that in the job spec makes it sound like it's the rule, rather than an exceptional event.
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Old 12-19-2008, 06:46 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Claxon View Post
makes it sound like it's the rule, rather than an exceptional event.
Some places it is, sadly.
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Old 12-19-2008, 11:15 AM   #5
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Hmm, I don't want to bring up the 'games are art'-discussion, yet in my book they are (art, that is). As such, I think it's quite important for all members on a game dev team to be passionate about games, or the game might end up lacking 'soul'.
I know this sounds silly and perhaps naive, but I'm sure you too will know a game or two that might be quite good, yet lack a certain... something ('soul', if you will).
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protector one View Post
Hmm, I don't want to bring up the 'games are art'-discussion, yet in my book they are (art, that is). As such, I think it's quite important for all members on a game dev team to be passionate about games, or the game might end up lacking 'soul'.
I know this sounds silly and perhaps naive, but I'm sure you too will know a game or two that might be quite good, yet lack a certain... something ('soul', if you will).
I think passionate about games should be a requirement, for a design position. I've worked on a couple games that people thought were fun and awesome, it sure wasn't me who put in the "soul"
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Old 12-19-2008, 12:10 PM   #7
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@ nef, Do you speak/write like that within your company? I'd hate to think what would happen if I exchanged adjectives with curse words in my e-mails. Also - isn't this a forum where kids and parents frequently visit to ask questions and get advice? I dunno - just doesn't seem like a good move to me.

I know programmers have a much different perspective on game design than, say, anyone else within the company, but I have to disagree with anyone that says this line ("A passion for games") isn't valid. Designers, artists, audio teams and animators have to have a passion for games because they will be expected to have loved playing games since they were young.

A passionate developer is one who enjoys going to work rather than showing up for his paycheck. He also enjoys playing games as well. The more games he plays, the more educated he is on the competition as well as the potential for new ideas. I would never hire a person that says "games are okay...." or "sure I like games...dont really play much though". They tend to produce mediocre work. I know of too many times where I've talked to a programmer working on specific elements of a game and said I wanted it to work similar to 'Game X'. Actually, I was speaking to a flash programmer about HUD elements yesterday and did this very same thing.

Someone that is passionate about what they do would want to go above and beyond the company goals. I'd rather hire the person staying late to finish an amazing intro trailer that wasn't even part of his job duties (which is what happened with World of Warcraft's WotLK trailer).

Now this isn't to say that companies don't exploit that passion until the employee is sucked dry of every other aspect of his life, but it's up to you to be smart enough to understand when you need to remove yourself from a negative environment. I don't know what you programmers like to call it, but "A passion for games" is definately a requirement for a development team.

Last edited by Zooch : 12-19-2008 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 12-19-2008, 10:32 PM   #8
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I would have to agree with Zooch, as someone who is not in the games industry yet but have been a programmer for more then 10 years in the IT industry I must say that relating to the product you're programming affects your work alot. I love programming, but when I understood and loved the product that I was creating I was much more satisfied with my work and did it with alot more passion and had more ideas as to new features and designs for the product. When I'm working on a product that I don't relate to or don't find interesting - I still enjoy the programming but somthing is missing, I show less initiative in creating new features and usually just do the features I'm asked.
I look at programming as much more then just writing code, it's also about design and systems analysis, so you really have to understand what is the product you're creating, and if it's something you're passionate about it's that much better.
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Old 12-20-2008, 01:24 PM   #9
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I am passionate about games, that is why I do this for a living, but I am not sure it should be something on a job listing. I think you could usually assume that someone applying for a game job would be passionate about games. Maybe this is not always true, but I sure hope so.

And I agree with Zooch that it is easier to talk with people when they know a lot of different games, I also find myself referencing other games when speaking with artist or designers, and even other coders sometimes.
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Old 12-20-2008, 04:53 PM   #10
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Personally, I think it is unfair to people who want to get into the industry (that would be us, although the forum has a number of people already in) to hire people who are simply looking for a programing job. That's not very practical, or anything, but I'm not a hiring manager :P
If I was, I'd justify it by pointing out that people work better when they get along with their coworkers, and that people find it easier to talk to others with similar interests.
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