Get in the Game: Careers in the Game Industry

Overview

Have you dreamed of obtaining a game industry job? Get in the Game will help you achieve this! This friendly guide shows you step-by-step how to prepare yourself for a game industry career. With insights from over a dozen industry experts, it's the only guide you will need for training yourself then finding a game industry job. Discover how to research, meet the right industry people, access the unadvertised job market, sell yourself, create the perfect demo, beat the competition, handle interviews, and negotiate...
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Overview

Have you dreamed of obtaining a game industry job? Get in the Game will help you achieve this! This friendly guide shows you step-by-step how to prepare yourself for a game industry career. With insights from over a dozen industry experts, it's the only guide you will need for training yourself then finding a game industry job. Discover how to research, meet the right industry people, access the unadvertised job market, sell yourself, create the perfect demo, beat the competition, handle interviews, and negotiate a salary package. This book will show you how to tailor your job search, answer tough interview questions, transition into the game industry from other careers, hone essential resume writing skills and networking skills.

It's a crash course on everything you need to know about the game industry! You will learn about the following careers:

  • Game Designer
  • Game Programming
  • Game Artist
  • Game Production

About the Author:

Specializing in game industry careers, Marc Mencher has helped thousands of job seekers. He worked for several game companies such as Spectrum Holobyte, Microprose and The 3DO Company, before joining GameRecruiter.com. Marc served as President of the International Game Developers Network. He has spoken and held roundtables at several Game Developers Conferences and The Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). In addition to representing the game industry's hottest talent, Marc also volunteers his time as a career coach. His articles have been featured in GIGnews.com, Gamasutra, and GameWEEK. He works with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) on chapter development and Games-Florida, a non-profit organization formed with the intent of nurturing and expanding the interactive multi-media industry in the state of Florida. He is also Technical Advisor and Executive Producer for the recently released PC Adventure Game, Watchmaker. Currently, Marc is working on the release of the PC Adventure Game Tony Tough and The Night of the Roasted Moths (PC) and a Action Shooter, Tsunami 2265 (PC & PS2), published by Got Game Entertainment.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Marc Mencher delivers a book full of timely and relevant information for anyone interested in learning more about our dynamic industry."
--Will Wright, Legendary Game Designer, Co-founder of EA / Maxis and the man behind SimCity and The Sims Series.

"This book is a great resource for distilling the vital statistics in a complex industry. A great read for job seekers and fans alike."
-- Paul Steed, 3D Animator / Modeler for the Quake Game Series and author of Modeling a Character in Max and Animating Real-Time Game Characters.

"Whether you're interested in game programming, design, art, or production this book offers up the inside scoop on what goes into creating your favorite games."
-- Marc Saltzman, Author of Game Design Secrets of The Sages and CNN Technology Contributor.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780735713079
  • Publisher: New Riders
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Series: New Riders Games Series
  • Pages: 293
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Mencher worked for game companies such as Spectrum Holobyte,Microprose, and 3DO before starting GameRecruiter.com(http://www.GameRecruiter.com),a game industry-recruiting firm. Marc served as President, and later as anadvising board member, of the International Game Developers Network. He hasspoken and held roundtables at several Game Developers Conferences and is aregular speaker at International Game Developers Association (IGDA) eventsaround the country. In addition to representing the game industry's hottesttalent, Marc also volunteers his time as a career coach for graduates from FullSail Real World Education, helping them land their first game industry jobs. Hisarticles have been featured in GIGnews.com, Gamasutra, and GameWEEK.

Currently, Marc is working with the IGDA(http://www.IGDA.com) on chapter development and with Games-Florida(http://www.gamesflorida.com),a non-profit organization formed with the intent of nurturing and expanding theinteractive multi-media industry in the state of Florida. He is also TechnicalAdvisor and Executive Producer for the recently released PC Adventure GameWatchmaker. Marc is working on the release of the PC Adventure Game Tony Toughand The Night of the Roasted Months (PC) and an Action Shooter Tsunami 2265 (PCand PS2), all published by Got Game Entertainment(http://www.GotGameEntertainment.com).Prior to joining the game industry, Marc was the Producer/Project Lead on an$11M joint AI research project funded by the United States Air Force inconjunction with Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute, GeneralElectric, and Pratt Whitney Aircraft Engine Group.

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Read an Excerpt

PrefacePreface

When I first got into the game industry, a formal education was essentiallyfrowned upon. Quite frankly, it was feared that any creative juices would be allbut sucked out of you by the time you earned your "establishment"degree. Many industry pioneers equated having formal training with being"assimilated by the Borg." In those days, gamers were the unruly ones,people who did not quite fit the norm. Hands-on game development experience, oran ability to demonstrate your creativity, was the only qualifying factor forgetting a job. Today, these are still very important qualities, but as gameshave grown more complex, and as game development budgets have ballooned to themultimillion-dollar range, game professionals are more formally trained and,certainly, better respected. In short, the unruly ones have grown up.

AUTHOR NOTE

"We're not just geeks in dark basements wearing weird clothesanymore. We're geeks in dark basements wearing weird clothes and makingmoney doing it!"

- Marc

The inspiration for this book came from the thousands of emails I receiveasking the same daunting question: "How do I get a gig in the gameindustry?" I wish I possessed a single simple, and magical, answer; alas, Ido not. However, based on my years of developing the careers of some of theindustry's brightest stars, what I do possess are proven job-gettingtechniques. If you take these techniques seriously, and apply themappropriately, you will not only land that game job, but you will also be placedfirmly on a career development track that will take you to the height of youraspirations.

Through my recruiting firm, GameRecruiter.com, I have placed thousands ofpeople in game industry jobs. I have witnessed the astonishing growth of thisindustry as it has grown, in both size and stature. I've also witnessed theincreasing number of people wanting to work in it. If you are one of thosepeople—or maybe you're an industry veteran in need of a career"refresher"—this is the book for you.

In this book, you'll learn the various types of game jobs available inthe industry, what the game companies are looking for, and how you can get thejob you want. It is my sincere hope that when you finish this book, and if youapply the principles found in it, you should be well on your way to a successfulcareer.

Throughout your job search, try to remember that YOUR thoughts about YOURcareer and life direction will create YOUR destiny, so be careful about what youthink. In short, stay focused and positive! And, remember, my virtual door atmarc@GameRecruiter.com is always open should you need additional advice ordirection.

Good Luck and Get in the Game! Marc Mencher

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Industry Background
1 Introduction to the Gaming Industry 5
2 Common Tools of the Trade 15
Pt. II Careers in Gaming
3 Playability Testing & Quality Assurance (QA) 25
4 Designers 41
5 Programmers 63
6 Artists 93
7 Producers 119
Pt. III Preparing for the Career You Want
8 Getting Organized and Networking 147
9 Preparing Your Demo 161
10 Your Resume, Pitch, and References 173
Pt. IV Getting the Career You Want
11 Deploying Your Resume and Scoring an Interview 205
12 Interviewing 215
13 Salary Negotiation 223
14 Working with Recruiters 235
15 Staying Employed 241
Pt. V Resources
A: Resources 247
Index 271
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Preface

Preface

When I first got into the game industry, a formal education was essentiallyfrowned upon. Quite frankly, it was feared that any creative juices would be allbut sucked out of you by the time you earned your "establishment"degree. Many industry pioneers equated having formal training with being"assimilated by the Borg." In those days, gamers were the unruly ones,people who did not quite fit the norm. Hands-on game development experience, oran ability to demonstrate your creativity, was the only qualifying factor forgetting a job. Today, these are still very important qualities, but as gameshave grown more complex, and as game development budgets have ballooned to themultimillion-dollar range, game professionals are more formally trained and,certainly, better respected. In short, the unruly ones have grown up.


AUTHOR NOTE

"We're not just geeks in dark basements wearing weird clothesanymore. We're geeks in dark basements wearing weird clothes and makingmoney doing it!"

- Marc

The inspiration for this book came from the thousands of emails I receiveasking the same daunting question: "How do I get a gig in the gameindustry?" I wish I possessed a single simple, and magical, answer; alas, Ido not. However, based on my years of developing the careers of some of theindustry's brightest stars, what I do possess are proven job-gettingtechniques. If you take these techniques seriously, and apply themappropriately, you will not only land that game job, but you will also be placedfirmly on a career development track that will take you to the height of youraspirations.

Through my recruiting firm, GameRecruiter.com, I have placed thousands ofpeople in game industry jobs. I have witnessed the astonishing growth of thisindustry as it has grown, in both size and stature. I've also witnessed theincreasing number of people wanting to work in it. If you are one of thosepeople—or maybe you're an industry veteran in need of a career"refresher"—this is the book for you.

In this book, you'll learn the various types of game jobs available inthe industry, what the game companies are looking for, and how you can get thejob you want. It is my sincere hope that when you finish this book, and if youapply the principles found in it, you should be well on your way to a successfulcareer.

Throughout your job search, try to remember that YOUR thoughts about YOURcareer and life direction will create YOUR destiny, so be careful about what youthink. In short, stay focused and positive! And, remember, my virtual door atmarc@GameRecruiter.com is always open should you need additional advice ordirection.

Good Luck and Get in the Game! Marc Mencher

© Copyright Pearson Education. All rights reserved.

Read More Show Less

Introduction

Preface

When I first got into the game industry, a formal education was essentiallyfrowned upon. Quite frankly, it was feared that any creative juices would be allbut sucked out of you by the time you earned your "establishment"degree. Many industry pioneers equated having formal training with being"assimilated by the Borg." In those days, gamers were the unruly ones,people who did not quite fit the norm. Hands-on game development experience, oran ability to demonstrate your creativity, was the only qualifying factor forgetting a job. Today, these are still very important qualities, but as gameshave grown more complex, and as game development budgets have ballooned to themultimillion-dollar range, game professionals are more formally trained and,certainly, better respected. In short, the unruly ones have grown up.


AUTHOR NOTE

"We're not just geeks in dark basements wearing weird clothesanymore. We're geeks in dark basements wearing weird clothes and makingmoney doing it!"

- Marc


The inspiration for this book came from the thousands of emails I receiveasking the same daunting question: "How do I get a gig in the gameindustry?" I wish I possessed a single simple, and magical, answer; alas, Ido not. However, based on my years of developing the careers of some of theindustry's brightest stars, what I do possess are proven job-gettingtechniques. If you take these techniques seriously, and apply themappropriately, you will not only land that game job, but you will also be placedfirmly on a career development track that will take you to the height ofyouraspirations.

Through my recruiting firm, GameRecruiter.com, I have placed thousands ofpeople in game industry jobs. I have witnessed the astonishing growth of thisindustry as it has grown, in both size and stature. I've also witnessed theincreasing number of people wanting to work in it. If you are one of thosepeople—or maybe you're an industry veteran in need of a career"refresher"—this is the book for you.

In this book, you'll learn the various types of game jobs available inthe industry, what the game companies are looking for, and how you can get thejob you want. It is my sincere hope that when you finish this book, and if youapply the principles found in it, you should be well on your way to a successfulcareer.

Throughout your job search, try to remember that YOUR thoughts about YOURcareer and life direction will create YOUR destiny, so be careful about what youthink. In short, stay focused and positive! And, remember, my virtual door atmarc@GameRecruiter.com is always open should you need additional advice ordirection.

Good Luck and Get in the Game! Marc Mencher


Read More Show Less

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2006

    ogre battle march of the black queen

    This is a classic rpg on the snes. Ogre battle is one of the few games that actually got me into the gaming world. The multiple endings, the strategics and challenges, and most of all coolest characters. Its like everything that you do has an effect on the way the game goes. This is an awesome game and I would suggest it to any rpg lover who has a feel for strategics.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2002

    Very informative!

    This book may be a little dry, but it's purely informative! Every aspect of creating a video game is here, from the producers to programmers to artists. All positions are covered, from entry-level to senior management. The book also tells you what skills you will need for each position, as well as effective ways to get into the industry (such as starting as a Game Tester; the video game industry's equivalent of the mail room). I really enjoyed this book, as it told me what skills I need to work on to get a job that I love!

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