Junge memo (a set of tips for those who are going to go to the gaming industry)

    What motivated me to write this article?

    The first one. Why should an artist talk about the hardships of life and the hard way if he seems to be doing well? Firstly, it’s not so good (because it can always be better), and secondly, so that those who follow them do not repeat mistakes, therefore they do not waste their precious time. No matter how much we are released, it is still not enough for everything. It is worth trying to highlight important things, and omit the minor ones.

    The second one. A few letters came to my mailbox asking for help with advice on the device in the gaming industry.

    Third , but far from the last. Another article for my match today was this article.. I have my own special look at the gaming industry, gaming offices, which have nothing to do with the stated point of view. I want to offer those who decide to go into the gaming industry something more tangible. The specifics. What can be used to achieve the goal. There will be no magic pills, affectionate Pink shades of unbroken glasses, politeness and common truths. Where Truths are nevertheless marked, they will go into the case, drink a glass of rum and go on.

    Since I know something about art, graphic content, and other pots of tar and honey, I will present a look first of all at the gaming industry and the search for work in it from my bell tower. Artovoy. I also note that I can be very subjective. How much my subjectivity has prevented me is up to you.

    We also agree that there will be no specific names and names of offices in the article. We do not need holy wars, implicated in personal hostility towards each other and love for tomatoes. Those who have ears will hear, eyes will see, and legs will leave. The necessary part is played, the intro is finished. Time to raise the sails, although it seems to start from the fifth point and the couch.

    Couch Reflections

    Let's say you want to work in the gaming industry. It is a laudable desire, but I’ll say right away that by selling vacuum cleaners you will gain a lot more money than ours (at first for sure). Unless you are an intelligent programmer. This brother is always in demand. And if you are, there is nothing new for you in this article, only a highly artistic moan (which you, of course, have heard more than once).

    Where to begin? Understand what you know best. Even if you just scratch your tongue perfectly, it’s already good. You can hire an apprentice to a screenwriter or game designer. Although the game designer for the most part he scratched something else. If you draw, it’s worth figuring out what exactly you draw best. If you have a craving for modeling, it’s also worthwhile to understand what you have, whether you have raisins. Etc. This applies to any direction that you can or want to take on.

    Where is it worth moving further thoughts? Aside from the thought that you are the second Marcus Person. The sooner you forget it, the better. There are not so many phenomenal games and phenomenal people in relation to the people who plow the fields of the game building every day. There is no reason to believe that your planets have lined up in the right line, and that you can repeat the success already targeted by someone. Because if you can, you will never read this article, and if you go over it, then catch a glimpse. Thus, I would focus on the idea that your fifth point should finally leave the sofa and concoct something resembling a portfolio.


    This portfolio actually has a very good name. It looks like a briefcase. This is the portfolio with which you will come to your first and far from the last employer. The times when burning eyes were enough to get into the industry almost passed. The network has a fabulous number of tutorials that (be quiet) are studied not only by you. The rotation of personnel in the offices is high, but when this happens a portion of “new meat” always comes. Recruits. Those who at least know how and who can be imprisoned for the most dirty work.
    Leave the illusions aside - games are work. The same as any other. With all that it implies.

    The better your portfolio, the better for you. Your chances of getting a job increase. Let not sharply, but clearly above the plinth.

    Portfolio Tips:

    • Explore the web for good tutorials and learn them yourself
    • Create your scenes, objects, or compositions based on them.
    • If necessary, create another 10 or 20 variations until other observers say that "there is something in it."
    • Visit resources where you can often see a cluster of sensible people (artists).
    • Choose the best resources - so you will immediately see who you really are and what you should apply for when you get a job. Think of all these hellish devils sitting around you on burning stools.
    • Do not lose heart after visiting these resources. Diligence and labor - all will grind. Even a monkey can be taught to draw. We are advanced monkeys and we will succeed. If it doesn’t work out, repeat it all over again. Not one step back - behind Moscow.
    • Forget about a word like shame. Deny embarrassment and firmly hammer the window of modesty. You do not need them in work.
    • Put your work on the network, wherever possible, on as many specialized resources as possible - listen to comments.
    • Filter the bazaar - do not get in the wake of the trolls and “gurus”. If a person ascended into heaven - he is not a teacher for you and not an example to follow, even if his work is good.
    • I have been working in the industry for about 12 years (time is ticking, you know), I will still listen to harsh and, most importantly, truthful criticism against me for as many times (three times as much). Until now, there are more and more white spots than those studied, despite the increase in pace. I will say more - the growth of white spots will progress, the more you comprehend. Ancient human wisdom. It’s no good to ignore her. And worthless to lose heart.
    • For every fireman, ask yourself what else you can do and prepare micro shells in case the main caliber misfires.

    Note: In most educated countries, the word artist combines several parameters at once. When you talk about yourself as an “artist” in the context of your portfolio, no one will think that you are a clown from a circus passing by. Bear this title with pride and confirm it in every way. If you add 2D or 3D particles to this word, or the noble word Environment - it will turn out quite well.

    You ask me - “Why am I going to so steam? I’ll come and they will teach me! ” I will answer, “maybe, or maybe not.”

    It may happen that those six months (or one day, depending on your luck and starting skills) that you will look for work, getting a turn from each oncoming one from the gate will end in nothing. And then these six will be wasted. You will pour into a chasm of lost time a jewel, an invaluable gift, 180 days of your life. Well, yes, of course, you will have a drink and a walk during this time, but you won’t become smarter and more experienced (by the way, you can already drink beer while you’re “in action” for the salary you earned).

    It may happen (if you were not lazy in the hope of training) that the employer will appreciate your potential. Not the works that you bring to him, but the fact that you deliberately pulled up an incredible breakthrough of works in just six months. Even for three months. Everyone has their own speeds and everyone cooks his own bag in his own way.

    Letter of recommendation

    What about the resume? Muck, utter muck, but it is necessary. I had to write it all once. After this portfolio became a resume. My impudence and unwillingness to play by the rules.
    A resume is at least an illustration of the fact that you are able to express thoughts in a connected way. Your resume gives a tiny percentage for success, but if you pour grains of gunpowder into the sleeve one after the other, the cartridge can also shoot. Do not shoot - add more. Remember - once a year and the stick shoots.

    There are many ways to file yourself. And here, as in the case of the portfolio, one does not need to be shy or suffer from complexes. You can take a chance. You can treat him with humor.

    I know the case when Vadim Bakhlychev, much better known by the nickname Molotov, even at the dawn of his career, wrote a letter to Akella from the distant Pyatigorsk, whose general message was "I don’t know anything, but I want to work for you." He did not engage in stupid things like a resume, attached several works and was like that.

    Note: (we generally make each other nicknames, I, for example, Rick, my partner Majik, the programmer Bogimp, and by real names we mostly know relatives and friends)

    As for “I don’t know anything,” of course the pipes. He was able and not a little. Already. This wonderful screenshot made a fuss at that distant time - its work. What can we say about his other works? Everyone probably knows the "characteristic Nival style", it remains only to rhetorically ask who worked as the "reception manager" and who now works at Blizzard? American dream in action.

    By the way, I happened to work with his future wife. In another gaming office. And then everything happened as in real novels. Acquaintance through the network, conversations, meetings ... and, of course, the wedding (I wiped the mean tear). Forgive the old man, I thought that a dry list of “necessary” would be nice to dilute “sometimes it happens”. In general, the ship set sail and took the lucky couple to the far-abroad West.
    By the way, many envied Tamarka (Molotov’s wife) with black envy. Still, husband and guru in one person, experience can be scooped up for years. This story at one time was very well-known among the art hangout, and then somehow was forgotten. How, in general, happens to all things in this life. We will also forget, for a short while, to return to what we need to write a resume.

    A memorable screenshot that created a lot of gossip in the network, and then the battle, when the epic began with Bethesda, Interplay and the new Fallout. Many isometric followers shook them like a flag. As we see - fate decreed otherwise.

    Tips for writing a resume:

    • Do not write in the resume that you do not know.
    • Do not include knowledge of packages that you have never run in your resume.
    • Do not make grammatical mistakes. Punctuation - figs with it, but please check the grammar.
    • Do not write lengthy letters, stories about how you dream to work in this office, and that this office is the ultimate dream.
    • Never and under no circumstances - do not show weakness, do not ask and do not belittle anyone and about anything. About you then they will wipe their feet. Even if it burns in one place, let no one know about the fire.
    • Feel free to write in your resume the package in which you worked for at least a few days.
    • If you have heard about something somewhere, and heard it from a person from the industry, you can take advantage of it by casually expressing “the other day I was talking (the fashion name is hereinafter)”. True, this is no longer in the resume, but in personal communication.
    • Feel free to say - I can. Even if you can’t. When you get a job, your comrades will pull you up, unless you get to the inveterate wolves. And do not worry about the employer whom you allegedly misled. He is not a fool, he sees your level. He plays the same game - by the same rules.
    • A resume, like a toast, and a toast, like a shot, should be short and capacious.
    • Make a page on the net where there will be both a resume and a portfolio in one place, beautifully laid out and prepared. This is another grain of gunpowder in your cartridge.

    To Isengard! Blow horns! To the castle of the vile enemy!

    So ... you have them. Your jewels. Portfolio and resume. It's time for the first assault. Climb into all kinds of forums where you can find work (according to our profile), google with the line “N is required” (where N is your potential specialty). We here, of course, mostly talked about “artists”, BUT ... everything is also relevant for any other specialization. Or do you think that a portfolio cannot consist of a program, coolly scripted scripts, or a couple of stories on a topic?

    I took fashion here to write short lists of what is needed. I'm not afraid to seem commonplace. And I’ll try in my banality not to disappoint you in the future. In the context of this article, enumerating common truths is not a vice, but a blessing.

    • Google everything and everywhere, check even the seediest ad. The market is oversaturated, and you would have to get somewhere to start.
    • Before you write a letter, google again, but for a different purpose - you need to find out the reputation of the office. “Though it will settle somewhere” does not mean working for an idea. There are many scoundrels (let the ground open under their feet) who do not pay their workers and exploit the labor of newcomers, especially singling out students (nonresidents receive a negative bonus of -5 to Surival). The most vulnerable humanity after single mothers, the elderly and children.
    • Choose smaller offices, there they treat people warmer. Avoid giant offices. As my partners from Ukraine say, the guaranteed “nagibalovo”. What does it mean? Lost time in the "mechanisms of the corporate spirit." In a large office you always screw. Consumable. You will be erected and thrown out, taking another ten of them. Deal with it. In the sense, put up with the fact of the existence of such employers. By the way, salaries in such "whaling fleets" are very low. They can even tell you at the interview, “Lord, don’t want to, we’ll take someone else.” You can survive there. And even ride with someone venerable on a ferry along the milk rivers, but the percentage of such lucky people is small.
    • Choose independent developers if you can find them. Most often, either enthusiasts or renegades from a large industry work there. As a rule, tired of her, well-equipped (in terms of knowledge) and, unfortunately, not often pampering with good salaries. BUT ... if you compare with the previous ones, the choice is obvious. Salaries will be very similar, but “nagibalova” will not, or will be, but on a much smaller scale.
    • Pay close attention to everything that wears “we are a friendly family”, “a team of friendly professionals”, “corporate spirit”, “corporate ethics”. In most cases, this is a hatch behind which a well with steep walls awaits you and a pack of bloodthirsty sharks below. I'm serious. If all of the above exists, I definitely did not see this, I did not hear from other sailors.
    • Do not meditate on the announcement "requires an art director for 120 pieces." Do not.
    • Fuck everywhere. Break down doors, break off phones, break into windows without losing your own dignity. If you are not welcome, let’s know that you’ve visited a friend’s friend, and in surprise round your eyes to “know” that this is a gaming office.

    In the den of Shelob

    One hundred and first letter was answered. The first interview. Don’t shake you like that. Remember one simple truth - everything that was the first will sooner or later become permanent. Want to challenge? Excellent. Your first milk tooth falls out. Terribly scary (if you remembered) then they pour like rain from a bucket in the amount of twenty drops. Another 32, depending on the situation, will also begin to leave you ... sooner or later. Is dentistry a bad example? Excellent. Let's talk about it.
    The first time someone is scared. And it may not even work out. But then ... before you will discover a beautiful world ... of art. Actually, I was talking about sketches (winked). They say that at first the artist skids due to inexperience, builds forms very timidly, and then with practice builds up volumes, and then sketches are strewed like from a cornucopia. In essence, there are many examples.

    This does not mean that you will constantly go for interviews. But in the search for work, in the company itself, the light did not converge. Even if there are only two of them in the city. There is remote work, there are other cities ... or are you not so keen on making games?

    In general, that would be nice at the first interview:

    • Most likely, you won’t get nervous, but at least you don’t have to carry a nonsense. Answer clearly and to the point. It is not known what kind of account you have from the one who takes you.
    • If you have the power to joke - joke. Humor helps. But for God's sake, don’t joke badly. It will ruin you.
    • In the short time that you are allotted in case of any technical issues, “sparkle with erudition”. Those. if you saw this in other games, nod your head like an old acquaintance, and say, “Of course I saw, there and there, but it seems to me that this is better implemented, and that’s why.” I hate television, but ... this is your "minute of glory." In this short time period, it is better to give yourself as spectacular as possible.
    • Analyze games, analyze at all, do not be an idol. Do not be afraid to argue. You are not yet an employee in the service of this person - you are a free person and you owe nothing to anyone.
    • Knowing that you owe nothing to anyone - do not forget, however, about tact. In some places it’s better to nod and keep silent, in some places it’s better to smile (there are many smiles, among which there are “you are a man, of course, joked, I smiled, but you understand that I am more out of politeness”). Understand, this is only once, and then you will show yourself, or ... do not show. You can play a revolutionary, an unbending man, a giant of spirit. But not worth it.
    • Stand your ground. If you know that you are doing a good job and people on the net have appreciated your potential, don't smudge yourself. Especially when it comes to salary. Perhaps you do not have bargaining skills, but you don’t need to work for a penny (except for a short experience before jumping to a new place). Perhaps you do not know about this, but the audacity of the view during the bidding matters. Also, no one canceled the bluff.
    • Bluff. When you lie, you need to add a little truth to the words. And yes, we call it a bluff. An exaggeration. Fantasy. The poker player is not lying - he is bluffing. Is not it so? Make it clear that there are other places (without going into specifics), make it clear that "Pup-Soft" is not the last office on the planet. Make it clear that you know enough to fulfill your obligations. Remember - you are not losing anything. “I didn’t do my job” is not a criminal offense, and employers are not such animals. They need a plan to do. A fluid ... such a Velcro. In general, frames always flow. Always need a replacement and fresh meat.

    Failures and Consolation Prize

    Failures and failed interviews should not scare you. Every time as Vanka-vstanka you need to rise and try again. You may need to update your portfolio. I will say even more with an updated portfolio, you can even get into the same office.
    It happens that the HR manager is replaced. It happens that the CEO does not remember who he received and who did not. In his memory, as in the memory of any other person, sparkling fiasco is deposited. What is worth remembering and then telling "with a herring, under vodka."

    I am regularly contacted by those with whom I have already worked, having seen some work on the network. And we painfully remember each other. We clap each other on virtual shoulders, after a couple of days of communication, saying “the devil was disguised!”, Or vice versa, I say “I remember you well, you tried to kick me somehow”, or “you are the one who dynamite artists, and wouldn't I go ... ”, but ... also in two or three days. The thing is the same staff turnover, rotation of people and tasks. There is no reverse situation, I see that my reputation is spotless. In terms of experience and quality of work, of course. The rest ... spotty, like everyone else.

    Do you want to quickly tell you about yourself? Sure, not a problem. And at the same time one more advice - do not be ashamed of what you are doing now. Do not be ashamed of what was done then. Do not be ashamed to naboules in the future. Everything flows, everything changes. Today you will always be better than yesterday. Unless of course you practice and gnaw at the granite of science. This paragraph applies only to work. For other mistakes - we will always eat ourselves.

    “13 years in the industry,” he creaked, flashing menacingly with one eye, “you mean, is louse vigorous?” Yes, I’ve planted such yellow-bellies as you back in the nineties.
    (It could well be so to speak, if this were not a literary lie for a red word)

    Let's compare me then (near my first office just starting to get dirty the first cheap tablet) and me today. Some progress is visible, and it will be (this is a consolation for you), but there are still many miles of road ahead (this is a pill for me). Why a pill? Because I don’t know how I would live without all this. Seriously. I found myself and do not regret anything. Unless about a very large amount of time spent on booze with colleagues in the pen.

    What do i have now? I hate coffee (which I drink in gallons). I hate and love my job at the same time. I do not know how to relax. I forgot how to play as a player, I play as a developer. And still dreaming of making games. Without all this, I would have been an ordinary fish thrown onto a hot midday sun-drenched shore, meaningless and falling asleep very quickly.

    "First, I Perch! I report from the bottom of the Neva. Our treasure! ”

    So ... you are there. You succeded. You made your way aboard the departing ship and you will certainly spend some months swimming. What should be done first, once on board? Brief memo for youngsters:

    • Your eyes and your ears are your locator. Absorb everything you see and hear. Then you’ll figure it out and separate the grains from the chaff.
    • Work like a damn. Do not spare yourself. Especially in the first two to three months. Enter this in the rule for each ship you find yourself on. This is not for the captain, but for the team. Besides the fact that you are doing your job, partners should see that you are a good, stubborn pepper. That you are ready to work and are not afraid of hard work. That you can rely on, even if you are still zero without a wand.
    • Work like a damn. Do not spare yourself. Especially in the first two to three months. This is for the captain. For the first time in a week, the cap is keeping an eye on new recruits. It’s not worth it to call his eyes as a loafer. Then it will be easier. Then the transformation of quantity into quality will go. In other words, the experience gained will begin to transform into skills. You will do faster what goes long now.
    • Be yourself. No need to be a sneak, no need to look for the way up, if you are not a careerist. Stay close to your brothers in arms. Find friends, and like a sponge, absorb everything new. All. All that you reach.
    • Study (superficially at first) all the disciplines available to you, it may be that you did not initially choose the best choice. Perhaps you will find yourself in another.
    • Cook in our kitchen, lug there constantly, harass cooks with questions. All that you draw from them will help you in the future. It would be nice of course to be able to "split" the main cook, but that's how lucky.
    • If the cook is evil, and if the cook doesn’t like you - peep. Eavesdrop. Do everything that does not contradict ethical standards to get the information you need. And yes, I did it. I was peeping. Because they did not want to share with me.

    What's next? Then it all depends on you. From your perseverance. Desires. Love for the subject.

    Links to help

    Forge of the Russian game maiden (GameDev.RU) - and this is not a joke. There are all castes, with the exception of the "elite." The elite live on the DTF . There are troublemakers both there and here. But on both sites you can quickly find not only remote but also permanent work. It all depends on the skills of the seeker.
    http://www.deviantart.com/ - a really friendly party for a variety of creative people
    CGHub - another place that is extremely rich in talented people and beautiful work
    CGSociety is a very old and respected resource
    Render.RU - if you are at odds with English pictures, get ours, native Russian (smiled).

    This set is enough to understand what you should be guided by, and the first two for the eyes and ears to find a place for yourself.
    Thanks for attention. I hope this material was useful and interesting. The pictures today are dumb. Not delivered.
    Good Friday Habr.

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