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 Post subject: Work as Gamedeveloper
PostPosted: 2016/08/17, 16:06 
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Hey guys!

This topic is mainly adressed to Adam.

I'm very interested in what you did at e.g Deck13 or Limibic Entertainment as gamedeveloper.
I think a lot of people find the idea great to develope games / work in a gamestudio.

It is difficult to get into this branch of industry?
It is also possible to do an internship in a gamestudio?

Maybe you can share your experiences with us :)

Best regards,
Cross

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PostPosted: 2016/08/18, 22:30 
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Most of my gamedev time was at Deck13, so the following is probably more related to Deck13 and "aspiring AAA gamedev" than to Limbic and more contract work based areas.

If you're asking in terms of what projects I was involved with, you can find that info on the portfolio page of my blog. In terms of tasks or specialization, I usually was "the editor guy" with a knack for usability topics and system / API design.

My usual day consisted of about 65% active development on my main task and 35% talking to artists about their experience with existing editor components, as well as their expectations and use cases for stuff that was yet to come - and then going to do something about the parts that were too critical to wait. Since we were a small tech team, it was a natural requirement to work in a self-directed way, with all the freedoms and responsibilities that arise from it. As a consequence, it was often possible to come up with your own ideas on how to improve everyone's workflow and implement them when there was time, which was kind of awesome.

Overall, I'd say it's a bit more difficult to get into professional game development than it would be to get into regular development, mainly because of its reputation combined with the fact that requirements towards applicants are usually quite high. It's not impossible though, and internships are possible as well - though they are (for a reason) often required to be longer than a few months if they're anywhere else than in QA. If you're going to apply, it's often a good thing to provide references of your previous work. I was never part of the review process, but it was my overall impression that references are just as important and can even outweigh academic degrees.

In the end, I left professional game development before being a full-time part of it mainly because I was skeptical of the industry's general working conditions and even though it was a great experience to work there, I had to at least try something else. How would I know what I'd miss otherwise? And you've probably heard the stories: There's a lot of overtime in gamedev, and comparatively low payment paired with high expectations of skill and a general "you have to be passionate to work here" vibe. It's not all bad, but there's some truth to it and so far I'm glad I went to try something else - even though I was never personally affected by this due to my role as a student job guy. Gamedev isn't the only field that can be creative, varied and fun, but it's one of the more prominent ones.

That said, you do learn a lot in gamedev. I did my tech internship before studying and learnt C++ in the first few months at work, to a degree that years of both bachelor's and master's weren't able to match. If I had to name the top five tech people that I have the greatest respect of, probably all of them were colleagues in gamedev. They really knew what they were doing and it's an amazing environment to work in.

So.. I don't really know what else to say, and honestly, most professional game developers have far more industry experience than I do ^^ If there's someone else around here, please share your own experience too! I'm certainly not "the expert" on this.

(Of course, if you have more questions, ask away.)

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PostPosted: 2016/08/18, 23:05 
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First of all, thank you for your detailed and interesting post! Image

Jeah, I've heard that the developer are "exploited" by the big companies.
So I think in a small independent game studio the conditions are much better.

Adam wrote:
Gamedev isn't the only field that can be creative, varied and fun, but it's one of the more prominent ones.

Which one? :)

Adam wrote:
My usual day consisted of about 65% active development.

So did you help to develop the editor from scratch?
Is the editor especially developed for one type of game from Deck13?

- Cross

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PostPosted: 2016/08/19, 07:30 
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Cross wrote:
Jeah, I've heard that the developer are "exploited" by the big companies.
So I think in a small independent game studio the conditions are much better.


It's not specifically the big companies, it can go down to the indie level as well - though for different reasons. As a self-directed indie, I imagine money is pretty tight, so you'll have to push yourself harder in order to make up for it and produce something worthwhile despite the limited budget without starving along the way.

Cross wrote:
Adam wrote:
Gamedev isn't the only field that can be creative, varied and fun, but it's one of the more prominent ones.

Which one? :)


Currently working for a "hip media company" thing with occasional research aspects. It's incredible how many technologies I was given opportunity to look into so far, and super fun to get to know them and build different kinds of stuff. I'm optimistic that a lot of jobs can actually have a similar creativity and variety to them and it's more a thing of where you work than in which field.

Cross wrote:
So did you help to develop the editor from scratch?
Is the editor especially developed for one type of game from Deck13?


I wasn't there when it was created from scratch, but I was (a small) part of its evolution. We used our own in-house engine and editor, which I believe has a long history at Deck13. When I started my internship it was.. maybe the third? generation of engine / editor, by the time I started working there as a student, the fourth generation had dawned. This certainly played a big role in why there was so much to learn and I'd say both engine and editor are specialized to what was required.

Cross wrote:
First of all, thank you for your detailed and interesting post! Image


You're welcome!

(And yes, we really need a thumbs-up emoji here :D )

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PostPosted: 2016/08/19, 10:43 
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I really enjoyed this posting. I've read a lot sad stories of gamedev workers (overtime, burnout, etc) as well. And they make sense. To a degree.

Reading up on your TigSource post, is it safe to assume you are a more tool oriented person, Adam? How much of Deck13's pipeline has served as an inspiration for you to build Duality?

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PostPosted: 2016/08/19, 17:49 
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eyeliner wrote:
Reading up on your TigSource post, is it safe to assume you are a more tool oriented person, Adam?


I wouldn't describe myself as a tools person, but I do enjoy developing tools once in a while. It's more of a "I like making things more usable and elegant" thing, since it's the same for me with APIs and system architecture as it is for user interfaces.

eyeliner wrote:
How much of Deck13's pipeline has served as an inspiration for you to build Duality?


As far as Deck13 inspiration goes, it was their in-house engine that first exposed me to the concept of Component-Based Entity systems, even though it took a bit until it clicked for me and I actually embraced the concept in my own work. There's also an asset pipeline related system that I developed at Deck13 that was a great platform for me to explore some general concepts that now have a somewhat similar counterpart in Duality as well.

Aside from that, there's not that much of Deck13 in Duality though. I built a serialization system in Duality's predecessor that was heavily inspired by the one I got to know at Deck13, but scrapped it entirely and built something different when I started Duality since it wasn't a good match for an environment that is capable of reflection. A lot of things just don't match up in both worlds, aside from general experience. But there's actually a tiny bit of Duality-inspired stuff in Deck13 editor - assuming it's still there since I left ^^

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