Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What students can do outside of class

In classes we made a list of what students can do outside of class to help prepare/qualify themselves to apply for a job in the video game industry. There is no particular priority here, for the most part.

IGDA free membership

Business card!
Use Printmaster or word processor, buy business card stock at office supply

Go to IGDA meetings
“Go to GDC”
Go to DGXpo
Go to Goldsboro cconvention (One-day)

Web sites to visit/monitor:
Joystiq (for ideas) (board game designers’ forum)

And many others

Download and try engines (for programmers and designers), XNA, Torque, RPGMaker, Source, etc.

Application software:
Maya Personal Edition 8.5 (2008)
30 day 3D Studio Max
30 day Photoshop CS3
MS Expression Graphic Designer


Your Web site
Geocities free
Freehostia free
Lunarpages <$100 / year (my host and package for

Portfolios (on the Web, and paper/CD/DVD)

Modding/make scenarios

Be a guest speaker (libraries, schools)

Write things (Gamasutra, many other Web sites, Game Developer Magazine)

Remember that many businesses do drug testing of prospective employees

Marwood Ellis came across some interesting networking advice about the Game Developers Conference (and possibly other events) that could be useful to students.

Another article written

a list of other articles written:


Ian Schreiber said...

Also in no particular order:

* IGDA free membership? I thought you had to pay (although it's only $30 for students, and if you pay for GDC you get $50 off your pass so there's no reason not to). I think a paid membership means something -- you're putting your money where your mouth is, supporting the industry. It's a way to show that you're really serious about games as a career.

* Business cards: offers cards for nearly free, several of my students liked them.

* If you mention Joystiq as a web site, may as well add Kotaku. Also The Escapist, a wonderful e-zine on the industry, and for industry news.

* All of the application software you mention is great for artists, but not as useful for designers or programmers. Designers should spend their time learning Excel; programmers, Visual C++ and the Visual Studio IDE.

* On the subject of web presence (your own website and such), it's worth it for students to Google their own name and make sure they don't find anything too embarassing. Likewise, clean up that Facebook page (or set it to private) since you can bet some hiring managers will look at it.

* On the subject of networking, Darius Kazemi is the industry poster boy. He's got a great series of articles on his blog:

* Make games!! This is probably the single most important thing (perhaps tied with networking) that a student can do. Work on small projects, and actually finish them; prove that you won't quit a project once it starts to get boring. Having a student project (especially if you did it outside of class, and especially if you worked on a team) is a great thing to have in your portfolio.

Anonymous said...

Nice read. I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little research on that. He just bought me lunch as I found it for him! So let me rephrase: Thanks for lunch!

"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest."Mark Twain
"A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." Antoine de Saint-Exup'ery

"Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted." Albert Einstein

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle