Cat Kocher from Blizzard came out to speak with students from CSUF last night. She offered detailed information about what types of jobs are there in the video game industry as well as insightful tips on how students can seperate themselves from the rest when applying for a position in this competitive industry. Notes from the event:
Understanding careers in the game industry
What should aspiring game artists do to prepare themselves?
- Draw or animate as much as possible, seeking constructive feedback, and striving for consistent improvement.
- Get to know 3d software (3ds Max, Maya) , and a 2d paint program (Photoshop)
- Compose a portfolio or demo
What do game designers do?
- Decide the overall feel and direction of the game, game universe, and gameplay
What should aspiring game designers do to prepare themselves?
- Play as many different games as possible – different titles, genres, styles, etc.
- Write down new game ideas or ways to modify existing games.
- Use level editing tools or mod existing games to create new types of gameplay within an old game.
- Get to know 3d software packages
- Build some programmings skills, particularly a scripting language
What do game producers do?
- Producers make sure the game ships
What should aspiring game producers do to prepare themselves?
- Learn how to manage projects and teams, getting involved in independent game projects or student projects.
- Have a sharp business acumen and cultivate strong organizational and communications skills.
- Understand how to work with a variety of different personalities and resolve conflicts to keep the project moving forward.
- Show resourcefulness and the attitude to do whatever it takes to make projects successful.
What do game programmers do?
- Write, create, and manipulate the code that makes things happen in game.
What should aspiring game programmers do to prepare themselves?
- Code as much as possible, and be ahead of changing technology: new platforms, new APIs, new languages, etc.
- Learn programming languages, particularly C++
- Be familiar with commonly used API functions
- Have knowledge of basic O-notation and memory information; simple sorting and searching.
- Work on personal or group projects, whether a full-scale game, mini game, phone app., etc.
Key areas of game development
- Art/animation, design, production, programming
What doe it take to get a job supporing game developers?
- Identifying your place in the gaming industry…
- Speaking intelligently about how you can contribute to a game developer..
- Strong application material
Other career opportunities
- Avid student gamers may be able to contribute to a game development company in other ways:
- Online technologies, cinematics, quality assurance, finance/operations, human resources, business intelligence it services, public relations/communications, community development, licensing, customer service, and legal
What opportunities are open to students?
Blizzard Entertainment Internship Program
- Summer internships
- Irvine, CA
- Open to continuing students
- Contribute directly to Blizzard Entertainment’s games or business
Internship Program Cycle
- Fall 2011 Internships Posted -> Junuary 31, 2012 Application Deadline
- Winter/Spring 2012 Interview Process -> Summer 2012 Internship Term
Who is eligible for an internship?
- Students from any school or background
- Continuing students
- Eligible to work in the US
- Open to F-1 visa students
How do I apply for an intenrship?
- Apply online at ur.blizzard.com
- Strong, complete, and customized application materials.
- Competitive selection process.
- May apply to more than one internship.
- All full-time positions are posted on jobs.blizzard.com
- Postings are business needs change frequently, check back often
- Always hiring top talent in all disciplines
- We welcome new graduate applicants
How do I apply for a full-time position?
- Apply online at jobs.blizzard.com
- Strong, complete and customized application materials.
- Competitive selection process
- May apply to more than one position.
When will I hear back about may application?
- For internship applicants
- All candidates notified on final status by May 2012
- For full-time applicants
- Each opportunity’s recruiting timeline is unique and subject to changing business needs
- Recruiting teams will contact highest qualified applicants directly (due to application volume, it is difficult to respond to individual applications)
Putting together strong application materials
o Strong resume
- Sell yourself
- Brief, informative, and error-free
o Cover Letter
- Expands on resume
- Professional, but shows personality
- Hosted online
- Shows best pieces and value as creative individual
Resume Dos and Don’ts
o Just list your job responsibilities
o Highlight your accomplishments
o Be afraid to list game development experience
o Detail game development projects you’ve participated in
o Make it difficult to read with excess formatting or contexnt
o Do use consistent formatting with a lot of white space
o Save in non-standard file formats (.wps, .wpd, .jpg, .rtf, .txt. pages)
o Save in MSW or PDF formats (.doc, .docx or .pdf0
Cover letter Do’s and Don’ts
o Use a form letter
o Customize it to the position
o Just say you like to play games
o Tell us why you like to create video game
o Be too formal or too casual in tone
o Show your personality while maintaining professional tone
o Save in non standard file formats or weird names
o Name.resume name.lname.coverletter
Your Portfolio 3d Art
A portfolio of work that demonstrates ability to create Blizzard Entertainment quality-level 3d modeling and texturing assets:
- Show thorough understanding of Blizzard Entertainment’s style, palette, and design philosophy.
- Include at least six textured prop objects or character models demonstrating use of diffuse, model and specular maps.
- Show beauty shots, wire-frame renders, UV layout, and textures.
- Provide poly count and texture size information for each piece
A portfolio of work that demonstrates ability to create Blizzard Entertainment quality-level 3D animations:
- Show your creativity
- Show a thorough understanding of Blizzard Entertainment’s style palette and design philosophy
- Portfolio should include one walk cycle
Game Design/ Programming
A portfolio of work that demonstrates ability to create engaging and fun gameplay experiences:
- Game design or programming portfolios are not generally required but highly encouraged
- Show a thorough understanding of Blizzard Entertainment’s quality gameplay and game mechanics.
- Include gameplay videos, fly-throughs, and/or screenshots of completed game projects and level designs, with brief write-ups describing design process and intent.
Portfolios Do’s and Dont’s
- Don’t Submit hard copies
- Do Host portfolio online via website
- Don’t Include a lot of pieces unrelated to Blizzard unique art style or genres
- Do Select pieces that fit and expand on Blizzard’s style and genres
- Don’t Host portfolio as a post in your frequently updated blog
- Do Host portfolio as webpage or site separately from blog
- Don’t Include piece descriptions that are too long or omit description at all
- Do Include a brief description of each piece, tools used, poly-count, etc
- Don’t Take full credit for a piece if you contributed to just a portion of it
- Do Be clear on which parts of the piece you were responsible for
- Don’t Make the website too complicate, with too much navigation
- Do Make it easier for uses to navigate and get straight to the content
Utilizing your resources
- Level editors
- Student versions of full products
- Industry new sites (Gamasutra, Gamecareer.com)
- Company websites
- Community development
- Student groups
- Industry groups
Blizzard has C++ test. Approx 20 questions. Timed