Getting Into Games Development #worldstudentsday
October 25th marks a day that doesn’t seem to be as appreciated as it should be. World Students Day celebrates the future of our civilisation. It celebrates the transference of knowledge, without which would cause us to simply revert back to the stone age.
With that in mind, we at Project Gamechanger wanted to look back on our own time as students, when we earned our degrees and first joined the games industry. To everyone out there who are aspiring to join the gaming world one day, we hope this inspires you!
“IF YOU DON’T APPLY, YOU WON’T GET THE JOB”
Speaking to our creative team, we asked the question: what advice would you offer to those aspiring to join the games industry?
David Longworth, our Game Developer and Systems Administrator, said that although “qualifications are good … practice on personal projects is more important. Having work to show employers is the most important thing anyone aspiring to work in the creative industry will have.”
Dave studied Computer Games Technology at Manchester Metropolitan University, graduating in 2012. He began as a junior developer at Project Gamechanger in 2016.
He also left us with this final piece of advice for anyone who is looking to get into the game industry: “If you don’t apply, you won’t get the job, so there’s no harm in applying for jobs that you don’t think you’re quite suited for.” We certainly agree with this, as does serial-entrepreneur Richard Branson: “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
“LEARN FROM GOOD ANIMATORS”
Oana Pop, an animator for Project Gamechanger, is next in line. “Learn from good animators!” This is the one thing she can’t stress enough. “As an animator, I had to accept the fact that animation is hard and you need to do a lot of research and be very proactive if you want to push your skills forward. But by having a good mentor, you can learn so much in such a short period of time, and find out lots of helpful tricks. This is why it is very important to learn from good animators.”
Based in Warsaw, Poland and a graduate of Veterinary Medicine from the Romanian University of Științe Agricole, Oana is an example of how making the brave decision to change your career path can be one of the best decisions you ever make.
Enrolling in an online course, Oana began studying animation in 2015 and completed the course in 2017. In that same year, she joined the team of CI Games in Warsaw; and, 18 months later, she was a fully fledged member of the Project Gamechanger team, where character rigging, skinning and animation has been her mainstay. In the future, she plans on taking a new course in order to continue refining her skills.
Oana mimics Dave’s sentiments: “My main piece of advice for aspiring animators is to apply for any animation job you want. Do not hesitate, because any feedback is gold!”
“DON’T BE AN ASS”
Last but not least, we welcome to the stand our Amsterdam-based character artist, Pedro Camarinha! Pedro graduated from the University of Teesside in 2016 with a First Class Honours Degree in Computer Games Art. He has the most inspiring piece of advice for young animators:
“PORTFOLIO IS EVERYTHING. DON’T BE AN ASS.”
Pedro joined the core team at Project Gamechanger in early 2017 and has been with the company since its infancy. He affirms what has already been said across the board: “Getting a job in the games industry takes a lot of hard work and luck – but stick to it!”
SO IN CONCLUSION…
If you’re looking to join the games industry, here are 5 things to always remember:
- Study, study, study! It may sound like a drag, but by keeping up-to-date with the latest trends, surrounding yourself with awesome talent and staying proactive, you can better your skills and yourself.
- Keep a portfolio! Potential employers are interested in what you can do and they want to see this in action. Personal projects are very important – don’t just rely on grades alone.
- Apply for any position you want! Be over-ambitious and have confidence in yourself, because if you don’t try you’ll never know!
- Feedback is GOLD (even the criticisms)! It is the best way for you to find out where you need to improve.
- Continue to hone your skills! Practice really does make perfect, and if you combine this with taking onboard the feedback from your mentors and peers, you’ll do nothing but grow.
There are plenty of resources available on the internet, and they are only a few clicks away. We live in an era where all the information in the world is at the end of our fingertips – so make full use of it!