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nightwolf

University graduates - HELP!

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Ashley thanks for the message for this one!

 

So next May I'll have finished university, I won't quite have the degree until later 2011, but I always finish incredibly early (even my tutors have told me I'll finish in May again next year, whether this happens I'm not sure).

 

Anyway, what I want to know is, full time employment. I'm trying to go for Games testing/Qa testing or if I'm lucky junior animator/modellor positions, but as these seem to be full time, I'm thinking I'll have to wait til Christmas or just after to apply for them.

 

But the think is how can I be sure, is that too much or too little time when I'm applying all of the country and all over Europe too? What did you all do when you left, how long did you give yourself to find a full time job?!

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May also be worthwhile getting Daft's help on this, or at least games testing, because I know he did it and I think he was part time so it may be a case that they can be flexible (at a guess full time people work on more of a game/several games at once and part time people work on less...but just speculation).

 

Anyway if you're up for it apply come September or so, just mentioning that you don't graduate until May. I didn't start applying until after I graduated because I just didn't have the time (/energy) to apply and I didn't find anything full time until September (but that was at the uni so that may explain why it took so long as obviously the job didn't exist in the summer).

 

Oh wait...I wasn't looking over the summer. But even so, its a long hard slog. Companies can be quite lazy. I also got offered a managerial job in London but that was stretched out over several months from when I first applied to when they asked for more details to when they finally interviewed me. At least two months.

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What degree are you doing? I wouldn't have thought game testing would be a very good job.

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I worked full time as a tester for about 8 months. The actual job is awful. Not that I especially wanted to but it killed any slight interest I had in working in the games industry. The people I worked with in the department were awesome. The higher ups sounded like tools, though.

 

I hear Sega treat their testers like crap (also, last time I checked their shifts were really oddly timed) and Nintendo in Germany sounds really awful and overly strict.

Edited by Daft
I can't spell

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Erm, I've applied to several places over the year. Having a grand total of one interview at a games company, which apparently landed me the job. I then met with the company again to clarify pay and to arrange a start date... Unfortunately a start date never arrived (I was told at the meeting I'd be emailed it because they'd not organised a date for me yet) and the bastards haven't been in contact since (several months back).

 

I definitely advise setting up a portfolio site though, one thing that has let me down so far is not having one. The uni took down the ones we setup for this reason because they're mongs.

 

In response to what Daft was saying I've seen jobs advertised as Night testing at Sega. I was tempted to apply, but I currently work part time (non industry related) on night shift and it kills me doing a couple of days.

 

Theres just not much about for grads at the minute, especially in a very limited market.

 

Edit - Excuse this mess of a wall-of-text. I just got in from work and I'm knackered.. it's just random sentences thrown together.

Edited by Ramar

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Yeah in regards to Sega I know Jambo recently said there has been a lot of firing of testers and cutting back and such so maybe best to avoid.

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I think the best advice here is to not get a job as a tester. If you want to work in the games industry then apply for something else.

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It's quite a difficult industry to get into and even with a degree you really need experience under your belt so starting as a tester is generally the best way to get in.

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Why would you be waiting to start your applications? Start immediately and if you don't have your results, say that you expect to get a 2:1 or whatever it is you're lined up for and get your favorite tutor as a reference. If anyone asks, they'll back up your claim.

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Well lets see, I before I graduated I signed up to every student meets employer website under the sun. Here are the two I can remember.

 

http://hotprospects.org.uk

http://gradcracker.com

 

There is another one that I can't quite remember. Could have been jobs by email: http://www.jobs.ac.uk/

 

Then I signed up to various job websites:

 

http://www.monster.co.uk

http://www.jobsite.co.uk

http://www.jobstoday.co.uk

 

Then as a fall back I decided freelance:

 

http://www.peopleperhour.com

 

Fact of the matter is you might not get where you want to be straight off the bat. But if you can identify stepping stones, it's probably the best way to go.

 

I finished Uni around June, graduation was around mid August. I was still working part time until August end of August, when I went on holiday to Florida. Came back in September where I started actively job searching, managed to land a job in December where I had been turned down for a job at a company I applied for but they ended up creating a position catering to my needs.

 

I'm still working there fulltime while trying to set up a company of my own.

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Thanks for the information guys, it all seems very depressing, but not what I didn't expect to hear.

 

Everyone I have spoken to, everyone in the industry I could email or talk to in person has advised me that going for a game testing job is the best possible route right now, unless I'm incredibly lucky to get a junior position.

 

I've been emailing companies asking them about positions, asking if anyone knows about any positions going. Hopefully I recieve some replies.

 

Anymore information is of course welcome, I've also been looking into other forms of media to work with film, advertising etc.

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What about modding? You might use your time better getting to work on a team doing that to build a portfolio

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I'm confused as to why you're wanting to be a junior modeller or animator but looking for a testing position.

 

Companies take on talented junior positions with no experience because they're only juniors.

 

My advice would that unless you feel very competent in animation go for the modelling jobs.

 

The problem with junior animating positions is that you're competing against a wider set of trained candidates - people who did animation on their games course, people who have done pure animation courses, animators on film courses, multimedia courses, etc, etc, etc.

 

Where as modelling for games is a little more guarded...

 

Specific modelling suitable for games is not primarily taught on multimedia/animation courses and you'd just be competing with other game specific courses and those who've self taught.

 

So my advice would to be really work on your modelling skills.

 

Your best bet for a modelling job would be an environmental artist position, simply because you have more people working on environments than characters.

 

And because things like characters have less people on the job it means they pick the best of the best.

 

So really work on some portfolio pieces from now until final year.

 

Start a blog that documents this whole process and learn from your own stuff.

 

Then when it comes to final year create a portfolio site that links back to that blog.

 

I was reading on Polycount a few months ago how the average art director will look at a portfolio website for 20 seconds and look on average at 2 images.

 

So the first thing you need to do is show them a finished portfolio pieces, and then the break downs and a link to a blog that shows your development.

 

My mate (well... casual acquaintance) who was 2 years above me got two job offers for an environmental artist position based on this one scene he made.

 

So errrr... I think I'm just rambling now.

 

But yeah just start a scene would be my advice.

 

Really work on it.

 

And re-work it.

 

And re-work it.

 

Take a look at Polycount and see the process of what people go through to get good portfolio pieces and decent assets ready for game pipelines.

 

And start your scene and post on there.

 

Oh, also, during final year, take the time out (although it's limited) to go to the Develop Conference in Brighton (this year's is actually 2 weeks away).

 

I'm pretty sure students get in free and it's a great place to learn about what is required and to make contacts.

 

Also, I know some studios like Blitz have Open Days once a year that you can apply to.

 

Errrr... I need to do some work now.

 

Yeah Dan's suggestion of modding is a good one.

 

One of my lecturers (Tom Betts who've you MET!) always goes on about modding.

 

The problem can be that modding takes up a huuuuge amount of time and the ratio of people getting picked off for jobs isn't that high.

 

But it's still probably worth it.

 

What modules do you have for final year?

 

If there is a team project I would suggest trying to push for a mod...

 

Because I know a lot of groups in my final year always go for XNA projects, but they can sometimes be risky because if the final product doesn't come together you have nothing to show your assets in (other than hardware renders).

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Haha Wesley that is indeed a long list, but thankyou.

 

It's mostly applying to both, if I can't go after a junior position a games tester tends to be where I look next in a companies listings. Not the other way round.

 

It's a individual year end project, I'm thinking of using UT3 along with Maya/3ds max to create different environments as environment design is what I enjoy doing. So yes a blog portfolio is a good idea. I believe you use wordpress yourself? I can't remember.

 

Polycount - got it.

 

Blitz have only recently taken on students for their open day, so I'll have to wait to early 2011 for their next open day I believe, but still worth a shot.

 

Its not really the work that I have an issue with, I've got a portfolio started (it's not online yet), my final year project is decided and I've started coming up with concepts etc.

 

Its all about how to go about getting an interview and when, do I leave it til decemeber, do I apply to just the UK or is it worth taking a look abroad, etc.

 

I think nearly all my questions have been answered! I knew I could count on N-E ^_^

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Haha Brighton I haven't really noticed for stuff, it's mostly London area I'm afraid! But I'll definitely see about the conference.

 

For now I'm trying to volunteer for euro gamer something to add to my CV. :)

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Haha Wesley that is indeed a long list, but thankyou.

 

It's mostly applying to both, if I can't go after a junior position a games tester tends to be where I look next in a companies listings. Not the other way round.

 

It's a individual year end project, I'm thinking of using UT3 along with Maya/3ds max to create different environments as environment design is what I enjoy doing. So yes a blog portfolio is a good idea. I believe you use wordpress yourself? I can't remember.

 

Polycount - got it.

 

Blitz have only recently taken on students for their open day, so I'll have to wait to early 2011 for their next open day I believe, but still worth a shot.

 

Its not really the work that I have an issue with, I've got a portfolio started (it's not online yet), my final year project is decided and I've started coming up with concepts etc.

 

Its all about how to go about getting an interview and when, do I leave it til decemeber, do I apply to just the UK or is it worth taking a look abroad, etc.

 

I think nearly all my questions have been answered! I knew I could count on N-E ^_^

 

Putting your scene into UDK is a good idea!

 

I don't understand why you're Maxing and Maya-ing at the same time though?

 

Have you just not settled for which one you prefer?

 

I'd default to one (Max if you're serious and modelling and Maya if you still want to go for animation positions) and then spend that freed time on a sculpting package (zBrush/Mudbox/3D Coat/Silo or whatever).

 

Jay to the seven, we should meet up and drink.

 

I was planning on going during my placement year and maybe again in final year.

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One thing I'd add is don't be afraid to do a bit of freelance style work to get some experience and to add to the CV. Not that I've managed to land any myself but I know a mate who's done some odd modelling jobs for a bit of cash.

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One thing I'd add is don't be afraid to do a bit of freelance style work to get some experience and to add to the CV. Not that I've managed to land any myself but I know a mate who's done some odd modelling jobs for a bit of cash.

 

Sounds good, thankyou, I have been thinking about freelance, not as a permanent solution as I don't want to work freelance forever, but that sounds like a good think to think about. :)

 

Putting your scene into UDK is a good idea!

 

I don't understand why you're Maxing and Maya-ing at the same time though?

 

Have you just not settled for which one you prefer?

 

I'd default to one (Max if you're serious and modelling and Maya if you still want to go for animation positions) and then spend that freed time on a sculpting package (zBrush/Mudbox/3D Coat/Silo or whatever).

 

Jay to the seven, we should meet up and drink.

 

I was planning on going during my placement year and maybe again in final year.

 

 

I'll use ut3 with max as ut3 doesn't quite have everything and if you used ut3 solely it would be incredibly obvious you have done so and imo there isn't much talent in using ut3 for still scenes, even getting fire, falling leaves is drag and drop in ut3. So I'd use max to expand the landscapes I've been thinking of. Maya is quite good to model in and a lot of companies recommend you use it, but I'm stronger in Max.

 

If you ever come to sheffield Wesley make sure we're all invited!

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And if you're definitely going to that dev conference, then definitely! So long as it doesn't conflict with the actual N-E meet...

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Also maybe learn a foreign language! I've noticed a lot of positions looking for testers/translators and while I doubt you'll be able to get to that level of proficiency in a year you can put it down on the old CV and it shows your willingness to learn/ability to do so/general awesomeness. Plus I think they generally want some previous experience in translation anyway (recommended similar to Razz but apparently he's not qualified enough even though its his second tongue) but still, experience!

 

Not to add more to your third year.

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I'll use ut3 with max as ut3 doesn't quite have everything and if you used ut3 solely it would be incredibly obvious you have done so and imo there isn't much talent in using ut3 for still scenes, even getting fire, falling leaves is drag and drop in ut3. So I'd use max to expand the landscapes I've been thinking of. Maya is quite good to model in and a lot of companies recommend you use it, but I'm stronger in Max.

 

If you ever come to sheffield Wesley make sure we're all invited!

 

Yeah sorry I did mean to ask why you were using Max and Maya together, not in conjunction.

 

Sounds like you've got a good game plan and your prior knowledge of UDK is surely a huge bonus.

 

I don't think I'm ever able to step inside of Sheffield.

 

I owe a man a lot of money who lives there.

 

And he has eyes everywhere... :blank:

 

Not really; it'd be cool!

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It's quite a difficult industry to get into and even with a degree you really need experience under your belt so starting as a tester is generally the best way to get in.

 

 

I disagree.

 

Pro Tips if you want to be an Artist/Animator:

 

-Have a portfolio, on the internet, ready to view.

-Have good quality work. Be critical of yourself. Aim to be as good as current pros.

-Have a variety of work, show your adaptability and your skill range.

-Apply to everywhere and to as many places as possible for standard or junior/graduate artist/animator jobs. Book mark every companies job page, check them every second day.

 

If you have a good range of work, you will get an interview.

This is how I managed to get in.

 

Furthermore, in general, degrees don't mean much these days. So don't count on that.

Also, don't think applying for a Testing job is the best course of action, the likely hood is you won't have time to work on your personal work.

Edited by Tissue Town

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I was unemployed for two months after graduating from Warwick, got a job in retail and been there for almost a year. I am pretty lazy ;_;

 

PS. I am interviewing for a job in Sheffield this week, will be moving there if I get it.

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