A question for those working in the industry.

Hi guys ive observed the sumea site for a while and thought I would finally sign up to the forums.. I'm an ex-student from Qantm College, 21 years of age and have recently graduated with a Bachelor of Interactive Entertainment. I am currently working for Krome Studios in their QA Department..

Just wondering whether those of you who have gained employment within the games industry have any form of qualification/s behind you or whether you managed to get in through your own self-taught skills? I am talking about employment within a company, not contract-based work.

Cheers

neo an anomaly's picture

hey Stevo,

I would appreciate some comments on QANTM as am comin' to brisbane this september for a diploma in games programming. From what I've gathered thru all the QANTM vs AIE topics till date is mixed with confusing views , yet , I found QANTM a lot beneficial for middle-class students. Did ya mean ya are workin' as a tester for Krome Studios ???

Plz, any help would be great.....

Thanx ,

=[ne0]=

Stevo's picture

Hey man,

Honestly I cant tell you much about the programming side of qantm as I actually stuided the animation major.. However my flatmate now works for THQ and he studied games programming at QANTM so he's done really well for himself.

I also know that there are mixed views on the quality of the teaching at qantm, what I can tell you is that in general its not too bad. The majority of the tutors/lecturers there are really good and well knowledged and the qualification you get at the end is a degree equivelant to that of a university.

Sorry if this doesn't help you mate but thats the best I can give you.

And yep, i'm working as a tester for Krome :)

neo an anomaly's picture

Thanx for that , dude !!Am glad to know ; your friend works for THQ. Now am gettin' it kinda cleared outta the confusion circle. I did hear that the teachin' ain't all that bad and that ya will only get what ya put , so your friend has worked really hard to get into THQ.

Thanx for everythin' and may I hv ur email , ya know , just in case I've more questions on QANTM :)

Laters ,

=[ne0]=

Gazunta's picture

Stevo, I did the same QANTM degree as you, started at Krome in the QA department, and now I rule the place WITH AN IRON FIST BWAHAHAHAHA.

(goes down to the QA room to buy a soda)

Serious answer tho: I had 8 years of working in the games industry behind me, and not much else. Industry experience is worth 10 times as much as qualifications in my book. Qualifications are good for getting a foot in the door for a lot of people, but I know what worked best for me.

spacecaptsteve's picture

Formal qualifications? I have none myself, just actual game experience.

Working in QA is a great place to find out what actually goes into making games and to find out how things are done at certain companies. Lots of the guys working on the games at Krome have gone through QA first.

G Factor's picture

I am Steve's roommate. I work at THQ but as a game designer, not a programmer (although someone else from Qantm got hired as a programmer at THQ).

The course is designed so that you get out of it what you put in. The teachers give you what you need to know so that you can go and do additional research on your own. And of course they'll help you if you have questions. I think this is true with any uni course, if you just do the bare uni requirements you probably won't do very well. Even if you do OK, think about the guy sitting next to you that has put in 40 more hours of work each week. Who is going to have the better skills in the end? And who's more likely to get hired?

I went for a few interviews and they certainly seemed much more interested in my skills than my uni marks.

Chaos's picture

Stevo wrote:

quote:I am talking about employment within a company, not contract-based work.

What?s the difference to you? Both of them give you experience in the industry.

My first job in the games industry had me contracted to work from home for a Hong Kong company. I had no industry qualifications for the Event Coordinator job. Soon after I had started working for them they wanted to bring me out to Hong Kong to work permanently from their base of operations, but this wasn?t to be, because just as the final details were being worked out, the SARS virus broke out and killed off that notion. The next year I spent expanding my skills and knowledge into such skills as Customer service, Quality Assurance, Community Management and Game Design, before the company finally went under.

This rollercoaster ride taught me the hard and fast about the inner workings of games in a very short time period. I now have the skills and experience to do four jobs in the industry that would have taken three-four years of taking classes to acquire the equivalent degree. The experience shows I can do the job and as stated before, is worth a lot more then a degree for that simple reason.

I will end it on this note, having a degree will make it easier to get into the industry then not having one, but its not impossible to get into the industry without one.

AntsZ's picture

I've been thinking about goin to uni or tafe to get a qualification to help my chances on getting into the games industry. I recently got an interview with Krome Studios for a QA position but was unsuccessful QA Manager was saying that alot of the applicants were from uni or Qantm. I would love to go to qantm but my finances are not very good atm plus i just moved up from melbounre. but im just deciding what to do atm about studying. I did get chosen to participate for fuzzy eyes voluntary game testing so the experience i gain from that would be invaluable when it comes to future prospects in the game industry.

mcdrewski's picture

I personally took the long way into the industry, doing a traditional IT course, then traditional "business" IT for five years or so. I then found some people at Auran that gave me that foot-in-the-door (also working in QA) and I couldn't be happier.

However, what I hear is that games is all about what you can show what you can do. Demos, Showreels, love of games - whatever you want to do, you should just take the time and Do, or Do not - there is no try!

G Factor's picture

QA at Auran...

You're not Scott or Mik are ya?

mcdrewski's picture

I don't think so - let me check the nametag on my undies.

Nope. Sorry.

Chaos's picture

Say hello to Paul and Mathew over at AURAN for me.

davedx's picture

BSc Comp Sci Hons + self taught skills ;)

Tall Nick's picture

I finaly got my first Job as an Artist, after finishing at the AIE (Canberra) and then spending a year sending out resume's to every developer I could. I found that nobody was interested in my diploma, it came down to my demo reel.
And of course knowing people from the company your interested in.

Stevo's picture

That seems to be the trend, especially with artists. The qualifications appear to mean SQUAT within the industry. Sure it looks good on a resume but they want to see how good you personally are and what you have produced or can produce. Either you've got the skills or you don't.

So Nick where'd you end up man? Your a 3D Artist?

Stevo's picture

quote:Originally posted by Marty

Hi Stevo,

Self taught before gaining my industry gig. Spent several years learning from home, hanging out on forums, asking questions, learning tools and techniques etc.

Just a lot of learning, passion and self dedication :)

Marty

Good stuff Marty, great to hear. Perseverance and dedication payed off for you and you must have worked hard. If you don't mind me asking, how are you involved in the industry? What do you do?

Stevo

davidcoen's picture

I second the comment of

>Just a lot of learning, passion and self dedication :)

from studying architecture at university, I went into work for a game company as an environment and character modeler, and then slowly over the years into a tool programmer and now game programmer.

sure, have had assistance from various people and been pointed at a lot of good books to read, but the dedication has to be there.

What do you do with all the hours in your day? rather than sit around feeling sorry for yourself and not being able to find a job you like, use every moment to improver your skills to get the job you want. don't watch TV, don't play (so many) computer games, don't waste time online. Have a crap job to afford yourself rent and food money and spend the rest working for yourself.

Sure, get some distance occasionally to re-examine direction and goals, (I recommend one day a week being computer free) but otherwise if you want something, then work for it.

hogwash's picture

Bachelor of Computer Science at the University of Melbourne... went travelling for a year... went to AIE Melbourne for 6 months... got a job at That Game in Melbourne... working for Criterion Games in the UK.

Been in the industry about a year now.

Bottom line is, I wouldn't say there is any set formular on how to get in the industry. Just take pride in what you do and you won't have any problems.

Cheers, Tom.