Monday, 19 May 2014

Jobs in the Game Industry

A generic corporate powerpoint presentation style photograph of a frustrated businessman.

I have recently been looking at jobs in the industry within my region. There are quite a few developers in the Leeds area interestingly. Even in my hometown of Castleford there is the company 'Alternative Software.'

One thing I have found however with smaller developers, is that there seems to be big market in sports games. Also it is clear that other companies like 'Four Door Lemon' are established for offering coding services, an area obviously outside my depths within the gaming industry.

There are also excited developers 'Rockstar North,' 'Just Add Water,' and the small indie company 'Hypersloth' all based in West Yorkshire.

Reflecting realistically with where I am in terms of my abilities and possible jobs in the industry, I feel I am still clearly at a post graduate level, and perhaps still need more time to develop as an artist. Many of the successful concept artists who are vocal on Facebook like Titus Lunter and Mark Molnar work freelance under contracts from larger games companies like Ubisoft and LucasArts. They are also active within the external art community, for example, Molnar gives tutorials in ImagineFX magazine.

It's quite overwhelming really, to look at these art communities online and realise the sheer vastness of it all. There arse so many talented hopeful artists, and such a high benchmark for quality and professionalism within the dominating game industry.

Without sounding cynical, I frankly feel that my journey in the arts still has a long way to go. Perhaps it is self doubt that is holding me back, but I still feel intimidated at the prospect of approaching a games company and requesting a job as a concept artist.

There is always the sometimes controversial approach of trying to find an internship. Alteratively there is freelance work. This would have both its advantages and disadvantages. Firstly, I would likely need a supporting job as my client base would take a while to build. Secondly, this supporting job would likely take priority and it would be easy to get lazy with my development as an artist.

This looming self doubt is likely something worth discussing with tutors. It would be a shame for three years hard work to go unrewarded through slipping into a general unrelated job, as I do equally feel I have taken a lot of skills from my three years of study: even simply a broader understanding of the arts from a social and political standpoint with the Concept of Practice modules.

I want to make it clear at this stage when I refer to myself as not being ready, I am not criticising the structure of the course or support from tutors. Admittedly, the notion of networking and putting myself out there as a practitioner has intimidated me from day one. I resorted to the often used excuse that I was focusing on the module at hand. Although I feel that this last year I have managed to push my artwork further and develop technically, I am still something of an unknown entity to any potential employers, and again, feel that my technically abilities still fall short of the industry benchmark.

I do have an indie game venture lined up, which I will discuss further in a later post.

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