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In a recent interview with Krome Studios, our very own James Pinnell unearthed an interesting comment regarding how to get a guaranteed job in the industry.

In a recent interview with Krome Studios, our very own James Pinnell unearthed an interesting comment regarding a guaranteed way to score a juicy job in the games industry.

Sadly, you probably won’t be impressed with the reality. But if you’ve gotten sick of trying, it might be worth exploring. Hit the jump for more.

GL: And finally, do you have any suggestions for budding game designers on how they should get started?…

Fergus: I get asked this a lot, <laughs> by parents, friends, and heh, I always disappoint the children. <laughs> Because, “how did I get in?”, it was a complete accident, you’ll never get in that way, forget it. When I mention engineers, specifically, you always see their faces fall, I say, “You want to be a Games engineer?”, you can earn a fortune, you’ll never be out of work, go and get yourself a first class Maths and Physics degree.

GL: I can imagine people thinking, “Well that’s not fun!”

Fergus: Exactly. So go and get a M&P degree because, you know, they are always looking for that. Artists – go and do a fine art degree. I mean, because anyone can use Max or Maya (graphic design software), you can learn that, but you couldn’t teach me how to sculpt. Either I can sculpt or I can’t. So you can refine that ability, like if you can animate, go to animation school; games studios would much rather hire somebody who is three years older with a fine arts degree and a module of 3D graphics in it. Or somebody who has been to one of the big animation schools. As opposed to someone who has sat at home, played lots of games, and learnt a bit of Max or Maya. I mean, I can do both, but I’ll never be an expert.

Again, I think people forget that Artists here, should be Artists first, then people who do art for games second. Whereas if I said “Look, if you want to be animator for Pixar”, go to animation school. You’d accept that without question. Game Design, though, is always the hard one. It really is. There are courses out there, I can’t say if they are good or bad, I haven’t had much experience with them. You could take the Q&A route, or the Associate Producer route.

So there you have it, if you get yourself a first class Maths and Physics degree, you’ll get yourself an instant job… Although gaming might not be the best use of such a degree.

You can read part 1 of the interview here, and part 2 here.

  1. Another good way (and you hear about it all the time) is to create your own game. Hell you’ve got lots of free time anyway, right? So get a few designer friends together, or do it on your own. All you need to do is come up with a controversial, additive, or creative game. Once it takes off start applying to companies, adding your success and some of the numbers/metrics of the games popularity into your cover letter. Or put “(unemployed looking for a design job)” in the game credits? :P

  2. avatar ManWithSword

    The real issue I think, is whether the person really knows what they mean when they say ‘games designer’. I mean, do you want to be the person who creates the plot, story, and characters? Or do you want to be the person that designs the levels themselves as in 1. walk forward and at a certain point, trigger the spawn of monster A followed by monster B etc? Or do you want to be an artist? Or do you want to be one of the engineers involved in the maths and physics used within the game? Or do you want to be a programmer?

  3. avatar GunforArm

    Yep, there’s a lot of different aspects to game design. I’m a 3d and 2d character animator with 4+ years experience with Maya and Max, Majored in Art and Fine Art, and took several Animation courses and got my BA in Art. Though I still find it difficult to get work in the industry.

    There’s more to it than just a piece of paper with your credentials. What’s helped me is that I know some people in the industry, and are friends with them. So we help each other out (mostly they rather than I) finding leads and such.

    So if you’re REALLY interested in the industry, then get an education geared directly towards what you want to do, and meet people by going to events and industry parties. A lot about working where you want to work is about luck.

  4. avatar Matt

    The “Q & A” route? I have a hard time believing one organization could have both Quality AND Assurance!

  5. avatar Kevin

    Hello Richard unfortunately I am not a mgaician but When I edit I select only a quarter of all the pictures when I am on trip I have all the raw files plus lightroom catalogue of the jobe plus final pictures for client I store all of them to my hard drives at home so when I keep and export a 6 months LTR catalogue I keep only a quarter of all the selection that why. But I use to keep everything on the hard drive for one or two years. I think LTR it’s realy a killer tool it’s save time plus space. All the best

  6. avatar Corine

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be
    really something which I think I would never understand.

    It seems too complicated and extremely broad for me.
    I am looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of

    My webpage … Pulsed Infrared Light Therapy

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