Latest Interactive Jobs

Matthias Hellmund, Head of Mobile Development for Exozet Games, talks to Game Careers

Matthias Hellmund, Head of Mobile Development for Exozet Games in Berlin (Germany) talks to David Smith of Game Careers and Interactive Selection at GDC Europe. Matthias studied Media and Computer Science at Hochschule Furtwangen University (Germany) with stopovers in Tampere (Finland), San Francisco and Berlin. Today, he leads the mobile unit of Exozet games, creating award-winning games and lifestyle applications across a broad range of mobile platforms. His advice to those looking to apply for a job at Exozet:

“One thing we are interested in is which kind of practical projects you have done before. It always helps to not only describe your skillset, but also show some the projects you have done before. It can also be some mod projects, or just some drawings, or even if you are a programmer you can do something, just do some pen and paper drawings just with your address, and it always helps to tell us which areas you would like to work in. We are also very much looking into your motivation and personal situation.” See the full clip here:

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John Mamais, Executive Producer at Polish studio CD Projekt RED talks to Games Careers

John Mamais, Executive Producer at Polish developer CD Projekt RED talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers at GDC Europe in Cologne, Germany. John started his career in games as a production assistant with Activision about 15 years ago, and worked at Virgin Sound and Vision, Digital Domain, Vivendi, and Acony before joining Atari as Senior Producer in 2007 where he was credited on the following titles: The Witcher, Neverwinter Nights 2 Storm of Zehir & Mysteries of Westgate, and Dungeons and Dragons Online. John joined CD Projekt RED as Executive Producer in January 2011, with their latest release The Witcher 2 achieving AAA status in May 2011. His advice for those looking to join a company like CD Projekt RED:

“We are really trying to push the envelope and make really high-end AAA and top notch games. So we are looking for really experienced guys, really talented, who like the kind of game we are making and just want to come and work on the next things we are doing with that kind of attitude and that kind of passion.” Watch the full clip here:

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Chee Ming Wong, Creative Director for Opus Artz in London talks to Game Careers at Gamescom

Chee Ming Wong, the Creative Director at Opus Artz has over 12 years of creative visualization and design experience, working with a diverse range of game & animation developers worldwide such as Visceral Games, Sucker Punch productions, 2K Marin & 2K Australia. His roles include being the External Creative Director on The Edge of Twilight, Art Consultant on Bioshock 2, Dead Space & Infamous franchise and a ardent Wacom Evangelist.

In addition, Dr. Wong also regularly hosts artist workshops, tutorials and articles, and is a keen proponent of continuing art education and the promotion of entertainment arts to the wider public via the auspices of TIGA/UKTI. His works have been published in a variety of international books and magazines.

With a longstanding passion in future space and aerospace technology, Dr. Wong is an official artist for the International Association of Astronomical Artist (IAAA) and also holds a medical doctorate, having specialized in Anaesthetics and Intensive Care Medicine.

His advice for those seeking to find a creative role in the games industry:

“You have to start very early on. There are various forums where you can find out more about being an artist. When you finally do you apply for a games job you have to do the necessary background research. The chances are you will be competing with existing artists already in the feed so you need to be comparable or better than other candidates. Just sending a bland CV is not good enough, you need to personalise things, research, and find out what various styles or requirements each company has. Not everyone might like manga style or melissa style so you need to be very versatile. Apply yourself to various package tools like 3D, also have a strong base in 3D. As long as you have a good graphic of various skills I think you can do very well. The main thing is to be very enthusiastic and keep on trying. Don’t give up, you might have to try 40 or 50 times. That’s normal, its very competitive.

Have the right mind set; if you are not getting much luck with various companies you need to reassess why this is happening. Just asking someone to review your portfolio is not enough. You need to have enough acumen and an understanding of where you are. Sometimes its very hard to go to a friend to ask this.” See the full clip here:

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Tim Closs, CTO at Ideaworks3D in London talks to Game Careers at Develop in Brighton

Tim Closs, the Chief Technical Officer at Ideaworks3D in Notting Hill, London talks to David Smith of Game Careers and Interactive Selection at Develop in Brighton. Ideaworks3D Ltd is a leading developer of mobile games and mobile applications technology. Tim had several 8-bit games published whilst still at school. He gained a Maths degree at Cambridge University before returning to the games industry. At I3D, Tim has overseen the creation of Airplay, a binary-portable solution for native applications on mobile devices. His advice for those looking to apply for a position at Ideaworks:

“If its on the engineering side, we look for people with really strong core skills. We have a gaming side to our company but its not all about games, there is a real strong technology core to what we do. We do look for people who have a strong degree in mathematics or computer science or one of the related sciences. And also some real demonstration of interest and ability outside their coursework, so a portfolio that’s purely based upon projects that are done within your course is not going to get us excited, but if you’ve done something, however small, however esoteric on your own, then that’s gold dust to be honest. Especially in today’s app store economy where you can build a Facebook game and put it up yourself, or build an android app and put it up on Android Market without any cost investment, then we are really looking for people to do that extra step as part of their portfolio.” See the full clip here:

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Livingstone Hope Report Next Gen from NESTA featured on Newsnight 10 October

A report by Rory Cellan-Jones, BBC Technology correspondent on the UK Education system and whether it is failing the Games and Special effects industries. Newsnight ran this report on 10 October 2011. See the full video report that follows:

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Scott Pitkethly, Lead Programmer at Creative Assembly talks to Game Careers at Develop in Brighton

Scott Pitkethly, Lead Programmer at Creative Assembly in Sussex, England, talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers at the Develop Conference in Brighton. Scott has been at The Creative Assembly since 1999 and worked on the award wining Total War series for almost a decade. He has been working on the real-time battle AI and gameplay since the groundbreaking Rome: Total War and most recently worked on the critically acclaimed Total War: Shogun 2. He has been the Battle team lead since Napoleon: Total War. His advice for those looking to get into the industry as a programmer:

“Its very important to have a good technical background. We are always looking for people with very very good C++ skills, and ideally knowledge of maths and physics is useful, but not necessarily essential. To me one of the most important things is enthusiasm, I’m always looking for people that are reading around the subject because that’s what they like to do in their free time. People who are spending their free time coding up their own projects because that’s what they are interested in. If you get an interview and you come to interview and you have a load of projects you have worked on, not only does it show us you have enthusiasm, but it gives you something good to talk about and allows you to show off your skills and knowledge base.” See the full clip here:

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Rob Davis, Founder and Director of Playniac, talks to Game Careers at Develop

Rob Davis, Founder & Director of Playniac in London talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers at Develop in Brighton. Rob founded Playniac and has been game designer and producer for many games productions, as well as programmer for quite a few. His games include International Racing Squirrels (Channel 4), The Big Generation Green Quiz (British Gas), Battlefield Academy (BBC History), Fashion Fixer (UKTV), Alien Farm (CBBC), Springwatch Trackers (CBBC), Kung Fu Panda The Adversary and The Field of Fiery Death (Nickelodeon / Dreamworks), The Lost Army of Fu Shi (BBC Bitesize), Feel Up (Getty Images), First Aid Action (BBC), and Survive Dickens’ London (BBC Drama).

He graduated in Computer Engineering at the University of Bristol with a thesis on artificial intelligence and created his first commercial game, a text adventure that reached number one in the UK charts, at age 14. His advice for those applying to work at Playniac:

“We like people who are passionate about games, who are knowledgeable about games. People who think beyond what they are making right in front of them, who know what the implications of what they are doing are across the whole game, so we end up with games that are very beautifully designed, very thoughtfully designed, and really high quality products.” See the full clip here:

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Greg Robinson, COO & Co-founder of Connect 2 Media talks to Game Careers at Develop in Brighton

Greg Robinson, COO and Co-founder of Connect 2 Media talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers at Develop in Brighton. Greg has worked within the mobile content arena since 2000. He has lead teams responsible for several ELSPA top ten games working with brands such Sonic, Monopoly, Guitar Hero and Tetris as well as launching several successful original IP’s such as Go Go Rescue Squad. Previously he has held senior management positions at iFone and Hands On Mobile Inc. He tells us what he looks for when recruiting:

“Mainly enthusiasm. When we do interview you see so many people . They come along for the job but don’t come along quite mentally prepared for what the job is. We are a highly professional company and people misunderstand what the games industry is. The games industry is a multi billion enterprise in the UK alone. Its highly professional – but we are not looking for people looking to escape from the real world. Yes its fun, and its a lot of fun, and it certainly beats working in a band, but we demand the highest professionalism. We deal with huge project budgets, high development times and costs and we can’t afford to be anything less than utterly professional. Come along, be enthusiastic, make a difference in your presentation to people. If you come across as enthusiastic, professional and have a love for the subject then you do tend to stand out from everyone else.” See the full clip here:

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Ernest Adams, world renowned games design consultant & author, talks to Game Careers

Ernest Adams, a game design consultant and formerly a programmer, talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers at GDC Europe in Cologne, Germany. Ernest  is a freelance game designer, writer, and professor, working with the International Hobo Design Group. He has served in the game industry since 1989, and is the author of four books, including the university-level textbook “Fundamentals of Game Design, Second Edition.” He was most recently employed as a lead designer at Bullfrog Productions on the Dungeon Keeper series, and for several years before that was the audio/video producer on the Madden NFL football line for Electronic Arts. Ernest is also the founder and first chairman of the International Game Developers’ Association and a popular speaker at conferences and arts festivals around the world. His website is at http://www.designersnotebook.com. His advice to games designers looking to join the industry as a first job:

“Cultivate an interest in everything. Absolutely everything and anything is useful to a games designer, whether its history, architecture, literature, art, computer programming is a useful skill even for a game designer (you don’t have to be a hardcore one), the ability to draw is a useful skill for a games designer. Learn to think, and play a lot of games… to see how they work, take them apart and think about them. Nowadays it is difficult to get a job at a large company without a college/university degree. A university degree will really help you. There are good ones and bad ones, you need to do some research to see where you are going to go. If you don’t have a university degree, a lot of companies will put your CV in the bin.”

His advice on choosing a university course: “The breadth of the program is good, if it concentrates only on programming its not a great place for a games designer to be. If it concentrates only on Art/animation then its not that good a place for a games designer to be. its better to be in a place that offers all the talents that game development requires because that way you can sample a little of each.” See the full clip here:

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Linda Carlson, Director of Global Community Relations for Sony Online Entertainment, talks to Game Careers

Linda Carlson, Director of Global Community Relations for Sony Online Entertainment, talks to David Smith of Interactive Selection and Game Careers at GDC Europe in Cologne. Linda has been involved in gaming since her very first, photocopied D&D manual arrived in the mail several decades ago. Over the years, she made the transition from tabletop to online to media to industry… and now serves as the Director of Global Community Relations at Sony Online Entertainment. SOE maintains over a dozen online titles, including EverQuest, EverQuest II, Star Wars Galaxies, Free Realms, Clone Wars Adventures and DC Universe Online. Whether delivering lectures at conventions, hosting SOE Webcasts as “Brasse,” (her garrulous Dwarven alter ego) or working on SOE Community Team projects, Linda is constantly inspired by the passion of the people who create and play games. “In no other field of endeavor do we see such rapid evolution of society, technology and communication,” she explains, “The gaming world is one incredible, organic social experiment, and I can hardly wait to see what’s next!” Her advice to those thinking of applying for a job with Sony Online:

“I warmly encourage anyone who is interested to contact me directly. In a nutshell, what we are looking for is passion because we are a company of gamers who make games. So passion for the product is very important, keeping in mind you may switch from product to product every year, but the joy of making things whether you are coming to the company as an accountant, or a public relations representative, or joining the community team, or if you come to us directly as a programmer or a developer of any type, we are looking for passion, so that’s the most important thing.

When you write a covering letter when you apply for a job make sure its not a farm letter, we have to know who your are. You have one chance to convey yourself, and if you blow that you are going to be lost in the sea of resumes we get. Make sure the resume is up to date and detailed. If you are coming from an artistic background or sound engineering or anything like that, make a portfolio and post it online, or if you are a programmer include examples of your code, post it online and give us the links so that we can review the cases easy for the people who are looking through 150 resumes to make yours stand out.

Understand as well that if you really want to get your foot in the door, one of the best passes to Sony Online Entertainment is to join our Quality Assurance or Customer Service teams. You start out at a fairly low wage, but it gives you direct access to everyone in the company and if you prove yourself there I can guarantee you your manager in CS or QA will recommend you for position when they come up.” See the full clip here:

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