Category Archives: Games Industry

Getting back into the Game

(Note: This is a repost from 2011)

As some of you know, I recently changed jobs from WMS Gaming to Playfish UK and as I wrote about my reasons for leaving the games industry, I thought it be interesting to write about why and how I came back.

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Why I left my Games Job

(Note: This is a repost from 2010)

This is more of a reply on my earlier article of How I got into the Games Industry (which was originally written in 30 August 2007) as since then, I have left the industry and thought it be interesting to detail why for balance.

Ultimately, the main reason for leaving was for quality of life (QOL) which is a hotly discussed topic in industry circles. Each I was on crunched to some degree, some worse then others which began to take their toll on me.

When I was all new to the industry, it was all very exciting and the extra hours didn’t seem that bad but as I got older and more experienced, other things started to take priority and I didn’t want to spend all my time at work for long periods at a time.

The tipping point is when I foresaw that we were going to crunch (badly) due to a fundamental change in the project and there was very little we could to get round it. Higher ups/Middle management wanted it and we couldn’t say no to it. Then came a series of decisions that literally went against every software engineering book I have read and made matters worse in the most obvious ways. (Please note I am being purposely vague due to NDA agreements in place).

Enough was enough and I started looking for jobs soon after. It certainly didn’t help that I was underpaid due to a wage freeze and got passed on promotion twice. In short, I felt like I was working my ass off for little pay and getting nothing at the end of it which didn’t feel right especially when I knew I could be getting better.

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Games Design Courses – Are they worth it?

(Note: This is a repost from 2011)

Disclaimer: Everything here is of my own opinion and do not necessarily represent any other party’s views.

Note: When I refer to game developers, this means I am referring to everyone involved in the development of the game such as programmers, artists, producers, designers, etc.

There has been increasingly more enquires about becoming a games developer in forums related to games careers such as the ones on IGDA and GameCareerGuide. As much as I am happy that more and more people are interested in entering the games industry, the majority of these are asking on how they become a games designer and which games design course should they choose because they naturally see it as the best way to get into the industry. After all, if you want to be a plumber, you do a plumbing course. So if you want to be games designer, you do a games design course, right?

If only it was that simple.

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How to be a Games Tester

(Note: This is a repost from 2010)

Preface

This is a commonly asked question with surprisingly little resources for information available. There are a few sites such as Only4Gamers which will provides information on testing and a list of jobs that are available for a membership fee.

However, similar information is already readily available freely but is just scattered across several sites. I am writing the this article to consolidate all the freely available information into one place so aspiring testers do not have to resort to paying for information, that in my opinion should be free.

Playing games for money? Awesome, right?

Games Testing is sometimes referred to as ‘Getting paid to play games’ and from that, it sounds like an awesome job. After all, most (if not all) aspiring testers play games every day, why not get paid to play them?

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How I broke into the Games Industry

(Note: This is a repost from 2007)

Abstract

A small recap of events starting from I decided I wanted to be a games developer to present day including all the mistakes and turning points along the way.

Young and lazy

During A-levels, I started to get really lazy at school and more or less went through a rebel phrase where I honestly didn’t care about anything let alone my future and just wanted to have fun with my friends. So, when it came filling in the UCAS form (UK University forms), I really didn’t know what to put in and I didn’t talk to my parents about it. The deadline loomed so I literally made a snap decision that I wanted to do something with computers since they interested me somewhat.

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