Recently I had a surprise guest in my Game AI Concepts class. An alumni that currently working for a EA came and talked with our class for a little while. Regardless of what your personal feelings about EA might be, this was a guy who already had something that everyone in my class were working for: a job in the games industry. Not only that but he genuinely seemed to love what he did. Creating games wasn’t just something he did to pay the bills but a passion he could pour his time and energy into.
He talked a little bit about his time here at UAT, and what it was like finding a job after he graduated. It took a little bit after he initially got out of college to find a job since the job market in the games industry can be a little rough. Afterwards he confirmed something that I had always heard about the games industry: you go where the job is located. This can be true for many jobs but game studios in particular can be few and far in between. It’s not like being an accountant for example where, if for some reason you find yourself without a job there literally dozens of places in the area you could probably move on too. As a game developer when you get a job opportunity you get everything together and you move to wherever they are ASAP. For some this can be a problem, for others they don’t mind the moving so much, in any case it’s really just something to keep in mind.
After he was finished we all had the opportunity to ask questions and get some feed back from someone who was already in a position we wanted to be in. It was an opportunity that you really don’t want to pass up… yet it seemed for a moment like the class was going to let it slip away. After I asked my first question, it didn’t seem like anyone else was going to ask anything else. It wasn’t until after I asked my second question that the others finally seemed to stop being so shy. After that the flood gates seemed to open and even as class was technically over he was still answering questions. I learned so much from that short period of time, and as a result I actually feel much more confident as to what I need to do to make my goals a reality.
When you’re given an opportunity like this the worst thing you can do is just let it slip away because you feel too “shy” or you think your question is “stupid.” The advice is so old really it’s a cliche at this point but you need to take every opportunity that you’re given. Otherwise someone else will gladly take it.