Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


How do insiders feel about this article? https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/04/opinion/video-games-layoffs-union.html

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Are there any well established resources for music producers / composers who want to specifically write for games? Not for getting into the industry, more about how making music for a game differs from other contexts. Anything that game composers say "you gotta read/watch/learn from x" to get a deeper understanding of it? Or does everybody wing it?

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Are there certain game review sites that devs gravitate to more than others, as industry insiders? Do you feel some of them are a more fair evaluation of the work?

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Man, Soule was supposed to be one of the good guys. Nope.

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


I still can't believe that something like https://www.businessinsider.com/riot-games-suspends-coo-scott-gelb-bro-culture-2018-12 was even possible at an international company with 2500 employees. If this is what's ok at the very top, then I can only imagine what the rest of the iceberg looks like.

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Not an expert at this, so please enlighten me if I'm totally off, but wouldn't any half decent employment lawyer have a field day in a case of withheld wages? At least in CA, as an employer, you're always warned that if you're ever even a day late on paying your staff then very, very bad things will happen to you legally. People have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and if you violate their trust for something that fundamental (especially knowing how many people live paycheck to paycheck in the US), the govt is going to rip you a new one. Is this maybe a case of the region when these people are working in that doesn't have as many worker protections? Or is this tricky because the people in question are contractors, so things end up being more negotiable? Or is it just not enough money for someone in the legal profession to want to look into this? IANAL.

DreadCthulhu fucked around with this message at 21:58 on Aug 28, 2019

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Couple of questions for yalls who might be in the know:

* How difficult is it to switch (in the sense of being effective, not actually getting a corporate game programming job) to game programming from other tech industries? e.g. say you have 15 years of programming experience in backend/devops/web/mobile etc, is it safe to say that it wouldn't be crazy to expect to ramp up to a solid level in programming games within a year or two?
* In the indie space, how do people find other people to work on projects with? I'm guessing, like with most other creative projects, it's all about meeting people in person through various means (conferences, personal connections, existing game gigs, rather than some kind of a "matchmewithindiedevs.com") and then deciding to give something a try?

DreadCthulhu fucked around with this message at 00:16 on Sep 2, 2019

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Thanks for the extensive tips, guys. Yes, I did forget that there's often these days a networked backend components to most games, so you don't even have to do any sort of technical career changes to be immediately useful. In my head "working on games" always associated more with working on the game client, but I realize it's very much of a mental thing.

I actually wonder if people doing this sort of backend work are ever tempted to just say "gently caress this, I could be making bank working on the same poo poo for FAANG in the Bay", and not have to deal with any of the downsides of being in the game development world.

Re: indie projects, was there a secret sauce behind some of my favorite teams such as Thatgamecompany and Supergiant games? All industry veterans? Did dozens of indie projects before striking gold? Magical confluence of all the right talent at the right time?

DreadCthulhu fucked around with this message at 19:08 on Sep 2, 2019

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


How do you cheat the system these days as a small indie team if you want to get closer to a AAA level of quality with none of the manpower? Will buying off the shelf assets get you far these days, or does that ultimately not solve the problem if you want to have a game that's got a lot of content in it?

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


How does someone land a first gig as a composer on a game, and then progress from there? Let's say not quite a AAA title, those seem to go to people who have already done a ton of proven work on other titles, which makes sense. Or they perhaps are already a successful composer outside of games, I'm thinking like Solar Fields, and they are given a shot on a big title.

I'm assuming it's a combination of:

1. You have a solid portfolio of work that shows you can crank quality stuff out, so you're at least somewhat qualified
2. You, ideally in person at say some kind of a game dev gathering, meet people who are working on a smaller title, probably something indie - lots of luck involved here in terms of timing of projects, meeting the right people at the right time etc
3. The combination of a good portfolio and a great personal rapport leads them to want to take a leap of faith on you, or at least have you on board for a few months to see how your first few tracks for them come before deciding if to continue the relationship
4. Or you could pull of a Sonic Mayhem and send them your soundtrack to a previous game they made in the hopes they're impressed enough to bring you on board
5. Hopefully the project is successful and you can piggyback on it to build a reputation and get access to more lucrative, higher impact projects, all the way until you become Jesper Kyd or Mick Gordon. Or even if the title doesn't blow up, at least you have real shipped work to your name, which is still better than 0.
6. Go back to step 1, except bigger.

What am I missing?

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


leper khan posted:

Know people who make games and be the first person they think of to do audio things. Know people that do audio stuff and be the first person they think of to forward work they don't have time for.

The game audio community is tiny even by the standards of the rest of the industry.

The solid portfolio/etc works for artists because they probably aren't already known and that isn't necessary to secure work. There are vanishingly few cases of open auditions/etc for audio. Everyone knows someone that they'll turn to, and if they don't have time that person will refer one of their friends.

Best advice I can give is to be a cool person who isn't an rear end in a top hat and don't burn bridges. The relationships matter way more than the talent, at least until you're at the top and everyone is actively trying to work with you.

So sounds like it's much less about being a star and more about being a congenial, reliable and trustworthy human being that others will want to work with and will be able to count on to deliver? Like in.. every other collaborative line of business, pretty much?

Also, why do you think the game audio community is that tiny? Is that purely a function of demand, where there isn't enough work to go around, so you only need a few hundred people instead of thousands and thousands of programmers and entry level asset artists?

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Is there a community where indie game devs get together and talk about what they're working on, look for staff, exchange experiences and help each other one? Maybe a very active subreddit? A Discord? A Slack? A conference where everybody meets on a regular basis? I've never gone deep in the "community", so I'm curious if you all knew of such places.

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


TooMuchAbstraction posted:

There's tons of indie gamedev discords. SA has a couple of spinoff ones that I know about : The Dogpit and Awful Jams. There's also the (not SA affiliated) Indie World Order discord, though that one's so huge that it doesn't have much of a community IME, it's mostly just devs advertising their projects at each other. TIGSource is an indie-gamedev online forums, itch.io is where pretty much everyone puts their demos and game jam games (and a lot of commercially released games too), uhh...those are the main ones that come to mind.

Appreciate that, very helpful!

Hypothetically, if one were to say "here are (free) services I have to offer to your game / team as a dev", where would one go? At some point in the future I'd like to make a contribution to a small indie project to get a bit of real-world hands-on practice in a lower stakes environment.

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


TooMuchAbstraction posted:

Find game jams, they tend to have looking-for-group services available where you can advertise your skills. And game jams are exactly what you're looking for in terms of building experience. You can search on Itch.io for active jams.

Fantastic, thank you!

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Zaphod42 posted:

It takes awhile to build up a network but honestly twitter has a lot of super active indie devs posting what they're working on or that they're looking for work.

Noted! Is there a particular tag that people like to post that kind of activity on?

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


A couple of naive questions, if you'll indulge me:

1)

What keeps programmers locked in the industry as opposed to switching to web dev or anything else outside of entertainment that might pay more, have shorter hours and more stable employment? Is that because it's hard to leave games once you've worked in them for a while due to a specialized programming skillset that doesn't obviously translate to anything else? Or is it the appeal of the kind of ultra-creative people you end up working with? Or is it because after many years the honeymoon of working on a game still hasn't worn off, and it still sounds much much better than working on accounting software solution n.75634? What keeps people from taking a job at a FAANG or a hip up-and-coming Series B startup instead?

Or, are software dev jobs in games no longer a grind, and actually much more competitive in the marketplace, and actually with decent work life balance? I met a few Riot devs a while back here in LA and they seemed to have an amazing quality of life. But that's possibly because League is less of a game and more of a service, like a Salesforce or a Gmail, and the studio doesn't live an die by every new release it cranks out every few years? It's possible Riot is an outlier here.

This actually makes me realize that when I used to hire devs for a web dev startup some time ago, I would never see people with game development experience. And I've looked at thousands of software dev resumes and interviewed hundreds of them personally.. I'm assuming it was a form of self-selection, where programmers with that skillset and experience weren't going to suddenly start slinging CRUD web apps, due to either unfamiliarity or disinterest in anything outside of entertainment. You'd think I would have at least run into people who wrote the backends for games, but I don't recall any at all.

2)

I read the stats that there are something like 1000 new indie games released every day. Jesus Christ. If that's the case, are you very, very unlikely to ever experience the kind of public reception of a Bastion, Journey, Valheim, Subnautica and their likes? It seems like it's very likely you'll grind away at it for years and give up once you run out of money.. Especially if you're trying to self-fund and you don't have an existing track record as a game developer and connections in the publishing world with someone who might bankroll you and your tiny indie team as you work on that early prototype before you can perhaps release it in Early Access and start eating what you hunt?

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


al-azad posted:

This is how Supergiant and Valve formed. Double Fine as well. Work for 10 years and capitalize your own company.

I didn't realize that Supergiant founders were rolling in it, I thought they were just regular devs at EA. Gaben was a full-blown GM at Microsoft from what I recollect, which is a pretty decently ranking position.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

DreadCthulhu
Sep 17, 2008

What the fuck is up, Denny's?!


Going back to Supergiant and Unknown Worlds, I think it's worth reiterating that both of those teams had been grinding at it for a long time before they struck gold. UW specifically had been in the scene since the early 2000s with Natural Selection, and they had almost 15 years of experience of doing Early Access releases before even touching Subnautica. I suppose, sure, you can win the lottery and have your first game become Minecraft, but the reality is that it's not unlike you will need to be polishing your game dev chops for a very long time before you have a real shot at it, and even then, many stars have to align.

Going back to the marketing thing, Subnautica somehow got picked up by every major streamer at the time with exception for Pewdiepie, which is something that 99.99% of games will never experience. Lots of hard work and experience and lots of luck in getting the right eyeballs at the right time..

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply