Earlier this year we saw a student posting in a Discord looking for someone, anyone, with experience in the gamedev industry that knew about contract work. They didn’t seem to be having much luck finding anyone, so we reached out to see if we could answer their questions about hiring and work in the video game industry.
The student was enrolled in business courses at NAIT – the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Apparently they were trying to do a group project for a business course exploring the use of contract and short-term workers in the game industry, but they weren’t finding any articles or anyone to interview about it. Left with a whole lot of nothing to base their project on they were getting desperate.
We arranged for a virtual interview to try answer their questions and give them some guidance. We’re always happy to share advice and insights on the industry. We know a lot of people would love to get involved in the gamedev industry, but it can be very hard trying to figure out how it works, or how to get into game development.
We ended up talking for a little over an hour. Unfortunately the recording didn’t work quite right, but we felt the questions were really useful and other people might appreciate hearing our answers. Hopefully by posting them we could help out the next people that were curious about it and avoid the struggle this student was having getting information.
We’ve posted the interviews in a series of five videos on Youtube for people to check out.
In part 1 we explain a little about the interview how and why it came about, and then cover the questions: Does the industry use contract workers? How big do studios get before they do everything in house and not use contract workers?
In part 2 we cover the questions: how studios and contracts connect or find each other? Are there good ways to network through events? We talk a little bit about the different kinds of gamedev events, ways to reach studios, and about support organizations that can help you.
In part 3 we deal with the questions: How do contractors get paid, and how royalties work in gamedev. We also mention some important protections workers should make sure are in their contracts.
In this part we’ve got a few make or break questions. How many games die before they get released? What do you need to know to get hired for game dev contracts? Do you have to be a specialist for gamedev?
In this part we cover the questions: Is being a generalist a bad thing and How big is contract work in the gamedev industry? Both have lots of information about getting your foot in the door and how to get started on your own career in the games industry.
Thanks to the student for reaching out, and for agreeing to share the interview, we hope it helps you understand the game industry a little more.