Personal Development and Reflection

Personal Development

Even before my third year of university I was dedicated to finding an oppurinitity to work in the games industry. This professional practice module has given me the extra push to access certain things and research areas of the industry that I had not before.

Over the last few months I have really been trying to get myself out there and grab opportunities. I have now established my website and it looks brilliant, and my business cards are printed. The business cards are really helpful. I have been able to hand them out to quite a number of people, better than I had expected.

The networking has gone really well though I have yet to get an offer. I am now in touch with a lot of industry employed people. My LinkedIn account has proved to be extra valuable as it is easy access to communicate with games company employees. I have had a number of people on LinkedIn comment about my logo which means it is working. I am currently awaiting answers to some of the connection request I sent out they will increase my network.

Twitter is great for talking to people in the games industry it is very rare that I would normally get the chance to engage with top tier developers but twitter makes this possible. I was able to get in contact with one of my most respected developers Hironobu Sakaguchi. He sent me a very encouraging message via twitter. H.Sakaguichi is the creator behind one of the industries mega franchise Final Fantasy and is currently head of development at Mistwalker games.

Eurogamer gave me the chance to work with industry people within a games environment which was a great experience. I enjoyed Eurogamer this year very much. Working with splash damage I was able to see some people that are ultra-passionate like myself about computer games and are not just in it for the money. Splash damage employees were particularly encouraging as they came from a modding background and not through the traditional blockbuster games route. Although I was not able to obtain a job at splash damage, I was still able to gain valuable contacts for future exploits as I pursue a career in games design. It was not only Splash Damage that I was able to gain contacts but I met a lot of new people some from companies and some from similar courses. I have added most of the people that I met at Eurogamer to my friendslist.

I have been searching for graduate positions at various companies such as Rebellion, Black rock, Codemasters and Rare. I applied for the graduate positions at these companies as it would be great learning while working in the industry rather than being thrown into the deep end of programming professional. Some of these companies are not within London but relocation would not be a problem for me. There are also other career opportunities that I can apply for such as internship, I know they do not pay as much as the graduate positions but to me knowledge is knowledge and experience is experience. With that experience it would allow me to maybe get a better job. There is also gamer camp which I will look into. Gamer camp is a course run by Birmingham University during the course the student is mentored by industry professionals and is tasked with creating a game for one of the major console platforms over 9 months. The gamer camp also counts as a MA degree so it is definitely worth looking into.

My current agenda is to improve the content in my portfolio I want to have more content that showcases my board range of skills. Currently the content is my old work and the content from the projects that I am working on is much better. Also high on my list I want to gain a first in my degree I am working really hard to achieve this I am confident I can do this, it would be great gaining a first. I have been working very hard since my first year of university and to mess up now would be terrible.

I also plan to go to E3 this year with Arekkz. E3 is the world largest video games expo it is traditional for industry personnel only but we are taking step to ensure that we can go. The show is held in Los Angeles which will be a great experience, not only will it allow me to play the latest games it should also allow for me to network with some of the world best developers.

All in all 2011 looks like it is going to be a great year for my career.