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nosmoke44.com keeps spamtexting me, using different phone numbers so I can't block them. BOYCOTT these jerks! "Hey Tom, not sure if you or anyone you know still smokes. But www.etc. is giving away free e-cig trials. - John" ... Jerk. I never smoked cigarettes in the first place.
   GAME Q&A BULLETIN BOARD

Hi. My name is Tom Sloper. Welcome to my Game Industry Q&A Bulletin Board.   It's a place to ask questions about the game industry and game design. You'll get free answers, here on this board.

PLEASE READ THE FAQs BEFORE YOU ASK!!!

And read the questions and my answers below, before you ask me anything.

Privacy policy / terms of service: "ALL YOUR EMAIL ARE BELONG TO ME." Questions and answers are handled in this public forum only - I give free answers, but I don't give free private answers. The "price" of the free answers is that they are given in this public forum for the education of all readers. Emailing me, or sending me a PM on any website, with a question or comment on this site's topic constitutes permission for your email to be made public. No information you provide with request for free advice shall be deemed confidential. I won't reveal your email address unless I think you're a spammer. DO NOT come back later and ask me to anonymize your email in any way. If you do not want your personal information to appear on this board, do not put any personal information in your email to me. If you do not want your question to be used in this public forum, then be prepared to hire my professional services, or do not send your question to me. This privacy policy is stated in numerous places on this website.

I'M NOT HERE TO BABY YOU. I'm here to teach you, to help you learn about game design and about the business of making games. Have you seen The Karate Kid or Kung Fu or those martial arts movies where the hero has to learn from a hardnosed sensei -- a rough-edged taskmaster with a secret heart of gold? I'm a little like that. As Randy Pausch said, "When somebody rides you, they're doing that because they care to make you better." Dumb questions and sloppy writing habits aren't exactly welcomed with open arms here. Babying isn't helping. If you want somebody to just pat your head and tell you how clever and talented you are, or to commiserate while you whine about how unfair the world is, go to your mama -- don't email me. If you want realistic game biz advice, though, I'm your guy.

I DO NOT REVIEW résumés, demos, websites, portfolios, schools' curriculums, or amateur designs. I do not follow links to read stuff for you. I do not choose schools for you. I do not make your decisions for you.

I AM NOT A PROGRAMMER, so please don't ask game programming questions here. There are other forums for that topic. This board is about game DESIGN, game producing, and game career advice.

EMAIL YOUR QUESTION to WebmasterSloperama.com, or any email address you know to be mine (it doesn't matter which Sloperama email address you use to get email to me) -- or click the picture below to submit your question or comment. In order for me to give you the best game career advice that's tailored for your individual situation, the first time you write me, I need to know these 5 tidbits about you:
How old are you?
What's your level of education?
What's your current occupation? (If student: "student")
Which game job, if any, do you aspire to or plan to study for?
And depending on your question, I may need to know what country you live in (where in the world are you?).

And make sure you write an appropriate subject line for your email. Read http://wordwise.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/subject_to_chan.html.


To ask a question, click the image or email the address above.

After you submit your comment or question, RETURN TO THIS BOARD SOMETIME LATER (like several hours, or the next day) to see the response (below) - and keep coming back to see followup discussions. Clicking the picture above might not work for everyone. If you do not see a reply (below) within 24 hours, then email your question directly to WebmasterSloperama.com.

On this website, all the marbles are mine -- so you have to play MY game. Here are the rules:

  • No shouting. Nobody is allowed to shout here but me. (^_^) If you type your question in all caps, I'll convert it to lower case. Then everybody will think you're a sissy poet, or beatnik, or chatroom pervert... or something.
  • Don't send me confidential information and expect me to keep it to myself. It all goes right here.
  • Don't send me your game design for my "thoughts" about it -- the only way I can comment on it is to post the whole thing right here for everybody to see.
  • In fact, don't send me any attachments, photos, or anything. This board is for words. Ask me a question in your own words - I'll answer it in mine - or just send me your comments and I'll respond with mine.
  • I do not recommend you send me a PM on some other website (like GameCareerGuide or GameDev or LinkedIn or ReachMahjong...) for a number of reasons, but especially since if you do that, I might never notice that you did that. If you want to contact me, email me. Don't PM me.
  • Humor and entertainment for the readers is also part of what's offered on this site. Don't ask me for advice if you can't take a little good-natured ribbing. Oh OK, so I'm kind of like Dr. House or Mr. Miyagi sometimes. Take it like a man!
  • I give this free advice only by email - please do not telephone me with any game career advice questions! Business or journalist queries are of course welcome. If you do phone me with a business query, please make it clear very quickly that it is a business query and not an advice call.


  • Consulting? Steve Meretzky?

    >From: Charles K
    >Sent: Monday, August 3, 2015 12:12 AM
    >Subject: Question About Your Freelance Consulting Job Details
    >How old are you? 18
    > What's your level of education? Earning my Bachelor Degree
    > What's your current occupation? (If student: "student") Student
    > Which game job, if any, do you aspire to or plan to study for? I'd love to be an idea guy but that's highly unlikely it'll ever happen. So let's just say Producer.
    > And depending on your question, I may need to know what country you live in (where in the world are you?). United States
    >Hi there Mr. Sloper! I'm Charles. I've finally finished your articles in Game Design. It took a lot longer than I originally planned to take. By the way, has anyone who emailed you about game design called you mean before? A lot of the things you write seem to have this really harsh undertone to it. I personally find it endearing.
    >Anyways to my real question. So you say you do freelance consulting ... what does that mean you do? Do you look at other people's designs and help them make it better?
    >If you don't end up answering that question, which you sometimes do, answer this one instead. Why do you find Steve Meretzky one of your heroes in game design? I briefly did about 20 min of research and couldn't find anything particularly amazing about him.
    >Thanks for reading my email out of the dozen of other ones you probably get.
    >- Charles K

    Hi, Charles. You wrote:

    has anyone who emailed you about game design called you mean before?
    Absolutely.

    you say you do freelance consulting ... what does that mean you do? Do you look at other people's designs and help them make it better?
    That's one of the services I offer. Steve Meretzky calls that "design doc-toring."

    Why do you find Steve Meretzky one of your heroes in game design? I briefly did about 20 min of research and couldn't find anything particularly amazing about him.
    In your 20 minutes, you didn't play any of his games or work with him. He has a great sense of humor, and he's still working full time in games. "Hero" is a bit overblown. Better to say that I admire the work he's done and appreciate him as a fellow designer.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    August 3, 2015


    Where do I get a Game Time watch? How do I get my idea made into a working game?

    >From: Ethan A
    >Sent: Thursday, July 16, 2015 12:48 PM
    >Subject: The Game Time Watch
    >Dear Mr. Sloper,
    > I am a young vintage videogame fanatic (Which may sound weird, but believe me I love them) and I don't care for the new Smart Watches. I have always admired the Game Time Watch. However, I can not seem to find any on the market and I was wondering if you game tell me where my best chance to find one at a reasonable price would be. Also, I have read the entirety of your "Game Design 101" and I loved it. So, I have a gaming idea of my own, but I do not have the skill or the funds to make it happen and I have been rejected contact with the developers of Electronic Arts, Konami, Microsoft, and PlayStation. I do not want to reveal my idea to them because in their automated response emails they say that if you tell them your idea then they are not responsible if their company makes a similar game. I just fear it being stolen and I would have put the idea in this email, but on your website it states that you own this email and you will post it on a public bulletin board. So, how do I make this happen, who do I talk to, how to I reach them or the companies I have tried to contact already, and I would appreciate if you added any other elements of game developing that I am missing. Thank you for your time.
    >Sincerely,
    >Ethan A

    Hi, Ethan. Nice to hear from you. You wrote:

    I was wondering if you [can] tell me where my best chance to find [a Game Time watch for sale?]
    You could try eBay. Or maybe Packrat Video Games (Google it). Good luck!

    I have a gaming idea of my own, but I do not have the skill or the funds to make it happen
    But what is it you want to do with your idea? I mean, after your game has been made, then what? What is your business idea? How do you plan for the game to be disseminated to the game playing public, and how do you figure the game will make back its cost of development?
    Have you written a business plan? You say you've read the entirety of my "Game Design 101," so you should have read FAQs 1, 11, 21, 29, and 60 already. Or are you only talking about FAQ 1? Maybe you should re-read FAQ 1, and read FAQ 60.
    If you have no skills useful in the making of a game, the only way to get a game made is to pay people to make it for you. End of story. If at the end of that story you have no way to get the funds (either by friends, family, fools, or crowdfunding), then what some people do is try to convince skilled people to make the game in anticipation of getting paid back when the game earns money, but in order to convince people to do that, you'd have to show them a solid business plan, and you'd have to look like someone with some industry chops or at least some useful game dev skills.

    I have been rejected contact with the developers of Electronic Arts, Konami, Microsoft, and PlayStation. I do not want to reveal my idea to them because in their automated response emails they say that if you tell them your idea then they are not responsible if their company makes a similar game.
    Yes. I said that much, did I not, in FAQs 11 and 21? I stand by what I wrote in FAQ 1 - you sound to me like you are fairly young (and in fact, you started your email by saying you are young), and if you want to make video games, why don't you go for a career making video games? Read more of my FAQs.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    June 16, 2015


    I was given a pretty unique opportunity

    >From: Don X
    >Sent: Monday, June 8, 2015 12:25 PM
    >Subject: Re: Just some quick thoughts
    >Lol. Thanks, Tom. Glad that you did find that email.
    >I find myself having some strange luck lately. I was given a pretty unique opportunity from the school to push one of my games to the mobile market. Not get just getting the game in the stores, but doing all the a/b testing it needs to prove the game worth spending advertising money. I have a vertical splice of a puzzle game, and I try to expand the game into a full game like Puzzle Craft. I am given $2,000 dollars and the office space for 6 months. The amount of money is not huge, but it's a lot for a student. My thought is spending most of those money on testing, legal work of the company and maybe paying a artist intern, if there are money left. Well, I guess it will be hard for you to give advice on this, since I can't tell you everything I need in one short email... Anyway, that's what I'm up to.
    >Talk to you soon~
    >Don

    I don't know what to tell you, Don. If the money has no strings attached, you can spend it on whatever you need to. Congrats.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    June 8, 2015


    Apple Watch games

    >From: Don X
    >Sent: Wednesday, May 6, 2015 11:22 PM
    >Subject: Just some quick thoughts
    >Hey Tom,
    >Just a quick thought. For a while, I was looking into Apple Watch as a rising platform for micro gaming, which I think it's the extension of the trend in one-button games. But what if the future of this micro gaming is just the re-imagination of old watch games with the social games elements now? Since you have some watch games down your belt, what do you think of it?
    >Best,
    >Tiantong (Don) X

    Don, my apologies. I was "slammed" with overwork a month ago, and your email fell through the cracks. I just found it now. My belated reply:
    I don't know what resolution the watch is capable of... oh bother, I'd better just look it up. I found diagrams on the Apple developer site, and I cut holes in the display area to reduce the clutter that was in the Apple diagrams:

    The watch comes in 2 sizes: 38mm and 42mm high. As to your question: re-imagining old watch games isn't the way to go, since old watch games had nowhere near the pixel resolution of the Apple Watch. And since the screen is portrait aspect ratio rather than landscape, old Atari 2600 video games wouldn't work on it either. Designers could conceivably go back to old arcade games (vector-display games would look good) and even Vectrex games. And sure, social makes sense.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    6/6/2015


    I want to be a game designer

    >From: shivam k
    >Sent: Tuesday, May 19, 2015 11:38 PM
    >Subject:
    >Hi, I am 15 yrs. old and read in class 10th. I want to be a game
    >designer. I wish to take admission in FULL SAIL University. How do I
    >get admission in it. And I what should I do now? I am from India.

    Hi, Shivam.
    I can't tell you how to apply to a school - that is not what my website is about. Look at the Admissions page of the school's website. Every school has an Admissions page.
    When you say you want to be a game designer, I don't know how you are using the term. Perhaps you are using the phrase "game design" as a catch-all term for every job in the process of game creation. Design is a specific job in game creation, and it's the "sexy" job title that everybody wants to have but only a special few can have. And the specialized focus of game design does not have wide applicability to other fields. You should read two of my articles (FAQs, or Frequently Asked Questions) - numbers 7 and 3 for starters (#7 talks about the different job roles in games, and #3 talks about the sort of education a game designer should get). You can link to my articles/FAQs above left.
    To get a job as a game designer, you do not necessarily have to have a degree in game design. And you do not necessarily have to go to a game school. If you want to program games, you should get a CS (computer science) degree, from any accredited school. A CS degree would have wide applicability to other fields, and would probably also meet with your parents' approval. (Did I mention that your Indian parents are unlikely to approve of your going for a game design degree at a game school?) Read FAQ 34 and FAQ 89. And FAQ 85 and 44 and 77.
    What should you do now? Spend some time reading some of my articles. And start actively pursuing your interest in game design (if design is really the focus of your goal). Write some game concepts. Sketch some level designs. Try your hand at GameMaker. Do stuff, make stuff - find out if your stated goal really fits.
    When you write an email, you should always write a subject line that summarizes what your email is about.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    May 20, 2015


    Should I go for a bachelors or a masters? Is an online school fine? Are my career aspirations easy? Are my career aspirations unrealistic?

    >From: Tahu v
    >Sent: Thursday, April 30, 2015 1:16 PM
    >Subject: How should I go about pursuing 3D modeling
    >1. Age: 16
    >2. Level of education: High school
    >3. Current occupation: Student
    >4. Future goals: Level Design/Level Architecture
    >5. Location: Washington (United States)
    >So I would like to pursue a career in making 3D models. Making stuff for video games sounds like it would be more fun. But I wouldn't mind making 3D models for cars, or buildings (architecture) or really whatever. I just really make things in computer programs like autocad, solidworks, maya, and other things.
    >That was just some information here are my questions:
    >Q1 - Should i go for a bachelor or masters
    >Q2 - What should i get the bachelor or masters in specifically?
    >Q3 - Would there be a difference between doing online as apposed to on campus
    >Q4 - Do you think it will be very hard to find work in this career? (I am not doing this because it seems easy or anything. I have an interest in this because it seems fun and constantly changing and just making things i think of into full scenes just feels amazing. But if it is an unrealistic career to make a living off of i would not like to pursue it)

    Hi, Tahu. Sorry it took me a long time to reply - I have been VERY busy lately! To reply to your numbered questions:
    You have to have a bachelor's degree to get a master's degree. So go for a bachelor's degree as your short-term goal. Then you can decide LATER whether to go for a master's or not!
    That's for YOU to decide! Choose a college/university that offers courses you want to take. Please read some of my FAQs - see FAQ 25, FAQ 34, FAQ 53. You can link to the articles/FAQs/lessons above left.
    VERY different. Go to real school. It's MUCH better than an online school.
    You're asking if it's hard? YES - EVERYTHING WORTH DOING IS HARD. What are you going to do, give up and look for an easy career? Become a garbage picker. You don't need ANY training. It's REAL easy. But it's dangerous and pays really lousy. DON'T ASK IF SOMETHING IS HARD. If you want to do something, go for it.
    You're asking if it's "unrealistic"?? No. It is not unrealistic. Read FAQ 40, and follow your passions. Let your heart guide you.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    May 1, 2015


    Degree decision

    >From: Sina S
    >Sent: Friday, April 10, 2015 11:42 AM
    >Subject: Different degree paths viability
    >1. Age: 22
    >2. Level of education: Some College
    >3. Current occupation: Student
    >4. Future goals: Game Designer/Producer
    >5. Location: Iran
    >Dear Mr.Sloper,
    >Before I start I would like to commend you for your efforts on creating and maintaining your helpful website.
    >I am studying Materials Science and Engineering at Sharif University of Technology and I'm near the end of the program; I'll hopefully graduate by the end of next Summer. I would as stated, wish to have a career in game development. Unfortunately, as you've already noticed, I have 2 big problems which make my situation rather rare. First, I'm not studying something helpful; second, I'm living in a country where it's hard to emigrate from and doesn't have a viable game industry either.
    >
    >I don't know what my options really are. I thought that perhaps I could apply for a master's in CS at DigiPen (or any other good university actually) but realized that I won't be able to qualify since there are a lot of topics that I'm uneducated in such as operating systems and design algorithm. Going for an MBA or any other business/management degree is also not exactly easy either and most universities have minimum requirements of job experiences for them, but it's still a possible path. After speaking to a student in my university who's studying Software Engineering and a veteran in Iran's own small game industry, I was told by both of them to go to the Iran Game Development Institute which is sort of part-time game school and study design there, however it would still not teach me the computer science I'd need to be able to apply for a masters abroad, at least I don't think so.
    >
    >I would very much appreciate any help regarding my situation.
    >Thank you very much for your time.

    Hi, Sina. You wrote:

    I'll hopefully graduate by the end of next Summer.
    By all means, work hard and make that happen! It's important.

    I don't know what my options really are.
    Yet you list several of them! I do not think you are really as clueless as you say.

    perhaps I could apply for a master's in CS at DigiPen (or any other good university actually)
    Why CS? You say you want to be a designer or producer. I'm a designer and producer, and I don't have a CS degree (I don't have recent programming experience, either). And do you really think you need to go to an expensive game school?

    I'm uneducated in such as operating systems
    You don't need to know how to create an operating system, to be a designer or producer. Just how to use them (and you probably already do).

    and design algorithm.
    I don't even know what that is - and I'm a designer and producer.

    Going for an MBA or any other business/management degree is also not exactly easy either
    None of it is easy. Forget easy. Coincidentally, I know an Iranian MBA student here in L.A. (we took a class together).

    a student in my university who's studying Software Engineering and a veteran in Iran's own small game industry, I was told by both of them to go to the Iran Game Development Institute
    That is not bad advice!

    however it would still not teach me the computer science I'd need to be able to apply for a masters abroad,
    Why do you need CS? Are you sure you want to be a designer or producer? Do you really want to be a game programmer, is that what's going on? I recommend you make a decision grid. See FAQ 70 - you can link to my FAQs above left. I also recommend you read FAQ 3 and FAQ 42 and FAQ 7 and FAQ 34 and FAQ 76 and 74, and 77. (Note: I used to refer to the FAQs as "lessons" and I've also referred to them as "articles".)

    I suppose that list is confusing because it's out of numerical order. I listed them in recommended reading order. But if you want numerical: 3, 7, 34, 42, 70, 74, 76, 77.

    Good luck, Sina!
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    April 11, 2015


    Going to GDC as a conference associate, part 2

    >From: Don Xu
    >Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2015 4:11 AM
    >Subject: The first day to the rest of my life - updates from me :)
    >Hi Tom,
    >GDC was great and the CA program was fantastic! I wouldn't believe how great the CA program would be until I was there, lol. I re-write this email a couple of time, as I was still figure out what I really wanted to say. I think I know it now.
    >Shortly after GDC, I was was contacting people, sending resumes like crazy, and thought that I would drop out of the grad program if I get a job in the game industry. I was still planning to graduate with my bachelor though. I guess a part of me eager to break free from an academic environment, the other part of me were insecure about coming up something unique for my master thesis. While the job hunting has been fruitless, I received so many validation and encouragement of me pursuing a musical game idea that I have. If I learned anything from my past that would be knowing that there are people out there who will go out their way to help my success, and I should take on those help whenever I see one (even that means there will be more work and more uncertainties in front of me). So, I guess will be finishing my thesis first then. And I already found some wonderful people who would be my thesis committees!
    >I think another reason that I would move full speed head with my thesis is also because of the diversity of the talks at GDC this year, where diversity doesn't just mean the size of the company or new mechanics but interactive experience that rooted in different origins. Some of the most memorable talks are about the same thing - caring. That's the future I would like to see. I hope to do something that I will be proud of. It's definitely easier when I don't have to think about the monetization from the beginning (another thing that I learned this year. o_O) .
    >It's kind of scary and exciting to be a part a industry that is still growing. I'm not naturally a decisive person, but I'm glad that I make it this far.
    >I hope everything is good with you. Talk to you soon. :)
    >Tiantong (Don) Xu

    I knew you'd get a lot out of it, Don. I think finishing your degree is a good idea.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    March 31, 2015


    Previously overlooked

    >https://twitter.com/i/notifications
    >Bedroom Developer ?@OUSEGames Mar 11
    >@tomsloper Hello! There's a typo on item 11, FAQ #24: "Spend your time and energy following your your passions" in http://www.sloperama.com/advice/

    >Simon Cutajar ?@scutajar Feb 21
    >@tomsloper Thank you for your blog on the game industry. Fully prepared me for getting into gamedev. http://simon.com.mt/thoughts/thankacreator/ … #thankACreator

    I'd previously missed these tweets. I've now fixed the typo. And here's a politeness achievement for Simon:

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    March 21, 2015


    Choosing a school

    >From: Latha N
    >Sent: Wednesday, March 4, 2015 7:43 AM
    >Subject: need advice reg choosing gaming school
    >Hi
    >Sorry to bother you with this mail. But I am really looking for good advice for my gaming career. I got admission for doing MS in gaming both in Digipen and UCF. I am confused which one to choose.I am seeing in the net that seattlle seems to be having more jobs for gamers. Could you pl give me your valuable advise reg this pl. Thanks a lot.
    >Thanks and best regards
    >Sai N

    Hello, Sai.
    My advice is to make a decision grid. Read FAQs 25 and 70. You can link to the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions / Articles / Lessons) above left.
    May the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper

    Creator of the weekly Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    Now March Forth, 2015


    You need to pick up on this (part 2)

    >From: Antonio M
    >To: Tom Sloper
    >Sent: Tuesday, February 10, 2015 1:04 AM
    >Subject: Re: TOM!!!
    >What was your response I can't read it
    >
    >>On Nov 21, 2014 12:05 AM, "Tom Sloper" wrote:
    >>Thank you for your game industry question or comment! (^_^)
    >> A response has been posted on the Sloperama Game Design bulletin board (http://www.sloperama.com/advice/bulletinbd.htm). Wait for the page to load completely, then scroll down to see your answer. The bulletin board is organized with the most recent posts at the top (just beneath the area where you write your own message), and oldest posts at the bottom.
    [remainder of boilerplate response omitted]

    Antonio,
    At first when I got your email today, I went on the BB and started scrolling down, looking for "Antonio." When I didn't find it, I went back to your email to look at the date of my response. November! You waited almost 3 months to come back and look for my reply? Then on the BB I tried using control-F to look for "Antonio" and it wasn't found, so next I used control-F to look for "TOM!!!" and that way I found your November Q and my A. I had deleted your name to give you maximum identity protection, since I thought your question was not serious. Now that you've come back, please do scroll down to November 20 and read what I wrote you. If you want to clarify what this "big opportunity" is, I'm still here.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    February 10, 2015


    Finance jobs, part 2

    >From: Simon.C
    >Sent: Friday, February 6, 2015 4:40 PM
    >Subject: Re: How demanding is a business(finance) degree in the video game industry?
    >Tom,
    >Thanks for the reply. For following up to the question " is it ideal to think about getting a finance/accounting job within a game company ? " Basically I wanna ask is a finance related position exist in video game company. Sorry if it a dumb question but I really couldn't find much about it. Usually finance majors love going into big financial firms or banks so even an academic advisor doesnt know finance related jobs besides these. It makes me feel like a job like this within the industry doesnt exist.
    >-Simon

    Hi, Simon.
    If you take a look at my previous reply, you'll see that it's implied by my response that "big game publishers" do have jobs in "their finance/accounting departments." It wouldn't make sense for a large company that pays a lot of money and receives a lot of money and deals with stockholders and banks and such NOT to have a finance department.
    I worked at Activision 15 years ago. Most of the first floor of the headquarters building was finance and accounting. Accounts payable, accounts receivable, royalties administration... and they used Oracle as their financial database system. Whenever I needed to pay one of my developers, I had to get signatures, fill out forms, and check all the right Oracle boxes. I had friends in accounts payable and I knew people in accounts receivable and royalties administration.
    I also worked at a small development company after that. That company did not have a finance department. That company had a bookkeeper who came in once or twice a month to do the books.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    February 6, 2015


    Hey

    >www.gamedev.net » Messenger » My Conversations » Hey
    >Hey
    >Gambo (IP: 177.142.75.197 )
    >Member
    >Sent Today, 06:38 PM
    >Hello how are you?
    >Could you help me with a question?
    >I did some research and found that specific international relation jobs in the Game industry are rare, so I would like to know if you could tell me from your experience if it would be possible for an international relations student who has just received their bachelor degree to work at the Marketing or Sales sector, my biggest doubt is if the Human Resources would exclude the International relations curriculum for Marketing and Sales jobs because they are not a Marketing or Business administration degrees that are more related to the jobs.

    Hi, Gambo.
    I realize that you thought I would welcome private questions via GDNet PM, but look at my signature in everything I've posted on gamedev: it says, "Please do not PM me. My email address is easy to find, but note that I do not give private advice." Whenever anybody contacts me (and not on a public bulletin board and not in person) and asks me for advice, I answer it here on this bulletin board. I'm sorry if you are disappointed that I'm not giving you a private response. You asked:

    I would like to know if you could tell me from your experience if it would be possible for an international relations student who has just received their bachelor degree to work at the Marketing or Sales sector
    Anything is possible (except time travel to the past and the Star Trek holodeck). Read FAQ 50 - you can link to the FAQs above left.

    my biggest doubt is if the Human Resources would exclude the International relations curriculum for Marketing and Sales jobs because they are not a Marketing or Business administration degrees
    I can't tell you what any particular HR person would do. Every HR person is different. Every company is different. If you're interested in working in marketing or sales, then do a lot of reading about game marketing and the game industry. Subscribe to gamesindustry.biz and read a lot of articles on Kotaku and Gamasutra. Start a blog! Make yourself sound like someone that a company would want to hire. Good luck 2U!

    Oh, and I recommend that you work on writing better subject lines for emails (or private messages). "Hey" is one of the very worst subject lines! Read: http://wordwise.typepad.com/blog/2007/03/subject_to_chan.html

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    February 5, 2015


    Finance jobs at game companies?

    >From: Simon.C
    >Sent: Wednesday, February 4, 2015 1:04 PM
    >Subject: How demanding is a business(finance) degree in the video game industry?
    >Tom,
    >Hello, how are you? My name is Simon. I am currently a graduating senior, majoring in finance. I love video games as well and want my career to be related to it. However, I want to work in the business/accounting/finance department of a video game company rather than the usual art, programming and design. When I searched for jobs on some game companies' websites, I don't see any business related career posted but the usual programming or design jobs. Moreover, I can't really find that much info for business job in video game companies online, let alone specifically finance. I went through your FAQs but couldn't find it, or I just didn't look through enough and sorry if you have to repeat yourself. I am wondering is it ideal to think about getting a finance/accounting job within a game company ? Is there a high demand for it ? How do you approach it compare to getting a job at the usual financial institutions or intermediaries ? Thank you for reading.
    >-Simon

    Hi, Simon.
    I don't know how big game publishers advertise openings in their finance/accounting departments. If it's not through their online jobs site, then I don't know if they post openings elsewhere, or where they might if so. You could try just sending in an application to their human resources department. You could also research the company, find out the names and contact info of the CFO and other higher-ups in that section, then reach out that way, I suppose.
    The usual advice still applies, of course - target a company that would have a job opening that matches your talents, which probably means large companies (publishers or platform holders). And you have to live within daily commuting distance of the company already.
    You asked:

    is it ideal to think about getting a finance/accounting job within a game company ?
    I don't know what you mean. What difference does it make? If that's what you want, go for it.

    Is there a high demand for it ?
    I don't know.

    How do you approach it compare to getting a job at the usual financial institutions or intermediaries ?
    No difference whatsoever.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 4, 2015


    How to submit a concept, part 2

    >From: Tanveer
    >Sent: Tuesday, February 3, 2015 8:05 PM
    >Subject: RE: Qs about submitting a outlining
    >Thank you Sir for responding to my e-mail.
    >Thank you!

    You're welcome, Tanveer. I gave you a pretty big reading assignment! Good luck 2U.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    February 3, 2015


    How to submit a concept

    >From: Tanveer
    >Sent: Monday, February 2, 2015 10:42 PM
    >Subject: Qs about submitting a outlining
    >Hello:
    >Mr.Tom Sloper i hope you be fine. I am from Pakistan , by professional I am a Librarian. I am also an avid gamer and passionate to be a part of this industry. I have an idea for AAA game, and in this concern I search a lot to find a job for game designer but when i came across through http://www.sloperama.com/advice/specs.htm I hesitate to do so. Here I have some questions if you please answer them, it will be my pleasure, and questions are:
    >1. I have a fear that someone may not theft my idea while submitting to any company.
    >2. I still not copyright my proposal due to my thinking that it is just an outline.
    >3. When we present an idea it should be for all platforms or for a single one e.g.: I wrote for PS4 and want to apply it for tablets or smart phones too. So here is my basic question is, should i write for tablets or smart phones separately or this is the job of some one else like the programmer, the developer or of the publisher.
    >Best Regards
    >Tanveer
    >Pakistan

    Hello, Tanveer. You wrote:

    I am... passionate to be a part of this industry.
    Please read FAQ 7. You say you read FAQ 2 already. You can get back to the FAQs by simply clicking the FAQs/Articles/Lessons link above left.

    I have an idea for AAA game
    Please read FAQ 1 and FAQ 31.

    I search a lot to find a job for game designer
    Please read FAQ 14, FAQ 4, FAQ 64, and FAQ 27.

    I have a fear
    Please read http://www.sloperama.com/advice/lesson47.html#fear

    that someone may not theft my idea while submitting to any company.
    Please read FAQ 39.

    I still not copyright my proposal due to my thinking that it is just an outline.
    Copyright is automatic. Your outline is copyrighted when you write it down. It does not hurt, however, to write a copyright notice on your outline. Read FAQ 11 and FAQ 21 and FAQ 35.

    When we present an idea it should be for all platforms or for a single one e.g.: I wrote for PS4 and want to apply it for tablets or smart phones too. So here is my basic question is, should i write for tablets or smart phones separately or this is the job of some one else like the programmer, the developer or of the publisher.
    You should submit a PS4 concept to a publisher who publishes PS4 games. You should submit a mobile concept to a publisher who publishes mobile games.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    February 3, 2015


    Going to GDC as a conference associate

    >From: Don Xu
    >Sent: Wednesday, January 7, 2015 4:26 AM
    >Subject: I got in GDC 2015 as a CA!
    >Hi Tom,
    >I got in! Well, I need to reply the comfirmation email first, but that shouldn't be a problem.
    >Hope to see you again in GDC~
    >Best,
    > (You don't have to reply this on your board. I just wanted to share this good news with you. :))
    >Tiantong (Don)

    Congratulations, Don! Being a Conference Associate (did I interpret CA correctly?) is a great way to get into GDC and do some fine networking. Sorry I won't see you this year - my teaching schedule is very heavy, and this year GDC does not coincide with Spring Break. Enjoy GDC - it's always great.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    January 7, 2015


    My Nintendo dream

    >From: Paarth
    >Sent: Monday, December 22, 2014 12:19 AM
    >Subject: My passion in gaming is mixed up.
    >Name: Paarth
    >Age: 22
    >Location: India
    >Occupation:Intern
    >Hi. I'm the same guy earlier and sorry about the suicidal junk I mentioned earlier. So I'll just say the ones that aren't suicidal plus a few things I have in mind.
    >
    >I tried talking about working in game companies somewhere around India but the problem here is that many of my parents friends and relatives are telling me that I can't do that because nearly every game company in India is getting bankrupt and are incapable of selling games well around the country.
    >
    > Ever since I got myself playing Nintendo games, I always feel happy and I wanted to give that happiness by making games exclusively for Nintendo.
    >
    >But knowing that's a far fetched thing at this point, I'm mixed up in what I want to do. I love playing games and I play nearly all kinds of games except FPS, Sports and Simulation (Although I should point out that I did play games based on these genres but they never got my attention)Majority of the games that I play are the ones from Nintendo and I can tell nearly the crew of an entire game and I know that you know guys like Hitoshi Yamauchi, Hiroshi Yamauchi, Shigeru Miyamoto, Koji Kondo, Eji Anouma, Yoshio Sakamoto, Satoru Iwata, Masahiro Sakurai and many more (Incase you're wondering, they all are from Nintendo.....except maybe Sakurai seeing he's freelance.)
    >
    >But then part of me tells me that I shouldn't play games if I want to make games. Part of me tells me to work extremely hard....but in what exactly? I mean, I haven't gotten into a game company yet and every time I see a chance, I like sort of ignore it or just blow it. I'm doing an intern which isn't exactly what I wanted and as of now, my performance is still mediocre and I guess its because I don't like that kind of thing I'm doing.
    >
    >So right now, I write stories and watch movies as means of me getting influences and while you did say to get a four year degree in writing, I ended up doing a degree in game design which is three years so I compensated that for a four year diploma in a multimedia studio.
    >
    >Thing is that when I want gaming in life, I want to do so many things that's in gaming. I don't want to just make games, I want to play them, do let's plays, do lectures around them, help make those games known to everyone as much as possible...... but if I stick to only making/playing games, part of me makes me sad as everyone gets to make their games a reality whereas I haven't....well....I did make two games plus a third one still under development but its still a long way to go for me
    >
    >What I'm trying to say at this point is that Nintendo changed my life and I want to be loyal to Nintendo and I want to support them. Sure you can say that being loyal to a company is a bad thing but this is Nintendo we're talking about. I've known a lot of their history and while it has its ups and downs, Nintendo makes games perfectly without major flaws to me atleast. But then to think someone like Nintendo would want me is.....rather odd seeing that I have no extreme talents and such and yet somehow I want to support Nintendo in every way I can.
    >
    >So at this point......I don't know what to do. Sorry if the letter is too long....its thoughts like these that make me wonder so much.

    Hi, Paarth. I'm glad you're still here. You do not need to explain to me every time who you are. I always recognize your name in my email inbox. Your email's "From" line always contains your last name (not only your first), so I never confuse you with some other Paarth. I delete last names before posting questions on this board. I'm still concerned about your life - and I do not want anything I say to give you cause for depression, or to make you want to end your life. It's wonderful to have a dream. I have dreams too. But we have to wait for our dreams to come true, we have to work hard towards our dreams even if we don't see how our work can move us any closer to our dreams, and our dreams may never come true. But life is worth living, especially if we care about others. You wrote:

    I tried talking about working in game companies somewhere around India but the problem here is that many of my parents friends and relatives are telling me that I can't do that
    One's dreams are one's private thoughts, not necessarily something to talk about with naysayers. You already know what your family thinks about your dreams. Why do you keep talking about your dreams with them?

    Majority of the games that I play are the ones from Nintendo and I can tell nearly the crew of an entire game
    You named a lot of Japanese guys. I've spent a lot of time in Japan (in fact, my home has a lot of Japanese decorations and artifacts). I wonder if you might enjoy learning the Japanese language. There's a phenomenon called "Paris syndrome" - but it's my misconception about this condition that's pertinent to what I'm trying to say, rather than what Wikipedia says Paris syndrome is. So let's talk about my misconception of Paris syndrome. There are people who fantasize about Paris, what a wonderful place it is, and dream of going there. Then when they really go, they become disillusioned. There's such a dichotomy between the fantasy and the reality, and when one's there, one is split between both at the same time. There's a parallel also with New York City, and Los Angeles / Hollywood. People think being in the place will solve everything. For me, my Paris is Tokyo. But then I lived there for seven and a half months (almost 25 years ago). Looking back on my time there, life was still just life, and there was a lot about it that was really hard (I was functionally illiterate, and I did not fully understand the culture). The movie "Lost In Translation" sort of, but not quite, expresses the Paris syndrome aspect of Tokyo. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that if you're crazy about Nintendo, you should learn Japanese, and you should save money to at least go to Japan sometime. And find out if Nintendo does any business in India. But know that even if you get a Nintendo job, it won't match up to your fantasy about working at Nintendo. Does that mean you should stop dreaming? Of course not. Does that mean life is not worth living? Of course not. Maybe someday you can build your own dream factory that other kids will dream about.

    part of me tells me that I shouldn't play games if I want to make games. Part of me tells me to work extremely hard....but in what exactly?
    When I was your age, I had very wide-ranging creative interests. I played guitar (and any musical instrument I could get my hands on). I drew. I wrote. I made things. I played board games with friends (there were no video games yet). I had no focus on any one area. But so what? I was enjoying it all, and what's wrong with that? I took jobs so I could get paid, so I could afford to live. Those were not creative jobs, but they made me self-sufficient. I changed jobs, to make more money or because the work was more enjoyable (even if it wasn't my dream job). Eventually, I found myself in a job I loved. It took years to get there. You should do the best job you can do at your internship. You want hirers to appreciate you, so they'll give you a good reference. Eventually you'll get better jobs and become self-sufficient. Someone who works for a living usually has two lives: the day life (the job) and the after-work life (during which you can pursue your interests). When someone attains a job that also incorporates his interests, then his after-work life changes, and he'll probably go through adjustments, disillusionment, and even disappointments. The dream job hardly ever matches one's expectations, but it's still a lot better than a boring job one hates. As the saying goes, "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence."

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    December 22, 2014


    Getting depressed, part 2

    >From: Paarth
    >Sent: Saturday, December 13, 2014 11:16 PM
    >Subject: A spoiled baby that can't get used to life.
    >I tried talking about working in game companies somewhere around India but the problem here is that many of my parents friends and relatives are telling me that I can't do that because nearly every game company in India is getting bankrupt and are incapable of selling games well around the country.
    >
    >I'm in a very depressed state at this point. I can't get a game company job unlike my so called friends, I can't figure out how to make a portfolio and to top it all off, I can't even figure out what skills I have after completing the college even.
    >
    >At this point I don't know what I can do in life and I think so low of myself. If I want to try out Animation, I need to have strong drawing skills which is average at best. If I want to try story writing which is the thing that's getting my attention so far, it doesn't lead to me in the industry. If I do testing, It has such a low chance of me getting into the game industry. I wish that I'd die so that my parents would be better off with one son. To think that I'm wanting to do something that isn't that popular in my country proves that I'm not like everyone here in India. I failed in my language exams so I managed to get a language exemption in order for me to make progress in school so that makes me different from all the other Indians out there. Ever since I got myself playing Nintendo games, I always feel happy and I wanted to give that happiness by making games exclusively for Nintendo.
    >
    >But I realized that can never happen because why would Nintendo want someone like me to work for them? I'm a screwup and can't get one thing right. Even for the games that I've made, while its still not enough for me to get into the industry, what's the point if its not gonna motivate me to break into the industry? Reality is harsh and yeah that's something we both can agree on and now I have no intentions of living cause I don't see the point in my life anymore. I don't know what this intern is going to do to me as I don't see the point of it. Sure it will get me somewhere but if it doesn't have anything to do with gaming and if it doesn't get me to game design in the end, what's the point? I don't even know what I'm good at and yet I'm expert in playing games for the most part. I'm right now trying to learn basic programming to get some knowledge in programming at the very least. I can't do animation because I'm a poor artist yet the average I can draw is cartoon though I don't see how good that will do.

    Paarth,
    I am extremely concerned by your suicidal talk. I could help you with the other points you raised, but that's all meaningless if you are dead. Please, please, please - call the suicide prevention hotline, and get some help. Seriously: CALL! Do it NOW.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    12/14/14


    Getting depressed about my chances

    >From: Paarth G
    >Sent: Monday, December 8, 2014 9:42 AM
    >Subject: What do I do to pursue my dreams and desire?
    >Age: 22
    >Education level:Completed College
    >Occupation:Currently an Intern
    >Game Job:Game Design, Story writing, Game tester
    >Location: India
    >I have just made two games as of now and have started writing stories to improve on my writing skills. And now I'm currently doing an Intern based around websites (which I don't like but I'm forced to do it anyway) and see where that goes.
    >The problem here is that even with these accomplishments, my brother claims that every game designer is a programmer and I am poor in understanding programming not because I don't like it but because I can't understand the complex coding and such. So if I can't do programming, how can I do game design? I understand that it takes a long time to do it but I'm trying to figure out what I'm good at and I'm only good with so little and I have no idea where to begin.
    >I'm doing story writing which is working quite well but I don't know how that can get me into the game industry. I'm basically in India and India from what I've heard from my friends and relatives is not much into gaming and that either Singapore or US is the safe bet there.
    >So I'm really depressed so much to the point that I play games to relive myself out of depression and try to write my stories and make my third game happen, but after my brother tells me that even this isn't enough, I don't know what is.
    >I know that i'm most likely gonna get a response that the only solution is stop complaining and do what you want. But i'm in a place where I have to struggle 10x times just to do what I want and who knows? the game design jobs would change and I'd never be able to fufill my dreams and desires. My Dream is to make games for Nintendo and I know that's never going to happen but if I can't even make games with the position I am right now, How am I ever going to be a game designer?

    Hi, Paarth.
    I answered this question only very briefly on gamedev.net's game design forum earlier today, but I'll go into a bit more detail here. You wrote:

    I'm currently doing an Intern based around websites (which I don't like but I'm forced to do it anyway)
    Don't say it that way! You should be grateful that you have an internship, even if it's not exactly doing what you want. It can lead to gainful employment, even if it's not exactly what you want. Just say "it's not exactly what I want, but it's better than a lot of other things I can think of."

    my brother claims that every game designer is a programmer
    How does your brother know this untrue thing? Does he work in the game industry? Your brother's words contradict what I say here on this website, and I've been a game designer for over 30 years. You should believe what I say over what your brother says about game design.

    So if I can't do programming, how can I do game design?
    Stop driving yourself crazy with nonsensical questions that have no basis in fact! Yes, it would be great if you knew a little about programming. But it's not an essential attribute of a game designer.

    I'm trying to figure out what I'm good at and I'm only good with so little and I have no idea where to begin.
    Keep on building a design portfolio, online, and start networking. Research local game companies.

    I'm doing story writing ... but I don't know how that can get me into the game industry.
    It probably won't.

    India from what I've heard from my friends and relatives is not much into gaming
    Look up India on gamedevmap and gameindustrymap.

    Singapore or US is the safe bet there.
    It's very hard to get a US work visa. Read FAQ 72.

    after my brother tells me that even this isn't enough
    He's right about that (read FAQ 49), but so what?

    I don't know what is.
    That's the wrong question. You have to make more games, keep building your portfolio, and keep trying. It will take time and patience and perseverance. It took me years to find my place, and you expect to find it in a week?? Don't be in a hurry. Live life and keep at it. Eventually you'll find your place. Read FAQ 47 - maybe some of the wise words will be helpful.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    December 8, 2014


    Mistakes when applying for game jobs

    >From: [Name deleted]
    >To: contact©beefjack.com; [deleted]©testology.co.uk; info©bafta.org; [deleted]©ubm.com; Webmaster©Sloperama.com; dev.subscriptions©c-cms.com; Recruitment©datascope.co.uk; contact©eurogamer.net
    >Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 10:44 AM
    >Subject: jobs vacancies
    >Dear Sir or Madame
    >I have attached a copy of my CV for you consideration for either roles which you are currently advertising on your website, I am currently looking for a company who is willing to take me on and train me up,I have great knowledge of the gaming industry, I have been playing games since I was 6 years old and want to be apart of the industry since I was a child. I have played beta's test for companies, i will be willing to work from the bottom and work my way up. I have basic knowledge of computer systems and software's and will be willing to learn.
    >I have the determination and the ambition to succeed , I am self motivated and will work to reach my goals and targets,
    >yours sincerely
    >[Name deleted]
    Attachment: [Name deleted] Cv Game Industry.odt

    Hello, [Name deleted].
    I suppose you were actually applying for a job with Sloperama.com, but since I do not have any job vacancies and the purpose of this bulletin board is to give free advice, I shall give you free advice. I'm replying to your email in my usual "call and response" style, as if you had intentionally asked me for advice. My website is experiencing problems at the moment, but when those problems are resolved, this will be posted on http://sloperama.com/advice/bulletinbd.htm so that others can also benefit from the advice. I have deleted your name entirely from my response.
    Note: please do not take umbrage at my use of the phrase "stupid applicant trick." The phrase is not intended to refer to YOU as stupid, but rather to refer to the "tricks" (some things you did) as... shall we say... not very effective in helping you achieve your desired goal. I hope you will learn from this how better to apply for jobs in the future. The Stupid Applicant Tricks are all listed in FAQ 24 on my site (you can link to the FAQs at http://sloperama.com/advice.html)

    To: contact©beefjack.com; [deleted]©testology.co.uk; info©bafta.org; [deleted]©ubm.com; Webmaster©Sloperama.com; dev.subscriptions©c-cms.com; Recruitment©datascope.co.uk; contact©eurogamer.net
    This is Stupid Applicant Trick #22, Emailing Multiple Employers At Once. You must never do this again! You must singly email each prospective employer. See also #3 below.

    Subject: jobs vacancies
    This is Stupid Trick #19, Stupid Email Subject Lines. When I saw this subject line in my email inbox, I thought you were telling me about job vacancies that I could apply for! If you are applying for a job, you have to make that clear in your subject line.

    Dear Sir or Madame
    You are saying you don't really know anything about me or my company! You have to address the employer by name, which means you have to do research on the employer before applying. Only use a generic title if you cannot find a name after considerable research. It's better to say the company name, if you can't find a person name (Dear Sloperama Productions, for instance, rather than "Dear Sir or Madame").

    I have attached a copy of my CV for you consideration
    Typos look bad. You misspelled "your."

    for either roles which you are currently advertising on your website,
    What? Why is the word "either" in there? And what role am I advertising on my website? I do not have any job openings - you're just firing a shotgun blast and hoping a pellet hits something. You need to have a target, and you need to aim carefully.

    I am currently looking for a company who is willing to take me on and train me up,I have great knowledge of the gaming industry, I have been playing games since I was 6 years old
    You are stringing sentences together with commas, that looks bad, it makes you seem uneducated, do you see how stringing sentences together with commas is not a good idea, also, don't beg for someone to "train you up," you have to be someone who can take off running, also you make an unsupportable claim, that you have "great knowledge of the gaming [sic] industry." What is this knowledge, and how can you demonstrate that you have it? If you can't, then don't make the claim.

    and want to be apart of the industry
    The word "apart" is wrong. You mean to say "a part," not "apart."

    since I was a child.
    Big deal! This makes you sound like every other wide-eyed dreamer who's also applying for the same job you are. You have to sound better than those other guys, not the same.

    I have played beta's test for companies, i
    Inappropriate apostrophe. Lower-case "I". Aside from those grammar problems, Beta testing is not significant experience. You need to show that you've been doing the job you want to get (and you haven't said what job you want to get).

    I have basic knowledge of computer systems and software's and will be willing to learn.
    Basic knowledge won't hack it. You need to be a star, not just basic. Also, "software's" is incorrect - you don't use an apostrophe to pluralize something.

    I have the determination and the ambition to succeed , I am self motivated
    You put a space before the comma there.

    yours sincerely
    You didn't capitalize the Y in "yours."

    Attachment: [Name deleted] Cv Game Industry.odt
    You did better than many: you put your name in the filename of your resume (good on you!). But the "V" in "Cv" should be capitalized, and you should not send out Open Office files. Open Office lets you save files in .doc and .docx format (the industry standard) - and might let you save in .pdf format (also a standard).

    [Home address in CV] Cumbria [Telephone numbers in CV] [clearly not USA area codes]
    I gather that you are somewhere in the UK? (I don't know where Cumbria is). And you are applying for a job in California? That's Stupid Applicant Trick #6, Stupid Location. You have to apply locally, not in other countries. Read FAQ 84 ("Location, Location, Location"). You can link to the FAQs at http://sloperama.com/advice.html

    I hope this is helpful information. I wish you luck in your job search.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    December 2, 2014


    Confused guy, part 3

    >From: Nijastan K
    >Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 5:09 PM
    >Subject: RE: Becoming a game programmer with unrelated degree
    >"It wouldn't hurt, but do you want to do that, and do you think that's the best way to learn what you want to know?"
    >I guess so. Maybe I can learn it myself by going online and reading programming books, etc and put all my effort into learning it as my hobby but I don't know how effective that would be. Is that what you're suggesting though?
    >Also, I'd need something like a guide to know what to do first and I figured a diploma program would give me that. What other alternatives are there to learn game programming without going to a school for it?
    >I'm new to all this whole thing so sorry if there is an obvious solution which I'm completely missing.

    Hi Nijastan, you wrote:

    Maybe I can learn it myself by going online and reading programming books, etc and put all my effort into learning it as my hobby but I don't know how effective that would be. Is that what you're suggesting though?
    I'm suggesting that you are free to decide for yourself how best to gain the knowledge you seek - through formal education or self-teaching or otherwise. I'm suggesting that you know better than I do what works best for you, since you are older than the usual teenagers who come to me looking for advice.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    December 2, 2014


    Confused guy, part 2

    From: Nijastan K
    Sent: Tuesday, December 2, 2014 3:38 PM
    Subject: RE: Becoming a game programmer with unrelated degree
    I have read the FAQs you told me to and it gave me a better understanding. I have a close friend that is studying game development (programming) and he will start teaching me some things soon. He also told me the same thing to just learn programming and start making a portfolio and that there is no need for another degree. He suggested I go for a 2 year college program for programming (or 3 years for game programming if I want) to learn all the basics and stuff. Would that be a good idea? As I said, I have no background in game development or programming so I have to start somewhere.
    Its confusing because I read in some of your Faqs like Faq 24 to get a 4 year degree specific to what you're going into (ex. "You need a solid educational underpinning - if you want to program games, get a programming degree. If you want to make game graphics, get a graphic degree. If you want to design games, study writing....") but in 41, you say to make sure I make a good portfolio/demo disc. I guess what I''m really wondering is will the hiring person chuck my resume the instant he sees that I have an unrelated 4 year degree? If not, then you're saying my portfolio should exceedingly surpass other applicants that already have a computer science degree?
    About being near game companies, I'm already well set for that since I lived in Toronto all my life. There's a lot of gaming companies here (ex. Ubisoft, XMG Studio, etc).
    I feel I have the passion to definitely go through with this and put all my effort to become the best game programmer. When I did Engineering, I only did it because my parents forced me to do so. I had no interest in it whatsoever (I actually wanted to do accounting/finance that time but they didn't even let me do that) so when I graduated, I had no motivation whatsoever to stay in the field or put any effort to landing a career. I played a lot of games as a kid and even dabbled in HTML, animation as a hobby but I knew I wouldn't be able to tell my parents I wanted to do that. Anyways, I blame myself for being so whipped and I feel I wasted away too many years for nothing. This new venture will definitely have a different ending to it.
    What do you think about my age though (25 atm)? I'm guessing by the time I learn everything and build a proper portfolio it'll take 2 -3 years so I'll be in my late 20s by then.

    Hi, Nijastan. You wrote:

    He suggested I go for a 2 year college program for programming (or 3 years for game programming if I want) to learn all the basics and stuff. Would that be a good idea?
    It wouldn't hurt, but do you want to do that, and do you think that's the best way to learn what you want to know?

    Its confusing because I read in some of your Faqs like Faq 24 to get a 4 year degree specific to what you're going into
    Yeah, but you already have a degree, and you've already held professional jobs. Do you think the majority of my readers are in the same position you're in? Have you read FAQ 41?

    but in 41, you say to make sure I make a good portfolio/demo disc. I guess what I''m really wondering is will the hiring person chuck my resume the instant he sees that I have an unrelated 4 year degree?
    Okay, you did read 41. Do you really think a hirer will ignore actual work experience and only look at what degree someone got? There may be some who'll do that, but those guys might be idiots. Don't go through life assuming the worst in every situation. Dr. Laura calls that "horriblizing."

    then you're saying my portfolio should exceedingly surpass other applicants that already have a computer science degree?
    Obviously, if you want to be the one who gets hired, you have to be the more stellar candidate. Isn't that logical and self-evident? Do you really need me to say that?

    I feel I have the passion [blah blah blah, self-pitying whining deleted] What do you think about my age though (25 atm)?
    Read FAQ 71.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    December 2, 2014


    Confused guy, part 1

    From: Nijastan K
    Sent: Monday, December 1, 2014 7:58 PM
    Subject: Becoming a game programmer with unrelated degree
    Hi Tom. I am a 25 year old guy from Toronto, Canada. I have my Bachelors of Engineering degree (Chemical Engineering specifically) and I currently work for a hardware company which is not actually related to my field. Anyways, just recently (within the past year or so) I took a huge interest in game design and programming and I decided I want to pursue a career in it (most likely programming). I pretty much have no background in programming so I know I should go to a college or university and enroll in computer sciences, game programming, etc and learn the skills and start building my portfolio.
    The dilemma I have is I am not too keen on going through an entire 4-year bachelors degree program at a university but would much rather opt to do a 2 or 3 year diploma program at college. In Canada, college means community college/trades school while university means college in case you didn't know. The reason I don't want to go for a bachelors degree is because I already have one in Engineering so I don't see the need for a second one. Also, getting another bachelors degree would be too costly as I already have a lot of debt from my engineering studies plus I feel I'm getting too old so I don't want to waste anymore time.
    I was thinking if I went to college for game programming and get a diploma, I'd be just as qualified as someone with a computer science or software engineering degree. But then again, wouldn't employers much rather hire someone that actually has a degree in programming over me who has a degree in something completely unrelated and a diploma which is not a degree?
    If you were in my shoes, what would you do? Does my Engineering background have any relevance in the video game industry? All things (portfolio) being equal, what are my chances of getting hired in a game company with an unrelated bachelors degree and a game programming diploma over someone else who has a bachelors degree specific to game programming/development?
    Another thing to add; I noticed the college programs go more in depth in all the tools/programming languages used in game programming whereas the university programs just teach you the main stuff with much more theory/background information to understand everything in which case it is up to the student to self-teach whatever programming languages/tools might be helpful in their career.

    Hi, Nijastan.
    My website is experiencing problems right now, so I'm emailing you this answer for now. When my site is back up again, I'll post it so others can also benefit from this Q&A.
    I don't know why you think you need to go back to school. What you need is to learn how to do the job you want, then start doing the job you want (that's how you prove someone should hire you to do the job you want).
    It doesn't matter how you learn to make video games. What matters is that you learn it. The proof is in your portfolio. So go learn what you need, then start making games. It's really that simple. By the way, you will also need to live near game companies (as I wrote in my FAQs). When my website is back online, you ought to read some of them, like FAQ 41 and FAQs 24 & 27.
    Best of luck!
    Tom

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    December 2, 2014


    I have only a basic idea.

    >From: [name deleted]
    >Sent: Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:25 AM
    >Subject: Game Idea.
    >Hello Mr. Sloper,
    >I am 57, have a B.S. in [deleted] from The University of [deleted], 1983. I currently manage my commercial real estate, and work cashiering part-time at [retailer name deleted] (yech).
    >I have young children who enjoy playing Minecraft, and the like. It seems that so many people are playing games to build things, why can't we design games that might actually have a chance to make pertinent contributions?
    >I only have a basic idea.
    >Sincerely,
    >[name deleted]
    >[phone number deleted]

    Hello, [name deleted].
    It's not clear what you mean by "making pertinent contributions," but if you didn't know, there are such things as "games for good" (games that do contribute to society in a meaningful way). You say you have "only a basic idea." I think you should develop it further - an idea needs to be more than "only basic," if anything is to come of it. Have you read any of my articles? You can link to them above left. You can scroll through the list of titles and see if any appear to be applicable to whatever it is you want to do.
    I am standing by to answer any questions you may have...

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    November 20, 2014


    You need to pick up on this big opportunity!!!

    >From: [name deleted]
    >Sent: Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:55 PM
    >Subject: TOM!!!
    >Hello Tom, I'm a fan of your website and I just need to let you know!!! There is a big gaming opportunity that I think you need to pick up on!!!
    >If you know some people or you yourself can make this game it's guaranteed to make you filthy rich!
    >This game has over 300k players online at a time called [title deleted].
    >Right now the game is failing due to the people not following what us players want, I've played 12 years and we lost 75% of the people we usually had online and our hopes of going back were chopped in half I can give you the 100% facts on what we want.
    >We don't want a 3d game, we want a 2d game and I can give you the ideas on it brother please I will help you get rich, just make me and my friends the game. We payed thousands on thousands of dollars and our game is flush and ur hundreds of thousands of people need a new game, it's up to you man please hear me out.

    Hello, [name deleted].
    Your suggestion is unclear. You're not approaching me with a business opportunity (you aren't addressing me in a businesslike manner, and you don't appear to have funding). I gather that you are enamored of a very old online game and you want me to take it over and do it better than the current owners, who are apparently poor caretakers. You assure me that if I simply take it over (and invest whatever money I might need to invest in order to make whatever improvements you think I should), that I'll become "filthy rich" - well, I think there are several problems with your proposal. First, the current owner of the game surely wouldn't just hand it over to me, or stand idly by while I simply take it over. Secondly, I am not wealthy enough to take on such an enterprise by myself; someone would need to secure funding for it, as well as a businessperson to run the business while I'm making whatever improvements you want. Thirdly, I have only your word that this venture would be worthwhile for me; I would need some serious convincing, were it not for #2 and #1. I am sorry that you are disappointed with the handling your beloved game is getting, but there's really nothing I can do for you.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    November 20, 2014


    How do I start a mobile game publishing business?

    >From: Mike [deleted]
    >Sent: Friday, November 14, 2014 1:07 AM
    >Subject: hiii.... wanna ask something... video game bussines opporunity
    >Hello Tom…
    >Sorry if bothering you. I am mike from [country name deleted], I know you are the expert video game industry.
    >Right now in [country name deleted] almost all the people have android phone is playing mobile game and the population of [country name deleted] is rank 4 around the world, and I like to playing a game lot too… but I see this is a big oportunity because in [country name deleted] there just a few publisher game company for mobile games. I really – really want to build publisher mobile game company.
    >Right now I have my own company in [deleted].
    >But i don’t have a basic to build mobile game publisher company.
    >Are mobile game publisher company, must develop their own game first? Can we just buy license from other developer, because I have a skill for marketing, advertise, selling game product.
    >I searching in google how to build mobile game publisher company so few information around it.
    >On my imagination, I can buy game lisence from other country like japan, china, which have good developer but there is no english language but the game very good game play and great 3d design. I want work together with them, but since I not build this company yet, I confuse how I can make my first step.
    >I have a some investor to build this company.
    >Can you help me for this problem, or maybe we can work together?
    >Thanks for your attention.
    >Regrads
    >Mike [deleted]

    Hi, Mike.
    I suppose you may have been approaching me as a prospective business partner (and were not expecting me to reply on my public bulletin board), but you have a lot of work to do before you are in a position where I can be of service to you. So, for educational purposes (for the education of others as well as yourself), this reply (anonymized for your protection - I have removed your last name, the name of your country, and the nature of your existing businesses) has been posted here on my site. You wrote:

    Are mobile game publisher company, must develop their own game first? Can we just buy license from other developer
    You can start with licensed games, and commission new games. You don't have to develop your own games. You just need to contact companies whose games aren't being published in your country, and inquire whether they'd be willing to let you be their publisher in your part of the world.

    I confuse how I can make my first step.
    I think your first step needs to be to do a lot of research. Then write a business plan. I'm sure you know how to write a business plan! Just start writing it, and when you come to a hole in your knowledge, do research.

    Can you help me for this problem, or maybe we can work together?
    I'm sorry, but I won't be able to help you with this. My expertise is in game development, not publishing. I wish you success!

    Tom Sloper

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    November 14, 2014


    I want to make a career in games. Oh, and I have a great idea for a game, too

    >From: Loren G
    >Sent: Tuesday, November 4, 2014 4:00 PM
    >Subject: Game Idea help
    >Hi Tom
    >My name is Loren, I am a high school student who has a great idea for a video game. I would like to know where to go to pitch this idea and see if this game could be made. I love video games and would like to make my mark in the game industry and for my stories to be told in a video game perspective. I have been lost on what I should do as a career and two years ago, I decided to take my passion for video games and make a career out of it. All these video games has inspired me to make my own and I was wondering where do I start? I have been getting a lot of ideas and my school right now has taken a lot of time and so I don't really have time to write them down, but everyday I try to think of something new and now my ideas are beginning to fuse together. Please take the time to read and reply back, I would very much appreciate it and would like to hear back from you.
    >Thanks for your time
    >Sincerely Loren :)

    Hi, Loren.
    I love your enthusiasm for making a career in games! There are a lot of questions packed into your one paragraph. I'll answer all of them, but not necessarily in the order you wrote them. I've been asked most of these questions many times before, and I've written articles to answer them in detail. You can click the FAQs/articles/lessons link above left to get to them. I hope you'll bookmark the FAQs page and come back and look for your own answers when you think of new questions.

    I was wondering where do I start?
    Get good grades in high school, and start thinking about what you'd like to major in in college. Do you want to be a designer, or an artist, or a programmer, or a producer? Read FAQ 7 and start thinking about it. Then read FAQ 34. And you need to write down your game ideas. Read FAQ 2 and FAQ 13 and FAQ 12 (in that order).

    That's where you start.

    [I have] a great idea for a video game.
    I believe you! I totally do. But let's pretend for a moment that you said something different to me: "I have a great idea for a new outer space rocket propulsion system that can carry mankind to other planets in days instead of months."

    The point is: you have an idea for what is probably an extremely lengthy, expensive undertaking. If your idea was for a rocket propulsion system, and you wrote to a rocket scientist and asked "how do I get my rocket propulsion system made," he probably wouldn't give you an answer that would make you happy. He would probably tell you, "get good grades in high school, and get a Ph.D. in rocket science, for starters."

    It's great to have ideas. But some ideas take more time and money than others. If you have a small idea, like an idea for a new kind of pizza-flavored candy, you can get to work and make it yourself. If you have an idea for a huge expensive triple-A video game, write it down, and then start learning everything you can about the game industry and how it works, and get a career in games. Never forget your dream game. Someday you may be able to make it. Read FAQ 1 and FAQ 10. Read FAQ 69, 56, 40, and 76.

    I would like to know where to go to pitch this idea
    Read FAQs 11, 21, 31, and 35.

    and see if this game could be made.
    It can, it absolutely can. But if you want it made, you'll probably have to make it yourself, but not right away. You have a lot to learn and do first. Any game idea can be made, given enough time and money. Never forget your dream game.

    I hope I've given you the answers to your questions without harshing your buzz. Some people read my articles and get upset at me for being "negative". I'm just giving you the straight poop. You can come back with more questions anytime, but please try to find your answers in the FAQs beforehand. Good luck, and have fun!

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    November 4, 2014


    It's been a strange year

    >From: Don X
    >Sent: Tuesday, November 4, 2014 5:22 PM
    >Subject: Soon I will read through all your lessons
    >Hi Tom,
    >Happy early Christmas! It has been a really strange year that is full of ups and downs. Despite some annoying things happen/ is happening, I will soon have a LLC with my friend! We will have the first mobile game ready in two weeks and ship in three weeks. We are slowing figuring out what we need with the help from the school and friends who owns a company.
    >I possibly read through most if not all your lessons at this point. Thank you for all your guidance along the way. I realize there are still a long way to go with my journey in making video games. I will make sure to keep you updated on those stories often.
    >Loves,
    >Tiantong (Don) X

    Cool, Don. Keep on keepin' on! My year had some downs and ups too.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    November 2, 2014


    Interviewed on Chinese-language TV about American mah-jongg - video online

    A huge part of my Activision experience was producing games in the Shanghai series, which gave me an appreciation for mah-jongg tiles (and led me to write a book about mah-jongg).
    I was recently interviewed by SinoVision. This followed after an interview that appeared in the China Press (uschinapress.com), in the August 24 edition in California. The TV interview is now online.

    The reporters from the newspaper and the TV channel were interested in how mah-jongg is played, American-style. I showed how American tiles differ slightly from Chinese tiles, while telling the history of how mah-jongg came to America and was adapted for female players by the National Mah Jongg League.

    You can view two stories at sinovision.net:
    http://video.sinovision.net/?id=24552&cid=122
    http://video.sinovision.net/?id=24550&cid=122
    I don't understand Chinese, so all I know is that the reporter in one piece mispronounced my name!
    May the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper

    Creator of the weekly Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    September 28, 2014


    Give me a few pointers

    >From: janas
    >Sent: Thursday, September 18, 2014 5:59 AM
    >Subject: A query from a Non Techie guy who wants to make a career in Marketing domain
    >Dear Mr. Sloper,
    >This is Jana, a 30 year old guy, from India, an avid gamer. For the last 4 years, I have
    >been in marketing, of various service industries.
    >I was going through your blog, wanted to know something : How to gaming companies, hire
    >Business Development people ? I am a total newbie to this industry, and it would be
    >appreciated if you could give me a few pointers.
    >Regards
    >S Jana

    Hi, Jana. Namaste.
    It's unclear what you're asking me.
    The subject line of your email says you want to know about careers in marketing (for games);
    But the question you ask in the body of your email says you want to know about Business Development instead! That's an entirely different position from marketing. BizDev requires extensive understanding of the game industry, while marketing much less so.
    And the question you ask is "how do companies hire" - I don't know what you're trying to find out! They place an ad or post an opening, then they accept resumes, then they hold interviews, then they make an offer. That's how they hire (that's the answer to the question you asked).
    You say you're from India. Are you in India? If so, you should find out if there are Indian game companies that need marketing personnel. Only publishers or platform holders are involved in marketing - not developers. I imagine most Indian game companies are developers, but there must be some publishers as well. Check gamedevmap for starters, and read FAQs 84 and 72 and 41.Maybe one of those addresses the question(s) you meant to ask but didn't.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    September 18, 2014


    Thanks! I got a job!

    >From: Ciei D
    >Sent: Saturday, September 13, 2014 12:44 PM
    >Subject: Thank you so much for your tips.
    >Hi my name is Roman.
    >I wrote the first letter to you in December 27, 2013.
    >I want to thank you for supporting. So happened that I was invited to work at the game studio five months ago. I took the risk, agreed and moved to another city for my favorite work and achieve my goals. I am currently working in the game industry, to get enough useful information and skills as well as a foreign language. I think it's not a bad start for achieve of my goals.
    >Thank you so much for your tips.

    Roman, that's great! I appreciate your writing to let me (and the readers) know.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    September 13, 2014


    School interview questions?

    >From: Jibraeel H
    >Sent: Friday, September 5, 2014 6:49 PM
    >Subject: Interview Questions
    >Hi
    >This is Jibraeel, currently a student of the Art Institute. I was wondering if it would be okay for me to ask you a few questions regarding your job? It's for our Game Course and is due Monday.
    >Thank you in Advance and look forward to hearing your reply!

    Hi Jibraeel,
    Sure, ask me your questions. But please read FAQ 37 first (FAQs link is above left), and please don't ask me the same questions I've already answered in the FAQ. Standing by...

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    September 5, 2014


    Please read my project and tell me your opinion

    >From: Sasan F
    >Sent: Monday, September 1, 2014 9:29 AM
    >Subject: Request
    >hi
    >I am a directX c++ programmer from iran and Im 23 years old and
    >diploma , can you read one of my projects and tell me your opinion
    >project doc:
    >http://...........pdf
    >thanks ......

    Sasan,
    As I wrote earlier (below), and as it says in my policies above, I do not review individuals' game designs. I'm sure your game idea is great; read FAQ 43 (you can link to the FAQs above left).
    If you want people to give you their thoughts on your game design, why don't you just post your idea on gamedev.net, in the Game Design forum (assuming you are looking for game design feedback)?

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    September 1, 2014


    Please read my project and tell me your opinion

    >http://www.gamedev.net/ Home » Messenger » My Conversations » Request
    >saaasaaan
    >Member
    >Sent Yesterday, 06:26 PM
    >hi
    >I am a directX c++ programmer from iran and Im 23 years old and diploma , can you read one of my projects and tell me your opinion
    >project doc:
    >http://.......pdf

    saaasaaan,
    My gamedev.net signature clearly asks people not to contact me by private message on gamedev.net. When people contact me via PM on gamedev with a question that is not related to my duties as a moderator on that site, or whenever people contact me via email with questions about game development that are not related to my paid services as a game designer, producer, or consultant, I always respond here on this board.
    It's very presumptuous of you to ask someone to do all this work for you for no compensation;
    I don't do what you ask (as it says above).
    I don't know why you think you need to get free private feedback (and I don't know what kind of feedback you are seeking), but if you want free feedback you should do it on gamedev.net's forums (and not via PM). Good luck!

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    September 1, 2014


    Is it possible to get a game design job without a degree in Game Design? 

    >From: "niteshkundnani007
    >Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2014 11:06 AM
    >Subject: Getting into industry
    >Sir
    >I'm a student and I'm
    >17yrs old
    >I've read all of your FAQs
    >And I want to know that, can I get into industry without any degree in game design

    Hi, Nitesh. If you've read all my FAQs, you've read FAQ 50. If you've already read FAQ 50, you missed the answer to this question. It's in there. (Please check FAQ 50 again.)
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    August 26, 2014


    can you give me some tips to design a game

    >From: "niteshkundnani007
    >Sent: Thursday, August 21, 2014 1:36 AM
    >Subject: Untitled
    >Hi sir
    >I'm nitesh
    >I want to be a game designer but I don't have any formal education.
    >So can you give me some tips to design a game

    Namaste, Nitesh.
    It's odd that your question is not "how do I become a game designer," since that's your stated goal. I am not convinced by your words that you really know what a game designer is or does. As for how to design a game, just write your idea on paper. FAQ 2 and FAQ 13 describe how to do that. If you want to become a game designer, you should read FAQ 3 and FAQ 14. If you discover that "game designer" is not what you thought, then read FAQ 7. You can link to the FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) above left. After you've read those FAQs, if you have more questions, please look for answers in the FAQs first, and if you can't find them, email me again anytime. Good luck!
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    August 21, 2014


    How to use my game idea to get a job while not having it stolen

    >From: Steve H
    >Sent: Friday, August 8, 2014 5:32 PM
    >Subject: Game Idea, Different Question Hopefully
    >Hi Tom,
    >I'm forty six with a background in printing and design trying to
    >crossover into the gaming industry as a game environment/prop artist. I
    >went to college for graphic design and illustration but dropped out
    >because they were not yet using computers while I was using Photoshop
    >and Illustrator at work for typesetting etc. In hindsight this was a
    >mistake as I've lost opportunities simply because I lack a degree. About
    >five years ago, I went back to school at Wake Tech in North Carolina and
    >received a certificate in Game Simulation and Animation. I have worked
    >professionally on a couple of Co-Ops, and as a contractor creating 3D
    >environments for animations in lawsuits.
    >
    >I've read lessons 1 and 11 and am on the same page -thanks for the
    >concise insight. Of the people you described I fall into category of the
    >someone trying to get into the industry with a working demo -but here's
    >the twist: I'm not trying to get someone to make my game... I'm
    >concerned the idea may be stolen, however unlikely. In other words, I'm
    >going around with a game idea to show off my art skills but what if they
    >don't hire me and instead develop my game without me. Per your lessons I
    >realize this is unlikely, but what steps can I take to protect myself.
    >Is the copy right information you've provided enough? Have you heard of
    >such a thing happening to anyone else? Am I just being paranoid?
    >
    >As it stands, the demo is complete and I plan to "put it in a drawer" to
    >dust off at a later date and see if it still holds up. I just don't want
    >to see it made into a game in the mean time.
    >Thanks,
    >Steve H

    Hi, Steve. You wrote:

    I'm forty six with a background in printing and design trying to
    >crossover into the gaming industry as a game environment/prop artist.
    First question: got portfolio? Second question: live in a game hub?

    went to college for graphic design and illustration but dropped out
    >because they were not yet using computers
    So, twenty-some years ago (in the late eighties or early nineties) that's the reason why you dropped out. Got it.

    In hindsight this was a
    >mistake as I've lost opportunities simply because I lack a degree.
    But you're forty-six. Surely nobody cares now whether you ever earned a degree or not. (If you want to teach at a university, I can see it -- otherwise, though...)

    five years ago, I went back to school at Wake Tech in North Carolina and
    >received a certificate in Game Simulation and Animation.
    Okay.

    I have worked
    >professionally on a couple of Co-Ops,
    Not sure what that is. Do you mean indie projects? But you were paid? Or do you mean academic internships as part of your certificate?

    and as a contractor creating 3D
    >environments for animations in lawsuits.
    Cool. That stuff should be in your portfolio (at least the best-looking ones).

    I'm
    >concerned the idea may be stolen, however unlikely.
    Unlikely in the extreme. If your idea is any good, you'll have to shove it down people's throats. Many times, before anybody will want to use it.

    I'm
    >going around with a game idea to show off my art skills but what if they
    >don't hire me and instead develop my game without me.
    If you go into an interview and say, "look at my game idea," they'll say "can't do that." Only if you sign a submission agreement. You need other stuff in your portfolio besides your original game idea that nobody will look at because it's an unsolicited submission (look up the term in FAQ 28, and read FAQ 12).

    what steps can I take to protect myself.
    Copyright your creation. You can even register your copyright. FAQ 39.

    Is the copy right information you've provided enough?
    Nothing is "enough," as I wrote in FAQ 49. If somebody was determined to steal your game and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars (or more) to make it and defend against your lawsuit, there's no way to prevent it, short of locking it in a steel safe. Stop worrying about that unlikely scenario, copyright your idea, and publish it on your portfolio site.

    Have you heard of
    >such a thing happening to anyone else?
    No.

    Am I just being paranoid?
    You're being more than paranoid. I assume you're doing things listed in FAQ 24, too. You need to build an impressive body of game work to add to your track record of non-game work.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    8/8/2014


    Co-creating, part 2

    > From: Don X
    > Sent: Thursday, July 31, 2014 7:29 AM
    > Subject: Re: Question about Ownership
    > Hi Tom,
    > Thanks for the answers, it definately makes me think deeper into it. It's seems the bigger questiosn now are the profit and what I would do for him part, so let me explain more:
    > That guy doesn't have a budget nor do I. He ran a perform event eariler of the year. The event gathered a reasonable amount of publicity and he wanted to digitize the experience and make it into a game. The game was aimed to get LGBT youth to reflect on location-based app dating and to gain HIV related knowledge. Honestly there won't any forseeable profit in this project. I was interested in the project because of protential good it could do and the popularity base. ....But, nowadays even game like Flappy Bird could get popular, I want to make sure if this project does make money, I will take my fair share. (Which I think is at least 50% of the profit. I will explain below.)
    > He said he had a few ideas of how to attract investors and pay for different development costs. I agreed to start the programming of the game once I go back to school. We can use the code that I'm writing at the company that I'm working at now as a base for the development, since all the basic function codes in our company will release under open source license. (I will definately notify my boss first before doing that.) So, I will be designing and programming for this project for free and that is the main reason I think I deserve 50% of the profit. I won't pay for any production cost. Hope that he could actually find some investors...but I'm worried that it just add another level of complexcity to the ownership of the project...
    > Anyway, I will make sure to list what I will do/don't for the project and what I want in return. That should be a good starting point to move forward.
    > Thanks again,
    > Don

    Okay, well, I don't see a question, thus I have no response (isn't it weird that it takes so many words for me to say "no response"? I didn't want to just say "no response"...).
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    August 1, 2014


    Co-creating (shared ownership)

    >From: Don X
    >Sent: Monday, July 28, 2014 7:41 AM
    >Subject: Question about Ownership
    >Hi Tom,
    >I have a few questions about what rights you should ask for in a co-ownership of a project. A brief summory of the situation, a guy came to the company I'm working for now to find help with a game concept that he had. My boss gave me a go-ahead to help him to design this game with the condition that the company wouldn't give him any additional resources besides my help. (Also, this is only a side project that I use off work time to help him. I have my own full time project at the company.) We went though many iterations of the game concept and I felt like to a point that if I'm not a co-creator on the project, it wouldn't be wealth my time any more. I told him that and he agreed. I need to tell him what exactly I mean as the co-creator. Here is a few things that I can thing of:
    >1) In any form of written documents (design documents, pressess, social media post), it has to be clear that the game is created by XXX and Don.
    >2) The copyright belongs to XXX and Don (Though I don't know how that works.)
    >3) If the project is ever profitable after all the production cost, I can claim up to 50% of the profit. (Again, I'm not sure how this works either.)
    >4) If we pick up the project for future development, I will remain to be the co-creator and have creative input. (Should I say this differently?)
    >That's all that I can think of now. Is there anything I should add to it to protect my own rights?
    >Another concern is that do I have to include my company's name in this project? I won't have time to do more development on this project until I go back to school. Could it be just a special thanks? I did use a few company hours to provide design consulting to that guy, but the concept that we are moving forward with I used only my off work hours.
    >Let me know if you want me to clearify any parts of this. Hope to hear from you soon. :)
    >Tiantong (Don) X

    Hi, Don. Co-creation, hmm? Lotsa luck with that.
    I'm not a lawyer.
    Good question! Does it mean you have to do half the work, and pay half the costs, to earn half the profits (if any)? Or does it mean that whatever accrues to designers of the concept is shared equally?>
    I have no suggestions for how to say that differently.
    What rights? Game concepts are pretty worthless. You should commit any agreement to writing.
    What company?
    It could.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 28, 2014


    Modding (was: Psychology)

    >From: Eric C
    >Sent: Friday, July 25, 2014 5:28 PM
    >Subject: Re: Psychology in game Design?
    >Hi Tom,
    >Thanks for your time, sorry about the long email, I'm long winded that way, I'm working on shortening things.Basically I highlighted the INTJ personality, since I share it as well, also I highlighted some things from your quotes & Wisdom section.
    >Maybe I just caught you after a long day.
    >Anyways,
    >You had asked clarification on a question I had, on moding, indie & the industry. Basically, I'm asking from your experience and people you interact with, is moding a bonus in preparation for the industry? Or is it kind of seen as beneath professionals?
    >Thanks,
    >-Eric

    Hi, Eric.
    You mustn't worry if some basic or entry-level activity is "looked down upon." If you need it as a stepping-off point, you should just do it. Modding is perfectly normal as a stepping-off point -- many professionals did it. Heck, it gives you something to talk about (and it gives you material for your portfolio).
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 25, 2014


    Thank you

    >From: Daryl H
    >Sent: Friday, July 25, 2014 5:41 AM
    >Subject: Thank You
    >Hello,
    >My Name is Daryl, and your site gave me to information I was looking for. I was always curious about how one would submit a game idea if they were not in the business, but in short, the answer was probably never.
    >My question started after I began writing a story to fill in the missing gaps of a short game series for my entertainment. Although it started out as something small, it has grown substantially. My simplified rough draft consisted of a 12 page document, but after starting back from the beginning to add detail to the gameplay and cut scenes, I have now a 20 page document with only a fourth of the story completed. I had begun to research characters (mythological) to give more of an insight on what each one would represent throughout the story. Thus brought me to the question of, who would I send this story to for it to be reviewed? Since the answer is to simply get up and get degree to become a part of the gaming industry, I may further pursue it that route. Even though the probability of my game idea has a very slim chance of coming to life, it will still give me a completed overall storyline (In my own mind at least).
    >I will now look into a higher education, and for that, I thank you.

    Good choice, Daryl. Study hard and do well!
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 25, 2014


    Psychology in game design?

    >From: Eric C
    >Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2014 5:55 PM
    >Subject: Psychology in game Design?
    >Greetings,
    >Identifying information asked:
    >1. Age:24
    >2. Education: AA Psychology, AS General Studies Science, 1-2 Quarters= 3-6 months from BA psychology
    >3. Occupation: Student, Always and Forever a Student
    >4. Writer / Producer / PR manager
    >5. Location: atm Palo Alto CA, School is in Irvine CA
    >6. Experience: 3 year project coordinator PR manager, and Lead writer for a Command and Conquer 3 modification.
    >
    >How I got to your site:
    >I found your site via a poster from Gamedev.net, a new member had said he had a bunch of ideas for games, and how much it be to hire people to make it for him. So after I wrote my response, I reviewed what teh others had posted, and one individual linked your site, and appropriate lessons.
    >Upon reviewing many of your entries and information you provided, I got more interested.and went through your "Some words of Wisdom" which might better called "loads of wisdom" but anyways, upon a review of that section, and adding selections to my quote archive, I came across these:
    >I noticed this discrepancy since a friend and a former team member has this as his forum signature, and it's from Bertrand Russell
    >
    >War doesn't determine who is right; war determines who is left.
    >Punny email joke masquerading as Chinese proverb
    >
    >Kind of similar duplicates:
    >
    >There's an exception to every rule... even this one.
    >Tom Sloper
    >1st appearance end of advice
    >
    >Every rule is meant to be broken... including this one.
    >Tom Sloper
    >Appears 2nd under life
    >
    >Just some heads up.
    >All that aside, I'm also an INTJ/INFJ personality type, and may think in similar patterns, this is the most comprehensive type description site I've found thus far if your interested: http://www.16personalities.com/
    >Anyways,
    >My main concern is how my psych degree might play into the game Industry.
    >I know you mentioned the field in one of your sections on fields to potentially know, however, I went to one of my schools annual Career Fairs, and Some people from Blizzard were there, when It was my turn. the guy asked me what my field & degree was in, and when I said psychology, he said "What good is that here?"
    >This concerned me at the time, about the Industry's attitude toward that field.I'm asking you for your experience, have you come across people with such a degree?
    >I didn't let that stop me tho, aside from my professional psych focus on Inustruial/ Organizational psychology. I do Research on how people structure and Interact in online environments, such as skype, teams, guilds, clans, etc. I know this is rather an unconventional and academic approach to potentially get into the industry, but that's what I do. And I'm concerned If I continue on this path, marketing is the main department I'd qualify for. And that department, although interesting and important, isn't as alined to who I am, and who I want to become.
    >Another issue I've come across, Is since my project is on hold, I've been applying for indie LLC positions as PR and or writing, however, in each case, Impressed them, but ultimately lost out to another candidate.
    >My question would be, how is traditional moding experience compared to Indie and ultimately professional projects experience?
    >I've read your project phases, and am familiar with the cycle.
    >And yes, I'm trying to make sure you don't respond this way:
    >· You're expecting me to work harder at giving you an answer than you work at asking a question. (Tom Sloper)
    >I'll close with one last question/ concern:
    >To what degree to you think developers and others in the game Industry consider the effect of their mechanic implementations in the players?
    >For example, some games are clearly made with addictive tendencies in playing and motivations in gaming to sell more product and maximize playtime. Only concerned with the bottom line.
    >Others attempt to consider the ramifications of all their mechanics.
    >Somewhere in between and a balance are most people.
    >What have you seen in your experience?
    >Thanks for your time in reading,
    >-Eric

    Hi Eric,
    I had a long tiring day, and you wrote a lot of words! I thank you for the kind stuff you said in there. To respond to some key parts of what you said:

    the guy asked me what my field & degree was in, and when I said psychology, he said "What good is that here?"
    That guy is an idiot. And he knows very little about game design. I have to assume that he's a recruiter or HR person. Hopefully you won't run into his kind again.

    This concerned me at the time, about the Industry's attitude toward that field.
    You jumped hastily to an erroneous assumption. "The industry" does not share that idiot's wrongheadedness. Every game designer I've ever spoken with about preparation agrees with me that psychology is hugely important. That doesn't mean that game designers "need" to major in psychology. And what I've said just now does not mean that a psychology degree necessarily prepares one for a career in game design. More than that is needed -- much more. Your email was very long and I didn't read everything in it, so I don't know what else you've done to pursue a career in game design.

    have you come across people with such a degree?
    In game design, you mean? Maybe. I don't know.

    I do Research on how people structure and Interact in online environments, such as skype, teams, guilds, clans, etc.
    That sounds very interesting, and not at all inappropriate to game development (note that I said game development, not game design).

    how is traditional moding experience compared to Indie and ultimately professional projects experience?
    I don't understand the question. Can you clarify?

    To what degree to you think developers and others in the game Industry consider the effect of their mechanic implementations in the players?
    >For example, some games are clearly made with addictive tendencies in playing and motivations in gaming to sell more product and maximize playtime. Only concerned with the bottom line.
    >Others attempt to consider the ramifications of all their mechanics.
    Most of my experience was with packaged games - we'd sell the game and that would be largely the end of the interaction with the end user (we'd just get money for the sale of the SKU through retail). Makers of MMOs and social games are "only concerned with the bottom line," as you say - the longer they can keep players playing, subscribing, making micropurchases, the more successful they've been. So it's very necessary for developers of such games to analyze and measure the "ramifications" (as you say) of every feature and change they implement. The terms "metrics" and "analytics" have become commonplace. The stuff you've been studying points you solidly in that direction.

    What have you seen in your experience?
    One time a mah-jongg student asked me how I came to become an expert in mah-jongg. When I told her I was a game designer and had worked on mah-jongg tile-matching games for years, she started yelling at me for the fact that an MMORPG had ruined her marriage by addicting her husband to the extent that he couldn't perform his role as a husband and father.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 24, 2014


    Questions about Masters grads and jobs

    >Game Career Guide Forums > User Control Panel > Private Messages > Inbox
    >Private Message: Masters degree
    > Today, 01:33 AM
    >Mrigank
    >Junior Member
    >Hello,
    >I am an Undergrad. in Computer Science from India looking for Masters in game programming in the US.
    >Can you tell me how are the placements of non-americans?
    >Do the natives hold an edge bcoz of no visa issues or bcoz they are natives ?
    >Are there any visa issues while giving international students a job?
    >What % of people get placed from, say the USC or Rochester or DePaul?
    >What are the initial salaries?
    >Thanks for your time!!!

    Namaste, mrigank.
    I don't give free private advice, so I'm answering your questions (unsatisfactorily, I suppose) here on my bulletin board.

    I'm sorry that I do not know the answers to most of your questions. I assume your questions about placements mean that you are hoping for a game job in the US after finishing your Masters degree - if my assumption is incorrect, please email me (please don't PM me on GameCareerGuide again; it's both unwelcome and unreliable) so I can answer the questions you meant to ask. I do not possess any figures or statistics on job placements of different universities or degrees.

    There absolutely is a problem getting a job in the US if you do not have a valid US work visa, and it can be very difficult to obtain one. Read FAQ 72 (you can find a link to the FAQs above left).

    While in India there is a lot of value on advanced degrees, in the US we don't share that notion - unless seeking faculty positions in academia. For salary info, just google "game salary survey." Salary information is very easy to find. Good luck!

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 19, 2014


    Tell me how much UDK costs

    >From: Vishal P
    >Sent: Sunday, July 13, 2014 8:40 AM
    >Subject: Whats the price of udk?
    >Please can you tell me whats the price of udk(unreal development kit) for commercial license for pc
    >We are 4 friends and all of us want to make pc games and we all have computers on those we can develop games by udk but we dont know whats the price of udk
    >So please help me

    Hi, Vishal. Did you try this? --> http://lmgtfy.com/?q=how+much+does+udk+cost
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 13, 2014


    You are a rockstar!!!

    >From: Gracey J
    >Sent: Friday, July 11, 2014 4:04 PM
    >Subject: I love it.
    >Tom, this is the coolest thing in the world. This is why I love the game design world. You are a rockstar in the game design world. Your pedigree rivals that of Steven Spielberg yet I can contact you directly and receive a response from you.
    >Games are the true form of communication. Games bring strangers together. Games make relationships stronger. Me writing you this email and you reading it is proof of that!!!!
    >Game on Tom!!!!!!!
    >-James G

    Aw shucks, James. (^_^) I ought to create a new achievement for you, "enthusiasm." But this one will have to do:

    Your enthusiasm embiggens my spirit in a highly cromulent way!
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 11, 2014


    Take a look at this video I made

    >From: Nicholas F
    >Sent: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 4:29 PM
    >Subject: Aspiring Film maker
    >Hi Tom!
    > I'm an aspiring film maker who's mother is currently a physical therapist for your grandfather. When my mom told me that you're a very approachable guy who would be willing to give me advice and criticism that was really exciting news to hear! I don't come around the opportunities often. My Mom said how you're a professor in editing and video game production. Now, I'm not certain if "editing" as a profession is a really wide category or not, because what I'm most interested in at the moment are things like VFX supervision companies and the film making process. My one big goal is to become a film maker and create my own vision on the big screen, with everything from screenwriting, to directing, to editing. I've already been editing for quite some while, and I'd like to say that I've gotten pretty good. However, I'm trying to move onto making actual films, so for the past 4 or 5 months I've been saving for a DSLR camera, because these cameras can actually produce quite good video quality and they're very ideal and easy to use. At the moment, I have no serious productions, because I only shoot some short videos with my friends using my go pro, but I intend to make many shorts and skits when my friends visit from Illinois later this month. Either way, it would be wildly appreciated if you took a look at this video on my friend's Facebook that I made. It's just me and some of my friends out with my gopro, and adding some velocity structure and sync in post. Any thoughts? this was a simple little video, but any opinions would still be appreciated. Thanks again Tom!
    >-Nick
    >https://www.facebook.com/[deleted]

    Well, Nick, I don't know if I'm going to be able to help you much. You wrote:

    ...mother is currently a physical therapist for your grandfather.
    That's impossible. I do not have a living grandfather. So I don't know how your mother knows of me and what I do here, or who she is.

    My Mom said how you're a professor in editing and video game production.
    The "editing" part of that is not correct. I am a video game producer and designer, and I am an instructor at USC.

    what I'm most interested in at the moment are things like VFX supervision companies and the film making process.
    I have not worked in the film industry. Just video games.

    it would be wildly appreciated if you took a look at this video
    Sorry. For one thing, I can't comment knowledgeably on film. And for another thing, as it says above, I don't go look at people's games, videos, designs, or websites. I answer questions -- I don't have time to critique (my students excepted).

    on my friend's Facebook
    Why don't you have your own Facebook page? You can also make a free vlog, and post your videos on your very own website. Are you a minor, is that the reason?

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 1, 2014

    P.S., July 2 - Mystery solved. Nick, your mom is my uncle's physical therapist, in Florida. I understand you have won some prizes with your work. Sorry that I simply can't help you with a critique of your Facebook film, since I know nothing about film techniques. - Tom


    An update on me, part 2

    >From: Don X
    >Sent: Tuesday, July 1, 2014 11:55 AM
    >Subject: Re: Updates
    >Hey Tom,
    >Sorry for getting back to you late. The beginning of the project is really busy. And yes, nothing on the employment agreement mentioned about I can't make games in my free time. The company works more like a creative hub for new projects.
    >You mentioned about you missed having consulting gigs. Have you thought about moving to somewhere that has more companies that need consultants. After all, it's you who said the location is the key. I don't know about how much you like to stay in LA and teach at USC, but just a friendly reminder that you have more choices, too. Don't worry about it if it's not on your mind.
    >Thanks,
    >Don

    Hi, Don. You wrote:

    You mentioned about you missed having consulting gigs. Have you thought about moving to somewhere that has more companies that need consultants. After all, it's you who said the location is the key.
    I don't remember saying that. Thanks for the advice, but I doubt that there's anyplace with more game companies than right here in L.A. My location is not limiting my consulting opportunities. I could increase my consulting business anytime if I wanted to work harder to build it up.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    July 1, 2014


    Is it possible to combine game design talent with business know-how?

    >From: Sebastian B
    >Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2014 10:18 AM
    >Subject: Question about my career opportunities in the gaming industry by combining business and design skills
    >Hello Tom,
    >today I came across your website and I´m pretty amazed how many useful information one can gain by using it.
    >At first, I´d like to answer your 5 questions:
    >I am 23 years old.
    > I just finished the second term of my studies in International Business (bachelor degree)
    > Student
    > That exactly is the question
    > I am from Germany but due to my course of studies I have to go abroad (for at least 6 month) and I´m also not indisposed of emigrate to one of the scandinavian countries or the the US
    >
    >I´m definitely an ambitious career person and to push my abilities further as soon as possible. Therefore I am also involved in worlds biggest student organisation (AIESEC) in a higher position (VP) and additionally I am currently starting my own business in form of a innovative gaming related website.
    >Coming to my question / problem:
    >
    >My only never-ending and never-changing passion since I was six years old is gaming. Due to the fact that I am not willed to do a boring “only-business”-job because I´m convinced that one can only reach his own peaks and deliver the best possible performance by doing everyday what one loves most. My own business (website) with 4 members and my work in AIESEC also proved that I got very good entrepreneurial skills, creativity and a great sense for how to monetise ideas and products / services.
    >
    >As you can imagine, the business-side of the gaming industry is everything else than a creative working environment (accounting etc.) despite marketing and some niches. Therefore I would like to know how I can combine my abilities and knowledge in a perfect way? Are there any fitting positions for my requirements? I know that Lead Designers, Creative Directors etc. got job requirements which are far away from what I have to offer.
    >
    >I planned to get some experience in different game studios / publishers and maybe work for a few years in a company to get to know the structures and maybe start my own gaming studio after or even before that. Because so far, this is the only workplace where I can imagine to have real influence on the business and the creative game-creation side as well.
    >
    >Would you recommend to continue with another (design-related) course of studies (after graduating of course) or is there no real possibility for me to be interesting enough for any company out there just because I don´t fit in their existing structures? Or could creativity and knowledge from books (in terms of game-design) be enough? I can imagine that I could exactly be the person someone out there is looking for.
    >
    >I am really looking forward to hear from you and thanks for your answer.
    >Best regards,
    >Sebastian

    Guten tag, Sebastian. You wrote:

    Subject: Question about my career opportunities in the gaming industry by combining business and design skills
    Are there any fitting positions for my requirements? I know that Lead Designers, Creative Directors etc. got job requirements which are far away from what I have to offer.
    Yes: monetization designer is a new position, necessitated by changes in the entire game industry. Note, however:
    A business owner rarely is able to afford the time to engage in creative work on his business's projects (depending on company size, of course);
    Depending on company size, an employee with a title like "monetization designer" would not always be designing monetization features of games -- he would surely also have to spend time doing design direction, or working on mundane aspects of design, or even implementing scripts or tables or levels.

    Would you recommend to continue with another (design-related) course of studies (after graduating of course)
    If (a) you want to, and (b) you can afford to. When the time comes, you have to decide this yourself. I recommend you make a decision grid (see article #70).

    or is there no real possibility for me to be interesting enough for any company out there just because I don´t fit in their existing structures?
    Anything is possible except time travel to the past and the Star Trek holodeck. Read FAQ 50.

    Or could creativity and knowledge from books (in terms of game-design) be enough?
    Read FAQ 49.

    I can imagine that I could exactly be the person someone out there is looking for.
    I can imagine that, too. I have a very good imagination!

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    June 26, 2014


    An update on me

    >From: Don X
    >Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2014 10:06 PM
    >Subject: Updates
    >Hey Tom,
    >I have some super cool news to share with you: I will have a actual team in my actual game company making a game that was my original idea! Things couldn't haven been better. This game that I'm making is a location-based murder mystery game that the locations actually matter. The target platform will be iOS and Android. It will be a ARG and a video game & performing art fusion experience. That's all I can tell you now and hope that I can show you in the near future. So that is the good news. However things was not always been this well and those are what happened the last three months:
    >
    >The first three months of my co-op was doing online research on all the cool theater/game projects. (I must say the theater piece Sleep No More is popular. Even Gone Home admitted that they were inspired by it.) And meeting with local theater people to get them excited about games and technology. By the end of it, I can start pitching ideas for projects. While it's a unique and fun challenge by itself, going into work every day has been like hell.
    >
    >I felt like a irreverent person that just sit there browsing websites and watch others all drive deeply into their projects and be happy, because my boss specifically forbid me working on any other projects. Every time another person in the company asked me what was my project, I answered:"I'm working on ... research...". However, I did learn from my first internship in my freshman year's summer and didn't complain. I was always been proud of my skills in game development, but this co-op experience knock me to ground zero. I need to learn to deal with people in the theater world; learn about how foundlings work in the art world; learn to distinguish a good collaborator from a bad one (a bad one I mean nothing will either get done if you are counting on them in any way). The only thing that got me through the 3 months was the idea that my boss didn't hire me for nothing and I would become this brilliant person that is full of great ideas and great connections.
    >
    >And I guess I did, otherwise why would I get a team just based on an idea that I had. I'm really excited to get the concept and the story into a fully realizable project. By the way, while I'm on co-op, I use my free time working with another friend on a mobile game. We working hard every week and wanted to summit to upcoming IGF. We get some really good reviews and suggestions from our indie game dev friends. We really think the game will have a shot.
    >That's mostly how I have been. How about you? Anything exciting?
    >Tiantong (Don) X

    Hi, Don.

    while I'm on co-op, I use my free time working with another friend on a mobile game.
    I guess you're saying that your current job is "co-op," and that that's different from regular full-time employment, so you don't have an employment contract that forbids your working on games outside your employment.

    How about you? Anything exciting?
    I'm between semesters right now. I have only one student at present, doing an independent study course. Oh, and a mah-jongg class that ends next week. Nothing exciting.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    June 20, 2014


    The Idea Man writeth

    >From: Rogan R
    >Sent: Monday, June 16, 2014 2:04 PM
    >Subject: A not-so-typical email
    >Hello sir. Today I discovered your website after searching for resources that I could use to help me. I've gone through parts relevant to me, and realized that I fall into the category of people you are not very fond of. However, I do believe that I am quite different than the rest.
    >First of, I'm not looking for some "get rich quick" scheme. I'm not interested in selling my intellectual rights. Many people I've explained my idea to have told me it's the ultimate idea, but I know that only a specific kind of gamer will believe it to be so. I am looking for help developing it, not selling the rights. I'm willing to work my ass off to achieve it, but my skills alone (which admittedly isn't very much) won't be able to achieve it, but I need to be with the creative team that builds it from the ground up, because this is my mind-child that I want to be raised properly.
    >My only question in this particular email is whether or not this is a realistic goal for someone with absolutely no industry experience.
    >Sincerely, Rogan R

    Hi, Rogan. You wrote:

    Subject: A not-so-typical email
    It may not be typical for you, but I get emails like this all the time.

    I do believe that I am quite different than the rest.
    Everybody says that.

    I know that only a specific kind of gamer will believe it to be [the ultimate idea].
    We call that a "niche game," or a game for a "niche audience." Since you're going to go into business with this knowledge that you're targeting a niche audience, you'll need to do some research and make some supportable estimates for how many copies of your game you can sell (or how much money your game can make through whatever monetization method you're planning).

    I need to be with the creative team that builds it from the ground up, because this is my mind-child that I want to be raised properly.
    Do I understand you to be saying that your role would be Lead Designer? It's unlikely you can get people to follow you into the gator-infested swamp if you have absolutely no experience with live alligators, or swamp navigation. Or maybe you're just saying you want "creative control" - the right to nix decisions made by a professional designer. If so, you'll likely go through a lot of designers, so I hope you have a lot of money.

    whether or not this is a realistic goal for someone with absolutely no industry experience.
    It's not. By the way, you didn't mention:
    How old are you?
    What's your level of education?
    What's your current occupation?
    How much money do you have?
    What country do you live in?
    What's your plan for making money from the game once it has been made, and do you have a business plan that shows how much it'll cost to make that game - can you break even and start showing a profit in five years or less? Once your game has been released, what then - is your team going to make other games? Because one game is not an ongoing business.
    I don't need answers to the above questions - I just ask them so you can honestly evaluate your idea on your own. Have you read FAQ 43, or FAQ 1? The FAQs are above left.
    Good luck!
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    June 16, 2014


    How to become a game programmer

    >From: Vishal P
    >Sent: Saturday, June 14, 2014 1:48 AM
    >Subject: Specify a way in how to start carrer as a pc game developer
    >About me:
    >Adress-
    >Country-india
    >State-rajasthan
    >My study level:
    >I had passed 10th class in 2012 and now i am student of govt. I.T.I.
    >I am too intersted in learning how to develop first person shooter pc games.
    >I played hundreds of games in my pc and they attracts me then i thought to make my own game but i have no idea where to start.
    >I had searched many websites all over the internet then i found your one.
    >Can i make my own fps game at my home with a game engine like udk(unreal development kit),if yes where should i learn developing pc games?
    >what are the requirments of everything(in study,toolsetc.)?
    >If i can't then what should i do(in study) to get job in a game industry as a game programmer?
    >Please help me!
    >I will never forget your help

    Namaste, Vishal. You wrote:

    then i thought to make my own game but i have no idea where to start.
    You should read FAQ 56. You can link to my Frequently Asked Questions above left. Also read:
    http://www.gamefromscratch.com/post/2011/08/04/I-want-to-be-a-game-developer.aspx
    http://www.gamedev.net/index.php?app=forums&module=forums§ion=rules&f=31

    Can i make my own fps game at my home
    It's possible, but you should start smaller and work your way up.

    where should i learn developing pc games?
    You should do some self-teaching with games while also pursuing a Computer Science degree (since you said in your email that you want to be a programmer).

    what are the requirments of everything(in study,toolsetc.)? what should i do(in study) to get job in a game industry as a game programmer?
    You need a CS degree and a portfolio of game projects you worked on. Read FAQ 15 and FAQ 27.

    May the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    June 14, 2014


    Our game design template

    >From: Sagger Khraishi
    >Sent: Friday, May 23, 2014 9:49 AM
    >Subject: A GDD that we use for our games
    >Hello Mr. Sloper,
    >I've been reading your site every now and then, as well as have been directing the usual inquires into game design there as well. Seriously, before everything else, thanks for putting all that there. It has helped out a lot, especially for us.
    >For our own games, we made a GDD, that's kind of a patchwork of a lot of different GDD's but also contains everything from the Art Bible, to the Story Bible and the Technical Bible as well. I'm going to be attaching the link here as well, and we've been releasing it for free for the most part so that other future game designers can use it to help them out with the process. As much as I love playing games, I can't wait to see what the next generation pulls off, and with this it can help out.
    >So please take a look at it, and if you feel like it would do, it would be cool if you could put the link in the Game Design outline article. We are using payhip to distribute the pdf, that way we put it at 0+ USD. The GDD itself can be shortened for mobile games, but we tend to do that manually with Sanctuary Game Studios depending on the project.
    >Might work on releasing an App Design Document to help others out soon, but that needs a bit more fine tuning and stuff.
    >Cheers!
    >Sagger Khraishi
    >Sanctuary Game Studios
    >p.s.
    >Here is the link: https://payhip.com/b/TIcB

    Thanks for sharing, Sagger!
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    June 5, 2014


    How were NES games developed, part 2

    >From: Noah S
    >Sent: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 5:02 PM
    >Subject: Re: NES DEV.
    >Hi Mr. Sloper -
    >Thank you so much for your information, I really appreciate it. Do you have any information or photographs/documentation about the NES development system or the documentation that came with it? Thank you very much hope you're doing well

    No. I do not. Hope you're doing well too.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    June 3, 2014


    How does web design help me to get into the game biz?

    > From: Paarth G
    > Sent: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 9:54 AM
    > Subject: How does web design help me to get into the game biz?
    > Name : Paarth G
    > Education : Completed College
    > Age: 22
    > Location : India
    > Game Job : Game Design
    > So I have almost completed my college and my parents are telling me to start work as a web designer. The funny thing is that this isn't part of the degree that I want to do nor does the degree have anything related to web designing. Now I can understand that you're supposed to do whatever you can do or whatever you're best at if you want to enter at the gaming biz. But since this is web design there are some things that bother the heck out of me such as
    > 1. How does web design help me in getting into the gaming biz?
    > 2.How is web design vital in gaming besides advertisements? And even then, how does it really do much for gaming? If its footage or goodies that I can get it from there, I can watch footage through youtube and go to online stores to get goodies. So what's the big deal of the web design?

    Hi, Paarth. Long time no see. You wrote:

    my parents are telling me to start work as a web designer. The funny thing is that this isn't part of the degree that I want to do nor does the degree have anything related to web designing.
    I hear you. That's odd that your parents are telling you to do this. I assume you already told them that you didn't take any courses in web design, so you'd need to study up on that.

    How does web design help me in getting into the gaming biz?
    Nobody said that it "does" help that. However, knowing web design (and doing web design) shouldn't hurt your chances of getting into the game industry, and might even help you get a foot in.

    How is web design vital in gaming besides advertisements?
    It's vital that every game company have a very professional website. It's vital that every game that's played online have a very professional-looking web presence, and that every online game's monetization apparatus work smoothly and securely. It's vital that an applicant wanting to get a job in games have a professional-looking portfolio site.

    So what's the big deal of the web design?
    Who says it is a big deal? Are you asking this because of what your parents said? Your parents probably don't know a lot about how the game industry works (you should respect your parents and not cast aspersions on their knowledge, of course). I suspect that your REAL question is, "how do I pursue getting into games despite my parents' wishes?" See http://legacy.igda.org/games-game-november-2009 - I'll go ahead and make it into an FAQ (it'll be FAQ 89).

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    June 3, 2014


    My vision for the future

    > From: naor s
    > Sent: Friday, May 30, 2014 3:44 PM
    > Subject: Online Browser Game Discussion.
    > Hello, My name is Naor, and i am 24 Years old.
    > Im here to ask afew questions, i have viewed some of the pages of you're website and im very much impressed by you're knowledge. I live in canada, and i am currently studying the proffesion of Real-Estate.
    > A few months ago i was valuating the things that i am good at, and one of the main passions of my life ever since i was young was to play online computer games (im not the xbox/playstation type). i have mostly played MMORPG'S.
    > And i know that the development of such "Client based" games are very costly far into the millions, so thats not realistic.
    > Over the last couple of years i've seen anew "trend" of online games rising in the market.
    > (Massive Multiplayer Browser Based Games). Facebook for example is a social network that supports these games,
    > all the player needs is to connect directly through his facebook without downloading anything.
    > Zynga is a leading comany in that "trend" and not long ago i've read an article they made stating that the overall costs will go between 200-500 thousands (including all aspects except future maintenance).
    > and of course the fact that a Successful Game generates up to 28million dollars within a year.
    > i am obviously not ready at this point of my life to begin persuing this dream, i intend of starting to get it organized after i finish my real-estate license.'
    > My mind has great Idea's and after seeing many different Browser games out there, i know i can do much better.
    > As a gamer i expect the owner of the game to care for his players, try and create a fair gaming environment.
    > But the games that are being made are exactly the opposite, - Pay to Win style.
    > My Vision for the future, when the time comes and after i have saved up enough money, is to start a small company for the purpose of creating this type of online browser game. i do not have any experience in the field.
    > in simple words, i will rent out a studio office, and hire proffesionals to produce the game based on a detailed written plan of my idea, thats how i currently "foresee" that happening.. im still along way from it, and there is much for me to learn.
    > i would like you're true Honest opinion over the written above, and any advice will be welcomed.
    > Thanks, Naor!

    Hi, Naor. You wrote:

    i've read an article they made stating that the overall costs will go between 200-500 thousands (including all aspects except future maintenance).
    Yes. Figure it costs that much to create a game suitable for launching - then the game starts getting players and making a little money - then the game has to be maintained and updated constantly (costing a lot more money, and requiring a sizeable operation to continually service the game). That kind of game is not so much a "product" as it is a "service." And the company probably needs to have more than one such game going on at once.

    My Vision for the future, when the time comes and after i have saved up enough money, is to start a small company for the purpose of creating this type of online browser game. i do not have any experience in the field.
    Before you start that company, you will need to work in that field, so that you are not the person in the company who doesn't know anything about your business.

    i will rent out a studio office, and hire proffesionals to produce the game based on a detailed written plan of my idea, thats how i currently "foresee" that happening.. im still along way from it, and there is much for me to learn.
    Right - that's what I just said; you have much to learn - and the best way to learn it is from the inside, meaning you need to get a job in the game industry. The professionals are not going to accept a job from you if you don't know more than they do about the industry. I suggest you subscribe to GamesIndustry.Biz and Gamasutra, and learn as much as you can about the industry - go to as many game industry conferences as you can - meet people in the industry and listen to them. Good luck!

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    May 30, 2014


    School interview question, part 2

    > From: Adrian S
    > Sent: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 6:56 PM
    > Subject: Re: Interview
    > Sorry Tom. But I was running a little late on the assignment and needed to get it done as fast as I could. I knew your name and did not have time to finish reading the FAQ. Sorry, but I was very busy at the time. =^-^=

    Oh. Well, all right, then. :p
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    May 14, 2014


    School interview question

    > From: Adrian S
    > Sent: Monday, May 12, 2014 11:23 AM
    > Subject: Interview
    > Ok, so like you said you would like to know, my name is Adrian. I am 13 yrs old, entering 8th grade, im a student, I plan for game designing, and I am from United States.
    > Ok. So I have an interview to do for an english project on my future possible field. So, I found you and you seem interesting. Here are the questions I would really like to know.
    > 1. What is your name? (She would like if I knew your address but I am not gonna ask)
    > 2. How did you get into this field? -degree -personal qualities -experience -other qualifications
    > 3. What do you do? -duties -services -routine
    > 4. What do you dislike about your job?
    > 5. What do you enjoy about your job? -positives -advantages
    > 6. What are some recent changes in your field? -other changes you foresee
    > 7. Level of education?
    > 8. What college did you attend?
    > 9. Where can I get more information?

    Hi, Adrian.
    This is a little awkward. I get asked these questions constantly, so I wrote this website. It's unusual for an interviewer to ask me my name. I mean, the usual process (when one has an interview assignment) is to do a little research on the person one is going to interview, before contacting the person. Besides, anyone can see that I've signed my name to every response on this board (below), and my copyright notice on every page... aw, never mind. My name is Tom Sloper.
    Please read Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) #18. You can link to the FAQs above left.
    Please click the "Tom's Consulting Services" link, above left.
    I answered this in FAQ 37. Link above lft.
    Also FAQ 37. I wrote the FAQs so that I wouldn't have to retype the answers every time somebody asks me.
    A great question! The most recent change is that Nintendo is losing money, Sony released a new console whose future is uncertain, Microsoft released a new console that had a flawed release (poorly stated marketing philosophy that rubbed customers the wrong way - and it's too expensive), and the whole industry is trying to figure out what's going to happen next. I think one thing the future holds is wearable games - augmented reality (as opposed to virtual reality, like Oculus Rift) - people wearing headsets like Google Glass, only on two eyes instead of one, and able to play games using features like GPS and gesture control. I've given talks on it.
    Your question is unclear. You should get a college degree if you want to become a game designer. Read FAQ 3.
    I answered that one in FAQ 37.
    Here on my website! Read more of my FAQs.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    May 12, 2014


    How were NES games developed?

    > From: Noah
    > Sent: Friday, April 25, 2014 10:52 AM
    > Subject: NES DEV.
    > Hi Mr. Sloper -
    > My name is Noah [deleted] and I am a TV producer in NYC. More importantly I'm a huge retro video game fan and a fan of your work!
    > I hope it's OK to reach out to you like this but I've been trying to find some information on how games were developed for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and can't get much clarification online.
    > I was wondering:
    > What software/hardware was used to create these games?
    > Was there a development system or documentation provided by Nintendo or did you need to create your own way to connect to the NES/burn ROMs? What was the hardware like?
    > I'm assuming programming was done in Assembly, was there a specific version used, and what software was used for music and graphics?
    > What kind of computer(s) were used for this type of work?
    > Thank you very much in advance, hope you don't mind the random questions.
    > All the best,
    > Noah

    Hi, Noah. Fellow producer! \(^_^)/
    Since you didn't say this is a journalistic question ("fan," "random questions"), I'm responding on this bulletin board. Hope I haven't dashed any fond feelings you had for my work. You asked:

    What software/ was used to create these games?
    I don't know. I didn't program any NES games.

    What /hardware was used to create these games?
    I don't remember. See below.

    Was there a development system provided by Nintendo
    Yes.

    Was there documentation provided by Nintendo
    Yes.

    What was the hardware like?
    I don't remember. Probably there was a box connected to a PC and a TV.

    I'm assuming programming was done in Assembly, was there a specific version used, and what software was used for music and graphics?
    I don't know. I never programmed an NES game. I just produced them.

    What kind of computer(s) were used for this type of work?
    PCs, running MSDOS. Windows didn't exist until 1985, and programmers making NES games after Windows was introduced may or may not have adopted its use in development.
    Afterthought: Some developers may have used Amigas instead of PCs. And some artists may have used systems that specialized in graphics back in the eighties - I'm forgetting the name.
    After-afterthought, April 30: The name I was forgetting was SGI. Silicon Graphics computers were favored by some game artists back in those days.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 25, 2014


    What degree, part 3

    > From: Akhil P
    > Sent: Wednesday, April 16, 2014 8:49 AM
    > Subject: One more if you dont mind :P
    > Hello again..
    > In my last post, the first question, i believe the answer i received was not specific.
    > I specifically asked 'if i graduate with a B.Arch' degree..will it be harder compared to the graduates having an Animation or CS or any other degree?
    > Fingers crossed, i will work hard and get my Portfolio just right!!!
    > Just that, and thank you. All your replies have been fantastic, i will keep in contact with you Mr. Sloper! And thanks for that Acheivement thing, lol.

    Hi, Akhil. You wrote:

    if i graduate with a B.Arch' degree..will it be harder compared to the graduates having an Animation or CS or any other degree?
    It depends on what job you're applying for, and what other candidates you're up against, and your portfolio compared to theirs, etc. It also depends on where you apply. I imagine that in India, hirers expect to see a degree that's very much in line with the job (much more so than here in America). Here in America, it's fairly common to major in one thing and then pursue a different career. Also, as I said before, architecture is an excellent background for level design (or environment art).
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 16, 2014


    Now I know why tigers eat, part 2

    > From: Al Capone
    >Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 7:54 AM
    > Subject: Thank you Sensei
    >Sensei i really appreciate you answering my questions. You have been a light in the field of Game Design , guiding the lost souls to their ultimate yet exiting path in the 'game biz'.
    >And yes Sensei my real name is not Al Capone, I only copied his name for making my email id. My real name is Abbas H████ and i have contacted/emailed you before using a different email id.
    >You rock Sensei, I'll send you more questions.
    >And the hardcore gamer thing, its very intelligent to play games for knowing new features, i even look at youtube walkthroughs to know new 'cool' features.
    >Hope to see you one day, even work with you.
    > Bye:-)

    Hi Abbas,
    Yes, sometimes we designers watch YouTube videos and walkthroughs too.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 14, 2014


    What degree, part 2

    > From: Akhil P
    > Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 7:36 AM
    > Subject: Thank you and a few more questions!
    > Thanks for you quick reply, that was fast :) ..
    > And also sorry for the "gaming" part. By the way, i read all the FAQ's you asked me to read and it did help.

    > 1. Regarding the architecture part, even if i graduate with a B.Arch degree, will life be hard to get into the industry?
    > 2. Is the degree going to restrict me only to the level designing area?
    > 3. What other side courses can i make myself open to, in order to end up with a strong resume?
    > 4. Are there any business aspects of the industry that anyone can hope to get into even without a commerce background?
    > I really appreciate your quick replies, and sorry for any inconvenience! Will keep asking more questions if thats any fine :)

    Hi, Akhil. You wrote:

    will life be hard
    Yes.

    hard to get into the industry?
    It will seem that way until after you are in.

    Is the degree going to restrict me only to the level designing area?
    No.

    What other side courses can i make myself open to, in order to end up with a strong resume?
    Read FAQ 3.

    Are there any business aspects of the industry that anyone can hope to get into even without a commerce background?
    I suppose, but the question is much too broad to know how to answer it.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 14, 2014


    Now I know why tigers eat their young. - Al Capone

    > From: Al Capone <gtaalcapone@gmail.
    > Sent: Monday, April 14, 2014 3:22 AM
    > Subject: Game Industry Q A
    > I understand that, in order for you to give me the best game career advice suited to my unique situation, the first time I write you, you need to know that...
    > My approximate age is: 17.56438
    > The level of education I've completed is: O level
    > My occupation (if student, enter 'student') is: student
    > The type of game job I aspire to (if applicable) is: Game Designer
    > The country I live in is: Pakistan
    > My game biz question is:
    > 1) Who writes the main script/plot of the game's story ?
    > 2) How exactly do we catch eye of our 'boss' while we are a QA tester, I mean how the path from QA tester to Game Designer works? (Dont be mean , I'm just curious and need to have an idea of how things work.)
    > 3) Will being a blogger with a nice reputation online concerning 'game biz' help in a path leading to be a game designer , provided that certain conditions are met?
    > 4) In my previous question's first line, should there be a comma between will and being?
    > 5) Sensei , why are you so mean in the instructions which guide us on how to send questions to you? (I guess shortage of time?)
    > 6) Sensei , are all game designers or most of them , hardcore gamers?
    > 7) Why is the internet and people , specially Japanese obsessed with cats?
    > Looking forward to your answers.

    "Al Capone," I must assume that most of your questions are facetious. And I am skeptical that "Al Capone" is really your name. Your questions 1 and 2, at least, though, are deserving of serious answers.
    Either a game designer, a narrative designer, or a professional writer. At Naughty Dog, they have full-time narrative designers, who work together with combat designers to design a game. Not every company does it the same way.
    Read FAQ 85. The FAQ links are above left.
    Nobody can foretell a hypothetical future. Blogging is independent journalism. It's possible to become a game designer from a start as a game journalist (I heard a vague rumor that one guy did it, but I don't know his name), but I don't know what kind of circumstances and flukes of fate would need to come together to make it happen.
    No.
    To show that I'm serious and to discourage bad questions (of which I've gotten plenty).
    All? No. Most? I don't know - probably not. See what Raph Koster said in his book, "A Theory Of Fun." Most of them may do what Raph and I do - play a game for a while (often without finishing it) to learn how it works, then get back to work. Now that I said I don't finish games, I have finished some, and just recently I finished "Gone Home" and "Beyond: Two Souls."
    Because cats are hilarious.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 14, 2014


    Okay, but how - part 2

    > From: Julio D
    > Sent: Friday, April 11, 2014 4:31 PM
    > Subject: Thank You
    > Hello Mr. Sloper my name is Julio Delgado, I emailed you the other day with a question (that you answered!). I just wanted to send another email thanking you for all your topics and articles. I was extremely lost when I finally decided to pursue a career in game design, and after countless hours of research I came across your site. I've read most of the topics and my path is a lot more clear now. At first I thought that going to a game school would ensure a career in game design but now I know that a mainstream college will do as long as I learn some important factors along the way. I plan on either majoring in business management or English while having electives in calculus, writing, sociology, psychology, statistics, and art. Once I get my BA I plan on going for a masters degree at a game school for game design. My hopes are to enter the gaming industry, form bonds and make contacts, work my way up so that some day I'll own my own developing or producing business. So I truly want to thank you Mr. Sloper for taking the time to produce those articles. I know you've helped a lot of others besides myself.
    > -Julio D

    Julio, this achievement's for you:
    (^_^)
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 13, 2014


    What degree, and what can I start doing now?

    > From: Akhil P
    > Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2014 2:33 AM
    > Subject: Future In Gaming Industry
    > Hello there, my name is Akhil, currently a passed out high school student residing in Bangalore, India. Im interested in pursuing a career in the gaming industry. There are not a lot of options here regarding the courses related to the industry, except for a few bachelor courses like Computer Engineering, animation, journalism etc. In addition to this, i really dont have much of knowledge about computers as i myself am an biology student! Interests do change..but im sure that anything related to gaming is surely my type. I myself am an avid gamer.
    > So what are the bachelors degree quite apt in order to pursue the career i want?
    > Also im aiming for the bachelors in architecture course, will it be a barrier or will it really help, regarding the artistic area?
    > How can i start learning now that will help me further and strengthen my portfolio?
    > I want to move and study abroad after my bachelor's degree, work hard and get employed by some of the biggest names like Ubisoft, EA, Rockstar, Activision..etc Please do guide me, i will eagerly be waiting for a reply.
    > Thanks!!

    Namaste, Akhil. You wrote:

    Im [sic] interested in pursuing a career in the gaming industry.
    Please don't use the word "gaming." I know I'm fighting a lost battle here (people in my industry use the word), but the word always sounds like "gambling" to me (since the gambling industry uses the word "gaming" to refer to their industry).

    what are the bachelors degree quite apt in order to pursue the career i want?
    You should study any subject that genuinely interests you. Read FAQs 40 and 34. You can also read FAQ 3, but FAQ 3 is addressed primarily to aspiring game designers. You can link to the FAQs above left.

    im [sic] aiming for the bachelors in architecture course, will it be a barrier or will it really help
    I can't predict what "will" help (I cannot foretell the future), but in general, I think architecture is an awesome course of study, especially for those who might go into level design. Read FAQ 69.

    How can i start learning now that will help me further and strengthen my portfolio?
    Read FAQ 12. FAQ 12 is primarily addressed to aspiring game designers, but I think it'll give you some ideas.

    I want to move and study abroad after my bachelor's degree, work hard and get employed by some of the biggest names like Ubisoft, EA, Rockstar, Activision..etc
    Sure. Everybody wants to get a job with the big boys. But you should not ignore small companies and lesser-knowns. See http://legacy.igda.org/games-game-january-2008 (I haven't yet migrated that article to my site). *

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 13, 2014

    * Now it's FAQ 88 here on Sloperama.


    Okay, but how do you make a complete game?

    From: Julio D
    Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 2:06 PM
    Subject: Lesson #11- Publishing Your Game Idea
    Good afternoon Tom my name is Julio Delgado. This is my first time writing to you and I've read some of your articles posted on sloperama. I'm 19, my highest level of education is two years of college (I'm still enrolled), my current occupation is student as well as retail associate, as for what I plan to study I hope to study a little bit of everything regarding game design at NYU (programming, and animation specifically), and I live in the United States of America, New York specifically. Ok so I plan on getting a masters degree in game design and getting into the gaming industry. I plan on creating some minor indie games for practice, hobby and experience. I have game ideas that I've had since I was in the first grade that I have touched up on over the years and have interest in making these games reality (mind you these games are not indie games but bigger projects to be put on a console.) My question is directed more so to Lesson #11 on sloperama where making the final game and presenting to a producer is the more likely way to get it published: even after landing a job in the gaming industry and working for several years how would you go about making the final game? I might have the skills and knowledge but how would I go about making this entire final game? Thank you for your help and time, I look forward to your reply.
    -Julio D

    Hi, Julio.
    You're talking about the success/rejection matrix in FAQ 11. Being a professional developer and having a complete game gives you maximum chance of success in getting a publishing deal for your game. You didn't ask how to become a professional developer, you asked how to get to the "complete game" part. The thing is, if you become a professional developer, you don't have to ask that. So the answer is, "become a professional developer." Read FAQ 29. After you read that one, I'm always here to answer follow-up questions.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 9, 2014


    Thanks for FAQ 5

    > From: Melvin
    > Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014 1:09 AM
    > Subject: lesson 5
    > Overwhelming but inspiring & enlightening material.
    > Otsukaresama desu.
    > M

    > From: Melvin via PayPal
    > Sent: Thursday, April 3, 2014 12:49 AM
    > Subject: Notification of donation received
    > PayPal
    > You've Got Cash!
    > Hello Thomas Sloper,
    > This email confirms that you have received a donation of $10.01 USD from Melvin
    > Donation Details
    > Total amount: $10.01 USD
    > Currency: U.S. Dollars
    > Reference: GD@Sloperama
    > Confirmation number: ####...
    > Purpose: Sloperama Game Career Answers
    > Contributor: Melvin
    > Sincerely,
    > PayPal

    Melvin!
    Re the first email: dou itashimashite. どういたしまして。
    Re the second: arigatou gozaimasu! ありがとうございます!
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 3, 2014


    What about a 3-year degree, part 3

    > From: Ignis L
    > Sent: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 10:48 AM
    > Subject: RE: Diploma or Degree?
    > Thank you for answering my questions again, I really appreciate it.
    > I've made a decision grid like you suggested and I think I have a better idea on what to do now.
    > Thank you for your help :)
    > P.S I find your FAQ(s) really helpful and informative, I'll be sure to refer to it from time to time to help me along the way

    Cool, Ignis. Glad you're making headway with your decision.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 2, 2014


    What about a 3-year degree, part 2

    > From: Ignis L
    > Sent: Tuesday, April 1, 2014 1:09 AM
    > Subject: RE: Diploma or Degree?
    > Thank you for the quick response and I'd like to apologize if you find my questions confusing.
    > The reason I pick the college is because it is one of the best school for animation courses around and it has a partnership with Ubisoft and occasionally there will be scouts looking for talents in the school.
    > As for a bachelors degree, I'd have to continue my studies overseas if I choose to do so.
    > I'd like to ask your opinion if I should start working for job experience or should I continue my studies for a bachelors degree?
    > Is job experience in the industry a very important factor?
    > Thanks again I really appreciate you taking your time answering my questions.

    Hi, Ignis. You wrote:

    As for a bachelors degree, I'd have to continue my studies overseas if I choose to do so.
    > I'd like to ask your opinion if I should start working for job experience or should I continue my studies for a bachelors degree?
    You mean, after you've finished the 3-year diploma program? What you should do with your life must be YOUR decision, based on all the information you can gather to inform the decision. I recommend you make a decision grid. See FAQ 70. You can find the FAQ link above left.

    Diploma or Degree?
    Based on a cursory Google search, it appears that the diploma shows that you have completed high school, and a degree shows that you have completed a college/university course of study.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    April 1, 2014


    What about a 3-year degree?

    > From: Ignis L
    > Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2014 10:59 PM
    > Subject: Diploma or Degree?
    > I understand that, in order for you to give me the best game career advice suited to my unique situation, the first time I write you, you need to know that...
    > My approximate age is: 18
    > The level of education I've completed is: High school
    > My occupation (if student, enter 'student') is: Student
    > The type of game job I aspire to (if applicable) is: Game designer, Game Artist/Animator
    > The country I live in is: Malaysia
    > My game biz question is:
    > Hello Tom,
    > I'd like to ask a question about FAQ 3, You've written that one is required to get a 4-year degree.
    > I am leaning more towards the art & design part of making a game and I am thinking of taking a course in animation, however the course offered at the college of my choice is a 3-year diploma programme.
    > Will this make a big difference or any difference at all when I'm applying for a job for game companies?
    > And if I have a very good portfolio as a diploma holder, would employers consider me instead of a degree holder with a not so good portfolio?
    > That is all the questions I have for now, Thanks for your time

    Hi, Ignis. You wrote:

    Diploma or Degree?
    I'm not sure if you're making a distinction between two different things, or are lumping the two together for purposes of the overall question.

    You've written that one is required to get a 4-year degree.
    I wrote that a four-year degree is preferred over a three-year or two-year degree. I imagine lots of artists get hired with just a two-year associates degree. The way most people judge worthiness of degrees isn't the year count -- it's the name of the degree. A bachelors degree is better (more impressive) than an associates degree.

    the course offered at the college of my choice is a 3-year diploma programme.
    I would prefer that you get a four-year education, but I don't know anything about the school or the program, and can't make a judgment about it. And I don't know if you are using the word "diploma" in a way that distinguishes it from a "degree."

    if I have a very good portfolio as a diploma holder, would employers consider me instead of a degree holder with a not so good portfolio?
    All else being equal (both of you with a three-year degree), then the candidate with the better portfolio will get the job. If both have equally good portfolios and one has a four-year bachelors degree and the other a three-year bachelors degree, I imagine most hirers won't do math to figure out that one was shorter; then it'll probably come down to personality and other factors.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    March 31, 2014


    Game school

    > From: Digvijay J
    > Sent: Sunday, March 23, 2014 9:11 AM
    > Subject: conusultaion regarding game designing admission
    > Hello sir,
    > I am Digvijay from India. i studied your blog and thinks you will help me out in making a very important decision of my life.
    > I am very interested to enter in the game industry, hence visited a school in India known as DSK Supinfocom. Its the only international school in India for game designing, providing level 7 certificate. i have completed my diploma in computer technology. So should i go for that school as its fees is really high.
    > For the admission i will have to give an online exam, then i will be called for an personal interview and they ask for my portfolio. So what documents should i place to make a strong portfolio and how to prepare for personal interview as it picks only 30 students every year.
    > Can u also tell me that a pass out from this school can have a good career in game industry as game designer or not. I hope you will help me sir and guide me to be a successful game designer for a big gaming company like EA, Capcom, etc. Expecting a quick reply eagerly. Thank you.

    Namaste, Digvijay. You wrote:

    should i go for that school as its fees is really high.
    You should look at a number of schools, and consider cost as one important criterion. You don't have to go to a game school -- a good degree from a reasonably priced school is just as good. Read Frequently Asked Questions ("FAQs") 25, 44, and 77. (Scroll up and find the links to the FAQs, above left -- they're easy to find since they're indicated by a blue and yellow flashing arrow, emblazoned "READ 1ST," like this .)

    what documents should i place to make a strong portfolio
    See FAQ 12. And check the schools' application requirements.

    Can u also tell me that a pass out from this school can have a good career in game industry as game designer or not.
    Read FAQ 3 and FAQ 50. After you read those FAQs, you're welcome to come back and ask me more.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    March 23, 2014


    See you at GDC

    > From: Don X
    > Sent: Saturday, March 8, 2014 5:02 PM
    > Subject: See you at GDC!
    > Hi Tom,
    > I'm coming to GDC on Wednesday, March 19. Could I buy you a drink or dinner on one of the nights?
    > There is much I would like to talk to you about regarding combining theatrical experience and gameplay. I read your FAQ 40 many times over the years and came to the realization that theatricality and affiliation to musical plays were always a part of me, and I would become a happier person if I can channel theatrical experience into another passion that I have, which is making video games. I have been developing a thesis towards this topic for months at this point and I think talking to people with backgrounds like yours will be extremely beneficial.
    > Let me know if you are up for it!
    > Cheers,
    > Tiantong (Don) X

    It would be nice to meet you, Don. My dinner schedule is rather full, but we'll see if I have time for a drink.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    March 10, 2014

    P.S., March 23. Don, it was great to meet you! Best wishes going forward.
    Tom


    Where to get started as a tester?

    > From: Mr. T.
    > Sent: Monday, March 10, 2014 5:20 PM
    > Subject: video game tester
    > Hello,
    > I was just wondering where to go to get started as an entry level video game tester?
    > Kind Regards, Nick

    At game companies, Nick. Have you read FAQ 5? Have you looked at gamedevmap and gameindustrymap? Have you read FAQ 4? FAQ 24? You can link to the FAQs above left.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    March 10, 2014


    Do I maybe will have problems if I have an illegally cloned game on my laptop when I go abroad?

    > From: "bojan89m
    > Sent: Sunday, March 9, 2014 4:11 PM
    > Subject: question
    > Hi,
    > I read your articles about legal stuffs of copyright. I have question about your explanation. I downloaded game named Mario Sobr for PC,clone of Mario.It has freeware license which I accepted.Is that game legal? Do I maybe will have problems if I have that game installed on laptop when I go abroad?

    Hello, bojan.
    My articles are written for the benefit of people who make games (or who want to make games). My articles are not meant for consumers (people who buy games and play games).

    Is that game legal?
    Maybe not.

    Do I maybe will have problems if I have that game installed on laptop when I go abroad?
    Highly doubtful.

    It's not illegal to own a counterfeit Rolex watch (you won't go to jail for owning one). The people who make and sell counterfeit goods are subject to being sued by the genuine makers. If you wear a counterfeit watch while going through Customs, they might confiscate and destroy the watch. Chances are, nobody in Customs will ever look in your laptop and find out that you have a game that was cloned without the trademark owner's permission. If they did somehow see it, the worst they could do is ask you to delete it and empty the trash.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    March 9, 2014


    Two interests, part 2

    > From: Iman S
    > Sent: Friday, February 28, 2014 3:19 AM
    > Subject: Re: Game Industry Q+A
    > Thank you very much for such a swift reply!
    > The term "Scripting", which I used in my previous message, was an error: I meant script writing. I understand that most games have a script; a storyline (or perhaps multiple storylines), not unlike that of a movie or a television series. Lately, I have been getting quite a few ideas regarding some of the games I play, and I have been writing them down. I have formed an entire novel in my head but, unfortunately, can't seem to get myself to get down and write it down properly.
    > Then again, on the other hand, is the field of programming. I have been learning Java, Python and JS, but I've heard that C++ is probably the language I should be looking at.
    > * WAVE 2 *
    > 1. Is script writing really a field I should look into, as opposed to computer programming?
    > 2. How do I get my work (both, in terms of programming and writing) to be noticed in the Game Development World?
    > 3. Which programming language should I focus on? [I know that you have mentioned that asking programming questions might not be answered on this forum, but it's worth a shot anyways.]
    > * BONUS QUESTION *
    > 4. Can I expect to see you on Twitter any time soon again?
    > Thank you, I really appreciate all the help.
    > Iman S

    Hi, Iman.
    Read FAQ 32.
    It's unlikely that you'll get your work noticed -- more likely, you have to shove it down their throats. But your programming can get noticed if you make a game that attracts a lot of attention in a student or indie game competition, or becomes a hit commercially. Your writing can get noticed if you write a comic book or novel or script that becomes a media sensation (even a minor one). But as I said, that's unlikely. The usual thing is to make a portfolio website.
    It depends on what platform you'll make your games for (the language used for mobile games is different from the language used for console and PC games). But when you learn programming, it's really programming that you're learning; languages are not a big deal. Read FAQs 15 and 56.
    I'm not much of a Twitter user.
    In regards to your last question yesterday: collectible card games are also worth playing, but are usually not a quick between-classes thing. But check out Uno, a very quick and fun card game.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 28, 2014


    Two interests

    > From: isyad
    > Sent: Thursday, February 27, 2014 7:07 AM
    > Subject: Game Industry Q+A
    > I understand that, in order for you to give me the best game career advice suited to my unique situation, the first time I write you, you need to know that...
    > My approximate age is: 16
    > The level of education I've completed is: Grade XI
    > My occupation (if student, enter 'student') is: Student
    > The type of game job I aspire to (if applicable) is: Undecided–Unsure between Programming or Scripting
    > The country I live in is: India
    > My game biz question is:
    > Hello Tom,
    > First of all, I would like to thank you for sharing your experiences of the Gaming Industry. I have been following your "Game Biz Advice" for a while now and have found it very helpful. My questions:-
    > 1. I have equal interest in programming and writing; I have taken up both of these subjects in school. Is it possible to land a job which involve both of these aspects in Game Development?
    > 2. Should I look out for any particular internships/jobs to help me out?
    > 3. Does playing a variety of video games help out in this field?
    > 4. Are there any quick activities/puzzles I can carry out in short periods of time (e.g. in between classes or in the car) to keep me sharp and zealous? Are there any in which I can include my budz too?
    > Well, I suppose this was the first "wave" of questions heading your way (from me. I can see you've dealt with more than a few waves before).
    > Thank you, I really appreciate what you've been doing for all us little hatchlings out here.
    > Iman S.

    Namaste, Iman. You wrote:

    Unsure between Programming or Scripting
    > 1. I have equal interest in programming and writing;
    Now I'm not sure what you mean by "Scripting." Scripting is not the same as writing -- it's more like programming. I'm guessing that instead of "Scripting," you meant to say "writing."

    Is it possible to land a job which involve both of these aspects in Game Development?
    Anything is "possible" (as I wrote in FAQ 50), but there is no job function that clearly requires both skills.

    Should I look out for any particular internships/jobs to help me out?
    Programming internships are easier to find than writing internships. You could also look into scripting (which is less difficult than programming but more common than writing).

    Does playing a variety of video games help out in this field?
    Absolutely.

    Are there any quick activities/puzzles I can carry out in short periods of time (e.g. in between classes or in the car) to keep me sharp and zealous? Are there any in which I can include my budz too?
    Definitely. There are games you can play without any electronic device. Google "car games" and "road trip games" and "travel games" for starters. Games keep you sharp, and all games give you a broad repertoire of game knowledge that you can use in game brainstorming sessions. Have fun, and do some thinking about why you had fun.
    [Edit] You could also play "Counterfactuals." Just Google it.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 27, 2014


    Suggestions for programs for beginners

    > From: Cody V
    > Sent: Sunday, February 23, 2014 9:13 PM
    > Subject: Help!
    > If you had any suggestions for level editing programs or software for beginners what would they be.
    > i'm 17 Name is Cody student
    > want to be level editor or environmental artist
    > -Thanks

    Hi, Cody.
    You should read Frequently Asked Question #56. Please scroll up and find the links to the FAQs, above left (they're easy to find since they're indicated by a blue and yellow flashing arrow, emblazoned "READ 1ST," like this ). I last updated the FAQ last summer.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 24, 2014


    Thanks for responding!

    > From: Matthew M
    > Sent: Thursday, February 20, 2014 5:27 PM
    > Subject: Re: Please Help!
    > Thanks for responding! I really needed those answers.

    You're welcome, Matthew. I couldn't find any questions from someone named Matthew (either on this board or on my other board), so I'm guessing (based on your subject line) that you are the mysterious "Twilight Link" who wrote me on Tuesday. Live long and prosper.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 20, 2014


    School interview question

    > From: Twilight Link
    > Sent: Tuesday, February 18, 2014 3:51 PM
    > Subject: Please Help!
    > Hello Sloper, i need your help for my class! I'm 13 in middle school, and plan to study to be a game designer! i need someone to ask questions and i'm running out of options!
    > So here are my questions:
    > 1.What's the best part of being a designer?
    > 2.What sort of high school classes would you recommend?
    > 3.What are the easiest parts of doing this job
    > 4.is this a job where you must be dead serious or can you joke a little?
    > 5.What is the hardest part of designing?
    > If you decide to answer please send to: [DELETED]@gmail.com, please?

    Hello, "Twilight Link." Thanks for numbering your questions for me.
    The best part is that it's a fun job, and you work with interesting people. Read FAQ 37.1. You can click the FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) links above left, indicated by a blue and yellow flashing arrow, emblazoned "READ 1ST," like this .
    I recommend you take classes in theater, science, mythology, literature, martial arts, computing, art, and music. Read FAQ 3.
    Easiest?? Nothing about the job is easy. Nothing about anything is easy. Why are you asking what's easy? Read FAQ 26.
    Absolutely, joking is appropriate sometimes.
    The hardest part is dealing with the fact that the designer rarely gets to work on his own game concepts.
    Some advice: you should not call your elders by their last names. It's okay to call your buddies by their last names, but that level of familiarity is inappropriate with strangers. And it can be counterproductive when seeking a favor.
    It's polite to introduce yourself (by name) when emailing a stranger. I don't need your full name, but first names would put us on a human level.*
    Last piece of advice: you should always capitalize the word "I." Game designers always do (except maybe when texting their budz who they call by last names).
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 18, 2014

    * I don't for a minute believe that there's a Mrs. Link who has ever hollered out the door, "Twilight! Twilight! Time to come in for supper!"


    Small indie companies

    > From: Chris H
    > Sent: Thursday, February 13, 2014 8:52 AM
    > Subject: Game Dev Small Scale
    > Hi Tom, great site and thank you for sharing your experiences with us. A good reality check helps you reaffirm a practical approach to anything that you wish to master one day. Your blog covers a lot of ground for big companies and the big money. The team that brought us Botinicular is what inspired me to enter at a hobby level, is there any chance you could cover the scopes of small teams, can point and click games make a team of ten money realistically? I am friends with a guy who did the sound engineering for The Darkness 2 and he says big companies throw away a lot of money by being fickle with creativity, I imagine small companies have some advantage.
    > Thx again,
    > Chris

    Hi, Chris. You wrote:

    is there any chance you could cover the scopes of small teams,
    You mean, write an article? I don't really have much experience in that world.

    can point and click games make a team of ten money realistically?
    You mean, games like "The Wolf Among Us"? Sure, it's realistically possible. That doesn't mean it's probable.

    a guy who did the sound engineering for The Darkness 2 ... says big companies throw away a lot of money by being fickle with creativity
    Not quite sure what that means. But big companies are rather focused on their franchises and triple-A hit games.

    I imagine small companies have some advantage.
    Advantages and disadvantages. With small size comes nimbleness, but hampered by lack of resources.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 13, 2014


    How to suppress... part 3

    > From: Don X
    > Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 3:20 PM
    > Subject: Re: Student projects are lame
    > Hi Tom,
    > I did a lot of thinking (maybe too much for the fact that I have so much work to do) and made more compromises than I would normally do. I'm not sure if the results will be better, but at least I feel better. It means so much to me that you still remember the first emails I sent you. Maybe I was too focus on the fact that the game I'm working on now is going to GDC, and don't realize it would just be one of many games I make in the future.
    > Anyway, thank you!
    > Don

    Not sure how to respond. Partly because I didn't follow those first two sentences. Keep on doin' and learnin', Don.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 10, 2014


    School project

    > From: Mike B
    > Sent: Monday, February 10, 2014 12:04 AM
    > Subject: Project for my Entrepeneur 120 class, Starting a small business.
    > I did not see these answered in your FAQ's and could not locate an actual forum board to post this on.
    > If you would have time to answer these 14 questions about one of you own small business ventures I would appreciate it.
    > What were your first steps?
    > How did you arrange financing?
    > If you had to do it all over again what would you do differently?
    > How large a part does creativity play in your business?
    > What are you tangible rewards?
    > What are your intangible rewards?
    > What was your best marketing technique?
    > What portion of gross sales do you spend on advertising?
    > Did you hire more employees than originally expected?
    > What makes your business unique?
    > How do you use social media?
    > Did you write a business plan? If not do you wish you did?
    > Are gross profits what you expected them to be?
    > Would you ever do it again?
    > Thank you in advance,
    > Mike B

    Aloha, Mike. You wrote:
    I... could not locate an actual forum board to post this on.
    Well, here you are!
    But I'm sorry, I can't answer any of your questions, since I have not started a business. I work freelance on the side, while my primary job is teaching about games.
    Good luck with your project.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 10, 2014


    How to suppress... never mind!

    > From: Don X
    > Sent: Saturday, February 8, 2014 8:44 PM
    > Subject: Re: Student projects are lame
    > Hi Tom,
    > Please disregard the email I just sent you. I think it's time for me to bush up the rules in professionalism again, sign.
    > Best Regards,
    > Don


    How to suppress my arrogance?

    > From: Don X
    > Sent: Saturday, February 8, 2014 6:25 PM
    > Subject: Student projects are lame
    > Hi Tom,
    > I have some interpersonal relationship questions to ask you. It strikes me as crazy that I never have those kinds of problems in workplace, but when I have student projects, things are just difficult.
    > I think deep down I believe I know better than most of my peers in school about how games should be done. If not for all the countless games I made in the past, at least I worked and am working in a game company. When I have this kind of belief, it's really hard for me to make friends in the major. Because even sometimes I don't imply it, maybe my attitude has already give it away. For me, my attitude implies I know what I'm doing; but for others, it just implies arrogance.
    > I don't really worried about keeping harmony with my peers, or being that different guy to work with in school. However, I'm afraid similar scenario will happen at some point in my professional career. So, just for a future reference, how can I suppress my attitude a little and be ok with following someone's direction when I don't even believe it? Or let me rephrase the question, how can I be a follower when I don't even want to follow?
    > Hope to hear from you soon!
    > Tiantong (Don)

    Hi, Don. You wrote:

    I think deep down I believe I know better than most of my peers in school about how games should be done.
    Yes, and the other students believe the same, about themselves. Students haven't yet learned what professionalism and collaboration really mean. You haven't yet learned what professionalism and collaboration really mean.

    However, I'm afraid similar scenario will happen at some point in my professional career. ... how can I suppress my attitude a little and be ok with following someone's direction when I don't even believe it?
    Something is bound to happen to show you that you are still just a dumb kid who doesn't really know much of anything. When that happens, the arrogance will start to diminish.

    how can I be a follower when I don't even want to follow?
    Starve for a while. When you get hungry again, you'll see the need to stifle your arrogance. Do you remember when you first wrote me? You said you wanted to become the greatest game design star the industry has ever seen. High ambition is probably at the root of arrogance. When you learn how to do everything better than everybody else, then you can be arrogant. When you see that there are people who do some things better than you, and that you need them, you'll see that arrogance is not helpful.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    February 8, 2014


    Thanks

    >www.gamedev.net » Messenger » My Conversations » thanks Tom
    >From: Gard3
    > Member
    > Members
    > Reputation: 112
    > 0 warning points
    >Sent Today, 12:52 PM
    >Great read, thanks for the links.

    You're welcome, blue man. Don't know why you couldn't say that in the forum, since you were replying to a forum discussion. [http://www.gamedev.net/topic/653177-whats-a-good-way-to-approach-game-devs/] Good luck with your project.
    Tom Sloper
    February 8, 2014


    Help with contacting, part 2

    > From: bryan s
    > Sent: Friday, January 31, 2014 5:04 PM
    > Subject: Re: Help with Contacting
    > I would mostly ask them questions about their jobs. Specifically what problems they had faced and how they had overcome them, or if there was something that they had learned when they were younger. I am mostly looking to ask video game programmers for right now.

    O I C. Well, why don't you do what most folks do - go on a forum like gamedev.net (for instance) and ask your questions there.
    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 31, 2014 - 恭賀新禧! Gung hei fa choi! Happy Year of the Horse!


    Help with contacting

    > From: bryan s
    >Sent: Wednesday, January 29, 2014 1:54 PM
    > Subject: Help with Contacting
    > Hi Tom.
    > I am 20 years old, and I am a college student. I plan to get the the job of Computer Programmer.I have read all of your articles when I was younger, and it answered so many questions I had at the time. I know that you said I should go through past FAQs, but I have always wanted to send you an email. My question is; Is there a way of contacting Video Game employees other than through Video Game conferences?
    > I apologize for my grammar. I am working on improving it.
    > From Bryan.

    Hi, Bryan. You wrote:

    Is there a way of contacting Video Game employees other than through Video Game conferences?
    Yes, but why? Why do you want to contact someone who works in the industry?

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 29, 2014


    Will learning another language help, part 2

    > From: Abbas H
    > Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 6:31 PM
    > Subject: Multiple language........
    > Ok ok , i get the point sensei.
    > Does learning a wide range of languages help a game designer improve his portfolio?
    > And does it (knowing multiple languages ) improve chances of an experienced person to get the post of a game designer in a game studio?
    > And is my English poor (very bad) or regular( needs improvement)?
    > And you have a magic 8-ball !!! That's cool.

    Hi, Abbas. You asked:

    Does learning a wide range of languages help a game designer improve his portfolio?
    No.

    does it (knowing multiple languages ) improve chances of an experienced person to get the post of a game designer in a game studio?
    I can imagine situations in which it would not have an impact, and I can imagine situations in which it would help. I cannot imagine situations in which it would hinder one's chances. I have no idea why you're asking this. What actions might you take given one answer, as opposed to different actions you might take given a different answer?

    And is my English poor (very bad)
    No.

    or regular( needs improvement)?
    In your previous email (below) you misspelled "game" in the subject line, and you didn't put an apostrophe in "portfolio's", and you didn't capitalize Russian or Japanese. In today's email, you should have said, "Okay, okay, I get the point, Sensei." Your English is pretty good, with small flaws that many native English speakers also make.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 24, 2014


    Will learning to speak/read/write another language help?

    >From: Abbas H
    >Sent: Thursday, January 23, 2014 5:16 AM
    >Subject: Re: Game Industry Q A Gam designer language
    >Will learning more then one language (not programming) help improve my portfolios chances of acceptance?
    >Example : russian, japanese etc.

    I have two responses to that, Abbas.
    When you use the word "will," you are asking for a definitive view of the future. Nobody can see the future. Nobody can foretell your future for you!
    It depends.
    I asked my magic 8-ball to foretell your future for you, and it responded, "Cannot predict now."
    Think about what it is you're trying to know, and why. What actions might you take given one answer, as opposed to different actions you might take given a different answer? Maybe the thought process and a rephrasing of the question will be very revealing, making it unnecessary to ask me anything after all -- or at least you might have a better question (or a better-worded question) to ask me.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 23, 2014


    Thank you so much

    > From: Facebook
    > To: Tom Sloper
    > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 9:00 PM
    > Subject: New message from Thiago A...
    > Thiago A... 8:30pm Jan 21
    > Thank you so much for the SLOPERAMA
    > Make a great to the game world o/
    > View Conversation on Facebook · Reply to this email to message Thiago A...
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    I want to be a level designer but I'm not a good artist

    > From: Cody V
    > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 5:36 PM
    > Subject: Help
    > I'm 16 years old I have a sophomore education I'm a student I would like to go into the level editor part of video game design but I don' know if I can do it with the skills I have. The question I would like to ask you is that for any portion of level design do you have to be a good artist because that is the only weakness I can see me having because I am more then creative but just not a good artist

    Hello, Cody. You wrote:

    I would like to go into the level editor part of video game design
    That's a confusing statement, Cody. I gather from another part of your email that what you want to do is become a level designer.

    for any portion of level design do you have to be a good artist
    Well, you need to be able to sketch out your plan for the level. It doesn't take great art skills to do that. You just need to be able to use a pencil, and you need to be able to use a mouse. Do you have a PC game that has a level editor built in? If so, just try building some levels.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 2, 2014


    Aspiring QA tester, part 4

    > From: Ricardo C
    > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 10:32 AM
    > Subject: Re: Quality of Work
    > Tom,
    > You just answered my question 4 before. Thanks.
    > So, describing a bug as below is correct and perfect for the Game Tester?
    > "Create a Fighter character. Go to the training hall and visit the spell trainer. Leave the spell trainer's room and jump up onto the wall across from his door. The character can move around along the wall but cannot jump down to resume playing the game."
    > I thought it was part of the Game Tester the test those variables; with other characters, different ways, etc.
    > I mean, it would be over my leader expectations if I describe the bug as below:
    > "Create a Figther character. The same happen with the Wizard. Go to the training hall and visit the spell trainer. Any other door won't make it happen. Leave the spell trainer's room and jum up onto the wall across his door. This is the only wall to show this situation. The character can move around along the wall but cannot jump down to resume playing the game."
    > The last description would be better than the first one? Or both will do the job and has not difference?
    > Obrigado!
    > Best Regards,
    > Ricardo C

    Hi, Ricardo. You wrote:

    So, describing a bug as below is correct and perfect for the Game Tester?
    No, it's not perfect. You're only writing the replication steps, for starters (you are not writing any of the other parts of a bug report). And before "the character can move," I recommend you tell the reader to "observe" that. ("Observe that the character can move around...")

    it would be over my leader expectations if I describe the bug as below: [?]
    No. That would not exceed expectations. Reporting bugs demands specificity and clarity. "Create a Fighter or Wizard (I tested the Chef, the Shopkeeper, and the Jester, and observed that this did not happen with those other characters). Go to the training hall and enter the Spell Trainer door. Turn around and leave the Spell Trainer's room, and go straight across to the opposite wall. Jump up onto the wall by pressing Y while pressing towards the wall, and get your character walking on the wall. Now try to jump back down by pressing X, and observe that the character does not jump down to resume playing the game."

    Ricardo, it is not obvious to me that you have read FAQ 75. If you haven't read that FAQ, please read it. If you have already read it, maybe you should read it again.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 21, 2014


    Aspiring QA tester, part 3

    > From: Ricardo C
    > Sent: Tuesday, January 21, 2014 5:40 AM
    > Subject: Re: Quality of Work
    > Good Morning, Tom. How are you?
    > I found out a book over the internet, "Game Testing All in One by Charles P. Schultz, Robert Bryant and Tim Langdell" quite interesting about Game Testing.
    > However, I still having some doubts about few parts in the book as below (still reading - it has over 500 pages).
    >
    > Question 01:
    > Picture this situation from the book.
    > "[...] in NBA Street Vol. 2, you have the ability to unlock special player jerseys by achieving certain results during a game or a series of games. Imagine having to define or follow a button-by-button series of steps to complete an entire game! So you, the tester, need to know the game well enough to pick the right players for your team and then play the game well enough to reach the goals that unlock each of the jerseys.[...]"
    >
    > My questions are:
    > I will have to find out (as a tester) which are the players are good and which team is the best to unlock the new features?
    > As I am working with the designers and programmers, can't they just tell me which character are good (working together) so I can move on in the game?
    >
    > Question 02:
    > Supposed that I found a bug that it is really hard to make it happen again. I spent over 3 or 4 hour trying to reproduce and nothing. Can't I use screenshots of the game and/or recording videos to show when and how the bug happened? Or course, not a 30 minutes video, but the moment that it happened, about 10 seconds or something.
    >
    > Question 03:
    > How Am I supposed to know what cause the bug in a chained bug? (really don't know if it exists, but let me explain.)
    > Please, note this description from the book, about a NeverWinter Nights report:
    > "Create a Fighter character. Go to the training hall and visit the spell trainer. Leave the spell trainer's room and jump up onto the wall across from his door. The character can move around along the wall but cannot jump down to resume playing the game."
    > By that, I understand that the problem may be in the character OR going through the training hall OR visiting the spell trainer OR leaving the spell trainer's room OR jumping into the wall across from the door? Or everything together, chained, created the bug?
    > If this thought is correct and If I had received something like that, I would try to create, first, another character to check if the problem is with them. After, would try to reach the spell trainer with another path. Then, trying to just directly at the wall (maybe this should be the first step...).
    >
    > Question 04:
    > Is that kind of thought correct or I am going to far from the real world?
    >
    > Thank you one more time for your help.
    > Obrigado!
    > Best Regards,
    > Ricardo C

    Olá, Ricardo.

    Of course the GDD and information about how the game works is shared with the QA team.

    Yes, of course a good bug database includes the ability to attach screenshots and videos. But if a bug is difficult to reproduce, it's difficult to fix. A good bug video shows the conditions and events leading up to the occurrence of the bug.

    If the tester can determine the causality, that's great. But it's the programmer's job to fix the problem, so the programmer might have to be the one to determine causality. It's cheaper and faster for the project if the tester can provide this.

    I don't know what your question #4 is.

    May the tiles be with you.
    Tom Sloper

    Creator of the weekly Mah-Jongg column and the Mah-Jongg FAQs -- donations appreciated.
    Author of "The Red Dragon & The West Wind," the definitive book on Mah-Jongg East & West.
    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 21, 2014


    The Catch-22 of Game Design

    > From: Niko S
    > Sent: Monday, January 20, 2014 8:16 AM
    > Subject: No game studio in area
    > Mr.Tom Sloper , I read your lessons and I am keen to follow them. I have almost all facilities excet that there is no game studio in my area.
    > I wanted to ask you that are there any online game designer partime jobs ??? And if some game studios do give online jobs would they add an inexperienced person (me for example) in their team ?
    > I wanted to do it partime even if it doesn't pay, I only need experience ?
    > After getting online job (if there are any) how would I get a proof of experience on my portfolio, is it a document?
    > And one last thing ,I was wondering that all game studios I have seen (online) give job to an experienced person, so if a newbi doesn't have experience he cant join any studio, and if he cant join a studio where will he get the experience from?
    > And where do newbis get experience?
    > Sorry if I was not detailed and easy to understand.

    Hello, Niko. You wrote:

    there is no game studio in my area.
    Then move. My lessons say that, don't they? Read FAQ 84.

    are there any online game designer partime jobs ???
    No.

    would they add an inexperienced person (me for example) in their team ?
    As designer? No. I thought you said you'd read my articles?

    I wanted to do it partime even if it doesn't pay, I only need experience ?
    That's not a question. It's a wish, with a question mark tacked onto the end.

    how would I get a proof of experience on my portfolio, is it a document?
    You put the experience in your résumé. You put screen shots and documents and review clippings in your portfolio. You provide the phone numbers of past employers as references.

    all game studios I have seen (online) give [GAME DESIGNER] job to an experienced person,
    Yes. My FAQ 14 says "'Game Designer' is not an entry level position. That means that if you do not have any experience working in a game company, you won't be getting hired to fill the title 'Game Designer' right off the bat." I thought you said you'd read it?

    so if a newbi doesn't have experience he cant join any studio
    Like I wrote in FAQ 14 and FAQ 85, you have to start in the industry in some other position, then level up to "game designer." Like QA, for example. But your writing is not good enough to get you hired as a QA tester or a game designer (assuming English is your native language, but perhaps it isn't -- you did not give me any of the "5 tidbits" I need to know in order to give the best advice, as stated above). So you need to find an entry pathway from which you can grow into a design role.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 20, 2014


    Am I ready to be hired as a game designer?

    > From: Abbas H
    > Sent: Saturday, January 18, 2014 3:11 AM
    > Subject: Game Industry Q A
    > I understand that, in order for you to give me the best game career advice suited to my unique situation, the first time I write you, you need to know that...
    > My approximate age is:17.5
    > The level of education I've completed is: olevel
    > My occupation (if student, enter 'student') is: student
    > The type of game job I aspire to (if applicable) is: game designer
    > The country I live in is: pakistan
    > My game biz question is: studio accepting a guy like me
    > Mr.Sloper , by my current level of education and place of living will any game studio accept me as a gane designer , provided that i have a nice portfolio .
    > My current experience is that i have wrote a couple of game plots , a lot of gameplays , ingame cut scenes (they are basically some climax in war games genre) , i have created some small 2d games like Contra . My typing speed is steady (not slow) . And finally i know alot about gaming since i read alot of reviews and blogs and i can write gameplays in full detail .
    > (1)Mr.Sloper do you think i can be accepted by any game studio ?
    > If no ,then please guide me a little as to what should be in my portfolio.
    > (2)Do you think that some of my ideas (if they are credible and brilliant) will be rejected due to my nationality . If yes , then can you give me an advice (except the one saying get a degree) , or should i just stick to lone wolf mode?
    > Your help will be quite a guidance for me , thankyou.

    Hello, Abbas. You wrote:

    by my current level of education and place of living will any game studio accept me as a gane designer , provided that i have a nice portfolio ... do you think i can be accepted by any game studio ?
    No. You are not qualified to be a game designer. Read FAQ 14.

    If no ,then please guide me a little as to what should be in my portfolio.
    You need a degree, or at least you need several years of game industry experience. Read FAQ 3.

    Do you think that some of my ideas (if they are credible and brilliant) will be rejected
    No. Not some of them. All of them. Read FAQ 1.

    due to my nationality .
    No, absolutely not.

    can you give me an advice (except the one saying get a degree)
    Get a job in the game industry.

    or should i just stick to lone wolf mode?
    The lone wolf needs to be, in addition to a game designer, a programming expert and a businessman and an artist and an audio whiz as well. Do you think that's the right path for you?

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 18, 2014


    Update

    > From: Don X
    > Sent: Saturday, January 11, 2014 1:22 PM
    > Subject: I found a coop!
    > Hi Tom,
    > Just to give you an update of what happened since the last time I wrote to you. I found a game developer position with Pennsylvania Game Studio, a newly founded game studio in Philadelphia. I will start part-timing next Friday and go into full time whenever school term ends. You were right about finding a game job around school, it gives me and my boss more flexibility. It's surreal to find a game developer position while It's only my third year into college. Compare with four other teammates, I am definitely least experienced with programming and I will try to use the stress as a motivation to get better.
    > On the other hand, Intel sponsors a horror game I worked on in school last term to showcase in GDC 2014. It was rather a surprise to everyone on the team, because none of us thought the game was that good. With that said we are going to continue making the game with a bigger team( 4 times bigger). I will most likely to take on the art director role, since the game's art concept and large amounts of assets were done by me. I'm not familiar with student game showcase at GDC, what kind of impact it would bring? How many student games showcase at GDC each year?
    > It's going to be a pretty rough term, but I'm grad that I have all those opportunities. Here is a cookie for you: delicious-cookie-450x300.jpg
    > Thanks for all your help!
    > Tiantong (Don)

    Great, Don. Thanks for the update. Oh, and you asked some questions:

    what kind of impact it would bring?
    I can't foretell the future. Some students get job offers or publishing deals. Some don't.

    How many student games showcase at GDC each year?
    I don't know. Expect to be very busy at GDC. And look at all the name badges -- one of them might be me.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 12, 2014


    Aspiring QA tester, part 2

    >From: Ricardo C
    >Sent: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 8:07 AM
    >Subject: Re: Quality of Work
    >Hi, Tom.
    >Thank you for the reply.
    >About: "What are they thinking" question, was a joke. Not so good....
    >I didn`t think about sales at a game publisher. Will study that a little more.
    >I am studying Blender 3D by myself, built a blog with my portfolio and also reading many articles as I can about the game biz, QA and 3D. In 5 years I`d like to be working as a game designer or 3D design.
    >Just though that tester would be a good start because of my resume.
    >Another question: Do you know people that like that picture of QA, or better, like to work like that? What they say about it?
    >Just to say, I don`t care about over time and working late. Was just worried about that kind of place to work.
    >Many thanks.
    >Ricardo C.

    Olá Ricardo, you wrote:

    In 5 years I`d like to be working as a game designer or 3D design.
    >Just though that tester would be a good start because of my resume.
    Your résumé says you are way overqualified for QA. It would be difficult to migrate to design from sales, but working in game sales could enable you to make contacts and relationships with designers and producers over time - and of course you learn the industry from the inside.

    Do you know people that like that picture of QA, or better, like to work like that? What they say about it?
    Of course I know people who enjoy working in QA. I know people who stayed in QA (in lead positions) because the job suits their abilities and way of working.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 8, 2014


    Aspiring QA tester(?!)

    > From: Ricardo C
    > Sent: Wednesday, January 8, 2014 6:27 AM
    > Subject: Quality of Work
    > Hello, Tom. How are you?
    > First, I would like to congrat your for your wonderful website. It is really helping me a lot to understand the Game biz.
    > Furthermore, there we go with my answers.
    > - I am 28 years old;
    > - I have 2 Bachelor degrees - Tourism & Hospitality and Foreign Trade;
    > - I am a Sales Executive in a Foreign Trade Company;
    > - I aspire to work as a QA tester and build up my career into the game Biz. The sky is the limit;
    > - I am from Brazil.
    > After checking a few web sites and forums over the internet, I came to some people saying how horrible being a Game Tester could be and describing stories that could be a horror movie easily. Some of them told that big companies in USA and Canada made them test Video Games for 10, 12 hours with no rest, in a basement room with no windows or sun light. Another Guy that describes his workplace as a room with small windows got the following answer from another user: “Small windows? You lucky bastard”.
    > As an aspirant to get inside this area and after working a lot to build this blog and some kind of portfolio, I am not going to lie to you that this kind of scared me. Even more after they say that companies like Sony and Ubisoft Montreal were doing this sort of thing.
    > In your experience, can you say that this is true?
    > Have you heard any of those stories or even saw something like that? If yes, can you dscribe the situation?
    > What are they thinking when they wrote that?
    > Hope to hear from you,
    > Best Regards,
    > Ricardo Cristofolini

    Olá Ricardo, you wrote:

    I have 2 Bachelor degrees - Tourism & Hospitality and Foreign Trade;
    > - I am a Sales Executive in a Foreign Trade Company;
    > - I aspire to work as a QA tester and build up my career into the game Biz.
    What?! That's crazy! I think it'll be difficult to get hired as a tester with that kind of résumé. They won't even call you in for an interview, most likely. Tell me, what is your five-year goal? (Your one-year goal is to work in QA, but to what kind of job are you hoping to migrate from QA?) Could you achieve your five-year goal by starting in Sales at a game publisher instead?

    can you say that [this picture of QA] is true?
    Sure. Long overtime, windowless room. And low pay, too. See the latest game industry salary survey (link in the Game Biz Links page).

    Have you heard any of those stories or even saw something like that? If yes, can you dscribe the situation?
    At Activision in the late 1990s, QA was located in the basement. No windows. But it was an impressive sight, and the highlight of the tours I gave to visitors. A beehive of activity, colorful screens, sounds, and bustling testers. Yes, when it's getting near to releasing a game, the hours are increased. Testers are required to put in overtime when requested to do so, and not allowed to work any overtime when not authorized to do so.

    What are they thinking when they wrote that?
    I don't know what you're asking me.

    Tom Sloper
    Creator of the game advice FAQs -- donations appreciated.

    Los Angeles, California, USA
    January 8, 2014


      Color key


        Blue = an FAQ, a question that's been asked frequently or is answered with a frequently given answer.
        Purple = an unhappy email from a dissatisfied reader.
        Green = a happy email from a grateful reader.
        Red = a career interview from a student (usually but not always high school).
        Orange = a strange, weird, unusual, or off-topic email.
        Black = none of the above. Regular question or comment.

    CLICK HERE to read older Q&A postings!


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