I friend asked me a question and my brain just froze, because I have no idea what the right answer is. (That never happens to me!)
- Now what GRIN has shut down, where does GRIN's money from sold Bionic Commando, Wanted and Terminator: Salvation go?
I have no idea! Now, the foot soldiers at GRIN never got to know much about the bussiness aspects of GRIN, but I assume that GRIN got some royalties from each sold copy of their games. But now when GRIN is gone, where does that money go? I suppose that the most likely answer is that the publishers just keep it for themself.
Does anyone know how things like these work?
When you're trying to get a job within the game industry, there are two things you need to do.
- Be able to present yourself in an attractive manner.
- Be ready to do a work assignment.
Today, I'll the discuss the first thing.
Presenting yourself is preferably done with a kick-ass portfolio. Depending on your profession this will manifest itself in various ways. Are you a designer, programmer, 3d artist, animator or perhaps a level designer?
Let's assume you're new and you want your very first job as a game developer, then you'll have a real hard time becoming a game designer.
It's very hard to build a portfolio on your own as a game designer. You can write as many game ideas and game design documents you want, but chances are slim that any recruiter will actually read them. The best thing you can have are actual games made and those usually require more than designers to make, right?
What are you gonna do, put a lot of .pdf's on a site? Good luck. Have fun.
Personally, I think that all the game development programmes at Universities are great for this. That's the "path" I took and it helped me greatly, as I had a couple of projects in my portfolio before my first job. Sure, none of them were a success, but it's still better than nothing.
Take note however, that my first job was not as game designer, it was as a level designer. I'll get back to that soon.
Artists can "easily" create a fat portfolio by himself, assuming he's actually good enough. Same goes for animators. Both have their pretty galleries and show reels to show off, having a very tangible way of showing their skill.
Here's an example of a show reel by an animator friend of mine, currently working at Epic Poland / People Can Fly; Markus "Metal" Hammarstedt:
Programmers are tricky, because it really depends on what kind of stuff they code. But they still often create something... Concrete. So if luck is with them, they can share their creations in one way or another. Demoing physics on YouTube or having entire applications/games on a site.
Lastly, Level Designers are kind of like artists but still... Not.
A level designer can in most cases work independently and create level after level, hosting them all on a website, take some pretty screenshots and let it speak for itself.
Here's an example of an amazing level designer I had the pleasure to work with at GRIN, who's done just that; David "CozyDave" Lundvall:
You can also record some videos. Like I did with my bachelor degree project DM-Theatre:
The problem is; screenshots and videos don't actually relay the actual play experience. You can't tell how fun the level is, just how pretty and a rough estimation on its flow.
If you got ze über-skills a lot of people will play your levels online and you'll build up a reputation and if you're mega lucky, the guys employing will have heard of it. But... That's not likely. And no, that sure as hell didn't happen to me.
But it's still useful to have that portfolio with levels, just to show people that you know how to handle the tools, editors and have an understanding of art in level design.
The funny thing is, I didn't have a portfolio site or any levels created available to the public when I got my job at GRIN. Oh no, what I used was luck.
In two days I'll publish my actual work test I got from GRIN and what I did to land a job as a level designer at what was at the time; one of the most awesome developers in the world.
PS. Sorry all you audio guys, producers and all other professions that I left out. Still love you!
Getting less than great reviews, the Terminator Salvation video game doesn't seem to be a favorite amongst the reviewers out there.
Reviewers tend to write subjectively about their experience with the game, as should they. I decided to write an analysis of the game, looking at different aspects of the game and comparing them to basic game design and simple cognitive psychology. It discusses both bad and good things alike, even though it might be leaning more towards one of them.
Since it's pretty big with around 4500 words, I've decided not to copy-paste it into the blog as I doubt you'd have the patience to read it. Therefore I offer you three ways to do it:
- PDF-download: http://arcadeberg.com/files/arcade_berg-terminator_salvation_gd_analysis.pdf (29/6/09)
- Issuu-link: http://issuu.com/Kizo/docs/arcade_berg-terminator_salvation_gd_analysis (29/6/09)
- Read it here, embedded from Issuu!
And please, leave a comment letting me know what you think. I'd greatly appreciate it.
It's been out for a little while in the US but finally, yesterday Terminator Salvation hit the stores here in Sweden/Europe as well!
It's as many of you know the game I've been working on the majority of my time at GRIN.
Finish the game and you'll see my name in the Level Design-section of the Credits. Or if you don't want to bother finishing it, just use the credits function in the options menu. Anyhow, I'm in there!
Thanks to this release, I can finally republish some of my older posts that were removed way back.
Finally, a released game on the resumé!
Bionic Commando demo available tomorrow via Xbox Live.
It’s a FREE Xbox Live Gold weekend too, so be sure to play the game – all the time!
Having downloaded the multiplayer demo recruits will be put through their paces by competing in Deathmatch battles on “Vertigo”, one of the game’s 16 multiplayer maps. This intensive training will provide invaluable experience before they take on the full mission with the release of Bionic Commando on Xbox 360 & PlayStation 3 across PAL territories on May 22nd .
Why am I telling you this? Because it's made by GRIN of course.
Kudos to my lead at GRIN!
Today we got a delivery to the office I work at in Gothenburg from a local bakery. It was a cake sent by my lead to me and two other guys. He's currently on vacation in Thailand or something, so it was really a huge surprise and a nice one at that!
Yesterday I got a christmas gift from Bobby (http://www.bobby.se/, 18/12-08), the company GRIN has had help from for some storyboarding. Terrific guys, really! Friendly, funny and humble! Oh, and skilled, if that matters?
More on that in a bit.
When you're into gaming, which you most likely are since you're reading this you often like gaming apparel. Clothes picturing your favorite game, symbols representing your interrest. I myself buy gaming stuff. I have an Umbrella Corp. keychain, Mario bed sheet, the Big Daddy figurine from Bioshock, GTA cloth poster and so on and so on.
So when I started at GRIN I immediately hoped I'd get a nice GRIN or Bionic Commando T-shirt. I didn't... Still haven't. I'm still down about that... BUT I got a pair of GRIN socks! My favorite socks, of course!
Getting gaming stuff for free is heaven! I haven't gotten much yet (I'm in no way complaining), but everytime feels like christmas! Continueing the clothes-category, I got a sweet GRIN-hat a few weeks ago. I wear it everyday. It keeps my ears warm but it ruins my hairstyle...
A few months ago I got a GRIN Qpad Mousemat too. I'm getting it signed by the people at the office and giving it to a friend. I gain +1 in coolness by doing that.
Those are the stuff I've got so far and they are all greatly appriciated!
But back to the gift from Bobby. This one is by far the best one, because it's somewhat special. Only a handful of people at GRIN got one as thanks for the help earlier in the project and that's really neat to be remembered and thanked. It's not "just" another "give one to each and everyone"-gift.
The gift was great as well, a Limited Edition by Bobby Sleepies. High quality boxers with a nice "Limited Editioj by Bobby"-tag on. Even the box was fancy.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm very happy with all this. But I can't help but to get very, very, very jelous of David Jaffe, the creator of God of War among other good games. He gets free stuff, oh my god!
Jump 4min and 45sec into this clip:
Or check it out at his blog http://davidjaffe.biz/ (18/12-08) in the "ONY PSN COMMERCIAL IS GOOD & DANGEROUS + BOX O GAMES!" post from December 17th.
I do not pity that guy...
I'm pretty damn sure that getting cool stuff for free will never get boring!