Much like the deposed governor of my home state of Illinois, I’m thrilled to find new opportunities and share them with you. Unlike Blago, I won’t charge you for them.[Allegedly] This fall, there are opportunities to gain industry experience abound! For recent graduates, the infamous catch-22 always seems to rear its head: “I need experience to work in the game industry, But how do I get experience without working in the industry” I am parroting the advice of others, but it is deceptively simple: Make Something!
The Moral: Some type of activity leads to results. Contests, game jams, and other structured, deadline heavy events are an awesome way to get experience. In my experience, it is tough to find an updated list of contests. The GamaNetwork does a great job of compiling lists with their annual education guide. Here is an updated list for the fall season. If you know of any more, feel free to share them in the comments. Just having ONE of these will help you gain that elusive experience. Some of the deadlines are fast approaching, so get on it! Let me know if you enter any, and good luck!
The Independent Game Festival
The grand daddy of them all: The deadlines for entry are rapidly approaching. You can find more details here.
Level Design: 10 Year Old Boy Environment Challenge
This is a very interesting challenge. The World of Level Design (Great site) is challenging blog goers to create a level (environment only) that would appeal to a 10 year old boy. Creating a level for a game will often be done for a target audience. This is a great way to hone those skills in your favorite engine.
October Ludum Dare Mini Challenge
This is a fun one. Instead of just creating a game, this mini LD challenges you to finish a game and sell it. I love the idea of having to do all of the steps necessary to create a finished product. (Menus, marketing, etc) If you’ve never finished a commercial game (like me) why not start now?!
Activision Independent Game Competition
A Triple-A developer, supporting indies? Whaaaa? The internet seems pretty skeptical of this one, but it is a nice opportunity for an unknown indie. The contest only asks for a video presentation of your concept, but you submit other materials (ie prototype).
IGDA Chicago Game Jam
Why wait for the Global Game Jam? If you’re in the Chicago area, check out the link and join in. Details still forthcoming, but the link below is the best way to get updates. Game Jams are a fun way to finish a game, and meet new people.