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Swift, Brathwaite, and more offer key job advice in GDC Vault's newest free video

In a newly-debuted free video from GDC 2012, major developers like Kim Swift, Frank O'Connor, Brenda Brathwaite, and more share their personal stories and insight to help aspiring developers break into the game industry.

May 9, 2012

3 Min Read

[Gamasutra sister site GameCareerGuide and the GDC Vault archive have collaborated to release a new free video from GDC 2012, in which major developers like Kim Swift, Brenda Brathwaite, Frank O'Connor, and more offer their advice on how to break into the game industry.] Every year, the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco offers numerous lectures, panels, and presentations for aspiring developers looking to break into the industry. Now, Gamasutra sister site GameCareerGuide and the GDC Vault video archive have decided to share some of this content with the world with a free video from GDC 2012. The free video panel, dubbed "Breaking Into Game Development: Ask the Pros," features major game developers like 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor (Halo 4), Portal creator Kim Swift (now of Airtight Games), Loot Drop's Brenda Brathwaite, Riot Games' Travis George (League of Legends), Andy Schatz (Monaco), and Microsoft's Chris Charla. Throughout the panel, all of these talented developers share some key advice for starting a career in game creation. The panelists address all sorts of questions for entry-level developers, spanning advice on job interviews, how to network with other developers, and even tips for starting your own game studio. To check out the presentation for yourself, check out the video on GDC Vault. Among the myriad topics covered in the session, Swift shared some tips for securing the perfect job. Breaking into the industry is only the first step, she says -- once you're in, you need to work hard to find a place in your discipline of choice. "It doesn't matter how you get the foot in the door, but once you do, don't squander the opportunity. If you want to be a designer and make levels, then make a level and show it to people," Swift said. Later in the panel, Brathwaite says that if you want to get into game design, aspiring developers need to try making games of their own. Many designers get their start as a quality assurance tester, but she believes there's a better path to becoming a master of the craft. image1.jpg "The only way to learn game design is not beating the hell out of a game in test, the only way to learn game design is to make a lot of bad games yourself," she said. Sharing some advice for job seekers, O'Connor encourages job-seekers to ask questions of their own when interviewing for a new position. When you're the subject of an interview, it's not just about adequately answering the questions you're presented with. If you come up with some of your own, you can show off your assertive side and really make a lasting impression. "We find out more about candidates from the questions they ask than the ones we ask them...You should be trying to win the interview by taking control of it a little bit," O'Connor said. The panel covers a wide swath of other topics for those looking to start their career in the game industry, and for more on this informative session, check out the corresponding post on GameCareerGuide. For more free (and premium) videos from GDC 2012 and other previous events, visit the GDC Vault.

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