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Get in the Game Careers Talk

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Aardvark Swift

on 10 October 2016

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Transcript of Get in the Game Careers Talk

Selection of our clients…
Where is the demand for staff?
The UK games industry employs over 10000 highly skilled development staff

1902 Games Businesses with over 1000 targeting mobile platforms

22% increase in studios opened in the last 12 months

Tax breaks and seed funding helping access to finance

80+ per cent of staff are employed outside of London

12 Games Hubs in the UK
Brighton, Cambridge, Cardiff, Dundee, Edinburgh, Guildford / Surrey, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Oxford, Sheffield / Rotherham, Warwick / Stratford-upon-Avon.

Hubs supported by top universities in the area creating steady flow of talent

UK Games Industry overview
sources : UKIE / Tiga / Develop 100 / Nesta
Mixture of large and smaller development studios canvassed

EA, Codemasters, Ubisoft, Headstrong, Boss Alien, Edgecase games, DICE, SCEE, Coatsink, Playground Games, Jagex, Dambusters, Radiant Worlds, Exient, Traveller’s Tales, Gameloft, Oculus, Pixelblast, Studio Gobo, nDreams, Microsoft and Unity many more.

Graduate Recruitment Survey
What are the main skills / requirements the industry looks for in graduate programmers?
Developer Survey

2016 / 2017

Communication Skills
C# & Unity
Problem Solving (Complex Problems - step by step methodology)
Unreal 4 (C++ and Blueprint)
Cross Platform Demo’s (released)
Graphics / Rendering (latest tech)
Physics (implementation and tech demos)
UX / UI Design
Optimised Code
Hardware / Low Level Knowledge
Tools (Python, C# and Maxxscript)
Front end knowledge - HTML 5 / Javascript
Object Orientated Programming

Other Desirable Skills
Poor grasp of C++
Math's (Algebra, Trig, Calculus, Algorithms, Vectors / Matrices etc.)
Weakness on Object Oriented Methods
Poor Problem Solving
Poor Communication / Team Work
Poor Optimization skills
Deep Understanding of projects - Specialization (try to be T shaped - go wide but also deep in at least one area)

Where do programming graduates fail?
Games Studio Graduate Hires in 2016 compared to 2015
What does it take to succeed?
CV Structure
Key Features:
Completed Game (or at least completed task)
Cross Platform (show you are versatile)
Easy access (online portfolio link on CV)
www.wordpress.com or www.weebly.com or www.wix.com
Well structured / Well Documented Code
De Bugging / Attention to detail
Runs out of the box – no compiling!
Make sure it is your best / most up to date work! (be wary of blogs as portfolio sites)

What do Studios want to see in a Code demo and portfolio?

What do studios want to see in a showreel?
How to Maximise Your Chances?
Increase Your Employability!
Contact: mark@aswift.com
01709 834 777

Thank you!
What do studios look for in Animators?
Hosting site- (animators –show reels). Vimeo more professional than YouTube and you can put passwords on for NDA work.

Start Strong - Open with your best work to captivate the Audience (Don't forget a title sequence)

Keep it Short - No longer than 3 minutes / No shorter than 30seconds (make sure its focussed and if needs be separate reels)

Good Pacing - Keep it interesting

Captions Where needed - Inform the viewer

Add Sound - Sets pace and enhances style - be wary of copyrights www.jamendo.com

Use Sound effects - improve atmosphere of the reel / demonstrate technical skills like lip syncing - www.soungle.com or www.freesound.org

Link your clips - make transitions smooth and make the reel flow

Go Out with a Bang - as with the start finish with strong work, leave the viewer wanting more

Refresh your reel every 6 months - keep it fresh
Highly skilled in Art Packages - Maya , Max, illustrator or Photoshop

Mobile Studios - looking for versatility (small teams)

AAA - Specialised - 2D Artist , 3D Artist, or Animator

Futher Specialised
2D - UI, Concept, Illustrator

3D - Environment (also including Asset / Prop, Organic Modelling, Vehicle), Character, VFX (Experience & technical knowledge of working with particles and materials in a real-time game environment. Clearly exampled in portfolio

Technical Artists - Material or shader authoring experience (E.g. Unreal Material editor or HLSL)
Understanding and experience of graphics content optimization.
Knowledge of Maya.
Knowledge of Scripting in Python + Mel or Maxscript

What do studios look for in a Artist's Portfolio
Set up profile like you would a CV

Link to portfolio

Build connections at studios of interest

Join revelant groups

Comment and show interest (newsfeeds)

Ask for feedback

Get noticed
Get Involved in Competitions & Gamejams

More Jobs for YOU!
Portfolio Page Format :
Overview - What was your role / tech skills
Images - Screenshots of key features
Video - Run through of Demo - short & sweet
Source Code or Link to store
Get in the Game Agenda
Who are Aardvark Swift?

Facts and Figures – Recruitment Survey

What does it take to succeed?

Maximise your chances

Increase employability

Q+A after all speakers
1 = C++

2 = Maths

3 = Portfolio

(quality over quantity / published)
Two pages max
Portfolio Examples:
3 stage competition
Round 1 - C++ Test designed by studios,
distributed on the HackerRank platform

Round 2 - Game Dev Project powered by Unity

Round 3 - Final Interview Day - Hosted by Microsoft UK
Other Competitions:
Sign up to Search for a Star today
Today's Speakers

Aardvark Swift - Get in the Game

Graduate Desk at Aardvark Swift
Mark Hope
Graduate Talent Manager
4 1/2 years @ Aardvark
Previous experience as a Teacher
Favourite Game -
Halo 2

Ben Milnes
Grads in Games Consultant
1/2 year @ Aardvark
Leeds Beckett
Favourite Game - Company of Heroes

2 full time consultants dedicated to getting Grads into Games
1 full time consultant dedicated to getting Grads in Tech
70 Graduates placed into Game Studios in last 12 months
International Competition to find the best programming talent
Competitions moving into art desk with Autodesk sponsoring
75 University visits in 7 weeks
Best Education Initiative @TIGA Games Industry Awards - finalist
Supported by leading studios and tech companies
Portfolio Link
- Do not hide in contacts
Introduction / Profile
- Cover letter in a paragraph
Skill Section
- Table format - make it visual
- Show key modules & results
- Sell Games experience
Hobbies and interests
- Games + Other Interests
Social Media
What do studios look for in a Junior Artist

Teamwork is essential - Work with Designers / Seniors and other cross discipline teams is essential

Willing to learn - take direction and feedback well

Match style of studio or have a good range of styles in portfolio

Accessible Work - Online Portfolio is essential for Artists. Showreel for animators.

Key info for Junior Artist / Animators
Aim to be the Best and Stand out from the Crowd!
Be inspired by Art!
Example Portfolios
Environment/Asset Artist portfolios
http://www.mathiswidrat.com/ - 2014 grad
http://www.andybaigent3d.com/ - 2 years in games
http://scotthomer.co.uk/ - 3 years in games

Technical Artist
http://www.mattiasvancamp.com/ <- 2 years in games
UI artist
http://www.ellelydia.co.uk/  this year grad
Concept artist
http://jackeaves.co.uk  2014 grad
http://www.darekzabrocki.com/  6 Years in industry
http://www.lastsiren.com/  4 years in industry
Increase Your Employability!
Benefits of Games Internships

Rising Star competition
More employable upon graduation
Work on released titles
Gain professional skills - including great work ethic
In the most cases more successful in final year of degree
Chance of an offer at the end of the internship
How to get an internship?
APPLY with portfolio and CV!
Sometimes its not only what you know it's who you know!

Use your network and improve it by attending events and socia media
Ivan Nixon
Grads in Tech Consultant
1 year @ Aardvark
Previous exp as a Tech Recruiter
Favourite Game -
Ori and the Blind Forest

Get Involved in Competitions & Gamejams

3 Stage Competition

Environment / Character / Animation / VFX

Round 1 - Submit portfolio piece for relevant competition

Round 2 - Art Test - Game ready assets created using Autodesk products displayed in Unreal Game Engine

Final Interview Day - Hosted by Microsoft UK
Don't Forget!
First impressions



Art Quality

Game Ready

Make it Memorable

Create Portfolios using: Artstation / Wordpress / Wix

Forums - Great resources to talk to and learn from your peers

Polycount, - all artist
Cgsociety, - all artist
Conceptart.org – 2D artist

Be Inspired by Art!
Excellent knowledge of 3D animation packages, with Maya experience preferred
Amazing Portfolio

Game Animators
Key Frame Animation
Focus on in game animation - Special moves / walk cycles
Pay attention to in game limitations
Display work using game engine - Unreal 4

Cinematic Animators
Camera angles (swooping cameras)
Conversational / Story focussed

Technical Animators
Knowledge of animation game pipeline.
Excellence at Rigging and Skinning models
Ability to use Melscript / Python scripting
Knowledge of Motion Builder
Physics simulation is highly desired.

Studio Partners:
Studios that have hired entrants:
Rockstar North, Microsoft Rare, Sony London, Boss Alien, Frontier Developments, Playground Games, Coatsink, Edgecase Games, Codemasters, Exient, Travellers Tales Games, TT Fusion, Stainless Games, Headstrong Games, Creative Assembly, Electronic Arts, Big Bit, Team 17, Sumo Digital, Sony Evolution.
Competition Partners
Phil Rowe - Senior Animator - Sony North West
Please make sure you sign in on one of the tablets for the chance to win today's prize goody bag!

What You Will Receive:
Follow up email with Slides
Info about Events and Competitions /
Personal CV & Portfolio Advice
Tour Partner info
Job Opportunities

You Won't receive:

Sign In Now! For a chance to Win!
Get your phones out!



/Aardvark Swift Recruitment


Who are Aardvark Swift?
Other Competitions
Full transcript