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  1. #1
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    Games testing first?

    Hey...

    Feeling a bit disheartened at the moment, I've been looking for work as a concept artist (now that I've graduated) and it seems everywhere want you to have at least two years experience!

    So...now I'm looking for work placements to get the experiance-but I cant find that either. It is very frustrating! I want to get stuck in and learn new things but no one is willing to give me a try first, its a catch 22 situation.

    I've heard from several sources that working for a publishing company as a games tester first is a great way to get your foot in the door-Is this true? I'll give it a go if it is...Did any one else here start out as a tester first?

    I live in London, England...So jobs are more few and far between here. Unfortinately I cannot afford to move abraod just yet due to lack of funds.


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  3. #2
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    Well there are plenty of Games companies in and around London. South London and down towards guildford have a lot of games companies.

    Starting as a tester is a way into games in general. A lot of people start out that way. I have to say though, it's a dull and life sapping job ( We have to playtest games when we're nearing completion when all the art assets are done). Trust me, it's miserable and I only do it for maybe a month every two years...so full time would be a killer im sure, especially for an artist.

    Want my opinion? Well you're gonna get it anyway....get into 3d art, or become a texture artist until you get experience. Get a job doing one of the above and do your concept stuff in your spare time, sooner or later if you're good someone will put some concept work your way. Trying to go into the industry as a concept artist is damn near impossible. There are so many talented concept artists already in the industry and not enough jobs to go round.

    Oh and just keep adding to your portfolio regardless of what job you take...
    daily sketchbook

    You need to do more anatomy...and check your values....wait...did I just say that?
    [lowpolymatt]

  4. #3
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    thanks, thats good advice. I've wanted to do this job since I was seven and I've studied so hard for it, i knew it was gonna be really difficult to get into the industry but not this difficult!

    I have managed to get "wings 3D" (as its a free package and runs well on my mac) and its the first step I've taken into attempting real 3D graphics. I can use photoshop really well but I've never tried texture mapping. I'm not sure where to start-is there a good website where you can download different textures onto your hard drive for free?

    I really am keen to learn Maya, max and Character builder but all the programmes don't run on my computer-they are only for PC, so I can't practice those.

  5. #4
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    hey chermillia,

    game testing is, in my opinion and based on my experience working in games, is usually a good way in if want to be a game designer or programmer. it is a way to show off your observations and ideas about the game itself.

    have you looked at working on a game mod? there are a lot of oportunities on the net to work on projects, with people like yourself looking to break into the industry. 3d modellers for mods often look for concept artists to come up with designs. and since mods follow a scaled-down version of a full-blown game's production cycle, it gives you a good experience to use in getting a job at a company.

    i worked on this kind of thing in high school, it was a ton of fun, seeing my character designs being modelled by a 3d artist and then watching it in the game. i learned lots.

    being a preproduction artist working on a project, it's important to know what's needed of you, for example a design might be animated eventually and not be overly complex because it runs on a console platform. you find out about these kind of things by working on a project from start to finish.

    so i guess that's a long way to suggest you should go for getting hooked up with a mod team. i'm being presumptuous by thinking you haven't looked at this yet. if you have any other questions, or want some help looking for a team, let me know

    - laura

  6. #5
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    Chermilla> There're loads of free textures on the web. Just search for them in Google. If you're using a mac and want to learn 3D, Newtek's Lightwave 3D is a really good option. It's very powerful for its price, and is the 2nd most popular 3D package out of the Big Four (Maya, 3DS Max, Lightwave, Softimage/XSI), and has a great web community if you need to ask for help.
    ...+1 exp

  7. #6
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    First of all, you really need a PC. Very few games are developed for Macs, they're ports from their PC versions.

    Regarding joining a game modding team, I HIGHLY suggest you pick and choose what teams you join VERY carefully.

    Like 9 out of 10 mod groups end up disappating after a couple months due to poor management, members who aren't dedicated, and otherwise simply lack of interest.

    I've been modding for nearly 8 years now and let me tell you, there's nothing nothing more frustrating than getting stuck in a developement team that is doomed to fail because you simply didn't know much about the team.

    A lot of mods get started because one guy knows two other people, and he thinks "hey, this seems like a good idea for a mod!" so he gets his other two friends and they go around spamming and recruiting on message boards and irc channels. 3 weeks later you realize developement has come to a grinding halt and the team leader spends most of his time playing Popular-MMORPG-Number-27 rather than working on the mod.

    Dedication will lead to success, and unfortunately most modders don't have it.

    A few pointers if you end up getting "recruited"
    (1) Number of members means shit. I'm in a team that has more than 30 and it's going amazingly slow.
    (2) Don't be afraid to say no... Seriously. It'll save you from early balding.
    (3) ALWAYS ask how much progress has been made. Divide their answer by half because odds are they're exagerating to make the mod look better than it really is.

    I'd also highly suggest you learn how to model and create suitable textures. One of the unfortunate things about being a conceptual artist for an amateur mod is that half the time, you'll be lucky if the teams modeller puts out a model that even resembles your concept art.

    As far as finding a mod group goes. Pick a game you enjoy, and hit the forums. There are mod teams for pretty much any and every (PC) game with editing capability.

  8. #7
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    uuhhhm..

    what minion says is awfully close to the truth

    it takes hard work to go through any project, and the problems you encounter on a mod won't all disappear in the professional field. your dedication will pay off.

  9. #8
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    wow, so much information to take in!
    It's all so overwelming. It is hard to know where to start when you're a games industry virgin! Thanks for all the solid advice though guys.

    I will take a look at lightwave 3D, I've heard of it but havn't looked into it properly yet.

    At the moment I'm trying to find some good web publishing software to run as I need to sort out an online CV and portfolio, I have these things all prepared but not digitally. I'm sure I'll get a lot further applying for jobs /postitions if I sort this out first. It's holding me back a great deal in my progress.

    I have a website already for something else on a free server but they run lots of banner ads on it, and being a graphic designer I know if I had some decent software I could knock up a much more attractive site than the ones shabby templates offered by free hosts!

    I'm currently waiting for a friend of a friend to get back to me on getting said software...


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