A new hopeAnonymous
I’m a long time reader of the tales on this site, and sadly I find most of them negative. While I understand a lot of people suffer a lot of pain trying to get into the games industry, I thought it might be nice to add my tales to the pile and see if we can increase the number of happy endings to some of the gut churning misery that often sprawls across these pages.
I’ve wanted to work in the games industry since I was a kid in the 90’s, shortly after I knew I was unlikely to be an astronaut. Back in 2004 I managed to get a 3 month contract with a very big Publisher in the UK. The hours weren’t too long but the normal memes applied - I stuck in a building far away from the developers, not appreciated that much, playing games to test them isn’t as much fun as playing them for fun and most importantly, I was stuck on LAME game titles (Testing Halo is one thing, Dora the Explorer games on old Nokia phones another) and so forth.
That said, I still loved it. I got free curry when I worked the night shift, I like my co workers and the crunch never really happened to me luckily. I was very sad when my contract ended, and sadder still when I was called back for another 3 month run AFTER I had started my history degree, but I thought it was the best option to finish the degree.
Fast forward to after my graduation and I’m working retail for a portion of a pittance as guess what, nobody was hiring art grads in 2008. I think back, and I gamble my money on paying for a Games Design Degree which I do well at. A few years of standard web design jobs and I manage to somehow snag an interview with THE SAME games company via linkedin (seriously, GET A PROFILE ON LINKEDIN) for a permanent SQE (Software engineer who writes automated tests for QA) role, and I aced it. I didn’t even have to take a pay cut. I’ve just finished my first week back, and from what I can see QA is respected far more now and embedded in the same office as the development team which gives me great hope for the future.
I guess I better get to a point, and the point is this. Don’t give up hope. Yes, QA is hard, yes getting into the games industry is hard. I could get fired easily if the project goes wrong, but at the moment things are going well and my boss is already very pleased with my work. The recession can’t last forever and not everyone at a large publisher is a blood sucking monster who hates games, some just want to work hard and make great ones. Just as every story doesn’t have a fairytale ending, not every story has a monstrous one.
Don’t give up hope.