How to Succeed in Video Game Design

The Career Center recently hosted a seminar on Careers in Video Game Development. Our guest speaker from King Crow Studios discussed his job as a game designer, as well as his thoughts on the skills needed to succeed in this field. In case you missed it, here are some of the key takeaways:

a diverse field of careers

Video game design and development is a rapidly growing field, in both the AAA title and Indie development scenes. Creating interactive experiences requires a team including a programmer, an artist, a business manager, and a tester. There are several different subcategories within all of these disciplines.

Programming

 The programming language used by game developers is determined by the engine they are using and the kind of game they want to create.  For example, if a development team wanted to use the Unity Engine, they would have to have a programmer that knows C++, C#, JavaScript/ UnityScript, or Boo. Here are some of the most common video game design engines, along with the programming knowledge required to operate each:

  • Unity Engine: C++, C#, JavaScript, UnityScript, Boo
  • Unreal Engine: Unreal Script
  • Flash and iOS: JavaScript
  • Other: HTML

Art

 Video games are known for their different art styles, especially indie games such as Bendy and the Ink Machine and Cup Head. AAA titles such as Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Uncharted are known for their environments. Art styles in video games are diverse and sometimes specific to franchises. Different kinds of artists and jobs include:

  • Concept Art
  • 3D Modeling
  • 2D Modeling
  • Rigging
  • Branding/Logos
  • Apps

Business

Business is crucial in every industry, and video game design is no different. Video game companies need people who have experience in business, handling sales, marketing, social media, the press, etc. – without them, the company wouldn’t be making much money off of the games. Different business related careers include:

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Public Relations
  • Press Coverage
  • Media Management
  • Communications
  • Client Solutions
  • Social Media Manager

Testing

One of the most crucial parts of the development process is making sure everything works properly. Testing occurs during development to search for bugs in a developmental build of a game. Careers in testing include:

  • Bug Testing
  • Quality Assurance Testing
  • Software Quality Assurance Tester
  • Quality Assurance Trainer

Pros/Cons

If you really love video games and have a good work ethic, video game development might be a good fit for you. However, if you aren’t willing to put in the work and dedication to such a massive project, you may not be successful in this career. The video game design and development industry is also difficult to get into. Video game companies like to see passion and dedication to the field. If you’re an artist or a programmer, they like to see your previous projects and personal works, so you may need to build a portfolio. Overall, the video game industry can be a rewarding and fun experience but requires continuous drive and spirit.

Written by Kelly Brown

 

Tech Talk: Hoonuit

Do you want to learn more about computer applications to help you in your job search? Or have you started a job in which you are expected to use certain computer applications?Then take a look at Hoonuit.

Hoonuit is an online platform that provides “on-demand software training and support tutorials to help businesses and organizations fulfill staff technology training and development goals”.

Getting Started

Patrons of the East Baton Rouge Public Library can access Hoonuit through the library’s Digital Library. The computers inside the East Baton Rouge Parish Library will connect automatically, but if you are at home, you may need to type in your library card number. You will need to Create a New Account if you do not already have an account with RB Digital. The account is free.

Once you enter Hoonuit you will see a welcome page. The screenshot below shows “Pathways” which are like online courses focusing on a particular topic or software suite such as Word 2016 or Office 365.

These courses include modules, each of which includes a series of short training videos that describe a specific aspect or feature of that software.

As you can see, the videos are very brief. They teach by showing actions within the application along with a voice over by an instructor who explains what you can do within that application and how.

Popular topics include:

CAREER SKILLS
Writing a Resume
Accepting a Job
Winning Cover Letters

DESIGN
WordPress 4.9
Adobe Illustrator CS6
Adobe Animate CC

MOBILE DEVICES
iOS (multiple versions)
Chromebook Training
Creating a Basic Budget on a Mobile Device

PROGRAMMING
C++ Primer Training
PHP Basics Training
HTML and CSS Training

SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY
Google Drive
Office 365
macOS

Important – There are many videos on topics and software applications that are not listed under Pathways or Topics – you must search for them. Hoonuit offers over 50,000 videos on an impressive array of applications, including applications that are less well known but can be useful, such as Audacity, Gimp, Moodle, and OpenOffice.

You can access Hoonuit through a web browser on a computer, or on your smartphone or tablet using the RB Digital app. Explore Hoonuit and expand your computer skills today!

Written by Richard Wright

Work@Home 101: How to Find Legitimate Work-From-Home Opportunities

If you’ve missed our seminar “Work @ Home 101”, here are the key takeaways:

No commute, no dress code, no office politics, and more flexibility. That’s what attracts most people to look into working from home. Thanks to technological advances, work-at-home opportunities are more plentiful than ever before. But how to find the best opportunities? How do you beware of scams? And is working from home really as good as it seems?

While the before mentioned advantages are real, there are distinct disadvantages to working from home as well. Do you have the self-discipline not to give in to the distractions of being at home, such as surfing the web, doing housework, reading a book, or talking to friends? Are you okay with no person-to- person interaction all day? Many jobs feature interaction through chat, phone, or video call, but it’s still not the same as being around others in person. There are also no clear limitations between being “at work” and “at home”.

However, if you have determined that working from home suits your lifestyle, the next step is to figure out, which opportunities are the best fit for you.

Independent contractor or employee?

Both kinds of employment are available virtually and both have their pros and cons. Being an employee usually means that you only work for that specific employer, have regular hours, and receive benefits such as paid time off and, ideally, health and retirement benefits. In most cases, the employer will furnish equipment like laptop and/or telephone.

As an independent contractor, you provide services to an organization but are not their employee. As such, you are not eligible for benefits and mostly have to furnish your own equipment. But you can also set your own hours and only work when you want to. This set-up provides ultimate flexibility and you can work for several organizations at the same time. The majority of work at home opportunities will fall into this category!

Where to find legitimate work-at-home jobs?

There is a one-stop-shop for virtual job postings. Your first go-to website should be Rat Race Rebellion. It’s not the most user-friendly site, but in turn it is free. Rat Race Rebellion provides the most comprehensive list of links to legitimate work-at-home opportunities of all kinds: employee and independent contractor, large and small companies, from healthcare to education to call centers, it covers every industry.

Another legitimate website is Flexjobs. Flexjobs’ mission is to provide flexible work opportunities, not just virtual ones. Therefore, a lot of their jobs are actually not work-from-home, so you have to dig through their listings to find the virtual opportunities. You can browse the listings for free, but in order to get company name and contact information you have to join flexjobs, which charges you a monthly fee! Therefore, browse the listings first in order to determine if it is worth for you to join.

Last but not least there are online market places such as Upwork and Workmarket. Upwork is literally an online marketplace where anybody can post projects that they need to hire somebody with a specific expertise for. Project posters are often individuals, small companies, or start-ups. On the flip side, contractors can sign up and advertise their services. Projects cover a wide range of fields: creative, legal, translations, software and web design, proofreading, accounting, etc. You can browse the jobs without registration. But in order to bid on/apply for the projects, you need to register and create a profile. Unless you have a rare expertise or skill, it takes some time before you can make decent money on Upwork. You need to build a good reputation project by project. Once your reputation is established, you can demand more money. It is pure supply and demand. Upwork can be great for people wanting to break into a new field or who want to build a portfolio of projects. It is also a good resume filler for people who are unemployed and want to avoid long gaps in their work history.

Workmarket is also an online marketplace, but the projects posted are usually by larger employers. You can’t just browse jobs on the site —  you have to register before you can proceed. Since the jobs are by larger employers who have an urgent short-term need, the pay is usually good. Both Upwork and Workmarket only provide contract work, not employment.

If you want to move ahead with getting an online job but don’t know how to proceed, the Career Center can help. Give us a call at 225-231-3733 and we will help you discover options and tackle applications.

Written by Anne Nowak

New Career Center Books

Job interviews: they’re stressful, uncomfortable, and absolutely crucial to your job search success. Thankfully, the Career Center can help you prepare – both through our interview-related blogposts, and through our newest books on the job interview.

Job Interview A-Z Guides

Get That Job! The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview
by Thea Kelly
This short book can probably be read in a single day, and covers everything from choosing the right outfit to gracefully accepting the job offer.

The Essential Job Interview Handbook
by Jean Baur
An in-depth guide to different kinds of interviews (including phone screenings, recruiter interviews, HR screenings, and behavioral interviews) and how to handle each type.

60 Seconds and You’re Hired!
by Robin Ryan
A career counselor and HR expert, drawing on a lifetime of experience, discusses the best ways to take charge of the interview process, including making a great first impression and selling your skills in quick memorable responses.

Step-by-Step Interview Success
by JIST Publishing
Since nonverbal communication counts for so much in the job interview, sometimes a book is not enough to prepare you. If you prefer the visual approach, check out this DVD for a strong introductory guide to the job interview.

The Ex-Offender’s Job Interview Guide
by Ronald Krannich
This guide focuses on the unique interview challenges faced by ex-offenders, including what red flags may worry employers, how to talk about a criminal record, overcoming problematic body language, and showcasing skills learned in prison.

interview questions and answers

Powerful Phrases for Successful Interviews
by Tony Beshara
If you have trouble finding the right words to describe your skills and experience, this guide aims to help, with templates and scripts for handling a variety of job search situations.

101 Job Interview Questions You’ll Never Fear Again
by James Reed
This book is a great resource for helping you answer the trickiest interview questions, with example answers and detailed explanations.

Winning Answers to Common Interview Questions
by JIST Publishing
This DVD provides detailed strategies for answering the most common interview questions, in an efficient and engaging format.

101 Smart Questions to Ask on Your Interview
by Ronald W. Fry
A good interview is about more than your answers – it’s also about your questions. This guide discusses the questions you should ask, during your research, during the interview, and during the negotiation process, to make sure that you’re choosing a job which is a great fit for you.

If any of these books catch your eye, you may place a hold on them through the East Baton Rouge Parish Library website.

Written by Lynnette Lee

The Seven Deadly Sins of Job Searching, Part 3

This is the third post in a series of posts about the most common and damaging mistakes jobseekers make. Read the full series here.

3rd deadly sin: Resume Blunders

Regardless of what job you are looking for, you now need a resume. No big deal you think, there are plenty of templates available on the internet and if those don’t work out I’ll hire a resume writer. Let’s see what could go wrong:

1st blunderone resume fits all. No, it usually doesn’t. Ideally you want to adjust your resume to each job you are applying for. Most times, it just needs little tweaks and not major rewrites.  If you are applying through an Applicant Tracking System (ATS), each resume needs to contain as many of the keywords in the job description as possible to make it through the ATS. Those keywords will differ from job to job.

2nd blunder – an unfocused resume. You have done a lot of good work in your life and you want every potential employer to see all you can do. That’s understandable, but you don’t want to drown the reader in irrelevant information. Be strategic about what you include in your resume. You want to stress those parts of your experience that are most relevant to the job you are applying for and minimize the experience that is not relevant. You also don’t want to go back too far in time. Normally going back about 15 years is customary. Resume space is at a premium; use it wisely. The reader will only spend a few seconds skimming it. Those few seconds need to be enough to convey that you have what they are looking for.

3rd blunder – no accomplishments. Everybody has accomplishments! Many job searchers don’t recognize their accomplishments and see it as “well, that’s just part of my job”. Don’t sell yourself short! Talk to colleagues and friends (or resume writers and career coaches) and let them help you identify what you do well. Then include those accomplishments in your resume.

4th blunder – not proofreading your resume. You have created a top notch resume, focused and filled with relevant accomplishments and keywords. You have read it a thousand times, so it must be okay, right? Too often it’s not. After working on a document for a while, you are not able to recognize the little typos and mistakes. Give your resume to a friend to proofread!!! Grammatical mistakes and typos will usually get you screened out right away. Recruiters will interpret it as carelessness.

5th blunder – not vetting a professional resume writer. Resume writing is hard, so you decide to hire a professional resume writer. There are a lot of excellent resume writers out there. There are even more poor ones! We have seen our share of poorly written resumes that job seekers have paid good money for! Anybody can call themselves a resume writer, so do your research. As with most things, word of mouth is best. Ask friends if they have been successful with a resume written by a specific resume writer. Also, check the resume-writer’s credentials. There are a number of certifications that resume writers can attain. Some of the best are:

  • MRW – Master Resume Writer: only very experienced resume writers get this credential.
  • ACRW – Academy Certified Resume Writer: this credential is given after a comprehensive certification class, exam and document submission for review.
  • CPRW – Certified Professional Resume Writer: resume writers have to pass a test and submit a resume for review.

Resume writing includes substantial communication between the writer and the job seeker. If your resume writer does not ask you many questions, or only asks you to complete a standard written form and then doesn’t talk to you again, beware.

You can learn more details about resumes in our previous blog posts on the topic. If you need assistance in creating a resume, call the Career Center at 225-231-3733, and we can help (we actually have two Certified Professional Resume Writers on staff). More information on resumes and a number of templates can be found here.

Stay tuned for the next deadly sin of job search.

Written by Anne Nowak