>For anyone that has been to conventions or to future ones such as PAX East, Conventionist might be a really handy app to have!
>For anyone on the East coast, especially around Boston, check out the Boston Game Loop
GameLoop is organized by Darius Kazemi (Orbus Gameworks) and Scott Macmillan (Macguffin Games) who are great characters who do a lot for the local scene and are instrumental in the success of the local IGDA chapter, the Boston Post Mortem.
The event this year is the second to be organised and has a much wider reach of people attending from all over the country, but obviously with a more local slant of attendees.
It’s a “unconference” which basically means people talk about what they know to those who are most interested. How it works, people turn up and introduce themselves and what they are interested in at the beginning. With that information, people can suggest topics to talk about that they have knowledge in and that other people are interested in and can contribute towards.
This means that there might be micro niche topics with only 5-8 people being involved, but they will all gain and give so that they all benefit.
The whole point is to have a more intimate setting, people aren’t putting on massive GDC style talks which only hold interest in parts for some people.
There’s also a $20 suggested donation for this event to help the organisers cover the cost of the event which other wise would be out of their own pockets, cover costs of coffee and snacks etc.
Location, the “NERD” centre on the first floor of the Microsoft Office, Kendal Square, MA
Go, enjoy, learn and network!
Edit: to add, this event is on the 15th August, and for industry people only, so no students.
>There can be no under estimating the importance of networking. There are many ways of getting that job from hitting the usual job websites such as Guru, Careerbuilder, Monster etc. there are loads of them around and you probably already know most of them. There are even more specific games websites a plenty.
They all can work, as can recruiters for some people, though some people have a distaste for them, I personally haven’t used on in the past, but I’ve heard some horror stories, but also some good things so it’s a case of checking the small print on that one and using a recommendation.
Which brings me onto the most important aspect of the job hunt, recommendations from friends, colleagues and acquaintances. With such a relatively small industry, knowing people can help with passing on contact info to apply direct or having someone that can pass on your information to who ever needs to see it rather than having to filter through human resources.
Linkedin is a great resource, hook up with as many of your co-workers past and present, hook up with people that you went to school with etc, you don’t know where the contacts might lead and it’s also a good way of keeping in touch with people as they progress along their careers. Other websites are around for this sort of thing, but they tend to be gimmicky or not as valuable as a professional resource. Facebook can also be another valuable resource with keeping in touch with friends, though I tend to look at this as more of a social network than a professional network, it can still be handy asking your friends for leads, and the marketing section to the site is worth a peak as well which has job listings.
Inside the games industry, there’s no better site to be a part of than The Chaos Engine, this site is for industry insiders only and you have to go through a verification process to get in, or be vouched for if you don’t have a current industry email. The wait can be long, but is very much worth it. Resources available are so valuable from finding the skinny on various companies, job postings especially those that might not be widely advertised. Plenty of information is available from art, code and other disciplines within the industry, and even quite a lot of business information if you wanted to become a start up.
The good folks inside also can be a big uplift for your spirits if things go downhill and will help out with contacts which is really helpful, so the more you put into the site the more you probably get from it, but it’s a great place to catch up on the buzz of the industry during your morning cup of tea or coffee.