Bork Bork!
 FAQ  •  Search  •  Memberlist  •  Usergroups   •  Register  •  Profile  •  Log in to check your private messages  •  Log in
 How do you make an application stand out? View next topic
View previous topic
Post new topicReply to topic
Author Message
Uty
Tang Soo Techie


Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 9583
Location: On a never ending quest to save my girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 9:36 am Reply with quoteBack to top

So as it stands Matt is living in DC where he persues advanced education in Psychology. I'm moving down there in June so we can be together. There's also the fact that we always have a great time when I spend a weekend down there ... so much to do and see ... I really like the area.

And then it dawned on me.

Holy shit, Bethesda Softworks (The Elder Scrolls, Star Trek, Call of the Cthulu, Fallout 3) is just outside of DC. In fact their office is 3 miles from one of the metro stops. Out of all the places to work in DC, this clearly stands out as my #1 choice.

Now here's the downfall with cool game companies: they get a shitload of resume's. A shitload. Most of them are likely from unqualified fanboys but I'm sure there are a few hundred serious contenders as well. The important question then becomes ... how do I make myself stand out among this sea of applications?

They only accept email submissions. Obviously I'll send a cover letter along with my resume'. I was thinking of adding a "supplimentary materials" section to the resume' which will link to some website with code that I've written. It will all be in XNA, as they consider XBox devel experience to be a notable plus.

Two queries for da tech house:

- Do you have any ideas for nifty code demos? I was thinking of something that demonstrates elementary physics in action. Or perhaps an implementation of some sort of simple turn based RPG system. Who knows really. Ideas? Ideal devel time for such a project would be three months in my free time.

- Do you have any suggestions for how I can make myself stand out? This is especially important because the good game companies get a shitload of applications every day.

I really want to land this job.

_________________
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM Address
The Yellow Dart
Lifeless Reject


Joined: 09 May 2003
Posts: 3734

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:05 am Reply with quoteBack to top

I haven't been involved in hiring, so I don't know too much, but a few things jump into my mind.

- Check Bethesda's website and see what they are looking for (you may have done this already).

- See if you can get a hold of someone from Bethesda to explain their hiring practices (i.e. are they on a rolling schedule, do they file resumes for a certain amount of time, etc.). This could be hard to get, but if you can wrangle someone by just asking general info, you can get a better handle of how they operate.

- See if the company gives tours of any kind or allows job shadowing. It's a way for you to get face time; which helps the most for hiring. Also, you'll get a chance to sample the "job space" and see if it's what you'd like.

If you can discuss the parallels of the medical imaging work you're doing now and the gaming industry, that can help a lot. Maybe GUIs for one? I don't know.

(I remember this from my dad having to hire some people) Make sure you have a solid, clear, succinct Objective on the resume. If they get boatloads of apps, they are only going to read further if they like what they read on the first few lines.

Do what you can to make the resume a one-pager, but without writing too small to be read by normal human beings.

Finally, (this helped me land a job in retail once) list any and all hobbies and non-work activities you do. Well, the legal ones. It shows the company you aren't a mindless fanboy and have a life outside of work/games. It will also give any interviewer a chance to connect with you and make a lasting impression.

For example, when I was in high school, our family had a sailboat that my brother and I raced with our father. I was able to land my first retail job because my boss was a big sailor. We talked shop more on sailing than we did on the job.

If you don't have a hobby/pastime, find one or read up enough on one to make you not seem like a complete nub.

_________________
"If there is a God, and if I ever meet him, I'm just going to kick him in the balls over and over."
- Penny Arcade

"Laura, it was nice boozin with your UD friends. I'll happily share another blowjob with them anytime." - Christi
View user's profileSend private message
Uty
Tang Soo Techie


Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 9583
Location: On a never ending quest to save my girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 10:26 am Reply with quoteBack to top

The Yellow Dart wrote:


- Check Bethesda's website and see what they are looking for (you may have done this already).


Yup, already did. Smile It's actually why I want to make some kind of a demo with XNA. Playing around with that and DirectX will give me two "pluses" that are listed. As strange as it sounds playing the original Fallout will increase my chances of landing this job. Anyone have that laying around?

The Yellow Dart wrote:
- See if you can get a hold of someone from Bethesda to explain their hiring practices (i.e. are they on a rolling schedule, do they file resumes for a certain amount of time, etc.). This could be hard to get, but if you can wrangle someone by just asking general info, you can get a better handle of how they operate.

- See if the company gives tours of any kind or allows job shadowing. It's a way for you to get face time; which helps the most for hiring. Also, you'll get a chance to sample the "job space" and see if it's what you'd like.


Good ideas, I'll have to see how that works out.

The Yellow Dart wrote:
If you can discuss the parallels of the medical imaging work you're doing now and the gaming industry, that can help a lot. Maybe GUIs for one? I don't know.


In a nutshell, I think I'll end up saying that I had projects which were "my babies" ... someone else gave me a list of requirements ... I did everything from design, coding, testing, and deployment.

The Yellow Dart wrote:
(I remember this from my dad having to hire some people) Make sure you have a solid, clear, succinct Objective on the resume. If they get boatloads of apps, they are only going to read further if they like what they read on the first few lines.


Yeah, that will have to be a good one. Objective: make friggin' awesome games for a living. Smile

The Yellow Dart wrote:
Finally, (this helped me land a job in retail once) list any and all hobbies and non-work activities you do. Well, the legal ones. It shows the company you aren't a mindless fanboy and have a life outside of work/games. It will also give any interviewer a chance to connect with you and make a lasting impression.


Heh, I used to be into karate. I don't think I can get away with saying that these days.

_________________
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM Address
shate98
Hot Artist Chick


Joined: 26 May 2003
Posts: 737
Location: P3X-982

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:15 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Obviously, I don't know too much about the gaming industry, since I am in the advertising/graphic design business, but I can offer what works for this industry. That is, of course, add to yellow dart's comments.

1. If you don't already, have an image or logo that represents you and that will appear on anything that you send to them. This helps to make you "pop" and also as a memory device for them to remember that your work belongs specifically to your resume, and thus you. I applies to my current place of employment 3 times. Each time I sent a different logo. The last one caught their eye and here I am.

2. Stay concise, but don't limit the amount of pertinent info about you. If it takes 2 pages to tell them uty is da bomb, then take two pages.

3. Call them and tell them you are going to be in the area visiting and are moving there soon (give date). Ask to come in for a quick interview since you will be available and would like to see if they would be a good fit for you. Researching the correct person to call is essential for this to work.

4. Offer yourself as a freelance sub for people who are on vacation and out of town. This may not apply to gaming, but projects do have deadlines and sometimes people are out. This is a good way to jump in head first and get to know how they work. Then you'll be a shoe in. A lot of our new hires in our graphics dept start as freelancers that way. You may also want to temp placement agency in DC for your industry, which may get you placed temp to perm if you have difficulty getting your foot in the door.

Like I said- this stuff applies for graphics production, but might not for gaming. Hope it helps.

_________________
Sit boy!
View user's profileSend private messageAIM Address
jeboleth
Slutzilla


Joined: 12 May 2003
Posts: 523

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 11:48 am Reply with quoteBack to top

One important thing, if you list something on your resume, be prepared to be quizzed on it. A lot of people list stuff in their resume to make it look good, but when they get called on it, it makes them look stupid.

For example, if you list LISP as a programming language because you took a class in it 6 years ago, make damn sure you remember that it uses ( ) and be prepared to give coding examples. If you can't, don't list it.

My dad does interviews at his job (he does telecommunications) and loves asking people about the simplest things they list on their resume and seeing them fumble their way through answers. My roommate was telling me about an interview he did where he started making stuff up and the guy said he new it.

As for coding examples of your work, you may want to consider making mods for some of their existing games, or make your own off shoots of their stuff. I would think this would show your passion for their work and the level of creativity you could bring that would fit into their business model.
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM Address
bigsado
Mistress E


Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 3353
Location: planet earth (most days anyhow)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

as sharon said, i am in the art world so i don't know how much of what i am going to tell you actually applies, but do with my advice as you wish.


def have a logo!!!! whether it is something basic like your initials or a crazy cool pic you design with someone, it should be somehting that represents you and your style. humans tend to be visuals creatures and they remember things like that.

call the company!!!!!! talk to people in HR, in the department you wanna work in, the CEO even! the more poeple you can talk to..... the more insight you will have. don't be afraid to ask questions! the first time you call, don't say "hi, i'm looking for a job.," ask questions about the company, their size, what their goals are as a company, so on. that way if you get called into the interview, you know a lot about the company and you can better explain why you want to work for them.

same thing goes for actually stopping by there. when you call ask if you can set up an appointment with someone for a tour of the site space. always sound entusiastic and excited (not in a fake way, people can when others are being fake). then if you go in a couple months down the road for an interview, you won't be overwhelmed by your surroundings and you'll be more comfortable.

and btw, good luck!!!! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy let me know if you need help with anything

_________________
-Boss of Things That Go "Bump" in the Night, Elisa Amy Levin

"I can't believe i gave my panties to a geek" -MR

Image
View user's profileSend private messageVisit poster's websiteAIM Address
Uty
Tang Soo Techie


Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 9583
Location: On a never ending quest to save my girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:28 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

jeboleth wrote:
For example, if you list LISP as a programming language because you took a class in it 6 years ago, make damn sure you remember that it uses ( ) and be prepared to give coding examples. If you can't, don't list it.


I agree with you 100%. For my technical skills I'm literally just going to list "C/C++/C# and Perl." Because honestly that's what kind of code I've been writing since college.

jeboleth wrote:
As for coding examples of your work, you may want to consider making mods for some of their existing games, or make your own off shoots of their stuff. I would think this would show your passion for their work and the level of creativity you could bring that would fit into their business model.


They do list experience with TES or NWN toolsets to be "pluses." I do want to write some straight out XNA code. If I have time I'll also write a quick and dirty mod using TES toolset. I'm going to simultaneously apply for programmer and quest designer positions ... cause I can see myself doing either one. Smile

Ladies -

I like this logo idea. I had an idea for one awhile back. It's a twenty sided die (a staple of geek culture) but all the faces read "20" instead of random numbers from 1 to 20. You probably don't get what I'm talking about but the dorks will back me up with insistence that it's a cool logo Smile

I don't think they'll give me a tour of the place because games in early development are basically top secret. They're very careful about what they let out to the public. With all the art work that will invariably be hanging up I expect it the worker drone areas to be on total lockdown.

Bethesda's website specifically says that all inqueries are to be done with email. I guess otherwise they would get a whole lot of phone calls.

_________________
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM Address
shate98
Hot Artist Chick


Joined: 26 May 2003
Posts: 737
Location: P3X-982

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:34 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Uty wrote:
Bethesda's website specifically says that all inqueries are to be done with email. I guess otherwise they would get a whole lot of phone calls.


Nah, that's just so the inquiries can be ignored in the order they were received.

Either way, email or phone, contact them about stopping by- not to see the "war room" but for a quick interview when you're "scheduled" to be in town. Also, persistence pays off- don't send them your resume constantly, but email updates, new links, queries, etc. Show interest and persistence. I hear that works. Like I said, I sent TBC my resume 3 times and got the job.

_________________
Sit boy!
View user's profileSend private messageAIM Address
Uty
Tang Soo Techie


Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 9583
Location: On a never ending quest to save my girlfriend

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

shate98 wrote:
Nah, that's just so the inquiries can be ignored in the order they were received.


Laughing

_________________
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM Address
bigsado
Mistress E


Joined: 02 May 2003
Posts: 3353
Location: planet earth (most days anyhow)

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:15 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Uty wrote:


I like this logo idea. I had an idea for one awhile back. It's a twenty sided die (a staple of geek culture) but all the faces read "20" instead of random numbers from 1 to 20. You probably don't get what I'm talking about but the dorks will back me up with insistence that it's a cool logo Smile

I don't think they'll give me a tour of the place because games in early development are basically top secret.


i get what you are talking about with the die.

secondly, you never know til you try Razz persistence pays off, don't be an annoying asshole, just be persistent. secondly, it is nice to go there in person, then when they do get your app, they can put a face to the name.

_________________
-Boss of Things That Go "Bump" in the Night, Elisa Amy Levin

"I can't believe i gave my panties to a geek" -MR

Image
View user's profileSend private messageVisit poster's websiteAIM Address
chickiepie
Lifeless Reject


Joined: 05 May 2003
Posts: 2046

PostPosted: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:07 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I remember you talking to me about that. I forget how we left it tho. Razz Still need someone to work on it?

_________________
"So many of the people in the (Astrodome) arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this, this is working very well for them."
- A cheery Mrs. Bush
sourcie
View user's profileSend private messageAIM Address
Uty
Tang Soo Techie


Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 9583
Location: On a never ending quest to save my girlfriend

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 9:47 am Reply with quoteBack to top

Sure, though money is gonna be tight for me next month. I may not be able to pay for it until December.

_________________
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM Address
maslow
Professional Pun Person


Joined: 08 May 2003
Posts: 4054
Location: Here

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 12:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I've worked for a more varied group of companies than probably most of us, so I'll try to remember anything that might apply.


I support listing your extra-curricular activities. If possible, connect it to your work, such as team-work from team activities, or self improvement and practice, showing that even outside your dojo, for instance, you were willing to put in time to practice so as to master it.
The first engineering firm I worked for, the company president was a huge soccer fan. He also, coincidentally, had also had knee surgery similar to mine, and the most engaging conversations I ever had with him referenced those two things. He would also mention different pieces of work, but he was most happy to have a fellow enthusiast, and ironically, the things I took away with me from that job were personal tidbits about the people I worked with, more than the work itself. People are people, and they want to connect. My cousin once got a job on the basis of a volunteer experience he had done. His interviewer asked him about it, probably expecting nothing much, and when he showed his passion, it got him the edge. Never underestimate the power of personality.

In close proximity to that, it helps if you can develop a relationship with someone at the company. I don't expect you to find a friend by contacting them for employment, but making sure that you always send your information to a key person - the same key person each time - can get you a bit of background with them. Don't be pushy, but call up, be personable. Ask for their direct phone number, or email. Send them a note after you send your resume, or before, asking for that tour someone else mentioned. Or at the least, try to talk to someone. All the little notes and messages will add up - hopefully a positive force in your favor. And if you do get a tour, write down all the names of people you interact with, so that you can send a thank you to all of them later. People may laugh, but getting an email or fax from someone that says "Dear Rachel Maslow" instead of "Dear Sir or Madam" usually gets them moved up a bit in my to-do list. Same for thank you's - "To all the people that I met/helped me" is okay, but "Dear Michael Smith, John Green, and Tomogachi Kawazi" will get them more. When "Should we hire Chris or Joe Shmo" comes up as a question, being able to say "Oh, Chris was that nice young man" and "He was very prompt with responses, and seemed genuinely into us" will give you that edge you're looking for.

Have you made any contacts yet in the industry? If so, I would talk to them. If not, you might want to concentrate on putting out some feelers, even if it's just by collaborating on minor mods online. I know that you tour gaming forums, and have participated, but as I'm sure Christi can tell you with her cartooning, the real "in" is having a helping hand. It doesn't have to be someone in this company, but I would expect that being able to legitimately say "Robert Gemer over in DMLBMX studios gave me a hand in looking over this code" puts you as a more serious contender. Or being able to say "I'm Chris, Utylicious online, and I wrote the Utylicious Tree hopper mod for WC3" and being able to talk about the different parts, and problems you hit, might work too. I'm no gaming programmer, I wouldn't know.

Okay, I'm tired of writing. Hopefully some of that is vaguely useful.

_________________
"Can't we all just get aloob?"


*The Traffic Lets Up, But Breathing Becomes Difficult*

Guy on cell: When the freeway ends, turn left...Yes, the freeway ends....Because the continent ends, dipshit.
--Hermosa Beach, California

Last edited by maslow on Sat Jun 26, 2010 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profileSend private messageVisit poster's websiteAIM AddressMSN Messenger
Uty
Tang Soo Techie


Joined: 03 May 2003
Posts: 9583
Location: On a never ending quest to save my girlfriend

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:02 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Ok, this one is for the geeks. I am going to also apply for the quest designer position. As part of the process you must design a quest. I decided the easiest thing to do would be to design one for Oblivion. This is preliminary - the real design doc will probably take a week to write.

Rumors in one of the various towns (not the Imperial City) will speak of a local woman who is obsessed with cursed items. Generally, they make fun of her for going on about deadly yarn and demonic serving pitchers.

Should the hero decide to visit her, he will learn that there are cursed items scattered through Tamriel. What's worse is that most of these items seem like perfectly mundane items. The curses are often lethal and she has dedicated herself to finding and destroying these items before they can do harm.

A local wizard, Benlius Tevarian, generated income for his experiments and spellbooks by raising silkworms and selling their natural product. He recently died of old age. Our quest giver has determined that he used magic on the silkworms to make them more productive ... but that magic had an unintended effect. It tainted the goods.

She has already acquired most of the cursed silk, but according to his journal there was one shipment of the silk (which he did not know was tainted) that was sent out to the imperial city. Your mission is to find it.

After some searching, the hero finds out that the silk had been delivered to Divine Elegance, Tamriel's finest clothier. The shopkeep will say that the silk had already been spun into a fine wedding dress for a local noble. For the final leg of the mission, the hero must convince the noblewoman to give up this exquisite dress. She won't believe in this curse nonsense, and the hero will have to rely on either social manipulation or theft.

Thoughts?

_________________
Roses are #FF0000
Violets are #0000FF
All my base
Are belong to you
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM Address
TheSumner
Tech House Member


Joined: 05 Aug 2003
Posts: 377
Location: 3rd from the left.

PostPosted: Fri Oct 27, 2006 4:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

that sounds good, though i've never played the game.

Maybe you could put some complication into the wedding? Like its an arranged marriage and the groom/bride is in love with someone else, you could have the p/c reveal this fact to break up the wedding (rendering the dress useless & available) or keep quiet for some other reward. I don't know how involved oblivion sidequests get though.

As for getting the job: you could try getting a professional headshot done (hey you techhouse photog enthusiasts!) it will help put a name to a face if you include it in the resume. Nothing big just a pic of smilin' Uty dressed for a job interview.
Once your resume is in, give them a call and use this trick "I'm in town interviewing, do you have time available?" (You can make it up or, since you are moving down there anyway, actually schedule some interviews) Nothing says, earnest, employable and non-fanboy like being earnest & employable.

_________________
"With some sort of cunning, inventive beyond all expectation he reaches sometimes evil, and sometimes good." - Sophocles
View user's profileSend private messageSend e-mailAIM AddressMSN Messenger
Display posts from previous:      
Post new topicReply to topic


 Jump to:   



View next topic
View previous topic
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group :: FI Theme :: All times are GMT - 5 Hours