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Next Generation Game Developers

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... the good stuff. especially if something is funny-bad ... Best stuff first! We finish maybe 10% of videos. avoid the 'look how I ... cool stuff and they'll ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Next Generation Game Developers


1
Next Generation Game Developers
  • Michael Capps, Ph.D.
  • President, Epic Games, Inc.

2
Overview
  • Epic and the Unreal Engine
  • Merging into the fast moving industry
  • Everything I know about how to get a job
  • General thoughts that didnt fit
  • Lots of Q A time

3
Disclaimer I am not an artist
4
but I can hire them!
5
Epic Games
  • Founded 16 years ago by CEO Tim Sweeney
  • About 85 employees
  • Early success with Jill of the Jungle and Epic
    Pinball
  • Multiple hits in the Unreal and Unreal Tournament
    series
  • Recently shipped Gears of War, the fastest and
    highest selling 360 title

6
Epics Games
Unreal Tournament 3PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Gears of WarXbox 360
7
What is the Unreal Engine?
  • runtime and tools for making and shipping a game
  • World building tools
  • Particles, terrain, animation, physics, etc.
  • UnrealScript and compiler
  • Visual programming language
  • Lip synching, voice recognition, etc.

8
UE3 Games in Development
  • A few licensees
  • Activision
  • Atari
  • Bethesda Softworks
  • Bioware
  • Capcom
  • Disney Interactive
  • Electronic Arts
  • EIDOS
  • Gearbox Software
  • Microsoft Game Studios
  • Midway
  • NC Soft
  • Real Time Worlds
  • Sony Online
  • Square Enix
  • Take Two
  • THQ
  • Ubisoft
  • US Army
  • Vivendi
  • Webzen

9
Cool video of the Unreal Engine
  • Goes here.
  • (Please work.)

10
Overview
  • Epic and the Unreal Engine
  • Merging into the fast moving industry
  • Everything I know about how to get a job
  • General thoughts that didnt fit
  • Lots of Q A time

11
The industry moves fast
12
The industry moves fast
2,000,000 polys 12,000 base 2x 2048 textures
560 polygons 4x 256 textures
2,500 polygons 2x 1024 textures
13
The industry moves fast
  • Tools evolve just as quickly
  • So build your traditional art toolset too
  • Lighting, anatomy, color
  • Game cinematics started out very gamey
  • Now apply traditional film techniques throughout
    production
  • Century of perfectly good ideas on how to evoke
    audience response
  • Show videos

14
The industry moves fast
  • Be prepared to evolve
  • Its easy to get stuck in your ways
  • Remember 2D RTS games?
  • Some artists refused to learn 3D
  • Theyre out of the industry
  • Or worse, making mobile phone games -(
  • High poly / normal maps were scary too
  • Dont be that guy who refuses to learn ZBrush

15
The industry moves fast
  • Epics engineers used to make sexy graphics
  • Now they make tools so artists can make sexy
    graphics
  • We expect artists to co-design these tools
  • And co-design tools like 3DS max

16
Artists must be technical
  • Max normal maps and pelt mapping came from
    collaboration with our artists / coders

17
Artists must be technical
  • Everyone on the team must understand performance
  • and shaders, lighting tradeoffs, platform
    specifics, etc.
  • Even concept artists use max
  • and think about what will work in a normal map,
    and perform well, and animate cleanly
  • If you dont understand specular power, you cant
    be a game texture artist

18
Epics Hiring Process
  • Resume review by HR
  • Resume review by experts
  • HR phone call
  • Skills Test
  • Experts phone call(s)
  • Reference checking
  • On-site interview
  • Background investigation

19
Before you apply
  • Consider picking a field thats needed
  • Epic has 1 character modeler for every 8
    environment modelers
  • and 1 concept artist for every 20 artists
  • Its a good time to consider environment art!
  • OMFG dont apply as art director right out of
    school

20
But I only want to draw manga!
  • Being specialized is important
  • But overspecializing is dangerous
  • (so is having an attitude about it)
  • Games are cyclic, and our team is small
  • If you are a one-trick pony you might be useless
    a few months out of the year

21
Demonstrate Passion
  • You wont succeed without passion
  • So we look for this first and foremost
  • Game focused extracurriculars / internships
  • Make sure to take the game development course!
  • Best examples are outside of the classroom
  • Hobby projects are king
  • Write a mod!

22
A good resume
  • Plenty of resources for this
  • Dont forget to spell check
  • Programmers who dont spell check probably dont
    test their code
  • Artists who dont spell check probably dont ask
    peers to review their work

23
A good portfolio
  • Make it easy for us to see your talent
  • For example, submit electronically!
  • We are lazy!
  • I still get reels on VHS tapes?!?
  • Do multiple resolutions of videos
  • Skip the turntable video and give a few extra
    renders

24
A good portfolio
  • Include only your best work
  • Bad stuff hides the good stuff
  • especially if something is funny-bad
  • and if you send something weak we assume you
    don't know the difference
  • or you don't ask for advice from peers / mentors
  • Your portfolios job is to grab our interest so
    that we test you
  • Remember the plastic report cover from 1st grade
  • Its nice to have clean video editing, website
    design, etc., just credit appropriately

25
Advice for Modeler/Texturers
  • Learn 3DS Max!
  • Small, good sample is best
  • But be careful to not typecast yourself
  • For Epic, high poly work wins these days
  • Low poly is still an important skill
  • But we need fewer manweeks of it
  • And all our vets can do it
  • Dont forget to include wireframes

26
Advice for Animators
  • Best stuff first! We finish maybe 10 of videos
  • avoid the look how I improved video
  • Show a cool animation that shows skill and
    creativity, with weight and emotion
  • Did you see that reel with the
  • easy on the box moving, please!
  • cycles are okay but not a lot of them

27
The on-site interview
  • Your skills are good -- now its time to judge
    team fit
  • Dress to make us comfortable
  • Dont dress up. Dont dress weird.
  • Its okay to be nervous
  • just dont be weird nervous
  • Be ready to talk with all sorts of people
  • Have questions.

28
The on-site interview
  • What are we afraid of?
  • that you wont work hard
  • or that you will bail on us
  • or that you are a jerk
  • or that you secretly want to be a designer

29
Interview psychology
  • If you are nice and friendly, we will like you
  • If you are respectful of our work, we will think
    you have good taste
  • If you show excitement about working here, we
    will like you
  • I like a company full of people who feel lucky to
    be there

30
Interview psychology
  • Say how youd love to learn from this talented
    team
  • Say that at every interview, your whole life
  • If you cant say it, dont work there

31
After the interview
  • Will he call me in the morning?
  • Email a nice note the next day
  • Not do you love me? but I had a nice time!
  • Id love to learn from this talented team
  • If you dont hear from us, wait 1-2 weeks and
    write again
  • Stalking is bad!
  • Dont email again unless you have a job offer or
    change in status

32
General thoughts that didnt fit
  • This industry is soooo small
  • We have two degrees of separation to every game
    company in the world
  • Dont lie about job offers
  • You dont get lots of chances to screw up, so use
    them wisely

33
General thoughts that didnt fit
  • school is great
  • but theyre usually 1-2 years behind industry
  • and game shops are developing new tech
  • so they might be 1-2 years ahead
  • So talk to game developers online
  • cgtalk, polycount, conceptart.org
  • Post cool stuff and theyll give feedback
  • Weve mentored students and then hired them upon
    graduation

34
Summary
  • Working in games is hard but so rewarding!
  • Only try it if you are serious
  • Even artists can use spel checker
  • Make a cool mod!
  • Make environment art
  • Pay attention in naked people drawing class
  • Hells yes were hiring!

35
Closing slide
36
(No Transcript)
37
(No Transcript)
38
Horizon Concept
39
Horizon BSP Geometry
40
Horizon First Playable
41
Horizon Meshed
42
Horizon Lit (Final)
43
(No Transcript)
44
The skill test
  • we will give you feedback just to see how you
    handle it
  • you had BETTER take it
  • you had better be fast
  • don't lie, but do work a lot of late nights
  • we measure the time in days, mentally, even if
    you give us hours

45
Education
  • don't get a master's degree, waste of time unless
    you want to teach
  • - sadly, i saw a lot of people get an MS rather
    than face that they're
  • not in the right field
  • - this is called 'spending good money after bad'

46
It goes both ways..
  • Coders must evolve as well
  • Epic started as 100 coders
  • Five years ago, Epic was 50 coders
  • Today its 25 coders
  • And Epic is a top technology provider
  • Next-gen budgets are all about content
  • So if you want to work in the industry
  • You BETTER MAKE ARTISTS HAPPY

47
But I only want to do 2D cell animation by hand!
  • And what if your specialty disappears?
  • If we do hire someone with only one skill, we
    make them learn another one
  • They must do this on their own time
  • Why not do it now, on university time?

48
How do I get a job?
  • Epics hiring process
  • Before you apply
  • A good resume
  • A good portfolio
  • The on-site interview
  • After the interview
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