How do you get a job in the game industry? According to Valve, all you have to do is give yourself one.
Valve’s Chet Faliszek delivered a talk this afternoon to a packed audience at Eurogamer Expo with one clear message to budding developers: “Create something.”
“There you go. And that’s it. It’s that easy,” he said.
“I’m being serious. There are no gatekeepers. There are no requirements. There is no prior experience that you need. Just make something.”
One question Valve is often asked, Chet said, is if I don’t have experience, how do I get experience when every job requires experience? “Here’s the deal on that. Life isn’t fair. It’s not their job to give you experience. It’s your job. The best resume you can do is make something. So do it.”
Chet recommended indie devs participate in indie game forums and get involved in online developer communities to get valuable feedback on their work. He also suggested uploading games to Valve’s own Steam Greenlight website and commenting on others.
“How do you get yourself a job in the games industry?” he continued. “This is the answer: you just give yourself one. It’s that simple. You’re in control of your own destiny. Make your resume and ship it to the world.
“At Valve we’ve been thinking about this a lot. We get asked this all the time. Our simple answer used to be: just go make something. But really you want to do more than that. You want to create something, then you want to release it, you want feedback on it and you want to keep getting better.”
“To be clear, we’re not the only place you can do it. Look up other places as well. I mean we’re working at it. We’re iterating on it. We released Steam Workshop. We released Steam Greenlight. Coming up soon we’ll release software on Steam. Let us know how we’re doing. Let us know what you guys would like to see. What would help you guys.
“And then today, when you get home, take what ever ideas you have and whatever computer you have, whatever software you have, scope it down to something you can ship. Start working on it. Every day you come home from work, work on it some more. Show it to your friends. Talk about it. Get feedback on it. Play test it. And when it’s ready, release it.
“There, you just gave yourself a job in the game industry.”
Chet said those who try to get jobs without having created something, “you’re coming from a point of weakness”. “Nobody knows you. You’re just a piece of paper. You’re really easy to dismiss.” Those who are hard to dismiss, he said, are those who have made something.
Chet stressed that games don’t have to be big to attract attention. In fact, he recommended being smart about the scope of projects.
“People have made some of the dumbest, stupidest things that have made us laugh, that we’ve passed around, then we started talking about them,” he said.