Paladins Closed Beta November 17th !

I finally get to share some great new with you all! Our game Paladins goes in closed Beta on November 17th ! Sign up for early access here and get ready for battle !

I will be sharing some of my work on this fun project soon, so stay tuned :)

13 Tips On How To Make Relocation Less Painful

Since I've started my journey in the game industry as an Environment Artist in 2009, I've had to relocate 5 times so far ! Relocation is inevitable in our industry, in this post I wanted to share some tips I picked up through the many times I've gone through this process in the hope of making yours less painful. 

  1. Try to sell all the stuff that you have that is not worth moving with you. Craigslist and Facebook groups are a great way of doing it.
  2. Donate what didn't sell to Salvation Army or any other charity organization you prefer.
  3. Talk to your landlord and give them at least a 1 month notice, and make sure you try and negotiate the terms of breaking your lease. I'm not saying it will work, but depending on your relationship with them, they might help you out a bit.
  4. Go to and set mail forwarding, it will save a lots of headeach till you have have updated your address.
  5. Depending on how far the move is, consider shipping your car and fly to your new home. You'll save on gas, hotels. food and you will not put miles on your car.
  6. You will have to update your car insurance, DL and tag if you are moving out of state. and you usually have 3o days to do it. Check out the DMV's website of the state you are moving to for more specifics on how to get all of that taken care of.
  7. Call all the utility companies to terminate your services with them, and if you have paid a deposit make sure you ask for it.
  8. Check if your bank has a physical branch where you are relocating to, if not you might have to open another bank account.
  9. Keep all your important documents with you, never send them in boxes with movers.
  10. You can save a good chunk of money by using a local moving company.
  11. Instead of buying boxes, you can get them for free if you do a quick search on Craigslist or just ask you apartment complex for them.
  12. Depending on the distance of the move I highly recommend that you give yourself at least a month before your start date to get all of this things figure out.
  13. Looking for a new home from distance can be very stressful because you don't get to physically be there to check it.  One thing I did a couple of time that worked out perfect was to use some of the money of the relocation to find a short term rental place or to simply use Airbnb. That way I can look for a place without having to stress about picking something online.

Moving out of the country is a beast on its own, mine was just to Canada and it was totally different from what I've expected. I'll write a post on this later on. 

These are some tips/solutions that worked for me and I hope you'll find something here that can make your move a bit easier. Enjoy this experience, because even though it is difficult, it is definitely worth it!

Please share your tips in the comment bellow!

Wishing you the best in your career!

Mouhsine Adnani

Is Contract Work Worth It, To Be Honest...

In an industry that is becoming more and more unpredictable, lots of companies are going the route of hiring people as on site contractors for periods of 3 to 12 months. Most of these kinds of contracts don't pay for relocation and don't offer any benefits that are tied to the company. The hiring is done through a different company, a staffing company.

Contract positions are filled to help with the final push before a game is released by 6 to 12 months OR to get more man power without having to commit to an employee.

To me, if you are new to the industry and get an offer for a contract gig, then go for it. I believe this is a calculated risk you are taking. Primarily because it is giving you a chance to get some valuable experience and a shipped title under your belt, which will make getting a job much easier down the road. Make sure you keep an eye open on other opportunities, because that one year or 6 months goes by very fast.

One thing you should consider if you do decide to go for it, and specifically if it involves relocating, try and land a gig in a city where there are a bunch of other game studios. That way you are giving yourself more options after your contract is over and you also have the opportunity to network with other local game developers around you.

If you live in a city that has a bunch of game studios, then contract work should be fine for a couple of years until you get some solid experience under your belt, and after that, landing a full time gig should be much easier.

On the other hand, if you have a family, then taking a contract gig is pretty stressful. But if you are in a tight situation, it is better than not having work at all. Think of it as an opportunity to better plan your next move, without having to worry too much about taking care of your loved ones. If it involves relocation, I personally think you should seriously reflect on it and if it is worth it in the long term. Relocation is very expensive and will put a serious dent in your bank account if you are not reimbursed for it.

To Recap:


  • Great experience that could later help you get a full time job
  • A small possibility of being hired full time after your contract is up
  • Over time (x1,5)
  • Expanding your network in the industry


  • No help with relocation, you pay for everything yourself
  • No benefits (most staffing companies do offer health care)
  • Not being able to get hired by that company for more contract work for at least 3 to 6 months after your contract is over due to legal reasons
  • On paper you don't work for the game company, but for the staffing company that hired you. They will be paying you.
  • This means that you will not be included in lots of company events

*Personal Beef: Recruiters need to stop throwing, "All our contract employees become full timers after their term is over" that's some serious BS that gives you false hope and creates unnecessary tension. Just drop it. 

So to be honest, there are multiple scenarios for how to handle contract work. This is not a yes or no answer because it ultimately depends on your specific situation. I recommend taking some time thinking about it before considering the offer, especially if it involves relocating you and your family. 


Wishing you the best in your career.

Mouhsine Adnani



Practical Tips on How to Prepare for an Interview in the Game Industry

The interview process in any industry is pretty stressful, and throughout my career as an Environment Artist I've went through quite a few, some I've nailed and some I've failed. 

Before we jump in, a major point that you should consider right off the bat before the interview is, research the company/studio, familiarize yourself with their games and  culture, and find out what they're working on. I recommend doing this even before applying, so you know what you are getting into.

This post will cover two parts, the phone interview and the face to face interview. Here are some tips that I learned and that personally helped me succeed:

Phone Interview (45min to 1 hour):

  • If you are using your cell phone, make sure it's charged and that you get a good signal where you are going to be.
  • Pick a place from where you are taking the call that is quiet.
  • Have your computer on and your portfolio up (turn off your IMs, mute your speakers and shut all other tabs).
  • Walk around while you talk. Movement helps your words flow. Use a handsfree set if you can. 
  • Have a pen and pad ready.
  • Take a deep breath when the phone rings, smile then pick up.
  • Speak clearly, and don't be afraid to ask the person interviewing you to either repeat a question or that you can't hear him/her well.

Face to Face Interview (5 to 7 hours):

  • The day before the interview prepare your clothes and go to bed early.
  • Wake up nice and early, and go for a run. That's what I do, any type of physical activity would work, don't over do it though. The purpose of this is to jumpstart your brain and to remove stress. (Bonus: Meditate for few minutes)
  • The industry is VERY casual, so dress appropriately and look your best.  Shorts and flip flops are not a good idea and in a suit you'll just look out of place. I usually wear jeans, a button down shirt, (sometimes a blazer) and sneakers.
  • Have a healthy, light breakfast.
  • Before you head to the studio, brush your teeth and take some mints with you.
  • If you are taking your tablet or computer to show some of your work on it, make sure it's charged and that all other programs are closed. You don't want random stuff to pop while you are showing your portfolio.
  • Personal Beef: Don't show your work from your personal Facebook. It's not professional at all.
  • Have questions ready to ask, even if they've already answered them during the conversation. You can say "Can you tell me more about..."
  • Take notes if you want to revisit something they've talked about.
  • Don't bring up salary, you don't have the job yet. Wait until you get an offer.
  • Walk around the room when waiting for the next person to interview you.
  • Have a bottle or cup of water handy. You'll need it. There will be lots of talking.
  • Don't bring up your personal life.
  • Don't bash other places where you've worked (it's a small industry...).
  • It's ok to be a little nervous, relax and enjoy the conversation.
  • Bonus Tip: When you get an offer, I recommend you negotiate your salary with the company and not take the first offer you are given.

The face to face interview takes a whole day and can be tiring, and during this process the studio is trying to figure out if you match their culture. Keep in mind you will get a LOT of questions about your career path and your portfolio, so be prepared to talk A LOT and to repeat a lot of what you have said to the many people that interview you. Make sure your enthusiasm and excitement doesn't get low towards the end by keeping the bigger picture in mind. (which is getting to work doing something you love)

For a general overview of the Hiring Process in the video game industry, I recommend reading this post.

These are tips that worked for me. How do you prepare for interviews?

Wishing you the best in your career.

Mouhsine Adnani

The Vicious Culture of Crunch

Lots of game developers keep their identity anonymous when it comes to talking or sharing their personal experience about Crunch. I find it troubling If you think you can lose your job because you disagree with a subject that is widely despised by most game developers. If a studio or the industry in general has nothing to hide, then why this whole dogma around this matter ? Something is broken, and we all know it.

It seems as if the video game industry has taken for granted the soul crushing "Crunch methodology" and that it is now part of its culture. For those who are not familiar with this term; it is usually when a game is about 3 to 8 months (or even more) prior to being shipped, the company or studio makes it mandatory for everyone to stay late (8pm and later) and to also come on the weekends to meet a deadline/ship date. Breaking news like this is delivered in the form of an Email or a Company Meeting where they try to convince you that this is a necessary evil and that somehow they are doing you a favor by ordering food IF you stay past 7pm. "Guys, we are going to work you to the ground and suck the life out of you, BUT guess what! YOU get pizza, YOU get pizza, EVERYBODY gets PIZZA!!"

Joking aside, that is how it goes in lots of studios, and what is more frustrating to me is when I hear desperate students who are trying to get into the industry say that they won't mind crunching, they are so clueless and hungry to work for a video game company that they are willing to say anything to please whoever could be a potential employer, and by doing so lowering their quality of life, ours(Game Devs) and the industry standards as a whole.

We've all heard the horror stories that came from big studios like EA (EA Spouse Case) a few years ago,  and more recently Rockstar San Diego and Team Bondi. And these are only some of the few cases that got out. 

To me, crunching is a failure, a failure in communication between Management and Production where someone along the way said "Yes, we can get all this done by this date" and where the rest of the team gets to pay the price for that uncalculated decision. OR, it's an imposed decision on production by management for more "Money Making" reasons. Not to play the blame game here but both parties are responsible. Upper management can't just come up with random dates to fit some agenda and production shouldn't just accept what is thrown at it. 

What's ridiculous about this type of strategy is that it does create results, mediocre ones and sometimes very good ones. But that comes with a hefty price tag for the studio, and I'm not talking money here. What this does is burn the creative juice out of everyone and creates a toxic tension within the studio that results in lots of stress and resentment. The moral of the studio is low and lots of people end up leaving the studio because they physically and emotionally can't do it anymore. So the studio ships out their game, and at the same time they ship out some valuable talent with it.

You know, Passion for what I do is what got me where I am right now, and it's also why I still do what I do, except that now I take this matter very seriously and I make sure I am heard. I'm bringing this up because "Passion" is thrown around a lot when this taboo subject is brought up. But you know what? Even your passion will fizzle out down the road when you are constantly burned out, not treated respectfully and taken advantage of.

I believe studios can get around crunch if they take into consideration:

  • Setting realistic dates for every department with buffer

  • Keeping everyone informed about the status of the project and where it's heading

  • Outsourcing or Hiring contractors to help with the final push
  • If project gets bigger, HIRE more people
  • Not being greedy

Some studios take pride in never having to Crunch or keeping crunch to a minimum but with some kind of a compensation either in a form of a Bonus, Overtime and/or Extra vacation time. So if other studios are going towards this "more" noble route, what is stopping the others from doing it ?

Personally, what I believe needs to happen, is a global awakening within the industry where people say enough is enough and take a stand against this kind of abuse and hopefully this term and all that is associated with it will be long-forgotten.

You do realize what you’re doing to your people, right? And you do realize that they ARE people, with physical limits, emotional lives, and families, right? Voices and talents and senses of humor and all that? That when you keep our husbands and wives and children in the office for ninety hours a week, sending them home exhausted and numb and frustrated with their lives, it’s not just them you’re hurting, but everyone around them, everyone who loves them? When you make your profit calculations and your cost analyses, you know that a great measure of that cost is being paid in raw human dignity, right?
— EA Spouse

Wishing you the best in your career,

Mouhsine Adnani,