Hiring Process in the Game Industry

Through my career as an Environment Artist. I went through lots of interviews. I succeeded at some and failed at some. This is what I learned.

In most game studios, there are 4 main steps that roughly all candidates go through.

Step 1- After applying you get a response within 2 weeks give or take that company X wants to talk to you.  At this point you'll be communicating with HR to set up the next step.

Step 2- Depending on your portfolio and experience there are 2 options here: 

  • a- Phone interview with Art Lead/Art Director OR
  • b- Art test, then if you pass it, Phone Interview with Art Lead/Art Director

The Phone Interview is the first important step in the interview process. The interviewer is pretty much going to ask you about your experience and portfolio pieces while making sure you can talk comfortably about your work and workflow (and if you did a test, be ready to talk about it). It's ok to be a bit nervous on the phone, everyone is. These conversations last about 30min.

Step 3- If they like how you sound on the phone, the last crucial step is to bring you over for an onsite interview with the team. This depends on where you are, overseas studios and smaller companies are now doing it via Skype to not have to deal with VISAs and/or to save on the cost of flying you over. An onsite interview goes approximately from 10am to 4pm, usually includes a one hour lunch with some of the team members. 

Step 4- And depending on how you do in the interview, you'd either get an offer or rejection email from HR welcoming you to the studio or telling that you don't match the criteria they are looking for. 

This is my personal experience with this process, yours will probably be slightly different.

In my upcoming posts, I will write in more details on how to prepare for all these steps, so stay tuned for more.

Let me know how your interview process was in the comments below and if you have any questions about this subject, shoot me an email!

Wishing you the best success in your career.

Mouhsine Adnani

8 Free 3DS Max Scripts/ Plugins you need to know about

I've been using 3ds max for over 9 years now. To me its the to go to program for all my 3d modeling needs. The program is not perfect, but man its powerful once you start to understand it. And when it lacks, be confident you will find a script or a plugin to make it work.

3DS max has a huge amount of scripts and plugins and they all perform very specific tasks. I'm going to share with you the ones that I use the most.

  • the Clone Modifier by Itoosoft, is pretty  much the Array tool BUT as a modifier. Love it.
  • Debris Maker by Aaron Dabelow, this is the magic "make art" button
  • Slide tool NormalThief by Slide London mostly used for foliage to control normals
  • Misc Box by Fajar my favorite feature of it is the Copy/Paste mesh from one Max to another (without having to "save selected" as then "Import/merge")
  • Fracture Voronoi and Vorofrag for all your destruction needs

Here are few more that are worth mentioning: 

  • Get Baked looks like an interesting tool for all your RTT needs within Max(works with Xnormal)
  • TexTools by "renderhjs" i used to use it a lot, but the Max UV Unwrap has finally caught up
  • Bend of Brothers seems like a neat plugin but I haven't actually got a chance to take it for a full road test.

I use these because they specifically work with my workflow, Also, check out http://www.maxplugins.de/ and http://www.scriptspot.com/ for more of these.

 Let me know what your favorite ones are in the comments down below!

Wishing you the best success in your career.

Mouhsine Adnani

5 Reasons why you should NOT go to school to become a 3D Artist

I've been getting a lot of questions recently by students who are interested in getting into the game industry on what school to go to to become a 3d Environment Artist.

Before i dig into this i want to say that I, myself, went to the Art Institute where i studied Game Art and Design in 2005. Was it the right thing to do? For me at the time it was. Would I do it now? Probably not.

Here are the reasons why:

1- There is a massive amount of information online about how to be a 3d Artist, and lots of it is totally FREE. I recommend you check the polycount forum and also their wiki page. Use it.

2- When you are trying to get a job in the industry, especially as an artist, companies really don't care what kind of school you went to. All they care about is the quality of your portfolio.
(This gets a bit tricky if you are coming from a different country to the US. For a company to sponsor you for a work VISA you'll need a degree in your field or a certain amount of years of experience in the industry)

3- Instead of going the traditional college way, there is a growing number of professional artists within the industry who teach either on their own or few of them who work together and provide quality up to date material about the industry. A good example is 3dmotive.com and digitaltutors.com, these services are not free, but are very cheap compared to the insanly high price tag that comes with "traditional schools" and the unforgiving loans you'd end up having to pay after you graduate.

4- There are a few schools that i think are worth going to, but again they are not your traditional type of school and it is more likely you won't be able to transfer any of yours credits if you decide you want to become a Wall Street Broker. An example would be Gnomon School 

5- Lets say, you really want to go to a college, then you need to keep in mind that what you are being taught is probably already out of date mostly because of bureaucracy slowing down everything and most of the time your teachers don't even have any professional experience in the field and/or have been out of it for years.  So, to solve this problem you will have to work long hours outside of school and also make sure you don't compare yourself to your classmate but to people who are already working within the industry. You need to know that each time there are layoffs, you are competing with people who have shipped games like BioShock, SWTOR and many more.

At the end of the day, these are strictly my own opinions and you should question everything and not be lured by fancy looking computer labs and other facilities. One last thing on my mind, be aware of "X% of Our graduates get a job in the industry,  guarantee" that usually includes working at Best Buy and Fry's...

Wishing you the best success in your career.

If you have any comments or questions please don't hesitate to ask!

Mouhsine Adnani.