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Republic Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,286
This may seem like a rant, but it isn't. I'm sincerely pointing out a sad truth.

Imagine if Steve Jobs was alive and was trying to apply for a job at Apple based solely on his education. As a college dropout, he'd never get through the door.

How many people are being overlooked by the gaming industry based solely on "experience" alone? How many people have applied for jobs at gaming companies and never have a chance if they don't know "someone" yet are the next Steve Jobs of online gaming?

This isn't only about my failed attempt at employment with Cryptic. This is about the endless amount of raw talent that is lost due to technicality. I have played Foundry missions that would put Bioware to shame yet the authors would never have a chance because of their lack of "formal" education or experience.

I have also talked to people who are frustrated over the lack of resources provided by the Foundry only to have their creations be the sole thing their employment is based on. "Well, your Foundry missions are poor." Well, would you expect Picaso to paint masterpieces with only a Sharpie?

And this isn't just a problem with the gaming industry. In the two years I was under/unemployed I have had companies pass me over for technically more qualified applicants even though I would have given my heart and soul to the company. My willingness to learn and dedication to the job would have far exceeded my lack of formal education. All jobs require a certain on-the-job element even if you have all the prior education required. Cryptic's Genesis Engine isn't exactly taught in school.

Has the so called importance of a college education been so engrained in our culture that we will simply overlook those without that one piece of paper? Fortunately for both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates they had that entrepreneurial spirit that made up for their lack of formal education. The rest of us aren't so lucky. We mop floors in the evenings at rural middle schools dreaming about our wasted talent and what could have been.

Again, this isn't a whine even though some of you will see it that way. This is merely me pointing out that Cryptic is sitting on a gold mine of talent if it was simply willing to take the risk to exploit it. My Foundry missions are a result of my own self education. I didn't watch a single video or read a single tutorial to create what I created! Imagine if Cryptic was willing to dedicate two weeks to train me.

In the end, dedication will trump talent. How many professional athletes with superior talent have had their careers end due to a lack of dedication? The gaming industry is no different.

FYI, my Foundry missions include:
Trembler (II, III)
Death Clock
Romulan Zoo*
Klingon Beach*

* = Fluff missions that I created in less time than it took to write this post.
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Last edited by commadorebob; 10-07-2012 at 12:29 AM.
Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,201
# 2
10-07-2012, 12:56 AM
I can't speak to design or programming, but on the Art side, a good portfolio will outweigh any lacking of experience. We look for a good artist first. If they have experience, great, they might be in line for a higher position, but our entry level stuff is regularly filled by fresh graduates, or self taught 3d artists.
Only YOU can prevent forum fires!

Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,104
# 3
10-07-2012, 10:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tacofangs View Post
I can't speak to design or programming, but on the Art side, a good portfolio will outweigh any lacking of experience. We look for a good artist first. If they have experience, great, they might be in line for a higher position, but our entry level stuff is regularly filled by fresh graduates, or self taught 3d artists.
Really?!?!?!? Well now... I'll have to get busy then.......
http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o633/centersolace/189cux9khvl6ojpg_zpsca7ccff0.jpg

So inhumane superweapons, mass murder, and canon nonsense is okay, but speedos are too much for some people.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,775
# 4
10-07-2012, 12:50 PM
To quote Ned Kelly: "Such is life..."
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,228
# 5
10-07-2012, 01:35 PM
If they are the "Next Steve Jobs", they will start their own company.
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STO Academy's excellent skill planner here: Link
I actually avoid success entirely. It doesn't get me what I want, and the consequences for failure are slim. -- markhawman
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,558
# 6
10-07-2012, 04:53 PM
While I won't deny that the gaming industry has a tendency to hire from within, this has a lot to do with the fact that there is an over abundance of talent available at the moment. Think of how many game studios have closed recently, and how much surplus talent has flooded the market. Is is fair to someone trying break in, no, but it isn't an unexpected result.

Now in Cryptic's defense I know they've hired a number of industry newcomers to the STO team, Kestral and Thomas the Cryptic Cat come to mind. BranFlakes too was an industry newcomer although he technically works for PWE.

Now, I'm not denying your talents, Commadore_Bob, and I'm actually a fan of your video series. I'm just saying that there is a lot of stiff competition in the industry at the moment. They were also willing to give you an interview which says that they we're at least willing to consider you despite your degree and training.

I do understand your frustration, I've been looking for employment for a year now myself. I do hope you can find better and more fulfilling employment.

@greendragoon
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,286
# 7
10-07-2012, 06:58 PM
No doubt that the industry is saturated with people looking for jobs. That is usually the result of poor employment numbers. I'm just trying to take a stand against the gaming companies disqualifying people based on one checkbox on an application.
___________________________
@Commadore_Bob; Joined Jul 2009; That post count + 20,000
Click on my sig to view Family-Friendly Youtube Videos
I also now have a logo shop. Click my sig!
Click here to watch my STO play-through video series.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,775
# 8
10-07-2012, 07:20 PM
This is true in any industry though... How do you think professional, licensed tattoo artists feel, knowing that not only have they spent the years developing their skills, but also spent a fortune in premises, equipment, certification, only to see someone buy a tattoo kit off eBay, start tattooing out of their back room, and potentially stealing their clients? Do you think they feel that some unappreciated artist is taking a stand Against The Man, or do you think they feel that the new comer should put in their dues and earn their way into the industry, rather than cutting corners? How would you feel if someone less qualified than you was to be allowed to work with you and treated like an equal? How would that make you feel about the time you had taken to qualify yourself in your chosen field? As hard as this might be to hear, at the end of the day, that's just the way the world works, and if someone wants to be working (in any field) at a professional level, then they need to have the professional qualifications to prove that they can do so. Going with a 'gut instinct' and 'giving someone a try' might work at mom and pop level business, but when it's a few levels up the corporate ladder, bosses don't just expect results, they need results, and the only reasonable way of employing someone who can provide them (other than a proven record of past performance) is qualifications in the field.

For the record, I don't agree with or like that status quo, but I can understand why things have to be that way...
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 403
# 9
10-07-2012, 09:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcusdkane View Post
This is true in any industry though... How do you think professional, licensed tattoo artists feel, knowing that not only have they spent the years developing their skills, but also spent a fortune in premises, equipment, certification, only to see someone buy a tattoo kit off eBay, start tattooing out of their back room, and potentially stealing their clients? Do you think they feel that some unappreciated artist is taking a stand Against The Man, or do you think they feel that the new comer should put in their dues and earn their way into the industry, rather than cutting corners? How would you feel if someone less qualified than you was to be allowed to work with you and treated like an equal? How would that make you feel about the time you had taken to qualify yourself in your chosen field? As hard as this might be to hear, at the end of the day, that's just the way the world works, and if someone wants to be working (in any field) at a professional level, then they need to have the professional qualifications to prove that they can do so. Going with a 'gut instinct' and 'giving someone a try' might work at mom and pop level business, but when it's a few levels up the corporate ladder, bosses don't just expect results, they need results, and the only reasonable way of employing someone who can provide them (other than a proven record of past performance) is qualifications in the field.

For the record, I don't agree with or like that status quo, but I can understand why things have to be that way...

you can work your tail off getting those qualifications but if you dont have the 3-5 year experience they'll look at you just laugh and throw your rear out the door. Or on the flip side hire you and take someone thats been there for a number of years and chuck them out the door since they a can cut overhead by not having to payout of previously said experience.
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,286
# 10
10-07-2012, 10:06 PM
Well, what's sad is if I was in Cryptic's position I would do the exact same thing they are doing. And I acknowledge this is not a problem limited to the gaming industry. Trust me *glances at stack of "thanks, but no thanks" letters* I know it is more widespread. It just makes me think about the potential wasted talent. Imagine if everyone who had the talent were actually given a chance to use it how much better games would be.

Companies will always fold due to poor money management. But how much of that is a result of studio management expectations and location choices? I know everyone wants to be in Silicon Valley, but at what cost?

The house I currently have a $82,000 mortgage on near Huntsville, AL would sell for $950,000 in Los Gatos. For what Cryptic is paying to lease their building per year they could buy a bigger building outright in most towns. Move the studio to, say, Orlando and their overhead costs would plummet! Taxes, utilities, and business infrastructure would see a marked decrease in cost while still providing the employees an equally "busy" town to live in. But instead of $500,000 buying this in Los Gatos, CA, it could buy this in Orlando, FL.

You wouldn't even need to provide pay raises to the staff because the cost of living change itself would equate to a pay raise! A $55,000 salary in Los Gatos only covers what it costs $17,000 in Orlando to cover. That is a nearly $40,000 cost of living difference! Imagine what you could do with $40,000 more expendable income every year!

You see these stories about games shutting down due to a lack of funding and then you see videos of their HQ and it is outfitted better than most homes. They spent all of their investment income on overpriced furniture and prime real estate! No wonder there was no funding to finish the game. Start your studio in an Atlanta area office complex and spend a fraction of what it would cost in San Francisco. You could buy a year's worth of utilities and rent for what you pay a month there. Once the money starts rolling in, then upgrade.

How many more talanted people could Cryptic hire if they moved out of Los Gatos and into a more business and income-friendly area? "But we would be moving away from all of the talent!" The talent will follow you. I was prepared to move my family to California for the chance to work at Cryptic. Do you honestly think people would avoid moving to Orlando or Atlanta? Some might, but I think most will look at that $40,000 cost of living difference and grab a Gators hat.
___________________________
@Commadore_Bob; Joined Jul 2009; That post count + 20,000
Click on my sig to view Family-Friendly Youtube Videos
I also now have a logo shop. Click my sig!
Click here to watch my STO play-through video series.

Last edited by commadorebob; 10-07-2012 at 10:12 PM.
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