Hi there everyone !
Damn, it's been a while I haven't taken the time to sit in front of that page and tell you guys what has happened lately around Rebellion or my research for a Level design job in the famous Game Industry !
I hope everything's for the best for you, and that you still enjoy playing all these Mods waiting out there ;-)
If I'm back today, it's because I want to share an important news with you. Since ever, I've waited to be able to say this :
Today, I'm doing the Job of my dreams. I'm a Level Designer.
Man, that sounds great ! :-)
Things have gone pretty fast lately, let me tell you.
At the beginning of June, I was still waiting for news from a studio based in Paris that wanted to hire me. But things didn't go so well for them, and they're still trying to sort their things up.
Then, when I didn't expect it, I got a phone call from Playlogic, whom I contacted by phone two months earlier and with an email now and then to stay in touch : They needed a Level Designer ready to work on Unreal Engine (notice I never touched UnrealEd before :-) ) as soon as possible.
So, the next day, I drove for the Netherlands, towards the city of Breda to pass the interview (in english of course !). It all went pretty smoothly, since the guys decided to give me a chance : Two weeks to learn UnrealEd by myself and be productive as soon as possible.
Needless to say that I spent my whole days and more discovering that new tool, even during the week-end. So, after 2 or 3 days of work watching tutorials, I could already start fixing stuff (emotion !), starting small, and bigger everyday, playing with Kismet (the tool to make scripts), then Matinee (that one's for animations :-) ). No one even noticed me when my 2 weeks trial were over, I guess I was welcome to keep working until the end of the contract ;-)
Today, people here are really happy with my work and want to offer me a new contract. Sweet, isn't it ? :-)
That's the game I'm working on : Fairytale Fights
You know, everyday (evening, actually), when I take my bicycle after a long day of work (pleasure ?) to ride back home (there are bicycle trails everywhere here in the Netherlands, it's amazing !), I feel good. I really feel happy. I look around me, saying for myself : "Man... isn't life beautiful ?"
I wish you all guys to be able to feel that way, too ! It's really good :-)
Now, if I look back on all that went nice and wrong, here's what I'd advice people that were in the same situation as me :
Making contact is the key of all. I'm not talking about an email contact, but about a face to face contact or a phone call contact. People need to remember you. And email doesn't help people remember you. They're just useful to stay in touch once the contact has been made.
I got the contact at Playlogic through a visit card that was given to a relative of mine. So I called the office and asked for the manager (who gave the card), I briefly introduced myself and we agreed I would send my resume and portfolio and he would personnaly take a look at it.
The other good contacts I had were people I met at the GDC in Paris. Actually, I prefered the one in Paris MUCH more than the big industry thing in San Francisco. In Paris, I had that Free drinks Party with all the attendees... man... that was a night full of contacts, so different from the contacts made after a speech or so. People were so relaxed, so easy going... even more as the night was going and beers were emptied :-)
Also, I haven't seen anyone else like me trying to make contact, except a small group of students who didn't stay long. So, I had all these guys from the industry for me :-) that's where I could take the time to chat with Josh Sawyer from Obsidian, Sten Hübler from Crytek or even Rob Pardo from Blizzard. Not forgetting guys from Bioware, Ubisoft, 2K...
As for San Francisco, well, you can read my review on my website to know my feelings about it :http://www.rebellion-source.net/
So... Make contacts, try to meet people, introduce youself, get their visit card, call them and ask them to meet them again at their office to show your portfolio (in my case, I proposed to play Rebellion). Add a little luck to this (calling when they're actually looking for someone) , and you should have your chances :-)
People were alway nicely surprised to have me on the line. I never had the feeling I was disturbing or annoying them.
If there are some of you out there trying to get into the industry, I wish you all the best !
I believe it's not easy, it requires patience, perseverance, luck and some expression skills, but it pays. And when it does, all the struggle will be worth it. So keep going guys !
Thanks to all of you guys who played the game, to those who enjoyed it or not, thos who left a comment here on ModDB, PlanetPhillip or Interlopers, and to those who are about to play it :-)
I hope I'll one day be able to create a game similar to Rebellion, in its story telling (yeah with more action, I promise :-) ) and with more (and real) choices given to the player with the consequences coming along !
To everyone, take care ;-)