Tips for the Game-Dev Internship / Job Hunt

Upon discovering the course-run www.494jobs.com, students often wonder how to acquire one of the posted game-dev jobs. The games industry is well-known for being difficult to join, much like Hollywood or Broadway.

Students who haven’t completed EECS 494 typically have sparse game-dev-related resumes, and may find it difficult to get interviews as a result. Here’s what has worked for students in the past–

  1. Apply to as many studios as your spare time will allow. The interview process can be challenging, and somewhat random. By applying to many positions, you increase your odds substantially, and you only need one company to say yes!
  2. Apply to studios both big and small. While internships at EA, Activision, etc are great for a resume, so too are positions at smaller studios. Smaller studios are often more willing to take on candidates with lighter resumes, and can prove an excellent opportunity to get that illusive first game-dev job (which may then be used to get into larger studios). You can find promising, local game-dev startups in the “Local Openings” section of www.494jobs.com. If you’re particularly interested, I can connect you directly to them.
  3. Create an online portfolio where you can post your projects and resume. It may take some time to set up, but it’s a great exercise for those unfamiliar with system administration and web development. Here’s a tutorial.
  4. Stay connected to the local Ann Arbor game-dev community by attending organizations such as Wolverine Soft (www.wolverinesoft.org) and IGDA Ann Arbor (www.igda2.org). Job opportunities are often posted at these meetups, and it’s a great way to meet fellow game-devs.

Once the semester is finished, students will have gained three impressive new game products to put on their resume / in their portfolio, which provides a boost in their job / internship hunt.