OK, so last week we had two major questions come up in Reader Mail:
How do I get involved in the game industry, in any capacity?
Here is my best answer.
To succeed in any industry you need to build up contacts. You can be the best programmer in the world or have the best game design ever, if you don't start getting to know people in the business you won't get anywhere.
So, how do you start. The best beginning is to attend a convention. If you are in some area try to get to one:
- Northeast - PAX East, NY Comicon
- Southeast - Dragon Con
- Middle America - GenCon
- Northwest- PAX
- Mid West - DICE (Vegas), AGDC (Texas)
- California (damn you) - GDC, E3, San Diego Comicon
Cons are expensive and not all are open to the public, but if there is a will, there is a way. You can get into anything if you try hard enough and come up with a good plan to go.
Making friends in the business goes a long way. The good thing about gaming is everyone is generally friendly. The more contacts you make the better off you'll be the next show you go to and say: Hey I remember you! Whats up!
It seems like now-a-days submitting a resume for a job is as successful as throwing a dart at a tick on a barn door from 50 yards away.It is all about who you know when getting jobs. My advice on breaking into this business is get to know people first. By email, phone, Facebook, or most of all go to a show and start saying Hi, I play your game, but I am also an amazing programmer! Dont ask for a job right away, make friends first. Then when the time is right and they need someone or they know someone who needs someone, your name might come up.
So my advice, make friends, be nice, and find a place you can apply your skills without begging for a job. Before you know it, they may be calling you.
For the second question I'll combine a few together with MMO Gold Farming Security (great question) and MMO Design as the main points. Here we go:
In regards to Gold Farming. I do agree a Pearl Script could be used to form a system that tracks and bans gold farmers....so why hasn't it been done?
Well, those Gold Farmers happen to be paying customers. PAYING CUSTOMERS. Which all MMOs need, especially now-a-days. It is my opinion...let me repeat OPINION, that companies take a half ass approach to gold farmers because they do pay their monthly fees. They also put in large amounts of game time.
Almost any business in the world has a secondary market, ebay has proven that. MMO companies are still collecting subscription fees from gold farming accounts. Regardless of what they are used for. So for now...they will ban a few folks here and there and make a big deal out of it. But overall if you are a paying customer...they want you sub.
Ok now in terms of game design. Well if you have had a chance to look around our lovely society lately you see the word Greed being thrown around a lot. Corporations in this country are ... greedy. They want to make money. Game companies are no different. Ever major Fantasy IP was snatched up out there in the last 5 years to try and build games to compete with WoW. Guess what....they all failed.
I think MMOs like anything else around our world right now are getting too big for their britches. They are trying to be too much to too many.
MMOs started out as a niche market. Games that catered to a hardcore audience. When the business side saw the profit potentials and the fact that gamers will keep paying month after month and they just went nuts.
The reason games like Ultima or EVE are not being made, is because no one is willing to take a risk anymore. Big companies want major IPs with marketing plans for the planet. Oh they also want a WoW-like game. If you dont have that...well...Big Business doesnt want your game.
I mentioned last week in my column that the new breed of independent MMOs coming will fill the void many of the BIG Business games have forgotten. The new smaller MMOs have taken game designs that the BIG companies missed out on because they are too busy trying to be WoW. If you look on this site, those games are being watched. Hopefully they will fill the void we feel from the big IP games.
Hope that answers this weeks questions.
SEND MORE!! We may have a guest star next week!