Library assists potential game designers


David Ward, head of Information Services for the Undergraduate Library, talks to a crowded room full of students about obtaining careers in the gaming industry on Thursday, April 2, 2009 at the Undergraduate Library. Students had the chance to ask professionals in the industry about their resumes and portfolios and other advice to land a job with a gaming company.

By Jacob Hurwith

More than 50 students fled to the Undergraduate Library on Thursday evening for the first Gaming Career Night.

David Ward, head of information services at the Undergraduate Library, organized the event as a part of the Undergraduate Library’s Gaming Initiative, which was created to allow students to check out video games from the library.

“We wanted to create new opportunities for students who are looking to enter the industry,” Ward said.

Ward said another objective of Gaming Career Night was to build ties — such as those with a local gaming company called Volition — within the community.

Volition sent 11 representatives to the event to offer advice to students on how to break into the gaming industry.

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    Matt Dunajcik, fifth-year senior in LAS, wants to enter the industry to bring games from Japan over to the U.S.

    “It’s hard to know where to start,” Dunajcik said. “Every little bit helps.”

    Having a portfolio is a big step in beginning a career in gaming, said Wayne Adams, environment artist for Volition.

    “You should show your best pieces in your portfolio,” Adams said. “Go minimal, don’t try to do too much.”

    Frank Marquart, a Volition art director who has worked with the company for more than 10 years, said all portfolios need to target the path you want to take within the gaming industry.

    He said if you are going for a 3-D position, you need to show off the 3-D models you’ve made. All portfolios, as well as resumes, must be as straightforward as possible.

    Students cannot solely rely on their ability to create unique gaming models to succeed in the industry said Russell Aasland, Volition programmer, adding that applicants need to be flexible and be able to work in a team.

    Building a network is another key aspect for entering into the gaming industry, Adams said.

    “You should keep all ties you make,” he added.

    Adams said applicants may not get the job with the company they are applying for; however, because the industry is small, companies may help rejected applicants find a job with other gaming businesses.

    “Once an applicant makes into the industry, it’s definitely worth it,” Marquart said.