A Conversation with… Arash Jamali

This week A Conversation with… reached out to our 12th graduating class, and found Arash Jamali at Sony in London, UK.

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry.

So at the moment I am in London (UK) working as a Technical Producer in Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and our team is working on the Morpheus project which is Sony’s upcoming virtual reality headset to be used with the PS4. In particular I am working with the tools and technology team building the framework on which some of the games will be made in the future.

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A Conversation with… Brad Keys

This week A Conversation with… reaches out to our lucky 13th graduating class, and had a chat with Brad Keys, founder of Rebel Hippo Inc.

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I’m the founder of a small game studio called Rebel Hippo Inc. located in Waterloo, Ontario. We are known for creating Lumos, a game services platform. We also create mobile games and help other studios across the country. Most of my time is spent developing with the Unity game engine.

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Hat Jam 6: Zentember

Another hat jam. Another amazing weekend filled with creative minds, prototyped innovation and much caffeine. All in the name of making a game from start to finish in 48-hours. This time around, we were lucky to have the support of East Side GamesIUGO mobile entertainmentHothead Games and Fresh Bowl.

For those unfamiliar with Hat Jam, our game jam is named as such because jammers draw themes out of a hat. They’re then tasked with creating games based on these themes, with this month’s apt category being “Zentember” – pseudo zen koans.

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A Conversation with… Chris Lee

This week A Conversation with… went way back to our 3rd graduating class, and found Chris Lee from Ubisoft Montreal.

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I’m currently working as a Game Designer on recently announced Rainbow Six Siege at Ubisoft Montreal.

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A Conversation with… Ted Carefoot

This week A Conversation with… reaches out to our 11th graduating class, and found Ted Carefoot, CEO of Lemonade Labs.

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

Currently consulting with Producer/PM contracts, also CEO of a small game studio, Lemonade Labs (currently based in Kelowna, BC), which focuses on creating casual mobile and PC games inspired by physical designer boardgame concepts primarily targeting emerging markets.

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Job Hunting 101 with East Side Games

For those who weren’t able to make it out to East Side Games’ talk about Job Hunting 101, here is a quick summary of the talk! I’d also like to extend a humble thank you to Josh, Kay, Jordan, Josh (yes, 2 of them) and Susan for coming out and offering your advice! It was very much appreciated.

Kicking the presentation off with pizza from Uncle Fatih’s graciously provided by East Side Games and the large turnout of students, the 5 speakers introduced themselves and some of their most important pieces of advice when seeking out a job. By far the largest take away from their talk was the importance of NETWORKING!!

One of the best ways to accomplish this is going out to local meet up events and just speaking with the people there! One such example is the Full Indie Summit this Saturday (August 9th) where many game companies in town will be out, as well as after parties, one of such being hosted by East Side Games themselves!

Another important point, is knowing the company, knowing their games, and playing them! It was heavily emphasized that there is more to talk about in the application process if you know the company and games, as well as showing your passion and hustle. In the games industry, being able to work hard is a strong trait that is valued from prospective companies.

It’s also important to ask, “Not what your company can do for you, but what you can do for your company.” This has importance in not only making sure that you are valuable for your company, but you are to make a more lasting impression if you are able to adapt what you do to best suit the company’s needs, sometimes even changing job roles.

Ultimately, it’s also valuable to be professional, but be yourself. Because it’s important that you are able to fit in with the companies culture and get along with everyone there. Which includes 6 valuable words from Josh, “Leave your ego at the door”.

Although this is just a summary, hopefully the wise words of East Side Games is able to help you out when looking for your first or next job!

Westley Bassett is a TA at VFS and an alumni of the Game Design program

A Conversation with… Sean Bosshardt

This week A Conversations with… reaches out to an alumni from our 6th graduating class, Sean Bosshardt.

  • Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I am currently the Lead Combat Designer on WildStar Online at Carbine Studios.

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A Conversation with…

As part of our new series, we reach out to our alumni to check in. First up is Matt McTavish, a graduate of our 2nd class of Game Design.

• Tell me about what you are doing now in the Games Industry

I’m working at Next Level Games in Vancouver as a game designer. Our latest release was Luigi’s Mansion: Dark Moon for the 3DS, which has been our most successful game yet. Developing Luigi’s Mansion was pretty rad because we got to collaborate closely with Shigeru Miyamoto-san and a small group of talented developers at Nintendo. We were one of the first studios to develop for the 3DS, so creating a game for stereoscopic 3D was new for everyone. It was awesome, we learned a lot!

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Board Game Design

I’m currently on vacation, sitting on a small laptop in a cabin in Michigan. Laptops are a new and controversial addition to the cabin and when I think back to my summers here without electronics, they always included three major activities: swimming, reading, and playing board games. I could also include sunburns, but if I start down that tangent, the list would get somewhat ridiculous. It was here that I learned spades, hearts and poker, which eventually led to summers with my cousins Patrick and Sarah playing warhammer, magic, and any new board game we could bring to each other.

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Success Principle #2 For Getting Paid To Make Games

We spend so much time mastering our technical skills that sometimes, just sometimes, we forget that a huge aspect of landing a job, or getting investment, or partnering with team members, or getting promoted is whether the person you are talking to… likes you.

There is a real skill to giving off a good vibe. Some people are naturals. Some are not. Even the pros, you know, those popular people that everyone seems to like, really put conscious effort into connecting with their interlocutor and taking an interest in what is important for them.

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