Last week in Critical Studies, we began to look at job specifications and some of the skills required to obtain a job in the games industry. We discussed the difference between ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ skills, soft skills being communication and teamwork related and the latter being skills, related to specific software like 3DS Max and Photoshop. After this lecture I began to think more about my plans for the future and how to get there, I aim to create a road map detailing where I am now, where I am going and what I need to do to get there. To start with I looked at various job listings for a few different positions, some because the position sounded interesting to me or because I was a fan of the development studio but finally I found one that ticked both of those boxes. Here is the listing:
Naughty Dog Environment Model & Layout Artist
· Create models and assemble scenes for both architectural and organic environments.
· Trouble-shoot levels and maintain them to stay in frame rate, memory and design spec.
Requirements and Skills
· 3+ years’ experience in games modelling environments using Maya, or related experience/software.
· An exceptional understanding of form, shape, structure, and silhouette in regard to modelling
· Strong experience and techniques in creating plants, shrubs and vines using cards/flats.
· Strong artistic ability to visualize entire levels and detail with minimal concept art and direction.
· Strong technical ability to manage assets to fit memory, design, and frame rate limits.
· Strong polygonal modelling skills- able to generate clean and efficient models at a very fast pace.
· Self-motivated- requires minimal direction, can carry on the vision for the level until completion and commit to deadlines.
· Good communication skills – able to help others and ask for help when needed. Being proactive in sharing info and assets.
· Great team-player attitude - being flexible with new ideas, being open to direction and changes. Listening to team mates.
· Deadline oriented- being able to manage and organize work so he meets all the deadlines and is able to adjust when changes happen.
· Foundation in the traditional arts
I chose this job listing because the job description best described the aspects I am enjoying most on my current university course and it is a company whose games I have played throughout my life. I’d say that all points listed under the responsibilities section and the first 6, along with the last point in the second section are all hard skills, skills relating to software and technical abilities and the rest would fall under the soft skills heading. I feel I have a very basic understanding of the responsibilities listed, the first one I have done a little of during my first year here at university although my knowledge is basic I feel I would adequately match this requirement by the end of my three year course. The second I know very little about, having built my own PC I know a bit about how it works; especially how games run but I feel this is tailored more towards how engines work which I have next to no knowledge of but I will have by the end of the course (hopefully). There is a fair bit on this list that I’d say at the minute I am nowhere near adequate enough with to get this job, with the exception of the some of the soft skills listed here ( which still needs some work, regardless, You can always build on soft skills) I’d say I really need to work on these over the next 2 and a half years.
The first thing listed under requirements is 3 years modelling experience, which I suppose I would have by the end of the course but I feel that I would need a couple of years in industry before I could really compete for a job like this one. I also think that I would benefit heavily from doing a placement while at university, it would give me approximately a years’ worth of experience that would help build on almost everything listed here. Something that I need to work on in my own time would be my time management, I need to plan more so I can efficiently get through my workload and I think that I should work on my social skills a little more and try to participate with discussions in class. All in all I think that after the three years of my university course come to an end I would tick all of these boxes; however I would probably be a little in-experienced. This sort of job would definitely be something to strive towards but I doubt I would be skilled enough to get this job post-graduation, I’d need a couple extra years in industry first.