View Full Version : game industry job ; underpaid ?


Raynix
01 January 2006, 11:14 PM
Hi guys!

I'll be soon a 3D school student graduate, and that in the field of video games, and I was worried a bit about getting a job in the game industry.

Why am I worried?... it,s simple ; I heard many people telling me that they do work over 60hrs a week sometimes, and they don't get their hour paid, but they get something like a bonus at the end of the year.

Is that true that people don't get paid their full hours? Is that even legal in Canada ?

I really wonder, how good those ' bonuses ' are and if we simply don,t just end up being underpaid as if I only had a Highschool grade.


Anyone willing to clarify the game industry situation for the salaries and how it really works ?


Thank you !

XingWei
01 January 2006, 11:31 PM
if i were u, i wouldnt worry about the money. people are passionate about what they do in this industry and they are sometimes willing to put the extra unpaid hours on their work. don't worry about the money too much for now...or else u r not going to survive the competition.

frontjibi
01 January 2006, 11:38 PM
Why shouldn't he worry about the money? You can not live in this world without the money. I have a passion for it but i wouldn't work for someone for free. I rather do work on my own if i am not getting paid.

Anyway, i am not really passionate about making games rather more of a film making guy.

leigh
01 January 2006, 12:04 AM
if i were u, i wouldnt worry about the money. people are passionate about what they do in this industry and they are sometimes willing to put the extra unpaid hours on their work. don't worry about the money too much for now...or else u r not going to survive the competition.

This isn't necessarily true though. Making money is important, for the simple fact that everyone deserves to make a good living. This whole "do it for the passion, not the money" is a touching sentiment, but it doesn't pay the bills.

Capel
01 January 2006, 12:10 AM
yeah, there's a definate balance that comes with the whole money vs. passion thing.

as far as studios not paying employees for overtime, EA is one of the only one's i've heard of that have taken it to the extreme.... or at least one of the only ones that have been called out on it. i'm sure it still goes on in other studios, but i'd assume not to that extreme....

rakmaya
01 January 2006, 12:10 AM
This isn't necessarily true though. Making money is important, for the simple fact that everyone deserves to make a good living. This whole "do it for the passion, not the money" is a touching sentiment, but it doesn't pay the bills.


Very much true. People who started the life or hoping for better is the only one I have heared saying "anything will do". Once you get into the industry you will know how underpaid the job is. Most of the time programmers spend 40+25 on avergare per week. There are times when things are really interesting and you would mind what you do. Sometimes it is better to be at work than at home. But sometimes it just feels so streched out to the limit.

erilaz
01 January 2006, 12:13 AM
This isn't necessarily true though. Making money is important, for the simple fact that everyone deserves to make a good living. This whole "do it for the passion, not the money" is a touching sentiment, but it doesn't pay the bills.

More of an issue recently is fledgling companies actually using the "passion" angle to delay or underpay. It suggests they want free work while they get off the ground, and they may never do that. It sounds cynical, but it's an unfortunate truth amongst quite a few companies. That's not to say you shouldn't have passion and go the extra mile, but passion isn't enough. You have to be realistic.

heavyness
01 January 2006, 12:14 AM
do a google search on "EA and over time pay" and you'll find out a lot. don't expect to be buying big houses and fast cars with your first game job, or for the first couple years. but from i've seen and where i'm at right now, the gaming industry pays well.

while over time pay isn't very normal around here, bonuses keep that in check sometimes. some studios do the "Sell X amount of Game Y and you make Z amount of Cash."

loving your job will make your life easier then waking up in a big house and driving you pimped out Hummer to a job you don't like.

mummey
01 January 2006, 12:16 AM
If you say: "I'll do anything for a job." Employers will believe you... then hold you to your words. :hmm:

thomaspecht
01 January 2006, 12:27 AM
yeah, sorry, the whole passion-thing sounds like the motto of someone in his/her early twenties, naive and still fed by the parents.

basically the payment and work conditions depend on the studio. and not necessarily will the more famous shiny-from-the-outside place pay and treat you better than others. some really seem to have set up a business of taking advantage of fresh employees with no prior industry experience.
the catch is that only those already in the industry know the shit-places and the cozy little goldmines and while they usually are willing to share info about places to go for and places to avoid, they mostly do this inside the industry among their coworkers and friends.
as someone coming from the outside you'll have one hell of a time in determining which are the good places to go.

my tip for today: avoid those studios who write in their job adverts how talent and enthusiasm is more important to them than experience. imho the translation is: "luckily, you are still clueless about how much money you are worth - oh, and never mind the working hours which are a bit .. eh longer than usual".

angel
01 January 2006, 12:27 AM
This isn't necessarily true though. Making money is important, for the simple fact that everyone deserves to make a good living. This whole "do it for the passion, not the money" is a touching sentiment, but it doesn't pay the bills.

This very true, specially when it is time for your annual review and they keep putting it off... and off and off then they tell you to just be glad you even have a job in what you love to do... total BS.

Raynix
01 January 2006, 12:34 AM
here's the link

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050322/hyman_pfv.htm


thank you guys for the information... most of you are game develloppers or not in the business ?

Vashner
01 January 2006, 12:49 AM
Building your resume pay's off in the future. Sometimes it's better to work for low pay if your building a sweet portfolio.

polyfarmer1
01 January 2006, 12:59 AM
Honest truth is, you gotta start somewhere and you have to get that ever elusive "experience." but don't shoot yourself in the foot trying to get it. I have experienced first hand the effect of being lowballed on your salary. I've also seen it happen to many people.
Doesn't take much time and it doesn't require a degree in economics to plan out how much it will cost you to live in a specific area and still be comfortable enough that you're not looking at a second source of income to make ends meet...

My Top 5 suggestions for you are....
1. Find out what your personal expenses are monthly and yearly. Don't forget those school loans, if you have them.
2. If at all possible, never sign a form stating you will remain with any company for "said" amount of time. You will want the freedom to leave when you wish and on your own terms.
3. Most employee bonuses or royalties are usually not paid to you unless you have been working with that company for at least 1 year.
4. A great deal of companies will try and tell you that their benefit package(s) more than makes up for your starting low pay.....Unless you're very sick, or plan on having major surgery, the bottom line is. You’re still being "low balled" Benefits are nice, and most game companies offer them as standard "incentives." But having that money in your pocket can be more valuable than a vision plan, especially if you don’t wear glasses.
5. It is the JOB of the person hiring you to "get" you for as low of an amount as possible. The goal of any company is to make money, don't believe me? Ask their investors or "board members."


YOU HAVE TO NEGOTIATE YOUR SALLARY, if you feel you're being offered a low amount, then negotiate with them. Tell them what your needs are and how much you NEED to make, not what you WANT to make

angel
01 January 2006, 01:55 AM
here's the link

http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20050322/hyman_pfv.htm


thank you guys for the information... most of you are game develloppers or not in the business ?

Unionizing? I am sorry but that is a terrible idea.

ThE_JacO
01 January 2006, 02:20 AM
yeah, there's a definate balance that comes with the whole money vs. passion thing.

as far as studios not paying employees for overtime, EA is one of the only one's i've heard of that have taken it to the extreme.... or at least one of the only ones that have been called out on it. i'm sure it still goes on in other studios, but i'd assume not to that extreme....

I see you work at DW from your avatar tab, which I'm afraid is slanting your perspective a bit :)
From what I've heard off a good number of friends in DW and PDI, those are some of the companies with best work hetics, especially in terms of overtime approval and crunch.

the sad truth is that, outside the circle of large top companies that are more union aware in their policies, and especially outside the US, this industry has more example of unpaid overtime, and ridiculous working hours, then it does of human work hetics, and the games industry is usually even worse, even when most base wages are lower and the companies larger.

the company where I work now (RSP) is by far the most ethic and human I've worked for insofar (which is stunning if you consider it just went through an upsize and it now numbers well over a hundred people), but before this, especially in London, I think I had more gigs with non paid overtime and long hours then anything else; and lets not even go into what commercials work can turn out to be if you get the wrong director.

I'm totally with Leigh on the fact, as much as personal satisfaction should and does play a major role in deciding about such carreers, one shouldn't be that ready to roll tits up and take the lashing if it's possible to do otherwise, especially if you're in moderately protective areas like north america or Oz; but it's getting harder rather then easier to find employers with human work policies.

XingWei
01 January 2006, 02:30 AM
I come from a junior's perspective, cuz i am a junior and as a junior i have no right to think about money or reflexible working hour... I need to do whatever it takes to survive 5 or even more years of abuse to gain enough experience and hope then i can make some decent money and very minimum over time... that is what i am trying to let raynix understand. raynix is going to be a fresh grad soon and he will have to go through all this just like what iam going through rightnow. Passion is the only thing that is keeping me motivated or else i would of give up long time ago.

leigh
01 January 2006, 02:33 AM
I come from a junior's perspective, cuz i am a junior and as a junior i have no right to think about money or reflexible working hour... I need to do whatever it takes to survive 5 or even more years of abuse to gain enough experience and hope then i can make some decent money and very minimum over time... that is what i am trying to let raynix understand. raynix is going to be a fresh grad soon and he will have to go through all this just like what iam going through rightnow. Passion is the only thing that is keeping me motivated or else i would of give up long time ago.

You're really being screwed over. There is nothing wrong with "paying your dues" as a junior artist, but it looks like you're being taken advantage of, or allowing yourself to be abused for no good reason. There is no necessity to be a martyr when you have no real cause.

XingWei
01 January 2006, 02:49 AM
put youself in my shoe and think about my situation, and i know many people are in the same situation as me. I dont have enough experience, i gota do what ever it takes to get an oppotunity to get more experience. of cause i would want a job with good paid and no over time but there are so many of my competitors out there that is willing to work for less money or even volunteer to gain experience and work harder than anyone else to stay.

EpShot
01 January 2006, 02:54 AM
bottom line, if you have talent, you can make money. experiance jsut adds to it.

So if you are in school. and it looks like you may not get that great a job. I would take a low stress job, that pays ok. and spend all your free time working on your reel, at least to the poitn where you can get a job, and not be taken advantage of. I got a very good job after i went to school. but i had been doing this as a hobby for 5 years previous. And after i finished school, i completely trashed my reel except for oen character, and spent 5 months working on a new reel. which did get me this job.

Raynix
01 January 2006, 03:00 AM
Any suggestion for a game companie I should look for ?


I know there is EA Montreal, Ubisoft, A2M, DC Studios and I think another one which I forgot the name.

THose are the game studios in Montreal region.

Any feedback from people who work there, or used to work at any of those places ? How it is ...


Thank you everyone for all those tips, it really helps me.

Auctane
01 January 2006, 03:05 AM
Yeah, seriously, anyone who is really that passionate about CG, I got a killer job for you! It doesn’t pay well... but if you really passionate about CG, can tolerate cold tempatures and you can hold a shovel, PM me.

jeremybirn
01 January 2006, 03:08 AM
I need to do whatever it takes to survive 5 or even more years of abuse

That's bull. The less you value yourself, the less you're ever going to earn or accomplish. If you think "abuse" gets you anywhere, you're wrong. You're screwing yourself, and your children, if you should ever have any.

-jeremy

Hugh-Jass
01 January 2006, 03:24 AM
xing-wei you have to stand up for yourself and your right to have a life outside of work...after "five years" or whatever you want to call it ...you'll have set a precedent that your employer is free to walk all over you. Emotionally and physically it will take its toll.

That attitude perpetuates the abuse, it's like bringing in your own socks with handles to work.

mummey
01 January 2006, 03:26 AM
put youself in my shoe and think about my situation, and i know many people are in the same situation as me. I dont have enough experience, i gota do what ever it takes to get an oppotunity to get more experience. of cause i would want a job with good paid and no over time but there are so many of my competitors out there that is willing to work for less money or even volunteer to gain experience and work harder than anyone else to stay.

HAH! you're gonna end of a crack addict with that attitude. Seriously, you're so worried about "paying your dues" you're forgetting why. If you're SO worried about experience you'll do anything, then free-lance. At least you get control that way.

hiphopcr
01 January 2006, 04:37 AM
I feel the same way, that little comment about passion and putting up with 5 years of abuse is the biggest load of bull in the industry.

"5 or even more years of abuse.."???

C'mon, this isn't slavery or the industrial revolution.

XingWei
01 January 2006, 05:24 AM
ok i guess you guys wouldnt possibility knows about this, since most of you are experienced and working for some well-known company. but there r quiet a few small companys hire juniors as internship saying after the internship there might be possible full time position and makes them work late night and not paying them a single penny. most of those companys are new and trying* to get investors and funds; they also only get local fresh grad. some of those companys even uses crack version of maya, 3Dmax, XSI, photoshop.....etc. But, they consider themselves among the industry. I don't know about other places but quiet a few of companys like this exist in Vancouver.

and excuse my english if you find "abuse" is not the right word.

MisfitAnimator
01 January 2006, 05:34 AM
Xing - A lot of us have worked in the companies that you are complaining about. Just because we work in nice places NOW doesn't mean we didn't start somewhere small.

I worked at a place as an artist where the use of "interns" became an artform. they would bring young students in, work them to the bone, and throw them out when they had used them up. Then the cycle started over again. They only hired a couple of them when a couple of the senior artists insisted that this stop. I have worked in a couple of these small companies and "paid my dues," but it is up to you how you handle the situation and look after your own wellbeing and future.

mummey
01 January 2006, 05:40 AM
ok i guess you guys wouldnt possibility knows about this, since most of you are experienced and working for some well-known company. but there r quiet a few small companys hire juniors as internship saying after the internship there might be possible full time position and makes them work late night and not paying them a single penny. most of those companys are new and trying* to get investors and funds; they also only get local fresh grad. some of those companys even uses crack version of maya, 3Dmax, XSI, photoshop.....etc. But, they consider themselves among the industry. I don't know about other places but quiet a few of companys like this exist in Vancouver.

and excuse my english if you find "abuse" is not the right word.

Xing: We were all 'junior' once. We know these situations better than you may realize. All we're trying to say is that some of it is self-inflicted, some of these situations occur becuase you are willing to put yourself into them, and one of the toughest skills for new grads to understand is patience: the idea that the first job that comes to your door is not necessarily the one you should accept. :)

leigh
01 January 2006, 06:45 AM
ok i guess you guys wouldnt possibility knows about this, since most of you are experienced and working for some well-known company. but there r quiet a few small companys hire juniors as internship saying after the internship there might be possible full time position and makes them work late night and not paying them a single penny. most of those companys are new and trying* to get investors and funds; they also only get local fresh grad. some of those companys even uses crack version of maya, 3Dmax, XSI, photoshop.....etc. But, they consider themselves among the industry. I don't know about other places but quiet a few of companys like this exist in Vancouver.

and excuse my english if you find "abuse" is not the right word.

Of course we're aware of this, and it's exactly what we're warning you against. I think most of us have had a crappy experience at some point. The fact is that your own attitude is far too much like a martyr, which makes you even more vulnerable to abuse because unlike most of us, you seem to be under the impression that you deserve to be treated like shit. There is a difference between doing a short internship and allowing yourself to be screwed over.

Kargokultti
01 January 2006, 11:49 AM
ok i guess you guys wouldnt possibility knows about this, since most of you are experienced and working for some well-known company. but there r quiet a few small companys hire juniors as internship saying after the internship there might be possible full time position and makes them work late night and not paying them a single penny. most of those companys are new and trying* to get investors and funds; they also only get local fresh grad. some of those companys even uses crack version of maya, 3Dmax, XSI, photoshop.....etc. But, they consider themselves among the industry. I don't know about other places but quiet a few of companys like this exist in Vancouver.

and excuse my english if you find "abuse" is not the right word.

Y'know, in a situation like that... They have the advantage of deciding whether to hire or fire you. But you have one too.

Your knowledge of their use of cracked software.

But really I've just read too much Terry Pratchett. And who'd want to blackmail themselves into a company that mightn't even be there next year?

RO
01 January 2006, 12:44 PM
If you are getting underpaid that is just wrong. I worked in a internship/fulltime that took care of a lot of things like rent and stuff for the time I was with them. But even like that I still asked for more and received more money because I had the bloody guts to ask. While others in same company would never say a word about being underpaid. I have also received lots of offers from gaming companies. Many companies underpay imo. When you compare it to a graphic designers salary gaming companies are all under paying pretty much. The fact is that each game company has their own pre set amounts. This is a problem because I have gotten comments from companies like this, “Well for you experience and looking at our charts you get this”. Screw those damn charts. Those damn charts are nowhere near reality. A job I was looking forward towards was in Canada. When I was getting run down by the particulars of benefits and everything I was so stoked in till they mentioned the salary which was funny since the salary was mentioned at the end and not even as clear as the other information so I had to ask again what it was.

We should think of our selves as professionals and not newbie designers. Sure I might be new to the industry but I am not going to go through a gauntlet. I want to live life also. I have seen more and more that work and projects are the least important part of my life. I rather go out with friends and have fun. A good job will balance your life not harm it.

The graphic design industry went through the same thing when it first started but the fact is we as game designers have to look for the future and go to art schools technical colleges for our education so we do not get screwed. And use our studies as proof that we are looking at the future. The more people who are traditionally taught in a industry the more prestigious it will make it and thus it will make the jobs paid better and also limit this abuse.

That is the real issue that most of these companies still go for you young people to do the grunt work… Well the grunt work is getting so complicated now that even the grunt workers need to have a vast knowledge of how to do stuff. So the new gen stuff making assets harder is a great thing imo because it weeds out the people who really can not do assets like that and keeps the people who can. At the end making games more complicated with new advancements with tech will make companies get highly skilled people who have degrees as well. I see more and more schools making gaming programs. THIS IS GREAT! Sure some of them might be a little lame and or do not help much but… This is the future. I say better our selves as a whole and stop thinking of the old ways which is sacrificial rights. If we keep thinking that nothing will change and this type of abuse how ever small will still happen.

Hell I have plenty of friends in the industry telling me to get a job in the industry. I tell them I am patient and once I am out of school my skill will be a lot more defined and polished. I know when I get that first job I will not get paid huge amounts but I just want to make a good living where I do not see myself flipping burgers to make the extra money.

Hence why I have stopped from entering any game company even though I get at least one game company offer each month. I am in school right now. Building up my already good portfolio to be a kick ass one. I am In the School of Visual Arts in NYC and having a blast.

Matellis
01 January 2006, 12:49 PM
I agree with leigh and everyone. I mean I havent had a job in cg yet but I will not allow myself to be a push over. I realize that working in cg is just a job at the end of the day ( a job you love) and like any other job I have had, I will not let anyone take advantage of me. Sure you have to pay your dues but I think that is when you slave over making your reel 15 hours a day, almost everyday. And working long overtime when you do have a job.
No matter where you work you should be treated with respect. I think that the companies know a lot of people have the idea that they have to break there balls and morals to get into the business and I think many companys take advantage of that mentality. But I will never sell my soul to some company who thinks that i will work for free because I love cg.The only time you should work for free is when your at home working on your own art i think.

jeremybirn
01 January 2006, 02:31 PM
And who'd want to blackmail themselves into a company that mightn't even be there next year?

Yes, that's the thing to remember. The abusing companies that don't pay aren't places you'd want to work anyway. They might not be around next year, and if they hire anyone, it'll be people who are not paid or are underpaid. And, the shots you get for your demo reel, they probably won't be any higher quality than what you could have done as a student or independant project.

If you're in a situation where you know you are just bending over and taking it, rent the movie "Office Space" and learn from it.

-jeremy

XLNT-3d
01 January 2006, 03:12 PM
If you're in a situation where you know you are just bending over and taking it, rent the movie "Office Space" and learn from it.

-jeremy

Which part? The part with the mafia style bat beating of the copier machine or working for free in the basement and burn the building down? Definitely not the part where you invision your supervisor having sex with you girlfriend:banghead:

Emmanuel
01 January 2006, 07:47 PM
I would say: act like an adult, not like a child, otherwise they will treat You like one.
Don't be naive about Your life like that.If You accept to work for a sweat shop for almost no pay, then by all means, do it.For a certain time, then re-evaluate Your situation.
Don't, NEVER, buy any bullshit like "Yeah, be happy to have a job You love".
Its not like that "job You love" fell from the skies.You worked hard and You deserve it, period,
You don't want a gift after all, You want a job, and THEY also only do their job for the money (like every company), because: no money,no apartment, no eat, no "job You love", period.
If You live with Your parents, then do the slave job and learn as much as You can, knowing that You are free to leave it anytime (always preserve this freedom, it will keep You mentally balanced).
Have a plan, and this usually requires starting at the bottom and moving up, so there is nothing wrong with working 6 months 60 hours a week for low pay, as long as it is just a step on the ladder !
I have known quite some guys who also came in like "I would do anything to get a foot in the door", but when they learned that they had to sacrifice their life, girlfriend, friends, they suddenly realized that a life can not happen in a company 24/7.

enygma
01 January 2006, 08:26 PM
Just to throw in my 2 cents, as an artist, you are more than welcome to decide how much you feel you are worth. If you feel you are worthless, then that's how you will probably be paid because you may come off like that to your employer.

Are you passionate about your art or the work you do? If so, do lots on your own time. On work time, you are being paid to do what you love, but it is on their time. They should be paying you for work you are doing for them, regardless if you love doing it or not. Your employer will be reaping the benefit of what you created.

Personally, I would never work for free, regardless of my experience. I would work for cheap due to inexperience and lack of know how, but I wouldn't be working for pennies if I loved what I do and was good at it. Bills to be paid, family to raise, things I would like to afford to do on my spare time.

CupOWonton
01 January 2006, 08:37 PM
This hits close to home for me.

My 3 month contract, ran out 1.25 years ago.. they have yet to tell me they want me as a full time employee, and they havent re-negotiated a contract with me, yet I still work.. day after day, busting my chops. So, now that a main project is out of the way, i've had time to think about this. But I'm not quite sure how to tackle it. On one hand, I have increased part of this companies productivity by 15% by litteraly having to INVENT a new use for some of their programs. To my knowledge that 15% is possibly 2x my yearly pay. I was able to complete a $8000 bid project in a week *including 12-1:30 am of the 4th of july =_=* And I have now completed two main promotional animations for them.

Now that more buisness offers seem to be coming in for 3d renderings, I believe I may have an upper hand. Students dont come out of the colleges around here with the ability to modle and render photorealistic images. They are almost never trained how to work in an industrial 3d setting, and are trained more to render Wine BOTTLES, and BOWLS OF CEREAL... so nedless to say, I dont feel threatened that anyone would be able to replace me right off the bat. Of the people I graduated with, I believe I've heard now that most of them are working in retail.

What I've learned from others, is you CANT THINK OF IT that THEY are doing YOU a favor by hiring you. You're making THEM money because YOURE the one who's able to do what you do. I can say that, but mentaly Im still trying to come to grips with it, once I do, Im asking for the raise and to be hired on fulltime even though I work fulltime, and for anyone else facing the same or a similar delema, get crackin! I think as artists we're expected to have low self esteem so buisnesses can take advantage of us. The ones with the most personal pride are probably the ones getting more money, or arent getting hired because the company may believe it would have a problem bending that person to their will.

Anyway, bottomline, dont wait 1.25 years to do something about an expired contract... do it when the contract expires.

msp
01 January 2006, 08:45 PM
put youself in my shoe and think about my situation, and i know many people are in the same situation as me. I dont have enough experience, i gota do what ever it takes to get an oppotunity to get more experience. of cause i would want a job with good paid and no over time but there are so many of my competitors out there that is willing to work for less money or even volunteer to gain experience and work harder than anyone else to stay.

...and when you have your experience there'll be another set of new hires, each of whom is thinking "gee,if i just put up with this for 5 years then everything will get better...i may even be able to afford to eat!"

Martin

EricLyman
01 January 2006, 09:03 PM
ok i guess you guys wouldnt possibility knows about this, since most of you are experienced and working for some well-known company. but there r quiet a few small companys hire juniors as internship saying after the internship there might be possible full time position and makes them work late night and not paying them a single penny. most of those companys are new and trying* to get investors and funds; they also only get local fresh grad. some of those companys even uses crack version of maya, 3Dmax, XSI, photoshop.....etc. But, they consider themselves among the industry. I don't know about other places but quiet a few of companys like this exist in Vancouver.

and excuse my english if you find "abuse" is not the right word.

Just some perspective, when I was finishing school I had an internship with a small engineering company, doing 3D work in Maya.. The company had about 20 or so employees. I worked there for about a year part time (24 hours/wk), was paid $11 or so an hour.. I was never asked to work for free (nor would I ever have considered doing so!). There were no medical benefits or anything like that, but I did have access to their render farm for my school projects. Also, when I DID graduate, I was hired full time immediately.

Overall, the work was mind numbing, but it made for an excellent internship. I was paid, but they still made tons of money off me since they used my work in real projects. I can only imagine how much money a company stands to make from an intern doing free work.

XingWei
01 January 2006, 10:15 PM
internship gets paid?! i thought internship is just professional term for volunteer.

PhillipCrond
01 January 2006, 10:18 PM
Seems a lot of otherwise rational people want to lower their self respect just enough to get completely exploited. The city of L.A. was founded on this phenomenon, and continues to thrive to this day.

I believe Leigh said something about not being a martyr, and it's true. If you're going to prove a point, prove that you won't work for free and that you respect yourself, don't prove that you love doing CG work. You'll thank yourself in the morning.

EricLyman
01 January 2006, 10:19 PM
internship gets paid?! i thought internship is just professional term for volunteer.

More so in previous years. Things are changing... and honestly, it's not a very realistic setup for the intern. Unless that person is living with parents and has close to no expenses...? I guess those people are out there, but I've never met any of them.

Matellis
01 January 2006, 10:41 PM
Correct me if I am wrong but I think a lot depends on getting paid for your internship is if you are in the country you are a citizen in. All the people I know from canada that have had internships got paid , but i have met a lot of people from over seas that are here doing an internship and not getting paid , I dunno if that is how it works but that is what I have noticed.

mummey
01 January 2006, 10:43 PM
Getting a paid internship varies. (Its alot easier if you go the technical route, as their are less of us around.) I have never had an un-paid internship though.

Pink Violet
01 January 2006, 11:10 PM
The best videogame company to work for in montreal is Ubisoft, although there are some issues, which is typical of the videogame industry.

TraceR
01 January 2006, 01:43 AM
More of an issue recently is fledgling companies actually using the "passion" angle to delay or underpay. It suggests they want free work while they get off the ground, and they may never do that. It sounds cynical, but it's an unfortunate truth amongst quite a few companies. That's not to say you shouldn't have passion and go the extra mile, but passion isn't enough. You have to be realistic.

Very true. I have experienced this myself. People reel you in with promising "visions of gradure" on how their game is going to sell big, how they are just about to get a big wad of cash from some producer and that you will get paid as soon as they get the money. I have done work for several start ups like this and have never recieved a dime for my work. But I have learned my lesson. I have had several job offers, and the first thing I ask the employer is how I will be paid. If they cannot pay me right away I do not accept. But usually, this is confined to start up studios who have not made any money. A professional studio will be able to pay you for your work.

polyfarmer1
01 January 2006, 03:54 AM
Some other things to consider...
When you work in a large company, a great deal of the work you produce will go through many different hands, and by the time it's finalized, you can not call it your own. yes, you still have the version you created, but it's not gonna be the one that's seen "in game." So when you show your portfolio to others, the majority of the work you can show, will not be what's actually in the published title. You have also started a "trend" in your portfolio that will restrict you to these types of companies.

It's been my personal experience, as well as many of my friends in the game industry that by the time you do get home, the last thing you want to do is set in front of your computer and do more work. Burn out is a huge factor, and believe it or not you do get older and some of your priorities in life do change. I can promise you that one of those priorities isn't going to be working 70+ hours a week.

I'm not saying all game companies are bad, small or big. I am saying there are MANY game companies, big and small that will take advantage of college grads becase they know you have ZERO experience and you are willing to work for nothing for a chance to make a game and gain experience. You will also find that after a year with these types of companies the knowledge you have is no more than the knowledge you started with.




There comes a time when you have to stop and look at where your career is heading. If you are not where you want or need to be, then make the effort and smart decisions that will get you there. Posting here, asking for advice and listening to what experienced people have to say and deciding for yourself is a step in the right direction.

Comes down to this, you will either be an FTE (full time employee) or a human being.
"I am not a number.......I am a free man!" sorry but that line comes to mind many times as I read this thread.

RmachucaA
01 January 2006, 10:42 AM
It all boils down to how you position yourself, how you present yourself, and what you can bring to the company. You should never apply for a job thinking that you'll be lucky to get it, because of xy or z reason... dont sell yourself short, since they will pay you back accordingly. Of course, this is all based on the presumption that you are good at what you do.

dmonk
01 January 2006, 12:17 PM
Xingwei: Your not doing yourself any favors. I think what folks are trying to say is that your attitude of "I desereve this" is going to get you stuck in the "constant intern" cycle.. 5 years of Crap? No way!

If you explain your situation to a seasoned professional who is ethical, they will wonder why you put yourself through so much crap. Paying dues and straight up being taken adavantage of are two very different things.

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