Tell us about yourself
Before joining Mastered, I had previously been in education from the years of 2013-2018. Unfortunately, the time spent in education never prepared my transition into the actual industry of games development. Due to this, I have been working in restaurants and retail throughout my time in college and university and even during my time with Mastered.
I secured a project as a freelance app developer for MediaCraft in April 2022 (sooner than I had expected). My responsibility with this project was to plan, design, and develop an app used for projection mapping. The project lasted just over a month, and the client was very happy with the results. I learned so much whilst working on this project, not to mention it was my first time working with projection mapping!
Why did you decide to join the bootcamp?
I joined the bootcamp as a way to give myself accountability for my work, as I wasn't pushing myself as hard as I could. I worked full-time in retail at this time, which helped with excusing myself from working on my passion.
I also joined the bootcamp to get help with putting my skills out there for recruiters to see, as this was something I definitely struggled with beforehand.
What did you like the most about your bootcamp experience?
The team at Mastered is just amazing. I was working a full-time job and was going through a tough time mentally, but they were so patient with any issues I had and pushed me to find a way around problems in ways I never thought about.
A Japanese-inspired garden designed in UE4 by RIchard
Tell us about your job search process. What helped you keep up your motivation?
I think the idea of talking to people currently in the industry is something that can help keep motivation. Know that people in the industry are just that… People, like you and I. Most have been in the exact same situation, and sometimes it helps to know that.
One skill that helped massively with motivation was to not apply for the role you are interested in. I know it sounds counterintuitive, but instead of just applying and then possibly getting an automated response, give the person who posted the job a message, ask a couple of questions, and get a human reply. Just doing this can help you feel like you're part of the industry already, and it can open new doors that you didn't even know were there!
What’s your advice on building a portfolio?
I would say that Artstation.com is a great platform, and using a tool like this to show off your work is a great start.
I think actually to get noticed takes a little more than this, though. After posting a new piece of work to your portfolio, show it off on LinkedIn, in dev groups, or similar places online, ask for criticism and give criticism and praise to others’ work, and get discussing!
A game made in Unity by Richard
How important were networking and community building?
Networking and community building are definitely a huge part of a career in games/app dev, but I wouldn't say it is the be-all and end-all to landing a position.
It can be so difficult and draining looking for a position in the industry, sometimes it can feel like nothing is working and you’re doing something wrong.
Whilst it is always good to switch up a tactic if it isn't working for you long-term, just using the technique of getting a conversation going with a real person in the industry can help keep you motivated and can get you real feedback which will assist you in future searching.
As for long-term careers in the industry, I would say this is where networking comes into play the most. When you have built a large network and keep in contact with others, it can help open new opportunities for you that you didn't even apply for!
What helped you most during the interview process? Did you do anything different from what you used to do before?
I have always seen my interviews for positions as a way just to have a chat with someone face-to-face, talk about my experiences and just show that I believe in myself to an employer. I don't think that changed for this case. I mostly follow a similar pattern for all of my interviews.
Do research on the company you're applying for; if you know information before they start explaining it to you, it looks great.
Go into the interview with the thought that you ARE the best person for the job.
I am not an overly self-confident person with my work, and I'm sure I am not the only one, but try and act a little overconfident (if only for the interview)
Just have a conversation with the person interviewing you, have a laugh, and answer questions with the idea that you are advertising yourself.
If you make it feel like it's not an interview for both parties, that is the best outcome. The less it feels like work for the interviewer, the better!
What would your tips be for creators looking for the same job/role as you?
If you are looking for similar roles to myself (3D Generalist, 3D Artist, Unity/Unreal Developer, or Technical Artist) or any role for that matter, make job posting alerts on LinkedIn, keep track of applications and keep on pushing for those conversions!
Don't forget to work on your portfolio whenever possible, and choose personal projects which suit the roles you're applying for. Try and have at least one example of each skill that may come up. Here is a little list that may help for the roles listed earlier:
- VR focussed project (definitely high-priority)
- Shader Creation or Adaptation
- Lighting-focussed project
- Programming-focused project
- Mobile game development project
- Online Multiplayer functionality
You can follow Richard on Artstation and LinkedIn