Monday, 23 June 2014

How To Get Into The Gaming Industry Part 2: Exclusinterview with Cade Peterson and Agnieszka Szostak

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In Part 2 of this 2 part series, I'll be speaking to former Playstation Community Manager and Lead Moderator Cade Peterson, and Owner of PR Outreach (A PR firm specializing in indie developers) Agnieszka Szostak! Now, get out your tablets and Evernote apps, the industry doctors are in session.

The first thing about getting into the game industry is that "There is no "way"", as Peterson puts it. It can happen in a variety of different ways. You could either "Apply for a position you are qualified for or start low on the totem pole, then work your way up from there.", but things can just come to you, or you can be in the right place at the right time. Peterson continues:  "I got lucky. Playstation found me. I wasn't trying to get a job there, I just got an email out of the blue."

Still, another great way to get a job is to get involved with the gaming community. Szostak explains her path into the gaming industry: "I was a huge classic point and click fan and took my chances in one of the contests the Adventure Zone (A Polish Point and Click game news website) website was organizing, where you could win of the (back then) popular adventure games.  Even though I found the website by accident... I won the contest! But I kind of felt it's not fair that I showed up there and constantly won, so I got in touch with the site admin asking if I could do something for them in rematch. He got back to me saying I could write a review of the game I just won and if it was any good, they would publish it. And so I did. Sent them my review, they posted it and offered me writing some more for them until eventually they'd hired me as an Editor! So in fact, I started off as a Journalist, not a PR person." Szostak's story proves that if you get involved with gaming websites and are an avid forum-goer, opportunities may arise, and you don't necessarily have to get tons of qualifications to get the job you want, you just need to be good at it, as Szostak continues "Forget about courses. Instead write, read, research yourself as much as you can and most of all be creative!".

Another great piece of advice comes from Peterson, who says "Move and live where the game companies are (In the US, mostly West Coast cities: Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego.)." So, for instance, in the UK, the best places to go would be Dundee (Home of Rockstar and Ruffian Games), and Brighton (Home of Relentless and Zoe Mode). It's really all about finding where game development is a big thing, and going there so you're right in the heart of it.

But the most important thing about how to get into the industry is to find your calling, because when you're good at something and you can demonstrate how good you are at it, then any game company could hire you. As Szostak says: "Looking at my experience, quite a lot of people being good PR reps neither studied the field nor had any internship in it. Quite often they moved from other fields or were lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. I'd say that doing some internships or studying PR might help, but it's not a required condition for the job."

So there you have it! Hopefully, this advice will help you get into the industry, so good luck! Also, a huge thanks to Cade Peterson, who you should follow on Twitter @CadeRageous, and another huge thanks to Agnieszka Szostak, who you should follow on Twitter @Aga_Szostak. If you missed out on Part 1 (My interview with Scott Harber of sc0tt games), then click the link here!

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