What follows is a raw, completely unedited (sorry) excerpt from the next book I’m in the process of writing (you can preorder it here). In it, I cover a big no-no (in my opinion) when it comes to working for free.
If you’re looking to break into audio for games, you may be tempted to jump at the first opportunity that arises to just do something. Often, that’s a hobby developer doing something awesome on the side – but with no money. This is not a solution to your catch-22 where you need to have industry experience to get a job in the industry. I outline other, successful solutions in the book.
If you’re looking to break into the audio-side of the games industry, I’m writing this book for you. So if you’re overwhelmed by information on the internet, don’t know what to focus on, read too many threads on Reddit and Twitter, can’t focus, are stuck in a catch-22 where you need experience to get hired but can’t get it without being hired, or super depressed and never think you’ll get a shot… This one’s for you. I’m bringing my industry pals in to voice their opinions (that may not agree with me) too. Again – preorder here.
Hope you enjoy the content.
DO NOT, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES
Lastly I want to talk about what you’ll be most tempted to do, that you should not do.
There are many people online (or even in person!) who really want to make games, and have no money. You will be offered “pay” in “exposure” or “something on the back end” – which, when you have no experience and are completely naive sound like fantastic deals.
To top it off, despite the fact that you aren’t stupid, you’ll find one of these people and convince yourself that they’re not like all the other stories you’ve heard. This person is different, super nice and inspiring, has great ideas, and makes you really excited! While all of that is great, there is still a massive percentage chance that you’re going to be taken advantage of.
Please, do not take on any game project for future exposure, percentage profits on the back end (without anything up front), or any sort of future-promise. It very likely will not turn out good for you in the end. The moment you realize that you’re being taken advantage of (you’ll shrug this off a few times), you’ll be so emotionally invested that it will be hard to break away. Then they’ll speak rudely to you or about you, and it’ll get worse.
If you’re going to take on a project like this against my advice, you must define two things:
- A drop dead end date, in the very near future (no more than a few weeks at most)
- A definitive scope of work.
Keep in mind, the two things above should sound completely laughable to you. Realistically, you should know even while reading this that the schedule you agree upon isn’t going to be followed – neither is the scope of work. When you’re being paid for your work, developers pushing deadlines or increasing scope is an entirely different conversation, and a place to negotiate.
When you’re not getting paid, those places are just the most immediate where you get screwed and abused.
So don’t do it, for you and for me okay? I’ve provided you now with 3 different alternatives. Take advantage! There’s these and so many awesome unique ways to get game projects developed and to be part of a team. Jump at the good opportunities – and when some fail, dust yourself off and move to the next one! Remember it’s not about how perfect your work is and getting the perfect opportunities. Instead, just do consistently good work for an extended period of time. Don’t worry about the failures, because you’ll eventually pile up successes all over them anyway.
If you’ve gotten something out of the content above and you’re interested in more, like more successful options to get that elusive “industry experience”, you can preorder the book now.
Regardless, I’d love to hear from you and what you’re most struggling with when trying to land your first gig – tweet me @adamtcroft
Copyright 2016-2017, Adam T. Croft, all rights reserved.