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video game and/or special jobs?

Apr 25 '12 27 Last Comment
archinet
Apr 25, 12 10:43 am

does anyone have information on where to look for video game design jobs? or digital artist/special effects jobs? Has anyone crossed over to that path? Is an architectural education helpful for this type of career?

I've heard rumors that the pay is far better for a recent grad then venturing into architecture

 

Xenakis
Apr 25, 12 11:49 am

I was a Video game 3d Artist for 11 years at Rockstar Games before switching tom arch.

Pay is better? 

I made over twice what I am making now. - but you earn every cent of it - don't kid yourself

http://www.gamasutra.com/jobsearch

http://www.glassdoor.com/Job/Electronic-Arts-Jobs-E1628.htm

Zygna here in SF and Oh try KIxEye and be awsomer tey have jobs adds in all the BART cars. Jeez I am zoning out on the 10 car SFO Millbrae and there is this damn Kixeye add starin at me.

http://www.kixeye.com/jobs/

archinet
Apr 25, 12 12:18 pm

why did you switch into arch.? do you regret leaving the gaming industry? 

do you know of any companies in Canada? (am Canadian)

 

Xenakis
Apr 25, 12 12:59 pm

all of the games I worked, where based on urban design and architecture concepts(MidNight Club 1-4), MidTown Madness and Red Dead Redemption) we created a BIM like system of city and building construction with Maya and Mel, and since I was always interested in architecture anyway - I thought it would be cool to use this methodology in architecture. While working part time at Rockstar(40 hour weeks) I studied architecture and used Maya in most of m yschool projects then switched to Revit during my thesis year - was hired by SOM-SF the day I graduated - now I work at a small office in San Francisco working on offices for social media and video game companies. pursuing a goal is great - great to make a difference and help in technological change - but we need to be prudent and consider our financial responsibilities. When I was at Rockstar, there were many expat architects - many from Canada.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockstar_Toronto

 

remember - Cntl Z does not work in the real world - chose wisely

RZTZ
Apr 25, 12 3:42 pm

zenakis - so did you like the video game industry? would you recommend the industry to other people? did it eat at your soul? are you happy with the switch?

You say "choose wisely" without really offering any advice.

 

Xenakis
Apr 25, 12 4:18 pm

In architecture, I believe I am making a difference - working on the designs of buildings that form the real world -  sure it pays less - but making games about crashing cars, shooting people? war?, financial ruin? - don't think so - we need to get real - My advice is to go with architecture - make a difference - We need to get real -or it will be "Game Over" for all of us.

archinet
Apr 25, 12 4:53 pm

zenakis 

   I am just now looking into all of this- however isn't the video gaming industry getting larger? And more profitable? As a result they must be trying to make games that have a larger appeal to various types of people- not just teenage boys?

Maybe it could become a new serious art form in itself? maybe there is a way for architects to capitalize on this, and actually produce games ourselves? Elevate the standard. For instance my father had a stroke a couple of years ago and used the wii video games to help with his physiotherapy. So I guess it can't be all doom and gloom type games out there.

I am just now looking into this myself. So its good to hear from someone who worked in the industry for awhile. I guess it depends who you work for, and chances are that most of the games will be bad.

Doing a year or two to pay off my student debt might not be a bad idea. Potentially expanding my career opportunities. And anyways if you are using revit while designing video games should be possible to switch back into architecture. Or go into the movie industry. 

Paul PetruniaPaul Petrunia
Apr 25, 12 5:01 pm

zenakis - that's such a refreshing perspective to read. And totally true.

Xenakis
Apr 25, 12 5:52 pm

archinet

Doing a year or two to pay off my student debt might not be a bad idea. Potentially expanding my career opportunities. And anyways if you are using revit while designing video games should be possible to switch back into architecture. Or go into the movie industry. 

Doing a year or two to pay off my student debt might not be a bad idea - This is a great idea - except for 1 major thing - after 2 years in the game industry - you pay off your debt.and you start looking for an architecture job. now w/o any architecture office experience, you will be competing with recent grads- they will discourage you as they did me - it took two years of arch experience to convince architecture office principals I was serious -

Back to your first Para - architecture can use the technology in games and social media to drive architecture - Check out Tron Legacy - the 3D scene design was all designed by architects - interjuxtaposing architecture, games and social media will take architecture to it's next level.

 

archinet
Apr 25, 12 6:35 pm

yes but zenakis

   .....i have two years experience doing competitions and renderings for famous architects so the THEY can get rich and published, and anyways these fantasy proposals might as well be put into a video game. oh yeah and before that I worked for an arch practice doing cd's for a homeless shelter that is built and published quite a bit. So I am getting a bit tired of just sticking to being a poor arch. as the "ONLY" option to contribute the discourse of architecture itself....as for TRON legacy- that director guy just trained as an architect, but he is not practicing as an architect. And that's what I am getting at- I would not mind pursuing a career path like his. I think more of us should try that....but I would also like to do real built work as well

Anyways I believe you when you claim that working as a video game artist was a terrible experience. I am not so sure that just sticking to architecture itself is the ONLY way to go about it all. So I was wondering about other ways to expand my career options....so its good to hear from people that worked both sides. I am just trying to find out how to mediate both career paths 

Xenakis
Apr 25, 12 7:06 pm

Archinet

That being the case - then go for it - we need to be more fluxable anyway - and that's the path to growth - not doing the same path 20th century style - hell - I never did that anyway

 

Ryan KnockRyan Knock
Apr 25, 12 10:47 pm

"now I work at a small office in San Francisco working on offices for social media and video game companies. pursuing a goal is great - great to make a difference and help in technological change "

 

is this truly making a difference in the architectural industry? is it any different making an office environment for those game companies than it was making virtual environments for them? are you really helping in "technological change"? thought more of that could be do working on the games and technologies ... unless I"m completely wrong and  these companies have something really innovative as far as TI renovations in the works!  

design
Apr 26, 12 2:33 am

Is there a reason to do anything? why are we here?

jk3hl
Apr 26, 12 8:34 am

this thread is now about the meaning of life. GO!!!

archinet
Apr 26, 12 9:13 am

its always at the end of threads when things get a bit weird....this started from using an architecture education to make money working in the games industry to questioning if there is a reason to anything.

Gold

Xenakis
Apr 26, 12 11:46 am

Ryan Knock

Making a difference? Sure - take the knowledge I gained from the game industry and apply it to problem solving in architecture -  True I haven't written any papers, made presentations, built a website - This is a very competitive arena and I don't want to come off as a "me too" moron - the public arena is every critical.

Spencedawg
Apr 26, 12 2:47 pm

Zenakis: Where I work we have considered working as consultants for environment and level design for the gaming industry. Is there any specific branch of a company I should be directing my questions to (besides HR) to offer our design services etc?

Xenakis
Apr 26, 12 2:52 pm

I would say: Level design, game design + art direction -

archinet
Apr 26, 12 5:49 pm

Spencedawg

   ...........noooooooo you're stealing my idea!! think about it all the digital competition models of buildings, cities, etc that could just be sold to a gaming company....these could be just plugged into a game 

Xenakis
Apr 26, 12 6:08 pm

only after optimization - the Polycount will bog the game engine - you must maintain 30/frms/sec for realtime performance - sold to a gaming company? maybe - at R*, our game designers would bust out levels in Sketchup, and we would import them into Maya - the mess of mismatched vertices and edges was pretty hellacious - If you do want to sell models to game studios - they need to be built for the specific game and game engine - they pay their own artist 80k++/yr to rebuild this stuff. 

archinet
Apr 26, 12 6:13 pm

......as architects we should just use these game engines for our design work....we can always just sell it to a video game company after

H3ndrik
Apr 26, 12 9:34 pm

EA out in Vancouver hires architects

archinet
Apr 27, 12 5:34 am

yeah thanks H3ndrik

    .....i have been checking out UbiSoft....maybe they hire architects

LITS4FormZ
Apr 27, 12 3:36 pm

 

Master's Thesis: Game Design and Architecture [02.10.09]
- Christopher W. Totten

http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/705/masters_thesis_game_design_and_.php

I wrote a similar research paper on this topic in grad school but this thesis provides some interesting insight in the differences between the architectural design progress and gaming design. The notion of "play-testing" architecture is something I applied to my own thesis. 

Xenakis
Apr 27, 12 4:25 pm

 

I did this too - in 2005 - when I created my own BIM system in Maya - all I did really is take what we were doing for level design at Rockstar for city race games - Midnight Club 1-4 - and apply it to architecture - I would later use the same process at SOM for the Park Merced project.

I wrote a similar research paper on this topic in grad school but this thesis provides some interesting insight in the differences between the architectural design progress and gaming design. The notion of "play-testing" architecture is something I applied to my own thesis. 

Xenakis
Apr 27, 12 6:10 pm

Play testing buildings 

Where I went to arc. school - Dr. Edelstein a classmate of mine is engaged in this type of research

http://www.newschoolarch.edu/about/neuroscience.html

Ryan KnockRyan Knock
Apr 27, 12 6:33 pm

play testing does seem pretty awesome ... not trying to question anyone's reasons or professional choices on here ... it seems like via a video game you can in some ways reach a much greater audience, but if those games are primarily about death and destruction, than yes, you are making a difference, but in the wrong way...  in an office design you can effect the way a few people work, day to day, for incredibly long hours, as we well know at these companies. You can make a difference, even if it just very basic ergonomics and evironmental quality.

 

however, I digress. What do I really think? Do what makes you happy, who cares what I, or others, think.

archinet
Apr 28, 12 7:56 am

zenakis

  that's an awsome approach you did at SOM... I think it would be a good idea for architects to also offer their services to gaming companies- especially when times are tough 

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