We're roughly four weeks out from the 2014 Game Developers Conference, and today show organizers are highlighting the Game Career Seminar, which offers lectures, panels, and presentations to help new and aspiring developers kick-start their careers in the game business.
This one-day program will take place Friday, March 21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, and will give attendees the chance to learn about the industry and network with leading professionals and HR representatives, both within sessions and at the show's robust Career Pavilion.
The Game Career Seminar is open to all GDC pass holders, including Expo Pass holders. It's also accessible via a special one-day Student Pass for currently enrolled students over the age of 18 -- available on-site on Friday, March 21 for just $75.
Here are a few highlights from this year's list of Game Career Seminar sessions:
In the two-part session "Killer Portfolio or Portfolio Killer," a panel of artists and art directors from Bungie, Firaxis, Epic, Irrational, and 343 Industries will share advice and help attendees perfect their art portfolio, so that they'll be better prepared to score a job working on games.
The first session will focus primarily on the dos and don'ts of artist portfolios, and will allow the audience to ask the panelists for specific tips and advice during a Q&A segment. The second session will focus on one-on-one portfolio reviews, giving attendees a chance to get advice and criticism specific to their needs.
In another panel, NuChallenger game design director Shawn Alexander Allen will share tips and advice to help eager game makers start working on their first personal project. His session, titled simply Breaking the Barriers of Making Your Own Games, will shed some light on the path of a former AAA game developer (now independent game designer) who took over 14 years to make his first game, and how newcomers and industry veterans alike can more effectively tackle the unknown and create their own games. Allen, who previously worked on games like Grand Theft Auto V, will share tangible examples of how and why attendees should go home and start making their masterpiece.
Of course, every game -- big or small, good or bad -- has a development process full of things that go well, and things that go not-quite-so-well. Check out the perennially popular Mini-postmortems session during the GDC 2014 Game Career Seminar to hear real talk from three speakers -- Zoe Quinn, Greg Lobanov and Brendon Sheffield -- discussing three games from three different angles for 20 minutes each. The 60-minute session should help you avoid making some of the same mistakes these developers did -- or at least be ready to deal with the consequences when you do make them
Also, Kixeye's Andrew Maximov will give a presentation titled 9 Career Things I Wish I Could Tell My Past Self in which he explains just about all the major mistakes he made as an aspiring artist. Maximov plans to talk about the importance of having your priorities straight, getting a narrower focus, developing the right attitude, getting education online and from formal education establishments, working smarter, and ultimately finding your dream job.
If you're looking for advice on successfully crowdfunding your game, check out Necrosoft Games director Brandon Sheffield's Crowdfunding -- How to Make It As An Unknown session. This panel features speakers -- like Zoya Street and Tyriq Plummer -- who only squeaked by their game crowdfunding goals, and they'll be discussing promotion techniques, social networking, video creation and overall how to make a good pitch and deliver on the promises made.
Finally, don't miss Spreadsheets for Game Designers, an info-packed session led by Fay Games CEO Ira Fay that aims to provide an introduction to what is secretly one of the more useful tools you'll ever use: the humble spreadsheet. Fay believes spreadsheets are a vital tool for designers who want to build a well-balanced game, and she plans to show you how they can help you organize your design process, analyze playtest data and post-launch game data, and more.
For more information on these sessions or others in the show's growing lineup, check out GDC 2014's official Schedule Builder, which continues to add new talks every week. GDC 2014 itself will take place March 17-21 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
Gamasutra and GDC are sibling organizations under parent UBM Tech