Full Sail University College Student (GDBS) Networking Class Discussion

Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening,
Depending on when you are viewing this forums post will depict the time of day it is for you. My name is Brandon LaPinska and I am currently attending Full Sail University seeking my degree within Video Game Design. We were issued a task/assignment to put ourselves out on a networking project to try to reach out to industry professionals to begin networking prior to completing our degree field. While we seek these industry professionals online we were also told to ask specific questions in which I will post below to see who would like to respond to them. Please keep the thread professional and Industry Professionals please respond to this thread only.

What advice would you give to a student trying to obtain a job within the Video Game Design Field?

There was also a request to have a mentor and to be able to ask other specific questions about the Video Game Industry but as of right now I will wait to see if I can find a mentor within the Unreal Community.

Brandon LaPinska
Full Sail University
BS- Game Design

My advice–make sure you plan out what you want to do with your portfolio long before you graduate. Make sure you have enough time to build a portfolio that will get you the job you want. Sometimes schools won’t talk about it until some portfolio class in your last semester, and that’s not enough time to build it up right. That also requires knowing exactly what job you want.

Work every single day towards your goal. There are a lot of people in the market for game design jobs. Anything you can do to make yourself stand out will help. I remember hearing a story about a man who got hired at Epic simply because he just showed up to the studio one day dressed as a storm trooper. Of course if you do something like that you will need to be able to back it up once you get in. Which goes back to working on your craft every single day.

And if the storm trooper thing doesn’t work out you will still have a strong portfolio.

That was Epic Games’ own Chris Bartlett (aka TK409) - though if I’m not mistaken he left last year and now works at Crystal Dynamics.

Hi Brandon,

I went to Fullsail as well (graduated from the video game bachelors last November). From my perspective, make sure that you have interests outside of gaming and the game industry. Obviously these are important, but having interests and skills outside of the industry are vital to a developer. I would also recommend checking out It is an awesome resource for people trying to break into the industry. Finally, make stuff. In particular, don’t be afraid to make bad stuff, because it is through the bad that you learn what works and what does not.

This is a big one.

Market yourself in a professional manner. That is, even if you have a very silly game (or games), present it(them) as a professional. Visit game professionals websites for ideas of how to present your own work, but don’t plagiarize their presentation style. In short you want to convey that you are serious about entering the industry and that once you’re in that you will be reliable in terms of showing up and working as well as being a team player in terms of getting along with your coworkers. This starts in school, so a letter of recommendation from an instructor verifying you possess these qualities would be a great asset.