Failing Successfully

Failing Successfully

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The only way to be successful is to fail. A lot.

On the surface that might sound oxymoronic, but if you ask anyone you might consider successful, I’d wager they would agree. You’re probably not going to get your degree without failing at a few things first. Be it a homework or exam, a class, or maybe it’s just failing to get to class on time. For every job you’ll get, there will usually be a pile of rejections behind it. Before your project wins its first award, you’ll have submitted to tons of competitions and awards shows, most of which won’t ever get back to you.

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Staying Sane with School, Work, and an Award Winning Side Project

Staying Sane with School, Work, and an Award Winning Side Project

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A couple weeks ago, Crazy Platez—a “side project” I’ve been working on for the past 8 or so months—was announced as the first-place winner in the Student category of the New York State Game Dev Challenge. I say side project with quotes because at times it’s felt more like school and work were the side project. Just a week before the Game Dev Challenge awards ceremony, the team and I skipped classes for a conference where we give a talk and showed the game.

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Balancing Your Budget on Co-op and Beyond

Balancing Your Budget on Co-op and Beyond

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So you’ve gotten the job. Congrats! If this is your first co-op, you’ll probably be pretty giddy when you see the digits on that first pay stub. But, you’re also probably in a new city, and you’ve got lots of cost of living expenses. Before you go off and spend all that cash on a new laptop, let’s think a little more about that paycheck, and what it costs you to earn that money, and how much you might want to save for the semester and beyond.

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Balancing Indie Aspirations in a AAA Program

Balancing Indie Aspirations in a AAA Program

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My interest in the games industry has always been in indie games. For me, college is a chance to quickly level-up and round out my skillsets in as many games-relevant places as I can, so that I can be as strong an independent developer as possible when I graduate. The Game Design and Development program is a very programming-heavy, and focused more on the larger side of the industry. Starting my career in indie games, working through this industry-focused program, and maintaining my own personal well being is a very delicate balance.

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GDEX, GDC, and the Importance of Networking

GDEX, GDC, and the Importance of Networking

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The most crucial tool for anyone trying to get a job in the games industry is their network. As a games student, networking is especially important, as you have little to no industry experience to pad your resume. More often than not, the only way to land that first games job is through someone you know in the games industry. Although there are many ways to make industry connections, there’s really nothing that builds your professional network faster than games conferences.

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Game Jams 101

Game Jams 101

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Earlier this year, Joshua Landman wrote a great blog post on passion projects. I absolutely agree with him in that working on projects outside of class-assigned work is incredibly important as a games student. Not only do personal projects look great to employers, they also provide the opportunity to experiment and develop your skills. But, taking on a long-term passion project is daunting, and there’s many barriers to starting. What do I want to make? Where can I find a team? What skills can I bring to the team?

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