How to break into the industry?

  • Page

    of 2 First / Last

    Previous
  • Hurricane333 21 Feb 2011 13:30:50 4 posts
    Seen 4 years ago
    Registered 7 years ago
    First up, apologies if this is in the wrong place. This is my first time on the forums!

    I am a 22-year old Graduate of Nottingham University (American History degree), and currently an intern at a gossip website (www.zoegriffin.co.uk). I am a skilled writer and passionate about games, yet apart from a few work experience stints and my writing occasionally appearing in print (Gamesradar.com/NME.COM/PSM3 Magazine), I have been turned down.

    I have offered to work for no money - turned down. I have offered to work from home - turned down. I have churned out copy at the drop of a hat - turned down.

    Lately I have been in contact with a writer from Eurogamer. I sent an email to this person asking for work, and they replied (after a few weeks) with a list of features and ideas they are looking for. I wrote almost 1,000 words on a subject they suggested, and sent it. A week went by. This person later told me - promised - they would read it soon, as they had a lot of submissions to pour over. That's fair enough. Completely understandable.

    Another week went by. 'Have you read it yet?'. Turns out they are still choc-a-bloc. Again, fair enough. Yet another week goes by. I send another email: 'Have you had the chance in the intervening weeks to read but a few words from this lowly freelancer's pen/keyboard?'. The one-word reply? 'No'.

    How is one supposed to break into the industry when many people on the inside are so unhelpful, or sometimes so rude, that you're lucky if even one out of the hundred people you've contacted even respond?

    In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away. But tell me, am I alone in this?
  • Carlo 21 Feb 2011 13:33:20 18,226 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    why don't you try vg247 and allaboutthegames.co.uk?

    PSN ID: Djini

  • convercide 21 Feb 2011 13:33:21 6,206 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    Stealth 'will you fucking read my 1000 words Mr. Eurogamer?' post.

    If you can read this, you don't need glasses.

  • Deleted user 21 February 2011 13:33:29
    From a publisher's viewpoint, a 'I haven't read it yet' usually amounts to a flat out 'no'. Sorry to say. I can't imagine it's much different from a journo's viewpoint.
  • Carlo 21 Feb 2011 13:35:14 18,226 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    Also, why do't you post it here and we can read it (or reply with tl;dnr) :)

    PSN ID: Djini

  • Deleted user 21 February 2011 13:36:54
    I was trying to get work as a copywriter for a good couple of years before I finally got a job, and experienced many of the issues you talk about.

    My advice would be to ask for feedback whenever you get knocked back. Not everyone will bother, but someone might tell you where you’re going wrong and that can be the most helpful thing in the world. Sometimes that even develops into a mentor type situation.

    Other than that, you just have to be persistent. Write as much as you can – websites, blogs etc, and try and get a name for yourself.

    Getting pissy about it won’t help you though I’m afraid, which is what I suspect this thread is really about.
  • Deleted user 21 February 2011 13:37:12
    Incidentally, I'm guessing lack of pronouns for the writer = sent it to Ellie.
  • convercide 21 Feb 2011 13:37:24 6,206 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    Shikasama wrote:
    Step 3: No matter how 'skilled' you think you are, realise there is always someone better.

    Unless you're Chuck Norris.

    If you can read this, you don't need glasses.

  • Deleted user 21 February 2011 13:37:37
    Also 22 sounds young to me. You can't have been a graduate for that long, which means you can't have been trying to get a job for that long.

    Be patient.
  • Jazzy_Geoff 21 Feb 2011 13:42:40 7,782 posts
    Seen 3 hours ago
    Registered 6 years ago
    Hi Hurricane333

    I'm a senior staff writer at well-known UK gaming publication. I also write for The Guardian and various websites. I'd be happy to take a look at your work. :)
  • Deleted user 21 February 2011 13:42:54
    A final point. Pretty much nobody graduates and jumps straight into their dream job. It doesn’t happen.

    Something you’ll learn is that every time you take a job, even if it doesn’t seem to be directly related to where you want to end up, you gain useful skills and more importantly meet some useful people. This industry is as much about “who you know” as any other, if not moreso.

    I’d look at other writing jobs if I were you. Local journalism or maybe copywriting. That will lead to something else, which will lead to something else, which will lead to something else, and if you’re very lucky one of those “somethings” will be a job in games journalism.
  • Deleted user 21 February 2011 13:45:10
    Also be aware that you may love games. If you do make it as a journo underling, prepare for that love to disappear after you're given all the shit that no-one else wants to review like Pony Party Princess, Ben 10 Pinball and Babysitting Mama.
  • dsmx 21 Feb 2011 13:48:21 7,732 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    Gabe at valve answered this very question and his response was the best of way of getting into the industry is to go out and make your own game, doesn't matter what it's done on, flash, java, whatever you want. Best way of getting noticed is to make something successful, even if it does fail it's something you can put on your CV and something to show people that you have actually done.

    "If we hit that bullseye the rest of the dominoes will fall like a a house of cards, checkmate." Zapp Brannigan

  • Deleted user 21 February 2011 13:49:40
    dsmx wins the 'I didn't read the original post' award. :D
  • Mugwum 21 Feb 2011 13:53:47 625 posts
    Seen 3 weeks ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Hey Hurricane333,

    I'm sorry you feel like we've given you short shrift, and I can appreciate that being told we're very busy isn't reassuring. We're not being rude though - we get a large number of requests and do our best to read and respond to them all.

    The landscape's changed a lot since I started here, but I think the same thing has always been true - if you're talented and you write in public, people will notice and it will make it easier to get involved professionally. A personal blog where you deal with issues that matter to you is a great public portfolio to have, and remember that less is often more.

    Incidentally, we do not accept and publish free submissions, which is a rule I introduced when I took over as editor, because I believe that if we think someone's work is good enough to be published in our name then we should pay for it.

    Tom.
  • woodnotes 21 Feb 2011 13:55:11 4,944 posts
    Seen 12 hours ago
    Registered 11 years ago
    dsmx wrote:
    Gabe at valve answered this very question and his response was the best of way of getting into the industry is to go out and make your own game, doesn't matter what it's done on, flash, java, whatever you want. Best way of getting noticed is to make something successful, even if it does fail it's something you can put on your CV and something to show people that you have actually done.
    You didn't read the OP, but your point can still be translated to the OP's application. Instead of making his own game, perhaps the OP could write his own blog, start his own site etc - use it as a forum to write some interesting features and gain some attention. Alternatively the OP can go out and get a proper job and stop squandering my tax money.
  • Spin_Dr_Wolf 21 Feb 2011 13:55:37 6,170 posts
    Seen 11 hours ago
    Registered 11 years ago
    convercide wrote:
    Stealth 'will you fucking read my 1000 words Mr. Eurogamer?' post.
    I think they have to at least try to hide the motivation a little to count as a stealth post. This however is about as stealthy and hidden as Rambo making a night assualt in a bright neon pink ice cream van with 1000 local indigenious children chasing him screaming for another cornetto.
  • Carlo 21 Feb 2011 13:56:00 18,226 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    Mugwum wrote:
    Incidentally, we do not accept and publish free submissions, which is a rule I introduced when I took over as editor, because I believe that if we think someone's work is good enough to be published in our name then we should pay for it.

    Tom.
    Except the readers reviews right? Maybe he could get some traction that way?

    PSN ID: Djini

  • Mugwum 21 Feb 2011 14:00:20 625 posts
    Seen 3 weeks ago
    Registered 13 years ago
    Carlo wrote:
    Mugwum wrote:
    Incidentally, we do not accept and publish free submissions, which is a rule I introduced when I took over as editor, because I believe that if we think someone's work is good enough to be published in our name then we should pay for it.

    Tom.
    Except the readers reviews right? Maybe he could get some traction that way?

    Yep, this is true. That's another way to catch our attention too!
  • Scurrminator 21 Feb 2011 14:00:21 8,469 posts
    Seen 8 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    There are so many people in this industry that are out of work at the moment due to devs shutting down left right and center that the chances of someone with no experience getting in are quite slim at present.
    Try broadening your horizons and looking abroad if possible. Try and get some playtest work. Check out gamedevmap and email all those in the local area etc.

    You dare to strike Scurrcules!?

  • Syrette 21 Feb 2011 14:02:08 44,232 posts
    Seen 5 minutes ago
    Registered 12 years ago
    How good is your oral sex technique?

  • morriss 21 Feb 2011 14:04:18 71,286 posts
    Seen 2 days ago
    Registered 10 years ago
    Carlo wrote:
    why don't you try vg247 and allaboutthegames.co.uk?
    Yeah, because they're two sites on a par with one another. :)

    One has over around 700k uu per month, the other about 700. But yeah, try 'em both! :)
  • Carlo 21 Feb 2011 14:08:17 18,226 posts
    Seen 2 hours ago
    Registered 9 years ago
    I have to make sure the two recommendations I make are on par with each other?

    PSN ID: Djini

  • convercide 21 Feb 2011 14:15:16 6,206 posts
    Seen 4 hours ago
    Registered 8 years ago
    Spin Dr Wolf wrote:
    convercide wrote:
    Stealth 'will you fucking read my 1000 words Mr. Eurogamer?' post.
    I think they have to at least try to hide the motivation a little to count as a stealth post. This however is about as stealthy and hidden as Rambo making a night assualt in a bright neon pink ice cream van with 1000 local indigenious children chasing him screaming for another cornetto.

    They are allowed just one cornetto.

    If you can read this, you don't need glasses.

  • matt6666 21 Feb 2011 14:17:39 2,620 posts
    Seen 3 years ago
    Registered 6 years ago
    I just reviewed Perfect Storm the movie.. Gave it an 8.
  • Hurricane333 21 Feb 2011 14:52:30 4 posts
    Seen 4 years ago
    Registered 7 years ago
    Big thanks to everyone that replied with something constructive! I've taken everything onboard.

    I tried to be as polite as I could. My aim was not to be 'whiney'. I'm really not hiding anything. My original post was what I professed it to be: my dissatisfaction with the chronicle of let-downs I've experienced, and a call to others to share their own experiences with breaking into the industry.

    Though, I do like how active the Eurogamer writers, such as the editor, Tom, are on this board. It's a good atmosphere.

    And just to reinforce my statement, yes, I do understand videogame websites get hundreds of submissions each week, and I'm not a delicate, unique snowflake.

    Looking forward to hearing your views on this issue.
  • LionheartDJH 21 Feb 2011 14:55:17 19,548 posts
    Seen 22 minutes ago
    Registered 5 years ago
    Watch this.

    She dives for cheese pasties

  • Page

    of 2 First / Last

    Previous
Log in or register to reply