I make apps for other people

Pricey, pricey

Posted by Chris Jones
On May 22nd, 2007 at 13:13

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Posted in Games

My wife and I have discussed what it would take to get me into the game industry. She wants things like “stability,” a “house with a yard,” and “not looking for another job or moving every year.” Hmm. Somehow, she doesn’t feel the same enthusiasm and excitement that I get when I talk to people who are working in gaming.

This has come up again because we’re (a) moving from our high mortgage home into a rental to save income (and lose equity) and (b) getting me into a position where if something did come up, I could take it easier. Plus she doesn’t like the house that much. No yard. Oh, and Game Career Guide (a service of Gamasutra) sent me links to a couple articles in a spam mail.

Are you in demand? 2006 developer salaries tells me that I’m not inconsistent in asking for a salary like the one I earn today. I’ve got 11 years professional experience in software development, and something like the equivalent of three or more in gaming (my blog is at least three years old) plus significant MUD/MOO development experience from college. All I need now is to complete demo materials, right? 😉 Unfortunately, that salary may only be realistic in California or Washington where housing prices are astronomical and the cost of living is measured in souls. Or something like that.

Oh, and something to keep in mind about the game industry, and probably the WORST thing about it: Applying for your first game job: Developers and Publishers. Why do I feel like the salary of the publisher’s employees is more secure than the studio’s developer salaries?

Finally, raking coals from April 2007, a big brouhaha erupted over MOGBlog’s “Wanted: two-million dollars” post. Brian “Psychochild” Green set him straight. I didn’t contribute to this thread as I had my own take on it a year earlier with a follow-up on how hard it is to make money on MMOs. I’m seriously considering that the traditional monthly subscription MMO is a business model that is on its way out, and that lower cost indie development may be the only future for non-coporate gaming.

One last link in the farm: once my move is complete, I’m going to try to carve some time out every day to participate in the Thousand Hour Club for indie game and MMO development (catch Scott Hsu-Storaker’s followup a year later to see how it worked out for him). I’ve been following the progress of Gianfranco Beradi at GBGames and it seems to be working for him, so it’s about time I do the same.

2 Responses to “Pricey, pricey”

  1. maiki Says:

    What is it that you want to do in the gaming industry? I mean, job titles aside, what would be the day to day tasks that you would be happy to be responsible for?

    On another note, I thought I could just read a quick post and move on… now I have how many links to follow? Are you an associate of Wikipedia?

  2. Chris Says:

    I’d be looking for a software development/coding position, in all likelihood. I’ve got 11 years of professional software development experience, most of it in Java, but with a smattering of Python, C, C++, VB, Perl, etc., at work, plus the C# I’m learning off-and-on at home. I’ve been through the whole software development life cycle several times, and parts of it more often than I can remember. I’ve architected business-critical enterprise applications for the second largest grocery retailer in the world, and done maintenance coding there as well ( a few years earlier). I do data modeling and database design, reporting databases, and light DBA work (not stored procedures, though). I’ve interacted with QA, developed and executed test plans, reported to higher ups, given presentations, taught groups from one to over a hundred people, and all the other things that you’d expect corporate staffers and consultants to do in an IT job–even configured routers, strung networking cable, and designed networks.

    So I’d be good just about anywhere, but in an MMO development team, I’d be happiest developing server backends and I’d likely enjoy developing workflow/pipeline tools.

    Hehe, an associate of Wikipedia. Naw, I was just dumping some of what I had looked at over lunch and wrote in an email to my wife.