Frequent readers of our blog may remember our interview a few months ago with Vanessa Trepanier from the Video Game Design & Development program. At the time she had just graduated from the 18-month Video Game Design & Development diploma program at the Academy of Design. With a few flash games under her belt, and a portfolio in the works, Vanessa’s future in the industry looked bright.
We followed up with her last week after hearing she scored a great position as a Game Artist for Stir Fry Games. She shared some valuable insight regarding finding work in the video game industry, and how she made her education with us work for her.
Where do you work now? and tell us a little about what you do
I’m a Game Artist at Stir Fry Games, an indie company situated in Guelph Ontario. I do pretty much everything, from concept art to modelling, textures, writing, level design, testing, and even blogging.
Tell us more about Stir Fry Games and how it has become a great fit for you
Stir Fry Games has only been around for a few years, and already the studio’s met with a lot of success! It’s now a three-person operation, and as far as working there goes, it’s pretty much my dream job! Instead of being stuck to one task, I’m able to do a variety of things and truly showcase my talent. I’m also able to give a substantial amount of creative input! It’s definitely a better work environment than a larger studio, in my opinion, because of these creative freedoms and the fact that I’m not stuck doing the same thing over and over again. I want to give the studio the best of my abilities, so we can continue being successful in the future! If you want to follow along on our progress, including our current (top secret) project, then you could head over to our website at www.stirfrygames.com. We have a link to our blog on there.
How did your education at AODT prepare you for working in the industry?
Before I attended the AODT, I didn’t know a thing about video game production, especially the 3D art aspect. After attending the AODT, I was able to make a strong portfolio, and now I’m applying everything I learned at school to my new job. I’m also currently sharing some tricks I learned in school with the 3D community on the SFG blog.
What is the job market like out there for grads of the Video Game Design & Development program?
It all depends where and when you look. Don’t limit yourself to just one place: search all over, as far as you’re willing to move. There are so many game studios out there now, especially in Ontario and BC (and of course the US). Not all studios advertise that they’re looking though, so apply everywhere!
Do you have any words of wisdom for new grads looking to succeed in this industry?
Don’t be upset if you don’t get any interviews right away, especially at big studios. It can take time to get into the industry, and also applying for big studios right away isn’t necessarily the best tactic. Try to get your foot in the door somewhere, then go from there. Also, you can always consider making your own studio!
Are there any popular myths that you have dispelled, now that you are working in the video game industry?
I can safely say that indie can be better than AAA titles sometimes. And it’s not always fun and games, unless you’re trying out other games for “inspiration” at work.
To learn more about Stir Fry Games Studio, and demo some of the games they have developed, please visit http://stirfrygames.com/
Are you interested in our Video Games Design & Development program? Visit the Academy of Design Website [link] for more information about our courses and application requirements. Give us a call at 416-929-0121 today for more info.