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094 y C A R E E R A D VA N C E M E N T _ S h e r i R u b i n YOUR JOB IS AN RPG ADVANCING YOUR CONTINUING CAREER WITHIN THE GAME INDUSTRY game developer magazine S h e r i R u b i n 094 game developer magazine Creating Your Character As you prepare to create your character make sure you read up on all the classes (disciplines) to choose from, as each has their own strengths and weaknesses. There are also different ways you can go about developing as an adventurer, from training up in a specific set of skills or spells (e.g. shaders and automation) to rising up the ranks in a guild (e.g. seniors and leads). Since you're in the industry, you've already done the prep work of choosing your class, figuring out your base stats and skills, and setting out to get experience as a junior adventurer. But what happens when you level up: Have you figured out what you want your character to do and be as it gets more experience? What feats (Improved Crash Finding) will you choose? Where will you put your skill points (rigging, textures, lighting)? Should you go multi- class (designer/programmer) or focus on a sub-class (quest writer)? The best way to ensure you have the career you want is to decide what paths you want to take. If you have no idea what kind of adventurer you want to be at level 20 then you'll spend levels 1-19 just randomly rolling the dice and hoping it all works out – if you can keep your character alive that long! Instead, if you think a bit farther than your current quest you can make sure you're finding the right equipment, learning the right spells, going on the right quests, and hanging out with the right adventurers. So take a moment to really stop and think about what it is that you want long-term. What goals do you have and why do you have them? Do you want to become known for a specialty (environments)? Do you want to lead a guild (creative director)? Become a trainer (game educator)? The answers to those questions and more will really help you define your path and make progress a lot easier as you take the next step in creating your character: procuring equipment and armor. S O HERE YOU ARE - ALL THOSE YEARS OF HARD WORK BUILDING YOUR brand, learning your craft, and networking have paid off, and you're living the dream as a video game developer. Now you just have to do well at your job, and the rest will take care of itself… …except it won't. The reality is that not only to get in but stay in this industry you'll need to put in some hard work both in and outside of your normal jobs or projects. It doesn't matter if you're a generalist or a specialist, if you've been in the industry for 2 months or 2 years (or even 2 decades!)--it doesn't even matter if you're "indie" or "AAA"--the same rules apply for everyone, and wearing rose-colored glasses won't help you one bit. One of the biggest misconceptions people have is thinking once you've gotten a job in the industry you've already proven yourself worthy, so you can always get that next job. Believing in that misconception can be a costly, time consuming mistake as you can find yourself back at square one, without a job, having to "re-prove" yourself all over again. Instead, you need to think about your career as if you were in an RPG, and learn how to equip, train, and become a successful adventurer. This industry is constantly changing, and one skill you honed to perfection may get nerfed in 6 months, becoming irrelevant. You may be tromping through forests only to find out that most mercenaries have taken to sea, because boats are the new way citizens like to travel. If you're running your character (aka you) correctly though, you will constantly hear the beloved "ding!" and get access to the best loot and best adventures. So how do you level up? You start with the character creation process (goals); procure your equipment and armor (personal brand); move on to training (professional development); and then go out and find the best bars, inns, and local festivals (networking).

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