During my time as a student, I took a number of game development courses. Melbourne is just great for these cutting-edge game courses and I had a great time. Along the way I realised how social you’ve got to be to make it in the industry, so here’s how I made the most of my IT courses.
Getting involved in extracurricular activities may not be as important while you’re studying humanities or even something more practical like science or law. However, game dev is special because it’s hands-on, creative and vocational all at the same time. Getting involved in things outside of your classes will help a tonne when you’re looking for a job after graduating. For example, I took part in a yearly game jam with my friends. We stayed up for three days drinking coffee and building a game. It was hard work but the game turned out awesome and it was so fun to see what the other teams had produced. I’d also recommend checking all the notice boards at uni, keeping up to date with your facebook feed and even asking your tutors what to get involved in outside of your game design course.
Meeting people in your industry is just as important for maximising your career prospects. You basically have to go to all the events you can go to, say hi to everyone and chat with everyone you can. For me as a shy person it was quite challenging at first but I did ease into it. Once I shed off my youthful insecurities, I found that most people are pretty pleasant to deal with (especially people in the gaming/IT field – they’re so chill!) and more often than not they’re willing to help hook you up with your next job or gig. I even got chatty with people at my part time job (I worked in a bar at the time) and was surprised to find that even this helped me meet some people in the industry. Talking to everyone sure was an unexpected way to make the most of my gaming courses.