Going from Game to IxD industry

30 Oct 2011 - 9:29am
2 years ago
16 replies
938 reads
BitterD
2011

Hi, I was wondering if anyone can provide me some guidance. I have a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Design and Human-Computer Interaction. I entered the game industry instead, thinking there would be plenty of interaction/UX design opportunities (since I thought games are supposedly highly interactive). However I find that is not the case, and the industry is more geared towards art production (due to time/cost restraints), so I've been working in motion graphics design/Flash animation positions for the past year  since I've graduated from college and doing front-end coding for  side projects sites and my company's site.

I want to do interaction or user experience design (which was what I did more of in school), and get past focusing on making eye candy (not that I don't think visual design is important, but I don't think it's my forte). 

Ideally, I want to go back for a Masters degree in HCI or interaction design, but I was wondering if I should try for an interaction design internship instead. Or am I overqualified for internships at this point? I feel like a lot of junior job postings expect prior experience in the field.

I would greatly appreciate any advice, thanks!

Comments

31 Oct 2011 - 4:28am
bettina
2011

Hey BitterD, same here, and I totally hear you. I'm currently trying to make the same transition. Not sure whether a Masters Degree will make any difference. From my experience results are what count and that you can show that you approach problems with a certain type of thinking.

What you could do is show step by step how you would re-design interfaces to improve user experience. I think showing the process during an interview and eplaining how you approached the problem and how you solved it makes a better impression then a masters degree attached to your name.

As for Junior positions, I totally agree that the entrance barriers have gotten higher, not only for junior positions, but more in general. It's increasingly becoming more certain that as designer you need to be able to code as well for many positions within UI/UX, even if you are just the UX Architect. Don't let that demotivate you. Instead you can use your problem solving mentioned form above and use this as opportunity to teach yourself some new skills.

Again this shows that you are a dedicated learner, something you need in this job, and you'll have the ability to talk about your learning experience as well during interviews. 

 

31 Oct 2011 - 4:52pm
benjabennett
2008

You studied both HCI and Interaction Design in school and you have a bachelor's specializing in both? No need to go back to school. You need some experience. Start some side projects and build your portfolio then apply for some entry to intermediate level positions.  My opinion is that a Masters won't get you much farther than your bachelor's. Just do, do, do.

31 Oct 2011 - 7:03pm
BitterD
2011

Thanks for the tip. I actually studied Industrial Design & HCI, not Interaction Design & HCI. Would you still recommend I do the same? 

1 Nov 2011 - 2:42pm
Richard Carson
2010

I think it's a shame to turn your back on something such as the game industry. I'm sure you like games, and I consider gaming as a place where interaction happens at the speed of light. However, I have to agree with you on how many game productions handle their next upcoming games. Most are just visual upgrades, done within the realms of art production. Which is where the interaction thinking should occur. Blending both art and interaction into one.  People might sneer at the idea of designing for flying pigs with guns, or soldiers at war, but behind each of them is a real person. Which also means that entering interaction design shouldn't be a place where people go to escape the fact that they are not creative or have an artistic eye. Not that you can't create the world's most dominating piece of s#it, and run it on every computer in the world.

1 Nov 2011 - 4:20pm
sheenmay
2009

You sound like you're just slighting BitterD's decision to change industries, and underestimating their creative capabilities. Shame on you. 

2 Nov 2011 - 12:07am
Richard Carson
2010

oh let me appologize for any misunderstanding. My opinion was that IXD isn't a haven for people who think that visual design is not an important part of the process. I also denoted an enviousness of anyone with a interest in gaming, for it is already a breeding ground for interactions with Interaction Designers already doing games. I also didn't think IXD was an industry that one can change to from that point. Even with a masters or an internship, you might still find yourself a company who sacrifices quality for time/cost restraints. 

 

2 Nov 2011 - 8:29am
BitterD
2011

I love games and am an avid gamer. I worked in the Facebook game industry, I haven't worked for console games yet, but I'm not sure how much different it will be. I don't know about you, maybe you work at an awesome game company, but my impression of major game companies (especially with Facebook game ones) is that they will compromise quality and user experience for speed and profits no matter what. They treat employees like assets and toss them out once they're burnt out. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to make games, but maybe on my own time as side/experimental projects.

P/S: I'm not "escaping" the industry because I am not creative or have the artistic eye. The work style does not suit or excite me and I want to try something else. 

1 Nov 2011 - 4:09pm
fiona.cycle
2011

Richard Carson, who's to say that it is shameful to change industries? Ever notice people changing careers? If not, you must be living in a bubble, blind, and without a sense of reality. Not everyone is obsessed with the game industry like you, Richard. In fact, I'm a designer too, and I don't sit at home playing video games all day and night like some guys do. I'd prefer NOT to. *GASPS*.

As for BitterD, there may be some companies that allow you to do internships, even after you've graduated, but those opportunities are probably hard to find. I wouldn't rule it out though. You may also want to consider temporarily volunteering with a design firm that has IxD projects. I had a friend who did this for a month and she was able to build her resume with this experience.

2 Nov 2011 - 5:48am
Richard Carson
2010

Fiona. You're a good example of why there needs to be more IXD people in the game industry. Especially with your current assumptions and disregard for gaming. Meanwhile, everyone's banking, buying groceries on their Nintendos back in Japan. *GASPSSo do you respect BitterD for changing from an industry that is filled with ugly money agendas? Maybe you do. Or do people respect others for following their love, passion, and doing what they think is right? It would be a shame to do just the opposite. It's not shameful, just that its a shame. 

Biter D.... P.S. - Flash games are just limited, and putting them on Facebook makes it more limited. 

 

2 Nov 2011 - 9:36am
fiona.cycle
2011

I understand - there could be so much more that can be done in the gaming industry here. But to go as far as to say, "I think it's a shame to turn your back on something such as the game industry.", that tells me you're missing the point. There is no shame in changing jobs. There is no law saying you must work for the same position forever. BitterD is changing industries to contribute to something they are more passionate about and is asking for helpful advice. Telling them it is wrong or shameful to change industries is NOT helpful advice.

2 Nov 2011 - 10:45am
sheenmay
2009

Richard, I'm sure you are very passionate about the gaming industry, but that doesn't mean that everyone else needs to have the same passion as you do. Just because "everyone's banking, buying groceries on their Nintendos back in Japan", it doesn't mean our gaming industry needs to head that way. Maybe our interaction designers can find better ways to bank and buy groceries other than integrating it with a gaming console.

3 Nov 2011 - 1:05am
Richard Carson
2010

Sheenmay, where do you come up with these ideas that I expect everyone to have my same passion, if there is any passion to be sparked. Personally, who needs a game console, when you can have jazz hands that sparkle?

3 Nov 2011 - 1:05am
Richard Carson
2010

"I worked in the Facebook game industry" - BitterD

I made the assumption...

3 Nov 2011 - 3:53pm
sheenmay
2009

The comment by BitterD was being moderated at the time so it wasn't showing when I had read through the forum yesterday. But I do see it now, thank you.

3 Nov 2011 - 4:53pm
Richard Carson
2010

 

i never said it was shameful or wrong to change industries sheenmay. people are already doing ixd in the gaming industry, so I wouldn't see any change taking place for someone who stops to design games. you're still an ixder who'll continue to design interactions, so therefore I never saw a change. it was only a shame because dBitters experience, led him to feel negative toward the entire gaming industry.

 

9 Nov 2011 - 1:28pm
anna banana
2010

I've worked in game industry before moving into my current role as an interactive product designer. I was a gui / ux designer for a game company and found that I wanted to get involved in the UX and IA more. There usually are people within the company that are already fullfilling this role and you can meet with them and learn more about what they do. What I did, was to offer help on other projects and get some mentoring along the way. Once the skills and a portfolio are there you can apply for positions you are interested in.

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