D.I.C.E is a-coming!!!

As you probably noticed, this is not my normal post and it’s unlikely (though not impossible) that I’ll be getting one out this week as I’ve just been way too busy prepping for D.I.C.E/Vegas. But, even though I’m gone all of next week, I’ll most likely be able to find some time to write a post, since I have a few days before the conference actually starts with not much to do! So I’ll try to get a post up the middle of next week for you guys, because if you’re anything like me you start getting a little twitchy without your cheese-y fix! If I don’t though, don’t panic, I’ve probably not melted under the desert sun and am most likely just too busy to write the post. Grumbl3dook will continue to post videos while I’m away though (we’ll have prepared a few videos in advance), so even if I do have to be gone for the whole two weeks, there will still be regular content on this blog! I will most likely at least post a brief update though, even if not a full post. And on my return CTVG readers have much to look forward! What am I talking about? Well, you’ll just have to wait and see won’t you? 🙂

Relationships in Games That I Actually Cared About

I’ve talked before about the various trends over the past year that I’ve found exciting and one that I’ve been particularly excited about is the maturing of game writing and the increasing complexity and realism of storylines and characters. I like a beat ’em up/hack’n’slash/2D platformers as the next and there are plenty of games that I loved despite their crappy stories. Fun comes in many forms and ultimately it still comes down to gameplay and mechanics for me. That said though, there’s something magical about a story and characters that truly engage you. It’s like being transported to a different world and seeing through someone else’s eyes.

Even more rare in gaming history than those truly inspiring stories is the realistic and nuanced portrayal of relationships between characters. It’s understandably difficult. The limits of technology have often meant that relationships are often reduced to giving gifts or going through stilted lines of conversation to get people to like you. Obviously, that’s not quite how relationships work (at least most of them)! Even if the relationship is somewhat realistic, it’s even more difficult to make it compelling. However, I think the industry has really shown that it’s evolved beyond that now and that it can create realistic relationships between people that you actually care about. And I’m not really talking about romantic relationships here as you’ll see below. So here are my personal top 5 relationships from games I’ve played that got me right in the feels. Yours of course, might be completely different! Of course, I’ve heard about other games that have great relationships like Red Dead Redemption, but obviously I can’t comment since I haven’t played it. Feel free to add your own favourites in the comments below! Also beware that there are minor hinted spoilers – nothing major, but you may want to skip the entry if you don’t want to find anything out about the game. Continue reading

How to break into the industry: Tips!

I should mention first off that I’m not some kind of expert on this topic! I landed a few internships at games magazines and websites (PC Gamer, Future, GameSpot), freelanced a bit and I now have a job in Publisher Relations at Climax Studios, but there are of course plenty of people who have been in the industry much longer who can probably give you better advice on career progression, what subjects to study at university, etc… However, I also spent an agonizing year trying to do what many of you are trying to do – get your first paying job in the industry and I think I have gained some insight into the process. Also, a lot of you guys have asked me for advice, so I figured you guys might appreciate any tips I could give you! I’ll mainly be talking about games journalism, because that’s what my internships were in, but to be honest it’s mostly just generalised job searching advice. I’m also not saying that everything I suggest is The Right Way or that if you follow it then you’ll get that job/internship you’re looking for. Ultimately it comes down to you and what you can do. But every little bit helps right?

First things first though, I’m not going to lie, the games industry is incredibly competitive and the jobs aren’t that plentiful – particularly at games magazines and websites. Sure people do come and go, but junior positions are rare to come by and almost any role these days requires experience. With the economy being what it is now and the difficulties that many magazines are going through, those golden opportunities are few and far between. That said though, it’s not all doom and gloom! I got a job in the industry didn’t I? Understand that it will be difficult, but it’s not impossible if you’ve got the will. Thick skin helps too. Continue reading