Rick Goodman Interview

March 17, 2003 by Stainless Steel Studios

Rick Goodman discusses how to get a job in the game industry

I am young and interested in programming games. What do you recommend I do now, to prepare myself for my future?
You should decide what area of game programming you like best and wish to specialize in. In the games business, you will be focused on one of several areas of programming, as follows:

  • Graphics programming
  • Artificial Intelligence and path finding
  • Multiplayer communications and networking
  • General game features/Game engine 
  • You should focus/specialize on one area — the one you enjoy most. 

Each specialty is very different.  We have programmers who love their area of expertise, but working in other areas would be less interesting for them.  The most important thing you can do before you graduate from school is to:

  • Create a small game on your own time, (or for school project), in order to show off your abilities to a future employer.  A good demo is essential for a college graduate (which we don’t hire, because we need folks with experience).  A good demo is what may get you into the door of your favorite game company, so, you’ll want to make sure that whatever you do, its impressive.
  • Obtain an internship with a game company over your summer breaks.  Work for free if you have to.

How many years do you think should somebody work as an employee before he could establish his own company?
As many years as it takes until you learn the full life cycle of the product production; how to run a small business, manage and hire people and how to attract and manage the Publishing relationship.

Why does a developer, such as SSSI, not rather publish it’s own game?
For the same reason that a book authors don’t publish their own books.  Writers are good at writing, publishers are good at publishing, so its a good partnership.  At Stainless Steel Studios, for example, we don’t have access to manufacturing facilities; we don’t have a multimillion dollar marketing budget and we don’t have a world-wide sales force.