Riots Job Requirements are ridiculous

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Barbarian Bill

Senior Member

12-18-2012

I'm going through a BS degree in Game Simulation and Programming. Now I've been looking for jobs all around California and Riot Games was my top choice, but the reality is that 98% of the game programming market does require you to have 6-10 years of experience.

Some colleagues of mine are actually getting jobs in these businesses without the 5-10+ years of knowledge and Triple A title development. They started in the same boat as me, not knowing a single thing about programming and ending up with the degree with job offers.

I know Internship helps which I hope to apply for one at riot really soon, but is that enough? Personally I would love to get out of school and go straight to programming, but with today it just seems like you either have to create your own gaming business, become the bestof the best of your class, or work at McDonalds until you learn enough.


Edit: I would like some rioter to respond, I had this question on my mind for a long while before this post.


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SoresuMakashi

Senior Member

12-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyte View Post
*These views are mainly relevant to mid- to senior-level positions only.

Apparently my interviews are some of the most grueling experiences at Riot, so I was asked to voice some thoughts here. Every company, every school, every lab or club has an all-star or two. I think everyone has met someone like this before, where we reflect and say, "I don't care what I'm doing or where I have to go--I want to work with that person and learn from that person." Riot has teams of all-stars. So what does that mean?

It means it's not about just having great ideas. When you are working with industry experts in every discipline, everyone has amazing ideas. The next big idea for a game feature could come from QA, Game Design, or even Marketing and with so many smart people focused on the same goals, I hear a lot of great ideas. In a vast majority of interviews, I'll listen to dozens and dozens of great ideas.

"I would do this for League."
"I want to build this for Riot."
"I have a great idea for this new feature."

But guess what? In 99.9% of cases, I've heard the idea 200+ times already. However, if an applicant takes a great idea and shows me how they actually executed the idea and got tangible results--that's impressive. Students often ask me, "Well, how do I get a position in PBJ? No game developers are really hiring psychologists or neuroscientists so I can't get experience." Why do you have to be at a game studio to execute on a great idea? We're now in a day and age where you can create mods, build models, or run analyses that are all valuable to game developers--why not just do it and prove that you can execute on your great ideas?

Secondly, teams like player behavior don't need to hire anyone. We're looking for the best and we are willing to wait. I often ask applicants, "What do you bring to Riot that we currently don't have?" The reason I ask this question is because I want to know exactly what is the opportunity cost of not having this person at Riot. Am I worried if this person joins a competing game developer? Is there something we simply cannot create or build without this person?

You'll notice that at this point I haven't mentioned degrees or experience. Sure, degrees and experience are correlated with intelligence and knowledge, but we all know it's not everything. Without those things, you need to have created enough awesome and show enough tangible value in your projects to the point where an interview later, I'm thinking: "We cannot afford to lose this person--they have to be a Rioter."
Yet another amazing informative Lyte post.


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Konduit

Junior Member

12-18-2012

Hi, I was wondering- what is the impact of the college GPA in companies hiring designers and such? The feeling I'm getting is that having some cool things to present at an interview/project deliverables that have been shipped out > Grade Point Average. And for someone like me who doesn't have the tip-top grades, this is very inspiring and hopeful


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Whigsplitta

Senior Member

12-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by davin View Post
This bears repeating. The people who really rise to the top of the pile are those that are doing what they're doing because they want nothing more than to do that. Maybe it's more like they HAVE to do it, that's how bad they want it.

Other psychologists often ask about how you get to do research in games. Of course, the answer is simple: You do research in games. The world is flush with data and opportunity. Find a way to do what you want to do, show people that you're passionate and talented and driven, and the positions will be there.
This is absolute gold.

I am a published writer (with a generous and amazing editor) and I could have had all the education in the world and I still may not have ended up in my profession. I was kicked out of the University of Minnesota, but because I wanted to be a writer more than anything I never gave up and through hard work, failures, and a bankruptcy I still managed to achieve my goal.

Work hard. Never give up. And opportunities will present themselves.


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CragBlade

Senior Member

12-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian Bill View Post
I'm going through a BS degree in Game Simulation and Programming. Now I've been looking for jobs all around California and Riot Games was my top choice, but the reality is that 98% of the game programming market does require you to have 6-10 years of experience.

Some colleagues of mine are actually getting jobs in these businesses without the 5-10+ years of knowledge and Triple A title development. They started in the same boat as me, not knowing a single thing about programming and ending up with the degree with job offers.

I know Internship helps which I hope to apply for one at riot really soon, but is that enough? Personally I would love to get out of school and go straight to programming, but with today it just seems like you either have to create your own gaming business, become the bestof the best of your class, or work at McDonalds until you learn enough.


Edit: I would like some rioter to respond, I had this question on my mind for a long while before this post.
Make a game or mod. Do it well enough that it gets noticed. Put that on your resume. You can study something for ever but you can't say you know anything about it until you actually do it.


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Cha0sniper

Senior Member

12-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damiya View Post
Thirding this, as a terribly junior member of the Riot team. I'm obviously not in a place where I hire people like Lyte or Morello, but I can talk a little bit about what got me a job here.

Over the summer I had the wild idea to turn my passion for UI modification and coding into a position in the industry; so I did. I started working on the exceptionally rough UI for The Secret World, finding exploits, fixing bugs, creating value, and helping drive that fledgling coding community.

Long story short, I levelled up my resume and added a very concrete example of my love for games to my portfolio. Like most of you I had little projects here and there, but without putting the hours in to figure out what I could do and make it happen, I certainly wouldn't be on a team as chock-full-of-awesome as Riot is.

I guess what I'm trying to say is.. Why wait for the community API?
Completely off-topic, but you mentioned The Secret World, which just went buy-to-play, and I loved it in beta, but not enough to sub, and now I bought it, and it's still amazing.
*breathes heavily* OK, carry on.


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hes op

Senior Member

12-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barbarian Bill View Post
I'm going through a BS degree in Game Simulation and Programming. Now I've been looking for jobs all around California and Riot Games was my top choice, but the reality is that 98% of the game programming market does require you to have 6-10 years of experience.

Some colleagues of mine are actually getting jobs in these businesses without the 5-10+ years of knowledge and Triple A title development. They started in the same boat as me, not knowing a single thing about programming and ending up with the degree with job offers.

I know Internship helps which I hope to apply for one at riot really soon, but is that enough? Personally I would love to get out of school and go straight to programming, but with today it just seems like you either have to create your own gaming business, become the bestof the best of your class, or work at McDonalds until you learn enough.


Edit: I would like some rioter to respond, I had this question on my mind for a while.
lol it's very easy to get a job as a software dev and you:
- don't have to be the best
- don't need anywhere near 6 years of experience

I have <2 years of experience and I get contacted by recruiters from California with job opportunities (I live in Toronto). I get 10x more from Toronto recruiters. Internship helps a lot, I also recommend you start using linkedin.


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nikasaur

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12-18-2012
20 of 45 Riot Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyte View Post
Without those things, you need to have created enough awesome and show enough tangible value in your projects to the point where an interview later, I'm thinking: "We cannot afford to lose this person--they have to be a Rioter."
YES. This is exactly what I tell people, and what I've always looked for in community recruits... it even helped me get the jobs I've had! If you love your work, you'll find a way to be doing it already. If you want to work in community, what kind of communities are you in? I was living, thinking and breathing social interactions in games for years before I joined Riot. It helps. You become an avatar of your aspiring career.

I think this stretches to most careers, actually. Be the person you want to become. Show it off!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Damiya View Post
...concrete example...
La la love it. A satisfying mark of effort, for both you and potential employers.


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CragBlade

Senior Member

12-18-2012

Im working on indie titles and a few other things to show that I know about game design and how to present ideas and concepts to people, but im mostly just turned off by the need for a College degree for the Champion Design related positions.

Hypothetically if someone were to apply with 2-3 successful indie games under their belt, but only an Associates degree would they be instantly turned down or considered like everyone else? This is entirely hypothetical, and me mostly just hoping my projects are successful enough to land me a job somewhere at a big company.


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Shieon

Senior Member

12-18-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by Morello View Post
Honestly, this. School and education are valuable, but a degree does not get you a job, it lets you start trying to get a job that requires a degree. There's no entitlement from having a degree that gets you a job.

Requirements aren't there to make people feel warm and fuzzy, they're there to make sure people have the appropriate skillset. Some jobs are fine with less experience (design can be one of these!), others are not.
i really wish to become a game designer help me out ^^