For my informational interview I decided to go with game developers pipeworks studios! this company has been located downtown eugene since 1999 and has worked on, developed and been involved with some pretty well known video game titles!
I managed to get an over the phone interview will lead developer PETER KING that was pretty cool and informative. I had a few questions written down and will give you his response to them (in a nutshell) in a Q and A format.
Q: how do you go about choosing the next project to work on?
A: It’s normally a business decision between two company’s, a publisher like Microsoft might reach out to developers and pay them for there time or for a certain task like converting controls to different consoles or starting and finishing an entire project. which is great for us because we have a clear picture a to b of what we need to do and when. compared to us creating a game where it’s out time and our money on the line.
Q: How often does the tech/software change and where do you think its heading?
A: Alot! Almost yearly we have some new software to learn about and with new consoles coming out we always have something new to learn. This is cool because things never get stale and the job doesn’t get repetitive as easily. Basically every month we take time to catch up on new technologies.
Q: How do you feel about ” pay to play” games
A: referring to downloadable content at a price for free games I feel its up to the user how to spend their money. we have a poker game that’s free to play but you can pay for additional content. most people rationalize about there spending habits especially when it comes to entertainment. paying 1 dollar for something small like this isn’t much different then renting a movie. It has been an upward trend lately and i don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Q: Whats the hardest part about finishing up a project?
A: The final collaboration between departments and debugging the programs to ensure a clean product can take some time. everyone enjoys working on there craft but is looking forward to completion. If we are working for a client sometimes there is disapproval of the final project in a certain area and going back to fix that for them can be tedious. but in both situations ( working for a client or creating a project) sometimes getting started can be more difficult then finishing.
Q:What credentials do you look for in new hires in development?
A: For development in general its really about the portfolio. we look at what kind of schooling you did and previous work experience but for the most part its the level of art skill you have and a demonstration of what you can create and if your a good fit for the position (easy to work with availability etc.) Our engineering dept. on the other hand is the opposite, they deal with server issues and the software we use. Technical Engineers are in high demand, normally someone with that skill set we will welcome with open arms at any opportunity.
Q: What different teams make up Pipeworks?
A: Our developers are the artistic talent. they create how the characters, environment and other visuals like text/interface look and work together. Our design crew has a senior and Jr. department that makes decisions based on the software and gives information at the beginning and the end of a project like the original treatment and final look. Engineering deals with the back end of set up and technical support with servers both our own facility’s and for when the game is launched to the public. Our production team also has a senior and jr. department that is tasked with debugging the game and over all quality of the finished product.
Q: Whats your favorite game that pipeworks has created and your favorite type of game in general?
A: Terreria and our poker game is the most fun for me personally but since that’s my day job, games I enjoy are adventure games like uncharted and currently I am setting up a virtual reality head set and cant wait to see what that has to offer.
Afterwards I thanked him for his time and told him that it was cool that so many creative company’s can be found in our relatively small town. He agreed and said that he loves to hire local and rarely has to search else ware for a specific individual.
Overall I really enjoyed the interview and learned a fair bit about what goes on behind the scenes. Its a great reminder that if you want to learn more about something you can go further then just google. most professional company’s get requests for interviews or field trips on the regular and our more then happy to answer any questions you may have. I recommend learning as much as you can about what interest you have!
Thank you for reading!