When Evan Edwards stepped on the plane for the GameDev West Coast Field Experience in 2017, little did he know he was on his way to being hired for his dream job at High Moon Studios.
With the trip taking off the spring before graduation, Edwards was on his way to finish his BA degree in Media & Information with a minor in Game Design and Development as he traveled to L.A. Using his experience, he aspired to break into one of the most competitive job fields: the video game industry.
“Game Development is a competitive field. Anyone looking to break in needs to take advantage of every opportunity they can,” said Edwards.
Breaking into Game Design
After the plane touched down in L.A., Edwards took steps to put his plan into action. He started an interview process with High Moon Studios in February, and Edwards was ready to accelerate to the finish line.
“I mentioned that I was going to be in town during that week, which was a little bit of a stretch since High Moon Studios is a bit of a drive from L.A.,” said Edwards. “And so, we set up my on-site interview at High Moon Studios on the last day of the trip.”
While he waited for his highly anticipated interview, Edwards enjoyed the rest of the West Coast Field Experience with his friends.
“I'd say my favorite part of the trip was spending the day at Disneyland and hanging out with a group of Imagineers. It was a great way to have fun and blow off steam, and being able to see a vastly different application for our game development skills,” said Edwards. “It was a really eye-opening experience, and there was a lot to learn from the professionals who do it.”
Rocket to the Moon
On the last day of his trip, Edwards rented a car and drove two hours to San Diego to interview for the position. After acing the interview and meeting back up with his class to fly home, he got the call that he got the job. Today, he still works at his dream company, High Moon Studios, as an Associate Technical Artist.
“High Moon has been an amazing place to work. The culture here is sincerely welcoming and friendly, and upper management helps a great deal with that,” said Edwards. “I've gotten the chance to work on titles such as Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.”
Game design and development is a competitive field, but Edwards has found his niche.
“My department lives somewhere in the middle of art, programming and design,” said Edwards. “We handle a lot of technical implementation of assets into the engine, as well as tool development to help artists and designers get their work done more accurately and efficiently.”
Leveling Up L.A.
As the deadlines for field experience trips come to a close, Edwards has advice for students who plan to attend.
“Definitely go on these types of trips and prepare your portfolio beforehand. Look up job openings at the studios you visit, and let them know you're interested in interviewing while you're there,” said Edwards. “Trying to get into Game Development is an absolute sprint, so don't slow down until you've crossed the finish line.”
Learn about the GameDev West Coast Field Experience
Check out Evan Edwards' portfolio here
Apply for the media sandbox la trip
By Sierra Richards