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Gaming Careers are Broken, but Fixable

Updated: Apr 4

If you've been in the gaming industry, especially the indie gaming industry, you probably know this already: Gaming careers are wildly unstable. Every gaming studio operates under a continuous state of overextension, with massive hire-and-fire cycles that come and go like breath in the wind.

In the last 10 years, I have been laid off from five separate full-time positions with no fault and no cited shortcomings. There just wasn't enough flow incoming to keep the team employed. And nearly every company operates this way. As a result, this entire industry operates on a hair trigger. There are few things developers can do to hold down a job, and most of those are unethical (such as writing code so convoluted that only you are able to maintain it).

It is largely for this reason that I want to run a game development studio differently from the way the industry runs now, because currently, the game development industry is absolutely toxic for employees.

I, for one, am sick of the grind, instability, and constant turnover that is endemic in the game development industry. When a project comes to a conclusion, as they all do, it's far too easy for companies to perform a mass layoff, and suddenly you're out of pocket for who knows how long. And that's not to mention the random reshuffling of benefits and retirement packages with each change. It doesn't have to be this way. We're not trying to be your next gig; we want to be your career. We have a business model that promotes long-term stability for our salaried employees, fair compensation, and a healthy work-life balance.

To accomplish this stability even while not working on a paying project, Vector Visionary's employee pay structure is based on a lower salary, but strong (and transparently-calculated) bonuses for billable hours, bringing total compensation at or above market rate for the position. Non-billable work time will be spent in a more relaxed environment, with time spent developing internal projects, primarily demonstration projects to help secure future clients and reusable code packages to better serve the clients we have. When a client is secured, it's go time, and all hands are on deck to create a high-quality product.

We believe in salary transparency, and in upgrades to salary commensurate with the market and experience levels. Annual salary adjustments are calculated based on industry trends and the ever-increasing experience of the employee. Job-hopping to build up to the salary you deserve is a pox upon the game development industry, and we will not contribute to it by trying to get away with a stagnant salary as long as we can.

Finally, employees will be entitled to a share of company profits once the company's own coffers are full enough to remain stable for two years.

All current and past Vector Visionary Studio creatives will have a permanent portfolio page on this website showcasing the projects they worked on while here, and in what capacity. This page will be there, with images and video links, even if the projects themselves have faded into obscurity or were never publicly available.

Sounds great, are you hiring?

As of this writing, we aren't actively hiring for a specific position (but check our careers page just in case that's changed by the time you read this). We are, however, always accepting resumes from anyone who believes in the corporate philosophy as outlined above. When we are ready to staff up for a new project, we will look through these resumes before posting the job listing publicly.

We will need many different disciplines in order to be able to properly serve clients' needs. We expect the following positions to be the first to need to be filled:

  • UI Designer

  • QA Lead

  • UX/Gameplay Designer

  • 3D Modeler

  • Graphic Effects Developer

  • Unity Programmer

  • Server-side programmer

All development team positions will be expected to have some level of experience working with Unity.

That said, we won't turn away any resumes from anyone in the game development field. Maybe you have a more niche skill we will need for a future project. If you think you might be a good fit, please send in your resume - the worst we can do is ignore it.

Oh, and we promise not to make you fill out 3 pages of information that already exists on your resume. Yet another pox on the industry.

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