A while back Unity approached small independent studios to get a feeling for how they work in the industry and ultimately how they’ve stayed successful. dotBunny was among the lists of studios contacted, having worked with Unity since 2006. Here are some of my thoughts and comments now that I’ve seen the collated data.
One of the hardest things I often have to explain to potential applicants that approach dotBunny is that we are a small studio and must remain full of earners. Unity’s report reaffirms my approach when it comes to whom we even talk with when it comes to applicants. At our size, there is zero reason to have a producer on staff for example. We work with lots of studios which have them, but their sizes dictate the need for that position. Internally, we are often wearing many hats when it comes to managing clients and timelines, besides our normal duties.
Something to think about for many people attempting to break into the video game industry. Knowing what a studio is looking for, and what other positions they need to be filled can be pivotal when approaching a studio. Smaller studios are always going to hire applicants which check more boxes than those that don’t. Now, please don’t take this as a justification or support of the idea of generalists. That seems to be an alarming trend that has come up of late, where someone will be acceptable at different parts of the pipeline. While being able to understand other disciplines is an amazing skill, it limits one’s ability to become great at one thing. I have a working knowledge of almost all the different disciplines, but that doesn’t mean I consider myself an artist. The exact opposite and I tell that to every artist I work with. My knowledge of their domain lets me function better to assist them and provide meaningful feedback.
It burns a hole in my heart every time I see college graduate identify themselves as a generalist.
I found the section of the report on what game developers do on a given day time-wise to be pretty accurate. The only thing not represented is the time for meetings. As you work with larger teams, become more and more frequent.
It is important to be aware of what others are doing. This way, you can make sure to keep up the velocity on a given task and not step on each others toes.
If you are interested in reading the full report go check out Unity’s blog post, or simply go directly to the report. I have to tip my hat to the folks at Unity for hinting at studios like dotBunny not exclusively using Unity. Below is their fireside chat about the report.