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University Relations Q&A

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  1. Thursday January 24, 2013
  2. 4:58
  4. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: Welcome to the University Relations Q&A! Your resident community managers are here to help facilitate this chat between students, aspiring game developers and the University Relations and Recruiting team.
  5. 4:58
  7. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: Over the course of the next hour we’ll be fielding any questions you have about the internship program, entry-level opportunities, application materials, and breaking into the game development industry. Our goal is to shed some light on how students get hired into internship and even fulltime positions here at Blizzard!
  8. 4:59
  10. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: Please be aware that this is a moderated session, meaning we’ll be picking and answering questions based on what’s submitted to help keep the channel free from spam. Type in your question, and as we answer them they’ll appear in the channel.
  11. 4:59
  13. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: Without further ado, I’d like to welcome our panelists for the evening! Everyone go ahead and introduce yourselves with a quick bio about who you are, and what you do at Blizzard.
  15. 4:59
  17. Janine [UR]: Hi, I’m Janine. I handle a bunch of different things like MBA and business operations internship recruiting, campus outreach and events, and other crazy fun projects. Looking forward to sorting through all of these questions!
  18. 5:00
  20. Cat [UR]: Hey guys, I’m Cat. My prime directive involves managing the internship program, hitting the road during recruiting season to chat with students about jobs at Blizzard, and answering piles of email. Excited to answer your questions today!
  22. 5:00
  24. Mike [Recruiting]: Hey Everyone, I’m Mike! I’ve been recruiting in the games industry since 2007 and I primarily focus on Engineering, Production, and Design hiring across many different teams here at Blizzard. I would love to answer your questions so please feel free to shoot them my way!
  27. 5:00
  29. Val [Recruiting]: I’m a Recruiter for Blizzard and bring 5+ years of corporate in-house recruitment experience to the Talent Acquisition team. I currently recruit engineers, professionals, and artists. Happy to chat with you guys today!
  31. 5:01
  33. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: Heya everyone, I’m Vaeflare! I’m one of the Community Managers for Diablo III. I work on the Community Development team, and I got my start at Blizzard assisting with the World of Warcraft community team after years of deep involvement with our games and community. I’m eager to answer whatever questions you might have about life here at Blizzard, as well as any questions relating to community management or social media.
  35. 5:01
  37. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: I’m Bashiok, I’ve been at Blizzard since 2003 (I get my shield this year!). I began in Technical Support, joined the Community Team in 2005 as Drysc, and since moved on to head up the Diablo III Community as Bashiok. I’ve returned to World of Warcraft (wootwoot Drysc avatar!), and I head up our World of Warcraft engagement team including social media, forums, and fansites.
  39. 5:02
  41. Tyson [Art]: Hello! My name is Tyson Murphy. I interned on the Diablo 3 character art team in summer 2010. I now work on the World of Warcraft team as a character artist making armors, weapons, characters, and creatures. It’s definitely my dream job and I feel super lucky that I was able to be a part of the internship program.
  43. 5:02
  45. Ryan [Design]: Hi, I’m Ryan. I was a 3-time Design Intern on the World of Warcraft team and am now a full-time Systems Designer on WoW. I work primarily on class design & balance, though I’ve had the opportunity to work on many different aspects of the game. Happy to be here to talk to you all about the internship program, it’s a great opportunity (or I wouldn’t have gone through it thrice)!
  47. 5:02
  49. Rachelle [Programming]: Hi everyone, I’m Rachelle. I started at Blizzard as a programming intern on an unannounced title in Summer 2011 and joined my team full time in 2012. Glad to see you’re all interested in the internship program here – it’s awesome!
  51. 5:02
  53. Michael [QA]: Hello all, I’m Michael. I work within Platform Services which encompasses Quality Assurance, Technical Quality Assurance, Localization QA, Analytics, Mac Porting and Automation. I’m excited to answer all your QA related questions.
  55. 5:03
  56. Comment From Jarek
  57. Hi! Just wanted to say thank you so much for doing this, I had one small question. I really would like to properly address my cover letter, who should it be addressed to and would it be possible to get their title?
  59. 5:03
  61. Cat [UR]: A general greeting is best. Interviewing is very collaborative here at Blizzard, it's possible several people will see your cover letter at some point. "To Whom It May Concern" is usually fine, but you can get a little bit more creative if you would like!
  63. http://i.imgur.com/JNdHbxx.jpg
  65. 5:06
  68. Resume Infographic
  69. 5:06
  70. Comment From Nancy Mancini
  71. What are your expectations for the portfolios?
  72. 5:06
  74. Tyson [Art]: On The World of Warcraft team, it's generally good to see that you can create the same quality, and the same style of art that we do. Good, solid traditional art skills are a must. Most importantly, everyone loves to see applicants that have a strong passion for Blizzard games in general.
  76. 5:07
  77. Comment From Arif Khan
  78. How long should resumes be for the Blizzard internships? Is it acceptable to have 2 pages?
  80. 5:07
  82. Cat [UR]: Most students should be able to keep it to one page. If you're published or have spent time in academia, two pages might be alright. But try to aim for a single page.
  83. 5:09
  84. Comment From Andrew Wallace
  85. Do interns work with employees on actual Blizzard products, or is it the more "look but don't touch" approach that some companies take?
  86. 5:09
  88. Rachelle [Programming]: Good question Andrew. The work that Blizzard interns get to do is definitely vital to their teams. For instance, there are tools I wrote for my team that they still use on a daily basis. Interns are given an immense amount of trust to do quality work, which is one of things things I appreciated most about our internship program. They're also given a lot of guidance and mentoring, and you'll be surprised how much you can learn and grow in a single summer here.
  90. 5:10
  91. Comment From Chris
  92. is there a requirement for game tester to have a really high skill at the game your testing
  94. 5:13
  96. Michael [QA]: Hey Chris! Not necessarily, although it helps. We look for highly analytical people who have a passion for game development. We are currently hiring Sr. Testers. Please check out the career site for more information.
  98. 5:13
  99. Comment From Bill
  100. The products of the gaming industry are becoming more advanced: As a recent graduate looking to enter the industry, do you feel it is best to specialize in one component of game development, or take a more dynamic approach in an effort to be well-rounded and applicable in the various stages of development. For example, I have graduated with a bachelor's in Software Engineering, but have a huge interest in the conceptual design of games and the user experience: Should I maintain focus on the software realm or do companies value an employee's capacity to both design and implement a game (does such a role exist?). Does specialization increase odds of employment?
  101. 5:13
  103. Val [Recruiting]: Thanks for the question! In general, in the electronic entertainment industry, it depends on the company itself. For a smaller studio, wearing many hats is necessary and is extremely desirable. For Blizzard Entertainment, with the size of our game development teams, we have the capacity for specialization and look for that in our employees and candidates.
  104. 5:13
  106. Comment From Pallimmanis
  107. For Community Managers, is there a specific education or experience you look for that makes an applicant stand out?
  108. 5:14
  110. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: In my experience, your education level for community management isn't nearly as important as the experience you bring to the table. You'll want to have solid communication skills and gramatical skills, and knowledge of current social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. You'll also want to have deep knowledge of the game(s) you're applying for, and a breadth of experience within your community of choice. This can be anything from running or moderating fan sites, through to hosting your own blog articles or YouTube how-to videos. The biggest thing is being able to show how your passion has directly helped foster the community around you. Having community management experience at other companies certainly helps too!
  111. 5:14
  112. Comment From DaMambers
  113. Hey! Excited to be here! Janine, I've got a question about MBA-level internships. Do they follow the usual internship timeline, and if not, can you give an estimate about the hiring timeline?
  114. 5:14
  116. Janine [UR]: Hello! All internships follow the same application & interview process. The interview / hiring timeline varies by team. All candidates will be notified of their application status by early May at the latest.
  117. 5:14
  118. Comment From João
  119. Cat, which is the policy of Blizzard regarding international students (for internships)? Would the company be able to help the student in getting the required short-duration work visa, or point him in the right direction?
  120. 5:14
  122. Cat [UR]: Great question! Right now we are able to support F1 visas for US internship opportunities. Not sure of your specific situation, so you'll have to look into it. For fulltime positions, we do support quite a few more visa types so candidates from all over the world are welcome!
  123. 5:15
  125. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: The great thing about the CoverItLive application we’re using is it saves these chat sessions in a reviewable format. If you bookmark this page you can keep coming back for future reference!
  126. 5:15
  127. Comment From SamuelG
  128. I've been interested in applying for the Quest Design / Writing internship. What sort of things do you look for in terms of examples of writing? Do you want pieces from the different games you develop, one specific one, and do you like pieces that are from our own worlds we've made? On a lighter note, (though I know it's hard to prove), would being one of the people who won the Lore trivia contest at any of the previous Blizzcons be worthy to put down on paper?
  130. 5:15
  132. Ryan [Design]: In a writing example we’d be looking for your ability as a writer, in addition to your ability to write inside of the universe that you’d be working with. If there’s a specific Blizzard game world that you feel your writing fits or you have a passion for, write for that. Work from worlds you’ve created is a great way to show off your creativity, but showing that your writing fits one of our worlds is an important skill to.
  134. 5:16
  135. Comment From Guest
  136. What progamming language knowledge do you look for? What would be a good programming portfolio?
  138. 5:17
  140. Mike [Recruiting]: Hello and thanks for your question! It really depends on the particular team/department. Most of the game teams look for C++. Our Battle.net team also looks for C++ and Java. Our Corporate Applications and Platform Services teams look for C# and .Net engineers. Depending on where your interest is, I would recommend specializing in one or more of these languages.
  142. 5:17
  143. Comment From Brad Syrie
  144. What is a typical day in the life like at Blizzard for programmers, artist, or anyone else involved with game-related content?
  146. 5:17
  148. Tyson [Art]: Day in the life of a World of Warcraft Character Artist: -Get to work, eat a delicious breakfast burrito -Get back to my computer, check if I have any meetings for the day, and get to work. -Depending on the day, I could be drawing concept art for a creature, modeling a weapon, or painting a texture for a new mount! -We're all very social, checking out each other's work and offering advice where we can. -Aside from lunch and a few breaks here and there, my time is mostly spent crafting anything character-related for WoW! It's very hard work, but extremely satisfying.
  150. 5:17
  151. Where are you in your schooling (college, university, tech school, or certificate program)?
  152. Freshman, Sophomore, or Junior
  153.  ( 41% )
  154. Senior (graduating soon or just graduated)
  155.  ( 24% )
  156. Grad school
  157.  ( 13% )
  158. I have not started college yet
  159.  ( 8% )
  160. Graduated a while ago
  161.  ( 14% )
  164. 5:19
  166. Comment From Nancy Mancini
  167. Are they hiring any newbies within the game testing environment?
  169. 5:19
  171. Michael [QA]: We are currently looking for candidates that have 3+ years of professional software testing experience. However, if you have equivalent experience such a desirable college degree or professional gaming experience we’re happy to review your application.
  173. 5:19
  174. Comment From Guest
  175. How long does an internship last?
  177. 5:19
  179. Cat [UR]: Summer internships are 12 weeks!
  181. 5:19
  183. Comment From Ginny Higerd
  184. Art Question: How many pieces is too little or too much in a portfolio submission?
  186. 5:19
  188. Tyson [Art]: All it takes is a few very good pieces of work to get our attention. I would definitely say "Less is more" when it comes to art portfolios.
  190. 5:19
  191. Comment From Aaron
  192. Rachelle, I am currently a masters student that will soon be pursuing an internship in the game industry. After your experience with Blizzard, is there any advice that you would give to someone who is in interested in a programming internship at Blizzard in particular.
  194. 5:19
  196. Rachelle [Programming]: Aaron, I'm glad you asked. The best advice I can give you is to do as much game developing as possible. Demos go a long way -- if you can point to a game you've worked on and indicate what you specifically did for that game, you'll show those interviewing you that you are not only passionate about joining the gaming industry but proactive about learning what it takes to be a part of it. That kind of hands-on experience makes all the difference. And who doesn't want to build games in their spare time, just for fun? :)
  198. 5:21
  199. Comment From Sergio
  200. Hello. In terms of experience, how many interns have you accepted that are 1st or 2nd year university students? I'm interested in applying for the internships but it seems that it is mainly focused for upperclassmen.
  202. 5:21
  204. Cat [UR]: It's true most of our internships go to juniors, but we have definitely hired talented freshmen and sophomores from time to time. Ryan actually started with us as a freshman and came three times before graduating!
  206. 5:22
  207. Comment From Dave
  208. Is it required to live in a certain region; for any position whether it's development, community management or game testing?
  210. 5:22
  212. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: Generally the open positions that are posted on our job website are targetted to certain offices, so if you're interested in say, community management, you can look for open positions in regions and locations that interest you.
  214. 5:23
  215. Comment From Faiz
  216. When does the 12-week period start for the interships?
  218. 5:23
  220. Janine [UR]: The start / end date of the internship depends on your university’s school calendar. Internships will begin in late May / early June and conclude in August / September.
  222. 5:23
  223. Comment From Daniel Weimer
  224. Cat, what if you are an American in another country (South Korea)?
  226. 5:24
  228. Cat [UR]: US citizens living in another country are definitely eligible for the internship program. Might make scheduling phone interviews tough being on the other side of the world, but we'll make it work! :)
  229. 5:24
  230. Comment From Brian
  231. For hiring a programmer out of college, would you rather they had a Computer Science degree, or a Game Development degree with programming concentration?
  233. 5:24
  235. Mike [Recruiting]: Hi Brian, we just want talented engineers who can write clean and efficient code so we really wouldn’t have a preference one way or the other.
  237. 5:24
  239. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: I'll be publishing a few images from last year's Student Art Contest, which is one of the ways we look for and reward upcoming talent.
  241. http://i.imgur.com/GM1wdEl.jpg
  243. 5:24
  246. Grand Prize Winner: Peter Kyuyoung Lee - Academy of Art University, San Francisco
  248. 5:25
  250. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: Fun fact about that one is Peter came to Blizzard as part of the Internship Program, and that carousel is now giving rep buffs to thousands of players as a permanent fixture in the Darkmoon Faire!
  252. 5:26
  253. Comment From Leslie
  254. What does Blizzard generally look for in artists - someone who is well-rounded and know a bit of concept and modeling (in Max/Maya and/or Zbrush) or someone that is pretty focused on just one aspect of design?
  256. 5:26
  258. Tyson [Art]: On World of Warcraft, most of the artists do some concept art, as well as some 3d modeling and texturing. The #1 most important thing to learn to become an artist on the World of Wacraft team is to become a great painter. The world is filled with hand-painted textures, and a great texture painter can be very hard to find.
  260. 5:27
  261. Comment From Liam Tart
  262. Do you guys often hire people from abroad? How easy is the process hiring from the UK into the US?
  264. 5:27
  266. Val [Recruiting]: Blizzard Entertainment does hire internationally. Blizzard Entertainment goes through the standard USA visa process of which, depending on the country the candidate is from, will determine the visa type and expediency of the process.
  268. 5:27
  269. Comment From Justin
  270. How demanding do you find your jobs to be ? How many hours per week are you working ?
  272. 5:27
  274. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: It varies from person to person, team to team, and what's going on on any given day. While many weeks for me clock in at around 40-50 hours, the hours can certainly go higher during crunch times, around launches, or around events such as BlizzCon.
  276. 5:27
  277. Comment From Michael
  278. If you were selected to intern for the position you desire, does that necessarily mean you have a job with Blizzard when you graduate?
  280. 5:27
  282. Cat [UR]: It's not a guarantee, but you would definitely have a foot in the door with such relevant experience and knowing so much about how we operate. We hire plenty of students who did not do an internship too, though!
  284. 5:28
  285. Comment From Dylan Mellott
  286. Tyson, what art experience did you have prior to working at Blizzard?
  288. 5:28
  290. Tyson [Art]: I Interned on the Diablo 3 team my Junior year in college. I majored in animation. After school ended, I was happy to get an offer to join the WoW team as my very first full-time job in the industry!
  292. 5:29
  293. Comment From AlexS
  294. For the game tester game analysis is there a preference for writing on newer more well known games that are possibly familiar to the reader or is the focus mainly on showing the understanding between the way systems interact?
  296. 5:29
  298. Michael [QA]: No, there is not a preference for newer games. Feel free to write your game analysis on any game you would like as long as it is not a Blizzard title or a game you have professionally worked on. If you submit it on a game that you have professionally worked on, we’ll kindly ask you to submit another. The game analysis should demonstrate your understanding of the gameplay mechanics and relationships to the design and implementation of the game. It helps if you identify the key features of the game your analyzing (AI, UI, combat system, quest flow, level design, unique game mechanics, etc.) and break them down. If you find any bugs in the process it would be wise to mention them and provide reproducible steps, but not necessary.
  300. 5:29
  302. Comment From Alex Rodriguez
  303. Are internships all at the same location or are there smaller studios around the states?
  304. 5:29
  306. Cat [UR]: Our headquarters and development studios are in (sunny) Irvine, California. We do have some Engineers based out of our facility in Austin (Texas), but the major development magic happens here in CA and that's why the internships are based here.
  308. 5:32
  309. Comment From Travis Dilley
  310. I am currently in school for game design. Is there anyone who can give some advice on what is needed in the game design arena?
  312. 5:32
  314. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]:
  315. Greg Street/Ghostcrawler (Design Director on World of Warcraft) actually just typed up a huge How to Get Into Game Design post on our forums. It's great for game design specifically, but also has some insight into what the game teams look for in new hires.
  317. 5:32
  318. Comment From Steven
  319. When applying for the Senior Tester position, is it a requirement to know some automation? Or can previous game testing experience suffice
  321. 5:32
  323. Michael [QA]: No, it is not a requirement to know automation. However, it is certainly a plus.
  325. 5:32
  326. Comment From Nick
  327. For someone interested in the gaming industry, should I limit my skills to be more specific, or generalized? (IE: 3d animation only VS. animation, modeling, texturing, lighting)
  329. 5:32
  331. Tyson [Art]: It can be good to have some secondary skills, but be sure not to spread yourself too thin. Personally, I do concept art, modeling, and texturing. The day-to-day work requires me to be fairly specialized. Anything more than that would be a little too much for me to handle :)
  333. 5:33
  334. Comment From Alex
  335. What programs would you recommend for level designers for our portfolios?
  337. 5:33
  339. Ryan [Design]: Some of that depends on the type of level design you’re interested in, Alex. If you’re interested in level design for something like Starcraft 2, make some Starcraft 2 maps in the Galaxy Editor! It’s a great way to show off your design skills as well as show that you know how to work with SC2’s tools. If you’re more interested in level design for a game like World of Warcraft, you’ll want to be familiar with working in a 3D environment (something like 3DS Max or Maya), and also submit some sample zone layouts (2D top-down representations of a zone’s major features) to help demonstrate your understand of zone flow/layout.
  341. 5:33
  342. Which area of gaming industry interests you most?
  343. Art/Animation
  344.  ( 28% )
  345. Game Design
  346.  ( 30% )
  347. Production
  348.  ( 3% )
  349. Programming
  350.  ( 23% )
  351. Quality Assurance
  352.  ( 5% )
  353. Other/Not Sure Yet
  354.  ( 10% )
  357. 5:33
  358. Comment From Alex Talbott
  359. Are there any internship positions available for people outside of California?
  360. 5:33
  362. Cat [UR]: Hi Alex! Internships are all located here in California, but they are open to students from across the US.
  364. 5:33
  365. Comment From manuel
  366. how's the food?
  368. 5:33
  370. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: We actually have our own on-site cafe! They have a salad bar, frozen yogurt machine (and toppings!), soup bar, drink bar, and a wide range of different types of yummy subsidized meals and treats that the chefs prepare and change up daily. Want something somewhat custom? They do that too! Their meals also compliment all different sorts of diet types, which is pretty awesome, if you ask me.
  372. 5:34
  373. Comment From Guest
  374. In terms of hard and soft work skills. What do you look for in a potential employee?
  376. 5:34
  378. Val [Recruiting]: This is an excellent question. Soft-skills are a very important part of any job, regardless of industry and with Blizzard Entertainment we are no different. Outside of the core-competency/skills that a Blizzard Entertainment position requires, being respectful, professional, responsible, prompt, attentive, and self-sufficient as well as an enthusiastic gamer is important! On top of that, we look for candidates who uphold each of our core values!
  380. http://i.imgur.com/CA3DsBd.jpg
  382. 5:35
  386. 5:36
  387. Comment From MikeP
  388. Does the internship include sound or audio positions?
  390. 5:36
  392. Cat [UR]: Internships change from year to year, based on our development schedule. Unfortunately, no Audio/Sound opportunities this coming summer, but maybe in the future!
  394. 5:37
  395. Comment From Clinton
  396. As someone wanting to enter the games industry as a programmer but without a degree in CS, what type of projects do you want to see someone have in their portfolio?
  398. 5:37
  400. Mike [Recruiting]: Hi Clinton, that’s a great question! The teams here love to see people who have a demonstrated passion for software engineering. People who code in their spare time and have done side projects especially get noticed. If your goal is to work on a game team, then I would recommend programming games. Whether it is a basic game such as chess or a complex MOD to an existing game, you just need to spend the time, hone your skills, and make cool stuff!
  402. 5:37
  403. Comment From John Marinelli
  404. Rachelle, could I ask what your programming experience was at the time of applying for the internship?
  406. 5:37
  408. Rachelle [Programming]: Hi John! I interned the summer before my last semester of grad school, so I had several years of programming under my belt already. My undergraduate program -- which marked the first time in my life I'd ever written code -- exposed me mostly to Java, C, C++, and scripting languages. As I narrowed my career focus on the game industry, I started spending more time on C++ than the other languages. My grad program was game-programming specific and heavily C++. Throughout both undergrad and grad school I held one or two programming jobs during the school year (tutoring, IT administration on campus, you name it) and got internships during the summer (some were game industry internships, some were not). When I found out I'd been selected to intern in 2011, though, I was told that I'd be writing some C#, which I'd never done before. I spent the months leading up to the start of the internship trying to learn as much C# as possible. My team was really helpful all summer long helping me put that new knowledge into practice. It just goes to show that knowing any one language -- or NOT knowing it, like me -- won't necessarily make it or break it for you.
  410. 5:40
  412. Comment From Nick Callow
  413. As far as our portfolio goes should I gear All of my Concept Art & Characters (High Poly - Game Ready) for a Blizzard oriented game world? Or should I just do Fantasy/Sci-Fi in General?
  415. 5:40
  417. Tyson [Art]: On WoW, we obviously love to see people gear their portfolios to the WoW style. However, it's awesome to see how you could possibly grow our style into a new and better direction.
  419. 5:40
  420. Comment From Nate C.
  421. Besides working for Blizzard, what are some fun perks that Blizzards offers to their employees?
  423. 5:40
  425. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: There are quite a few! I actually really like our benefits package and themed break rooms, and seeing massive Blizzard statues while I'm walking around campus isn't bad either. ;) There's a great nature walk behind the Irvine office that's really nice, too! Having the ability to chat daily with coworkers/gamers just as passionate as I am is HUGE, and it's wonderful being able to Alpha test games and offer feedback directly to the teams involved long before anyone outside the company gets to take them for a test drive. We also have a lot of really sweet company events.
  426. 5:41
  427. Comment From Dannielle LaMonte
  428. My school doesn't have an animation program (UTexas @ Austin), but we have a "st[...]udio art" program. Will I be at a disadvantage in applying for an internship?
  430. 5:41
  432. Tyson [Art]: Of course not! On my team what's most important is the quality of your work.
  434. 5:41
  435. Comment From Russell  
  436. Does Blizzard offer internships for college graduates? Or are they only internships for course credit? And where can I find some information on that
  438. 5:41
  440. Cat [UR]: At this time, we don't offer internships to college graduates. Each company handles this a little differently, but the primary reason Blizzard targets current students is the ability to give back to the academic community. Continuing students take their on-the-job learning experience back into the classroom for another year or two, share it with the academic world, and show what it’s really like out here developing games.
  442. 5:42
  443. Comment From Iso
  444. Should I mention a professional e-sports "career"? Or is it a little bit too nerdy? :)
  446. 5:42
  448. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: Nothing is too nerdy to work at Blizzard! If you're on a sponsored team that can definitely help with some positions, especially in eSports or whichever game you're playing professionally for. I will say though that being really good at playing games doesn't inherently mean you'll be really great at making them, and so design acumen and experience is more important than being Diamond or Gladiator. See the link to Greg's post above for some more info on playing vs. design.
  450. http://i.imgur.com/nKoqaQk.jpg
  452. 5:42
  455. 2012 Student Art Contest Grand Prize Winner: Jessica Dinh - Laguna College of Art & Design
  457. 5:43
  458. Comment From Nathan L.
  459. Rachelle, when you were first applying to the industry, what do you believe made you stand out from the crowd?
  461. 5:43
  463. Rachelle [Programming]: Hey Nathan! That's a question I've made a habit of asking my managers over the years. (I highly recommend doing that by the way -- it's always good to know what you're doing well and where you can improve!) My internship manager surprised me by telling me it was my personality and not my coding skills that inspired him to hire me. When you join a Blizzard team, you're not only bringing your practical skills to the table. You're also joining a family, and that family wants to feel comfortable with you. When you're interviewing, it's very important to let your personality shine so people get a flavor for who you really are and how awesome working with you will be. Having those core skills is a must, but try to take a deep breath and show the game industry how much fun you are to be around!
  465. 5:44
  467. Comment From Sean Sullivan
  468. Does blizzard offer any help in reloacation, I'd love to work there, but am a bit worried about relocating and affording the move to California?
  470. 5:44
  472. Val [Recruiting]: Hi Sean. Yes, Blizzard Entertainment offers a comprehensive relocation package! Many factors determine the sum of the relocation package. We’re very aware that candidates who would potentially want to work for us may not necessarily be in the Southern California area and we want to do as much as we can to help them out! I myself moved from the East Coast to work for Blizzard Entertainment. Our Relocation Specialist made the move as seamless as possible!
  474. 5:44
  475. Comment From Tom Beggin
  476. For schools with cooperative education programs, is it possible for someone to start a summer internship and then continue with a second internship immediately following or would the opportunity to work again with Blizzard only be possible the following summer?
  478. 5:44
  480. Cat [UR]: Hi Tom! Our internships are intended to go for three months. We could chat about the possibility of an extension, but it's best to plan for three months and go from there.
  482. 5:44
  483. Comment From Alex
  484. What do you look for in people who want to become Game Designers?
  486. 5:44
  488. Ryan [Design]: In prospective game designers, we’ll want to see that someone has a good sense for game design, and understands Blizzard’s design values. The best thing you can do to show your ability as a game designer, is to actually design something! Design a game – design on paper is good, but an actual playable game to show is a huge plus. Show that you understand the design area you’re interested in. For example, if you’re interested in Encounter Design, design a boss encounter and submit that. You’ll also want to be able to show is your ability to analyze designs and think critically, so to keep with the Encounter Design example, think about the best and worst boss encounters, explain why they are such, and how you would improve them.
  490. 5:45
  491. Comment From Tony
  492. How much time do you spend actually playing the game of your choice at blizzard?
  494. 5:45
  496. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: When I was working as a World of Warcraft Community Manager, I was probably putting in around 30-40+ hours each week on World of Warcraft to stay abreast of what was going on in game and because, well, I love it. (I played off the clock, of course). These days I split my time between World of Warcraft and Diablo III as well as other games I'm playing at any given time.
  498. 5:46
  499. Comment From Alex
  500. Are internships paid or unpaid?
  502. 5:46
  504. Cat [UR]: Our internships are paid!
  506. 5:47
  507. Comment From Ryan Anderson
  508. When in the development stage of creating character models for a portfolio, how does one go about determining what pieces are actually presentable coming straight out of college. Better yet what do companies look for with an artist thats done with school. Currently I'am a junior and I'am studying character art.
  510. 5:47
  512. Tyson [Art]: The WoW character team hires great artists directly out of school. We love to see people who have a great base and artistic understanding, and who are willing to learn and grow. What will catch our eyes the most are hand-painted, WoW-style character models.
  514. 5:49
  515. Comment From Ryan Allan
  516. When is the deadline for the applications?
  517. 5:49
  519. Janine [UR]: The internship application deadline is January 31st. Please make sure your application materials are submitted online on or before the 31st.
  521. 5:50
  522. Do you make games in your spare time (modding, iPhone games, level editing, etc.) or are you involved in indie game development?
  523. Yes
  524.  ( 47% )
  525. Not yet, but I plan to!
  526.  ( 39% )
  527. No, I'd rather just play them
  528.  ( 15% )
  531. 5:51
  532. Comment From Alex
  533. Is Blizzard HQ as awesome as the pictures make it look?
  535. 5:51
  537. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: It truly is. You should see the inside of some of the buildings and team areas! many are themed-out in INCREDIBLE ways, and the employees here also share their passion by decorating their work areas with everything from gaming paraphernalia through to comic book heroes, action figures, and more! Some of the decorating I've seen is truly creative. The area outside this very office even reminds me of Strangethorn Vale!
  539. http://i.imgur.com/k82p5Hy.jpg
  541. 5:51
  544. 2012 Student Art Contest Honorable Mention: Kyle Jensen - Laguna College of Art Design
  546. 5:52
  547. Comment From AlexR
  548. What goes into Quality Assurance (as the question is on the survey), how can that be described out in a portfolio/resume?
  549. 5:52
  551. Michael [QA]: The main role of Functional Quality Assurance is to handle the testing within the game client for our titles. Some examples of this are Campaign, Multiplayer features, Graphics, Sound, Items, Quests, Raids, etc. This also includes testing to ensure that the client interacts with Battle.net and our other game titles correctly. Technical QA is divided into several groups that test a massive variety of applications that help the company continue to deliver epic products. These groups work with software in all supported languages that require them to coordinate with other teams within the department and across Blizzard Entertainment globally.
  553. If you ever find a bug, report it! It’s great to see when applicants compile their reported issues into a portfolio when they come in for an interview.
  555. 5:53
  556. Comment From Guest
  557. Are there any permanent jobs for musicians?! I'd love to work at a place like Blizzard but it seems like there are very few music related jobs!
  559. 5:53
  561. Val [Recruiting]: We have many talented musicians on our Sound team. Even if we don’t have any positions available at a particular time, I encourage you to keep an eye out and apply when one raises your interest. I myself was browsing the Careers Page for years!
  563. 5:53
  564. Comment From Sergio
  565. Other than internships with you guys, what are other things that would help us work for Blizzard?
  567. 5:53
  569. Cat [UR]: Making games or related content (level editing, modding, iPhone games, etc) in your spare time as a hobbyist or independent developer is the best thing that anyone can do. The greatest thing about game development is you don't have to ask permission to start! There are tons of free tools, editors, game engines, and software out there to help you make good content, learn from the experience, and then do it again. Rest assured, internships are not the only path into Blizzard!
  571. http://i.imgur.com/k82p5Hy.jpg
  573. 5:53
  576. 2012 Student Art Contest Honorable Mention: Kyle Jensen - Laguna College of Art Design
  578. 5:53
  580. Comment From Toby Lewin
  581. I'm hoping to work as a concept artist at blizzard and I'm currently attending gnomon in LA to beef up my 3d portfolio. I know modeling and texturing makes up a large percentage of production so I'm wondering if it would be wiser to apply as a modeler/texture artist rather than a concept artist...or both?
  583. http://i.imgur.com/k82p5Hy.jpg
  585. 5:53
  588. 2012 Student Art Contest Honorable Mention: Kyle Jensen - Laguna College of Art Design
  590. 5:53
  592. Tyson [Art]: We are big fans of many art styles here, for sure. Good artists will never be overlooked. My personal sketching style is very cartoony and stylized. That being said, it's important for us to know that you can keep up with our team's day-to-day schedule of creating art. It also shows us that you really have a strong desire to work on our team.
  594. 5:54
  595. Aspiring artists and animators, do you already have your portfolio and reel hosted online?
  596. Yes
  597.  ( 16% )
  598. No, not yet
  599.  ( 26% )
  600. I do not consider myself an aspiring artist or animator
  601.  ( 58% )
  604. 5:54
  606. Comment From KlausRaynor
  607. Rachelle, what's the most rewarding part of your daily programming tasks? How has working at Blizzard changed how you approach difficult scenarios in your work?
  609. 5:54
  611. Rachelle [Programming]: Oh wow, it's impossible to pick just one thing I like best! I feel pretty lucky that I get to write code for all different parts of my game: front-end client code, networking, back-end servers, database work, you name it. I really like getting to be a generalist like that. That's certainly not the case on other, larger teams; programmers tend to pick specializations and stick to them. I also feel really fortunate that I work with such incredibly talented people. Just watching them work, reading their code, and talking with them about their solutions to programming problems teaches me so much! Everyone here is so supportive and eager to help others learn, it's fantastic!
  613. 5:55
  614. Comment From Andrew
  615. How many positions are open for the concept art intern?
  617. 5:55
  619. Cat [UR]: Hi Andrew, I believe we're looking for just one Concept Art Intern this year. Other internships may be looking for multiple students though!
  621. 5:56
  622. Comment From Scott
  623. For someone whose looking to go to college for game design are there any colleges that have programs that stand out? Or you could recommend?
  625. 5:56
  627. Cat [UR]: We don’t endorse or recommend any particular school. For such a creative workforce, it’s important to have really diverse backgrounds and experiences. We recommend selecting a program that best fits your learning style, the potential career path you’re pursuing, and will allow you at least a few minutes of freedom from time to time to stretch your creative muscles and create your own content to build up your portfolio.
  629. 5:56
  630. Comment From John
  631. Is the internship program specifically for WoW?
  633. 5:56
  635. Janine [UR]: Hi John – we have internship opportunities on our various development and operations / support teams. Feel free to check out our list of internship opportunities online at ur.blizzard.com. For full time opportunities, visit jobs.blizzard.com
  637. 5:57
  638. Programmers and designers, have you tried using the StarCraft II editor for your personal or class projects?
  639. Yes
  640.  ( 18% )
  641. No, not yet
  642.  ( 59% )
  643. I do not consider myself an aspiring programmer or designer
  644.  ( 23% )
  647. 5:59
  648. Comment From Arif Khan
  649. Would experience in Film Production be beneficial? Working within teams, writing creative content, learning cinematic techniques seem to parallel well with Game Development.
  651. 5:59
  653. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: I actually came from a film and tv background, and I can tell you that may of the skills I use now in community management were heightened in by previously working in the film industry. My biggest suggestion for you would be to figure out what role you want to specialize in, so that you can find the appropriate team and position to compliment the skills you currently have (and how you want to grow, career-wise).
  655. 5:59
  656. Comment From Greg
  657. can you apply for multiple internships or just one?
  659. 5:59
  661. Cat [UR]: Sure can! Multiple applications are fine, just make sure to tailor your resume and cover letter to each position.
  663. 6:00
  664. Comment From Morgan Hale
  665. What advice would you give to someone who wants to go into the Quality Assurance are of Blizzard?
  667. 6:00
  669. Michael [QA]: Brush up on your technical skills, troubleshooting ability, communication skills, and gain a solid understanding of testing methodologies.
  671. 6:00
  672. Comment From Guest
  673. If you want to be a designer but only have design internships to put on your resume, how do you make yourself stand out when applying for a design position?
  675. 6:00
  677. Mike [Recruiting]: Hi, we look for people who absolutely love to play games and are uber creative. In order to stand out, you need to be able to show us what you have done. There are so many free tools and editors available for people to use to create maps and MODS to existing games. We also like to see folks who love creative writing, especially if you want to be a quest or narrative designer. Make a board game; create a pen and paper RPG, write design documents detailing your awesome ideas and did I say play a lot of games?
  679. 6:00
  680. Comment From Guest
  681. Do you hire people with deep knowledge in math and economics, for balancing and data analysis?
  683. 6:01
  685. Val [Recruiting]: Our talented Business Analytics team from time to time may need people with that educational background but it depends on the role. Again, keep an eye out and apply if you see one that fits your skill-set and experience!
  687. 6:01
  688. Comment From Tony
  689. Will this session be logged and available to access later?
  690. 6:01
  692. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: Yep! You will be able to use the replay function after the Q&A session is completed in order to review the contents of this discussion. :)
  694. 6:02
  696. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: Well it's 6pm, but we're gonna go for about five more minutes. We're working on getting out a last few answers!
  698. 6:03
  699. Comment From Colin Stephens
  700. will you ever upgrade the graphics for WOW dramatically to keep up with the times?
  701. 6:03
  703. Tyson [Art]: We continue to add visual upgrades to the game, and hope to continue doing so!
  705. http://i.imgur.com/bjrAgGt.jpg
  706. 6:04
  709. 2012 Student Art Contest Grand Prize Winner: Marie Lazar - Savannah College of Art Design
  710. 6:04
  711. Comment From Karla
  712. Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! I'm a recent graduate and wonder if it's best to try for an internship or jump in and apply for a job. Or both!?
  713. 6:04
  715. Cat [UR]: Hey Karla. If you've already graduated, it's time to jump in and apply for fulltime opportunities. Good luck!
  716. 6:05
  717. Comment From Esther
  718. Can I still apply for internship if I am graduating this summer?
  719. 6:05
  721. Janine [UR]: Our internships are open for students who are currently enrolled in a college / university and will go back to school in the fall upon conclusion of the internship. More information can be found here: ur.blizzard.com
  722. 6:05
  723. Comment From Guest
  724. How do you pronounce your name Vaeflare? =)
  726. 6:06
  728. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: The first part rhymes with "hay." So it's VAY-flare. :)
  729. 6:06
  730. Comment From Mitchell
  731. Tyson, do you have any tips to help us create something close to what the art team is looking for?
  732. 6:06
  734. Tyson [Art]: For my team, the best thing you can do is load up WoW and run around, looking at all the art. That's what we're looking for :)
  735. 6:07
  737. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: That about does it for our time today! Thank you so much to everyone for stopping by, we hope it was an enlightening experience. The conversation doesn’t have to end here though, you can always follow us on Twitter ( @blizzardcareers) and check the University Relations page and Jobs Directory for regular updates. We hope to see your applications!
  738. 6:07
  740. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]: Say bye everyone!
  742. 6:07
  744. Cat [UR]: Bye guys! Thanks for hanging out!
  746. 6:07
  748. Tyson [Art]: See ya later everybody!
  750. 6:07
  752. Janine [UR]: Thanks for the awesome questions, guys!!
  754. 6:07
  756. Rachelle [Programming]: Thanks for joining us everyone!
  758. 6:08
  760. Val [Recruiting]: Thank you all for participating! It was great hanging out with you!
  762. 6:08
  764. Vaeflare [Community Mgr.]: Bye everyone! Thanks for the great questions and for stopping by! :)
  766. 6:08
  768. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]:
  769. The great thing about the CoverItLive application we’re using is it saves these chat sessions in a reviewable format. If you bookmark this page you can keep coming back for future reference!
  771. 6:08
  773. Michael [QA]: Had a blast answering your questions! Later all ;)
  775. 6:08
  777. Mike [Recruiting]: You guys are all awesome! Thanks for joining us.
  778. 6:08
  780. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]:
  781. To close out the chat we’ll be playing our Blizzard Retrospective video. It’s a bit long, but follows our history from a tiny group of guys to the epic company you know today. It’s great way to get an idea of what history precedes us all here, and why we’re so discerning during the selection process. And you’ll never get a better perspective on the passion and joy needed to go from being a player to a developer.
  782. 6:08
  784. Bashiok [Community Mgr.]:
  785. Enjoy the movie, and we’ll see you in-game!
  787. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=AHz2ky-jng8
  788. 6:08
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