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Is working in game dev company before going indie the right recipe?

Really just looking for a clearer picture of advantages than what was posted in a similar question linked above.

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what makes you think a question which is once closed as not constructive, is welcome to this comunity this time? – Ali.S Jul 4 '12 at 10:17
Because this one isn't based soley around opinion but instead around tangable advantages, which was mentioned in the comments section of that question – dbomb101 Jul 4 '12 at 10:19
The answers will still be a collection of opinions and life experience. Also, you can find a lot of those in indie developers public declarations (mostly after releasing a big hit, or something close to that). The most common reported advantage is the sheer amount of experience. – Darkwings Jul 4 '12 at 12:46
up vote 2 down vote accepted

A huge advantage to working in a games company is simply the people you will meet.

If you ever decided to go indie you will most likely need help along the way, and you are more likely to meet people that can help you at a games company than in any other location. The help these people can offer will range from technical help to more management/marketing help.

This is a huge advantage as it means that you will have plenty of sources for a little bit of help when you need it. Keeping in mind that, as an indie company, you probably won't have the money kicking around to just hire someone that knows what they're doing in, say, marketing or web design, and you probably won't have the time to do it all by yourself, especially when your income depends on it.

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It goes without saying that your experience will depend on the company you work for, but there are several benefits of working on a bigger studio before going solo:

  1. As pointed out in another answer, you will meet a lot of people that will come in handy if you ever decide to go independent.
  2. If this is your first job in the industry it is very likely you have many things yet to learn. In a big company you will have a chance to learn these while getting paid.
  3. You will have a chance to properly interact with other disciplines inside the industry. It is very important to learn the differences between how designers, artists, producers, coders, etc. see game development.
  4. You will have access to resources you could not afford otherwise. Things like the source code to internal game engines, access to exclusive forums, access to new technology, etc. will give you invaluable information for later on in your career.
  5. Many companies have great moonlighting policies that allow you to work on other personal projects after work hours without losing the safety of a steady income.
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(wannabe indie, never been in real game company but know several who have)

There's not much middle-ground games going on; its indie or AAA.

So will working in AAA help you make games? Well, it will strain your relationships and sleep patterns and expectations around extra-curricular activities.

You might meet your co-conspirators there; they may also be stuck making games for some heartless executive and dreaming of the good life as an indie...

Programming-wise? That's a skill you can get by being a wannabe indie in the free time having a non-gaming job will give you instead...

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