Tag Archives: art studios

Free agency is the future of video games!

Man, I really suck at posting notices about events where I’m speaking. Last night there was an event called Infinite Resolution Zero LatencyI at the University of Texas in Austin. They had several game developers taking two minutes each to describe their vision of the future of video games. After that, they adjourned to check out video games on the world’s largest HD screen.

Well, I got a chance to speak there on my vision of the future of games, and I wanted to repost the text of it here. Here it is:

Hi, I’m Jon Jones and I run smArtist, an art production management agency where I specialize in art outsourcing.

“What do I see as the future for video games?”

I’ll take this in a different direction: From a production standpoint, I see the future bringing more freelancing, free agency and freedom. As long as expensive AAAA blockbusters exist, dumb money will follow. Mistakes will be made. Studios will crumble, and layoffs will abound. Behold the system.

I see the rise of contract studios, of mercenaries, hired out on a project-by-project basis. They move nimbly from one client to the next, work with several in parallel and stay afloat to grow and prosper. This, rather than bowing to one master and hoping to see forbearance and returned loyalty where, in fact, that is often a non-reciprocal transaction.

This is a tough industry. And I see a lot more boutique contract art, production, and perhaps design and engineering houses opening and prospering. It’s a safer way to hedge your bets against studio closures, cutbacks and layoffs outside of your control and to take care of yourself and exist outside the system. It’s not for everyone, but I see it coming and I believe it’s a truly viable option for more people than you’d think. Working with people in this capacity is absolutely energizing, and I think it’s the future.

I did an “Ask Me Anything” reddit post about getting into games!

Hi everybody! For those not familiar with reddit, it’s [essentially] a website where people post links, create discussions and comment on them. There are tens of thousands of small communities there, one of which is called “AMA” — short for “Ask Me Anything.” Sometimes they’ll have celebrities, or politicians, or people in interesting lines of work. People submit questions and the person answering them does their best to answer all they can. More often than not, it’s really interesting.

Well, I did one recently on what it takes to break into the game industry. I spent about 12 hours answering almost every single one of the 250+ questions asked. I’m going to take all that content and turn it into a big long Q&A or series of articles for my blog here, but I wanted to link to the original thread:

I AmA 10yr video game industry vet that likes helping people break into the industry. AMA!

Warning: The language can get very salty, which is wholly unsurprising to anyone that knows me. :)

Hope you guys enjoy!