Getting a Job at Bioware (PAX East 2014 Bioware Base)

'Getting a Job at Bioware' is a panel often held at the Bioware Base each event. Each panel offers different developers, and in doing so, shares different perspectives on their employment at Bioware and how to join their ranks.

Working at Bioware

Camaraderie and collaboration. At Bioware Montreal and Edmonton, you will find like-minded people with the same goals in creating great games, sharing knowledge, and fostering bonds. A friendly atmosphere where so long as you show passion towards what you are doing, Bioware gives you every opportunity possible to succeed. It’s a team atmosphere, day-by-day, where co-workers are approachable and work together. People who want to work at Bioware really show theywant to be there.

The Application Process

While they receive many different applications, they hire based off what they need. When their recruiters look at a resume, if a person is a good match but not a good match right now (based on necessity), they will keep the resume aside and remember it when a position is available. It’s suggested not to apply for something not on the Bioware careers list, but recommended to look into EA’s full career site if something at Bioware isn’t found first pass around. ”Keep applying,” they say. It’s not always that they are ignoring you, but with so many applicants to Bioware, there is a chance that you may be hired down the line or for something similar to what they need. (Fun fact: head community manager Jessica Merizan applied three times before she was hired.)

For University Relations, those looking for internships can host their resume on the EA University Relations website and choose from different disciplines of interest. 

As far as what to bring to the table, suggestions:

  1. Have a portfolio. Your portfolio should have your best work readily accessible. A demo reel should not be more than a minute, making sure to be short and concise. 
  2. Build an online presence. Having your material on a blog or website is easy to follow. 
  3. "Make stuff yourself." Tools like Unreal 4 and Unity are at your disposal. 
  4. Don’t worry about being from another industry when applying, as they do hire beyond the gaming industry (tech, theater, film, etc.)

As far as specific software and skillset demands you should be aware of, most can be found on the job listing. They do not mess around; the technical knowledge you need will be listed on the posting. Here’s some specific things they expect:

  • Programmers: Know C++, best to come from a Computer Science or Engineer degree, (University relations suggests C, C Sharp, Java at the least and will give some support if you are willing to learn further)
  • Art: 3ds Max and Maya, though they are transitioning to Maya only. Zbrush.
  • Q&A: Be familiar with bug trackers. Know how to communicate well and be articulate. If you know how a commercial engine works (i.e Unity) and even know how to design a level, you will have a great advantage.
  • Writing: If making a portfolio, it’d be good to have a simple story arc (like a level) written out. Knowing and demonstrating branching dialogue and how to implement your ideas is greatly favored. (If you can put it in a level, it shows really well how you articulate yourself and it’s a good way to hear your own dialogue)

(A specific note on having “5 years experience”: it’s a difficult situation. As far as gaining experience, the best advice is to keep doing things. Do small side projects, freelance…almost anything works. (For recent grads, University Relations will help in that aspect and help you start doing things getting work experience) However, most careers demanding “5 years experience” are senior positions that must be filled out by Bioware.)