How should you hire for virtual reality?

We speak to Guerrilla Games boss Hermen Hulst on how the Killzone studio is handling it
Publish date:

Guerrilla Games is one of the first studios making a game for Sony’s upcoming Project Morpheus virtual reality headset.

Revealed at this year’s E3, Rigs is a mech arena shooter that uses the new tech, and is being developed by Guerrilla’s Cambridge studio. But how is the firm hiring for VR projects?

“The reality is you can’t really hire for VR,” co-founder and MD Hermen Hulst tells Develop.

“It’s still so new that there isn’t a readily-available supply of people with a proven track record of building successful virtual reality games.

“That said, we do look for a certain mindset. A certain attitude is needed when you are working on new technology and we nurture a research and development atmosphere, so we staff people who have shown in the past that they’re interested in tinkering round with the PlayStation Move or with other new technologies. They’re the inventor type, let’s call it that. We look for some evidence of the work they have experienced in inventing new technology. You can look for those people to strengthen your team as well.”

And what should a candidate do to get a role at the Amsterdam-based studio? Hulst says that regardless of the role, the studio wants people to have something to show for themselves.

“When you are a coder, obviously we look at the projects that you have worked on and code examples. But even when you are somebody that’s straight out of college, we always look for people with something to show for themselves, we look for people who have done extra-curricular activities.

“Maybe they were part of making a game and can prove they were responsible for part of it, but we get guys who built their own game engine which is probably as awesome as you can expect from a student.”

Hulst adds it’s important to identify how fresh hires will fit into a new project with differing requirements, so it’s important to carefully judge a potential employee’s work processes.

“When you hire a story writer and they have published games, you can look at the product itself and you can see the fruits of that person’s work,” he says. “When someone’s a tools programmer, that’s a little more difficult to gauge from the actual end result. So you talk about the processes and the changes that people have made and their work flows. You also ask for specific examples that we’d regard with a group of people.”


vr jobs feature one year.jpg

Virtual Reality Recruitment: One Year On

It’s been a year since the PlayStation VR took virtual reality to the mainstream and Ssince sales of PC and mobile VR really began to grow. Sean Cleaver speaks to studio heads and recruitment specialists to find out what their thoughts are on the virtual reality job market one year on