Valve co-founder Gabe Newell has claimed that the buoyant PC mod tool movement is as good a route into a career in games development as either work experience or dedicated programming qualifications.
Speaking to industry stalwart Dave Perry, Newell stated: “The best thing to do is to start making content using the mod tools that are out there. Whether you use Civilization or Warcraft III or Hammer doesn't matter as much as that you are building and shipping stuff to customers, getting their feedback, and then iterating your work.
“Mod development is better in a lot of ways of both honing your skills and demonstrating your talent to a potential employer than work experience as there are going to be fewer institutional barriers and creative constraints to limit the work you do.”
Newell also went on to advise potential recruiters of the process he follows when interviewing: “I don't want a protégé – I want a colleague. There are three questions we ask ourselves when making hiring decisions that are relevant to this.
“Would I work for this candidate? What would I learn from this candidate? How would I feel if this person went to work at a competitor? These questions are actually more invariant with respect to experience than you would think, and are often very clarifying.”