Over the next two days (April 21 – 22), our specialised team of developers and recruiters will be at The Game Assembly Meet & Greet event to meet the next stars of the games industry. They’ll be talking to students, reviewing portfolios and tracking down some of the best and upcoming talent in the industry – alongside more than 50 other studios from all over the world!
We’re always on the lookout for new talent to join our team and have an impact on the games that we’re developing. This year is no different, except that the event is fully digital, so we’ll be doing everything remotely this time around and talking to even more talent than previous years. Our ambitious plans over the next few years and beyond include projects from three different universes; Hitman, Project 007 and an unannounced new IP.
In the past years, students who join us have gone on to become integral members of the team and make an impact on our games and studio culture. As an intern with IOI, students get their own mentor and buddy, so they are fully supported from start to finish. We give them challenging but meaningful work and guide them along the way.
In 2019, we were happy to welcome Manne Westermark to IOI as an intern, who is now employed full-time and won the Talent of the Year award at the 2020 Spilprisen awards. Manne is an environment artist who worked on the Berlin and Chongqing locations in HITMAN 3.
We currently have three interns at IOI working on various aspects of our ongoing projects. To give some unique insight into what it is like to be an intern at one of our studios, we asked one of them, Agnes Christensson, to talk about some highlights from her first year as an IOI intern. Over to you, Agnes…
Impact and Inspiration
I find it hard to choose my favorite experience, but I must say that being in Malmö where I get to be close to my mentor, Victor, has really empowered me. He has also studied at TGA previously, so having the same points of reference has been a positive surprise and made it easier to learn new things early on. At the same time, everyone is so kind and talented in general which has made me feel very welcome and inspired me in a way I did not expect. For example, people seem to be very physically active, so now I bike to work every day from Limhamn on my IOI bike!
When talking about experience; I have grown personally as well. Normally I have a hard time recognizing when to be proud of the work I have done, but the other day our executive producer Forest reached out to me and told me how impactful I have been for the project. It was a great thing for me to hear because it made me slow down and think back on how well I have been doing.
She also talked about the presentation I did for the entire studio the other week, which I was nervous about, however, it went well and was received very positively. It was so fun that everyone liked it, but in the end, I am most proud of knowing that I am contributing.
My conversation with Forest was lovely, and not something I was expecting at all. I really respect the transparency when it comes to recognizing each other’s work!
From School to AAA
I applied for a spot at IO Interactive for my internship because I had played Hitman previously and the level design spoke to me. One of my portfolio pieces was heavily inspired of Hitman because I really wanted to figure out and learn that type of level design, so it felt obvious for me to go for an internship here.
When I started, I mainly got to playtest and give feedback to the other designers who have worked with IOI for many years. It was a bit scary to share feedback like that since I was new but with some guidance from my mentor I learned how to phrase and evaluate which feedback was most important to give. This helped in improving my communication skills with both QA, producers, and of course the other level designers.
Next, I dove into Chongqing, one of the levels in Hitman 3, and got to take over another designer’s scripting, which was a very good exercise. I am quite a structured person and I realized quickly that not everyone works like me, but it was interesting to put myself in the other designers’ shoes and understand how they scripted different things.
I have learned so much! Especially how the whole process of making games takes time compared to when we created one of many smaller games at school in just 8 weeks. There is so much more to it that I have been able to experience now.
I want to be straight forward and say that I think this is absolutely the perfect work environment for me and I am very happy to be staying here since IOI is growing in a very exciting and positive direction that I look forward to be part of and see where it takes me personally. I want to keep working in the game industry no matter what. This inspires me so much and I have just gotten started!
Tip for Other Students
When you are looking for an internship, it is good to have a portfolio that reflects what you yourself are interested in before anything else. I pondered a lot about my portfolio and how to make sure it showed exactly what I wanted to work with in the future and what inspires me. Keep this in mind when you are working on your own portfolio, is it true to you?
When you do land that internship, do not be scared to ask questions. It is easier to ask and get an answer than to wonder and maybe end up worrying about something that had a simple answer – I know how it is because I do that a lot myself. People always want to help, and they want to see you to grow, learn and become better at what you do, so be curious and ask away!