View Full Version : Game Design and the National Guard
Hello folks. I'm a new member and a student in the game art developement industry.
I have a question that is very important to me that I would like assistance in.
I am a national guardsman and it is coming up time for me to make a decision to either get out or re-enlist. My question is how flexable are employers within the industry to individuals that work as artists and serve in the military as weekend warriors. This is very important to me as it could determine the direction I take for the next 12 years of my life. Also, being a student and not in the industry with a job yet makes things all the more interesting.
I would greatly appreciate it if anyone could help in this matter. Also, I appologize if this has been answered elsewhere.
07-09-2005, 05:56 AM
It's going to vary from company to company, from area of the country to area of the country (regional patriotism factor), and how crucial your skills are to the completion of the project. I have worked with a number of ex-military guys, but I have never heard one of them mention that he is or was an active Guardsman.
Edit: I'll qualify that. A contractor who worked on ColecoVision games about 20+ years ago was an active Guard officer.
07-09-2005, 12:17 PM
Jinxter (tom) on these boards is on active duty. I know for a fact he had to cut a job contract short because of duty and when he came back the project was over and he had to look for work again.
So I'd say do one or the other =( I know alot of artists that often get stuck working weekends to make deadlines. So I would assume that would conflict with your service obligations.
07-09-2005, 07:21 PM
I would be surprised if you did not know this but employers are required by law to give you time off for service and to hold your job for you while you are away. That being said, I have heard of numerous incidents around the present conflict and employers actually firing employees that have to take an extended leave of absence to fulfill their obligations to the national guard. From what I've heard, no one is looking out for these guardsman in cases against employers who do this and many of these guardsmen are returning home to find themselves unemployed.
As a former member of active duty member and former National Guardsman, my advice is that if you are serious about persuing a career in the game industry and honest with yourself about your ability to do so, you should probably not re-enlist.
07-09-2005, 08:16 PM
I think if you have a strong desire to work as an artist you may be able to hunt down a good company that trys not to crunch like crazy. Right now there are companys that do crunch quite a bit and may cringe at the idea of you being gone on weekends, but I think if you look hard enough you should be able to find a company that makes a concious effort not to crunch, just ask when you interview, what are their crunches like?
Hey, thanks for the advice. I appreciate the help. In response to AstroZombie I think it's deplorable that things like that happen to those guardsmen and they SHOULD bring legal reprisals against afor mentioned employers as they are legally able to do so. That's my thoughts on that. Anyway, it is a sound advice to not re-enlist (I know re-enlisting would be a gamble in the lest...) and a conclusion that I have been coming to more and more in my mind.
I know two individuals that worked as guardsmen and where active employees with Atari but they where senior types in the guard and at Atari they where in management, not artists.
Today I extended for 6 more months in order to research this some more and take care of other things. It should cover me until I finish school and give me some more ed benefits.
A question for AstroZombie: If you don't mind me asking, how many years of service did you have in both active duty and the National guard? For me its 4 active and 4 guard.
Again, thanks everyone for the help. If anyone has anything more to say please do so.
07-09-2005, 09:00 PM
Yea, I agree that it is deplorable, Nate. I haven't heard if any of them have taken legal action or not, but I agree that they should.
I served 4 years on active duty in the USAF from 1990-1994 and 3 years in the Oregon Army National Guard from 1997-2000. Don't let them get you with that "you only have 12 more years until you can retire, do you really want to throw away 8 years?" bullshit. From my service I earned a GI Bill which helped me get my degree and I am currently in the process of using my VA loan to purchase a house. Not to mention I made some great friends and had some good (and some bad /images/graemlins/wink.gif ) experiences as well. I hardly feel that my 7 years of service was wasted.
I think the 6 month extension while you sort things out was probably a good move. I just hope they don't get you under the "stop-loss" bullshit they are using because of poor recruitment numbers right now.
Best of luck to you in your future career Nate, with or without the National Guard.
Thanks again. No, I don'g think they'll get me on any of that crap. Basically, you guys have just reiterated my own conclusion. I was just curious to see if it could work and wanted to ask someone who might have experience in one if not both venues.
Yeah, I'll agree with you AstroZombie, on the good times and bad and I don't feel my time is wasted. The 6 months will net me some more ed benefits /images/graemlins/smile.gif Again I appreciate the feedback.
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