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Old 07-28-2013, 11:18 AM
 
4 posts, read 4,969 times
Reputation: 11

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Hello, my fiance and I are considering a move to Seattle, WA. I grew up in the Bay Area of CA but have spent the last ten years in the northeast. My fiance has lived here in New England all of his life.

My mother used to live in Seattle and said it was one of her favorite places to live and my fiance tells me there is quite a scene for techie people like himself. He wants to develop video games but we are not sure how best to go about that. Where he could find work, etc. He has a certificate in CADD and has less than one years experience (so far).

Myself, I am less than one year away from finishing my Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice. I am not very picky about what career to pursue... I have mostly clerical skills and an office environment would suit me best. I would like to work in a law firm, perhaps as a case manager or in administration.

We are getting married in 2 years and would like to move soon after that. We have one son who will be about 7 or 8 when we move so quality schools are a priority.

We would like a little advice on where we might find a suburb of Seattle to settle down in that suits our careers, has some good schools for our son, and is very affordable for a family just starting out.

Thank you so much for reading and any help you can give!
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Old 07-28-2013, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
5,938 posts, read 5,214,759 times
Reputation: 12196
Sounds like a non-starter w/o thorough research, sorry to say.

"Develop video games?" Bungie, Valve, that sort of thing, right? May wish to prepare a portfolio, research game companies in the Seattle metro area, establish a reputation of accomplishments in current home town for several years, then start networking. If he knows there is quite a scene for techie people, as you say, will assume that is already in motion.

There isn't much "very affordable" in Seattle metro with quality schools. Not impossible, but improbable. Research this forum for more on that, covered ad nauseum in recent threads.

I feel bad for people, young and old, intending to arriving to Seattle metro with marginal plans but big hopes, I really do. I arrived with great plans, big hopes, great portfolio, and made it work, but it was still very hard work. That was a decade and a half ago, though: with all that's happened, economically, I personally believe it's just that much harder to do so today.
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Old 07-28-2013, 12:39 PM
 
4 posts, read 4,969 times
Reputation: 11
Well no, we -don't- have a lot of research yet- that's why I'm here and why we don't plan to move right away. I'm not here saying "Hi guys, I'm here now. Gee life is rough jumping into this blindly!" No, I'm here online, 2+ years in advance of possibly relocating, *attempting* to gain perspective and knowledge of whether or not this is a viable option.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:02 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
8,740 posts, read 7,783,595 times
Reputation: 12955
Good suburbs include but are not limited to: Issaquah, Sammamish, Kirkland, Bothell, Redmond. You specifically want to look at Lake Washington, Bellevue and Issaquah school districts (on the Eastside). Within Seattle you have some Seattle public schools such as Bryant, Ravenna, Wedgwood, etc... that are good. Others mention Wallingford and Ballard. I have also heard good things about North Shore and Shoreline school districts.

Affordability... yeah, that's an often seen topic here... at least where I live (in Issaquah) you can find a 2 bedroom with excellent schools and walkability for about $1400. I think my advice for you guys is to come up with a magical cost of living number that you know you can afford and let that be your measuring stick. Can you live under that number in any of the above communities???? It's not something that any of us should tell you, it's something you need to discover for yourself. Be honest and pragmatic and conservative and go with the information (such as income) that you have now, not what what you think it will be in the future.
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:22 PM
 
1,359 posts, read 2,313,271 times
Reputation: 1213
Indie game development is not for the faint of heart. With so many companies consolidating or folding outright, the decision to become an indie game developer becomes even more fraught. Do tons of research and definitely watch the market over the next year or so.

All I will say is this: you want to make sure that (a) the portfolio is slamming, and (b) you get to know as many people in the business as possible.
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Old 07-28-2013, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Portal to the Pacific
8,740 posts, read 7,783,595 times
Reputation: 12955
Yeah, I was also going to say something similarly about the game industry... but my husband was the one who took a stab at it, not me. I'm not the one with first-person experience.

It seems like a rock star career. My husband was all on it when he was brought over from academia. He was the product of an admittedly posh group of game design experts from highly notable research institutions. The honeymoon lasted for a short 6 months before it started to unravel. Politics. Egos. Short attention spans. Redirection. Misdirection. My husband likes to call it "corporate schizophrenia". He watched multiple studios shut down.. those that did the coding fared better than those that did the design... eventually the writing was on the wall and he got out before he was forced to. Granted, he was probably brought in at too high a level, even though he had a particularly knowledgeable perspective of the industry, even I felt that his lack of practical experience didn't measure up. I once read in the Economist that only 1/5 executives make it past 5 years. It was par for the course. He looked at a number of other smaller game companies including Valve, but eventually had to abandon his expertise and take a position that could predictably pay the bills. It's not a rock star job, but his anxiety is best it's been in years. Interestingly, he was invited to a networking event last week that involved former executive producers and other formidable game professionals. He went out of curiosity, but returned with a sobering taste in his mouth as he learned that many of the people who had turned him away when he was looking for a new job were completely unemployed.

I think an important element to remember is that the game industry is an entertainment industry. It's not a life-sustaining commodity. I think for this reason it's more volatile... cut-throat... reactionary... something... the market depends on people's interests, their whims, and disposable income. It's a very different environment than say MS Office (how many businesses' bread and butter relies on MS operating systems??? That would be a fun number to calculate). I'm not saying it's wrong to enter, but do so mindfully.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:49 AM
 
Location: Seattle
1 posts, read 1,186 times
Reputation: 10
Agreed on all the above comments... :-)

We moved here a year ago from the Tri-state area (NJ/NY) and I am lucky to have a bread winner in the family as I pursue my career here. First school district we heard about being the best ws Bellevue.

I am originally from NorCal, Sacrmento area, and when we were looking for places a friend said check out West Seattle. It has a Berkeley feel but is "cleaner" :-) and I love Berkeley! The schools are good but not to the same level as the places mentioned previously. Depending on where you are looking in WS aka The Island prices can start at $350k (down by Arbor Heights) all the way up to $1.5m down by Alki.

I have shown homes over in Redmond and Issaquah and you do get a lot more for what you are looking to purchase and it's beautiful.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
5,938 posts, read 5,214,759 times
Reputation: 12196
Quote:
Originally Posted by amaiunmei View Post
Indie game development is not for the faint of heart. With so many companies consolidating or folding outright, the decision to become an indie game developer becomes even more fraught. Do tons of research and definitely watch the market over the next year or so.

All I will say is this: you want to make sure that (a) the portfolio is slamming, and (b) you get to know as many people in the business as possible.
Amen to that.

I worked closely with (a very big studio) for about a year, nearly ten years ago, as a PM on their online presence. Got to know the big shooters in the studio fairly well, when learning how to manage perception for them. Unique environment, truly a "studio": the level of production is astounding. As are the risks, and rewards. I don't know how anyone can do this, these days, without deep pockets, great talent, management skills of a rockstar (to keep fragile personalities on-track), and a hot franchise. Hell, all that was needed back then. Now...?

My job included close contact with the public (virtual), and managing certain perceptions and expectations of the online community. Those showing leadership and talent were promptly drafted or co-opted into the effort: a few (very few). Development-side, in the larger community, there were many hangers-on, also-rans, and almosts who didn't get too far, unfortunately. Always heard I had more compassion than most even discussing the why and wherefore of the business with those who didn't make it.

If you live it and breath it, great. I did not, was just a job to do, so moved on. Wouldn't go near it now, given the uncertainties.
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