I've moved in the US 6 months ago with a working visa available for 6 years and since I've worked (my heart out) in the industry, I've been KO'd by most of the companies I have applied to. I will not talk here about my Game Design or Level Design experience or how good I am and what can I do and that's mainly because, well, I did not get THAT far.
It all started around October when I first landed in the US, I was eager to get a job in the industry as fast as possible and work hard and do what I like. I've applied to A LOT of companies, A LOT of jobs but no success whatsoever.
I've received many denial letters back (the usual, you're so good and we like you so much but unfortunately someone else is Brad Pitt), many didn't bother to send back, but a few actually wanted me to join them but I'll talk about them later on. So basically after I got so many refusal letters back, I've asked a few of them "why?". I've asked them because something smelled bad, because I had the experience and MORE than what they've asked for, I would not mind if I had a lower salary (starting in a new country is HARD, for both parties, it would've been way more than what I had in Romania).
I've received about 4 answers back (from 10 sent - couldn't find the rest of them to ask) and the reason was my H1B visa. It's weird because I never asked for a visa transfer since I can be payed through the company that brought me here. But oh well, things had gone even worse from here. I've started to get "We would like to talk to you!" or "When are you available for an interview?".
All good. I was sooo happy, I couldn't care less if I had to make mobile games or console games or pc games, I just wanted a job, and from there I would've climbed up to something else. I had 6 interviews in the past 6 months and all of them went great. I knew what I was doing, did great at everything, they were impressed, they were ready to send me the contract.
BOOM! All of these 6 companies did not read my resume very well which states that "Authorised to work in the US - H1B visa until 2018". Once they figured that out, half of them did not even answer the phone call or email (thanks, but I rather move on just because of that and thanks for being very professional and I'm sorry I've wasted your time), and the other half was nice to tell me that they did not read it well in the first place.
Basically, at that point (around middle of November) I was in deep pain, my light was getting dim so I had to do something just to be able to stay in the US so I finally found a job as an Network Administrator (which is not bad, but it's boring and that's just not what I want to do). All my hopes were torn apart, no one would take me and I was helpless and I've lost my trust in Game Development since then. I still love games, I still write and design games but I'm doing it in my head now.
But I woke up 2 weeks ago, while watching some kids playing games in a GameStop store and I remembered how I used to play games since I was 5 (I'm almost 26 now) and how I loved the competition in video games, how I loved to spend nights and days at work with my colleagues, how we laughed at each other after waking up with keyboard signs on our faces, how I used to enter RAGE MODE when the game was crashing at 5 AM in the morning and we had to send it and so on. I still believe I have a chance, and even though my chances are not that great (I want to work as a freelancer for FREE but no one believes that, what's wrong with some people?!) I will work my way towards Game Development somehow.
Thank's for reading this. Game Development has less passion in it every year, it's a business for others, but there are people like me and hundred of others who want to create extraordinary games.