I worked at The Coalition, a game studio owned by Microsoft best known for the Gears of War series. They have an office in Downtown Vancouver (15 mins away from "Big Park," the other MSFT office)
Game development is hectic and haphazard, and unfortunately, I came in during a particularly busy time for my team. I didn't really have a chance to sit down with someone and "learn the ropes," and I was instead thrust head-first into a task and told to "figure it out."
Now, Unreal Engine 4 is a BEAST, and is not something that easily lends itself to "self learning." Pile-on all of the game-specific things you need to know, getting started in the codebase was incredibly difficult...
Regardless, one of the (few) nice things about the "diving in head first" method of learning a codebase is that after you thrash around a bunch, you eventually get pretty good at figuring things out yourself! By then end of the term, I wrote code fairly quickly, and learned a bunch of invaluable skills in terms of navigating my way around a gargantuan C++ codebase.
This was the real highlight of the internship :D
1) I supremely lucked out with my team. The Audio Team at the coalition were some of the coolest and nicest people i've had the pleasure of working with. They really made the day interesting, and banter was always on-point. DISCLAIMER: i've heard from other interns that other teams were not as good, so YMMV
2) The Coalition has a super laid-back culture, with free beer and snacks every-other Friday
3) The intern-group I had was awesome, and made after-work events and weekends a ton of fun
4) Vancouver is a really awesome place to live. There is a ton to do, both within the city, and in the surrounding cities. There are lots of really cool hikes (if you're into that!)
- Microsoft doesn't set you up with housing, which is annoying :( I was lucky enough to live with a friend from Vancouver, so his parents scouted out the place first, but otherwise you'd have to go in blind
- Housing is bloody expensive in downtown (I paid 1500/mo for a queen-size bed in a closet)
- The 5800 salary = 4400/mo base + 5000/term housing stipend + misc bonus monies
TL;DR: It was a pretty good time!
Learned a lot, and had a lot of fun doing it.
8.5/10 would intern again.