How to Get a Career in Video Games
Are you passionate about video games and want to try creating your own for a living? The gaming industry is no longer a niche, and there are lots of opportunities from major studios through to indie developers. That said, there are many different roles available in the industry, so finding out how to get your foot in the door may not be so clear. Here is our guide on how to get a career in video games.
Steps to Starting Your Video Game Career
- Spend some time on video game discussion boards and social media groups to gain advice and tips regarding the industry. These online spaces will allow those involved in the industry to give you an idea of what working in the industry is like. In addition, if you have any game demos of your own, you may get some constructive feedback that can help.
- Create a gaming blog that allows you to demonstrate your knowledge of games. This could feature stories based on your experiences, advice and tips for others, reviews of games, and so on. This may lead to potential opportunities down the line.
- Try your hand at making your own games and create your own portfolio. They don’t have to be professionally made; they just need to show off your skills. Try and attend game jams as well, in which several people get together to make a game from scratch in a few days. This is a great way to get some experience in different roles within the industry as well as a potential addition to your portfolio.
- Earn a bachelor’s degree in a field such as video game development or game design. This will further improve your skill set and portfolio, plus it gives you a useful qualification to put on your resume.
- Look for entry level and internship roles within the industry. These roles won’t need a lot of professional experience to enter, and can lead to advancement with quality work and experience.
- Start shopping around. Update your CV and portfolio for hiring managers. Network at events both physical and online through Discord servers. Get yourself known in the industry!
Roles Within the Video Game Industry
- Games Designer – This role creates and develops the concepts that become video games, including stories, characters and more. They then work with other designers and developers to help bring the game to life.
- Software Developer/Game Programmer – These roles are more involved with the technical side of game development, turning the game designer’s vision into a playable game. This involves working with game engines and code, as well as creating the software that allows the games to work.
- Audio Engineer – Uses computers and electrical sound equipment to create the sound design for the game. This includes everything from ambient noises, to voice overs, to music.
- Games Animator – This role is responsible for bringing memorable characters to life in games. They use animation software to visually represent the movement and behaviour of characters in the game.
- Games Artist – Creates the overall look of the game, from a realistic art style to a more stylised look. Develops the look of characters, scenery and textures.
- Interpreter/Translator – Helps games reach as much of the global market as possible. These roles use their language skills to convert everything from character dialogue to game instructions into new languages so they can be understood fluently.
- Game Tester – Focuses on quality assurance by playing games to ensure they perform well and that instructions are clear. They use problem solving skills to identify any bugs or glitches and report their findings to the team.
- Professional Gamer – Plays games professionally in sponsored e-sports tournaments and the like. Requires a lot of practice and skill, but can lead to other opportunities in the games industry.
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