Finding a way to successfully break into the game development industry may seem difficult at times, but it is by no means impossible. Having said that, it is important to remember that there is no ‘right way’ or secret to getting your start in the business – it really just comes down to be dedicated and persistent. Consider the following tips to help you get introduced to the world of game development.
Choose your area of focus:
The first step for anyone looking to break into the game development industry is to make the most fundamental decisions: do you want to focus on doing the art for video games, or do you want to work on the programming for video games?
Focusing on the art side of video game design is perfect for anyone who has the vision, the ideas, and the creative drive to think up visuals without needing the programming expertise. Just because you can’t code doesn’t mean you can’t design and develop games – there are a range of game engines available and a lot of professional game development studios use these to create their video games. This doesn’t mean they will necessarily hire you, you will also need relevant experience in the field to make you a more valuable hire. You need to make it clear to your employers, potential or otherwise, that you not only have experience with this work, but that you are also open and willing to continue to expand your knowledge and understanding of the game development process. This can also come from having a portfolio of work available to demonstrate this.
- HTML5 – this is another web language, which is mostly used for developing browser-based games
- C++ – this is what is referred to as ‘object-oriented programming’ and is one of the most common languages used for programming games
- C# – this is another object-oriented programming language and is one of the most commonly used programming language
Before attempting to actually make your move in breaking into the game development business, you should really have a thorough understanding of what exactly it is you want to do – do you want to program the games or design the art for them or even be a game musician? Once you have made this choice, you can then think about focusing further on a specialization within this area:
- Those pursuing a career in game art design should consider focusing their talents on character concepts and turnarounds, 3D modelling, animation, scenery and game object assets, etc.
- Those pursuing a career in game programming should consider focusing their talents on menus, in-game mechanics, level obstacles, or anything else which needs to be coded for the game
- Those pursuing a career in game music and sound will be looking to create in-game music, theme music/soundtracks, and any sound effects needed.
Get a foot in the door:
Get an internship at a game studio
There are countless internships available across the country with game studios – and while you may not live anywhere near any game studios you may be able to find remote opportunities for internships. There are also plenty of online resources to help you search for internships, such as popular job-search websites like indeed.com, or sites dedicated to helping you find the perfect internship.
Get an entry-level job at a game studio
Getting a job as a game tester is one of the easiest ways to break into the industry, since they generally don’t require any extensive experience, training, or qualifications. Following this, you can move on through the company and end up in a development role in a relatively short amount of time. You can also look for other job vacancies at game studios to simply get yourself in the door.
Cultivate experience and a name:
Build your own indie games
This may sound obvious, but one of the best ways to get game development experience without working for a studio is to simply build your own indie games. There are plenty of online tools you can use for developing yourself.
Post your work on discussion boards
As an aspiring game developer, you should already be spending time on discussion boards, but you should also be posting on them, too. You may not know it, but professional game developers also read them so it is a great way to be seen.
Start a blog
Starting a gaming blog is yet another way to get your work and ideas out there for someone to see – you can choose to write about whatever area of specialization you want to focus on in your career. This also gives you a virtual portfolio to showcase your work online.
Taking on some freelance work is a great way to learn your trade – there are lots of freelance websites available, such as Upwork, which can help you gain some experience to get your resume started, as well as putting a little money in your pocket. You should read up on more details of working freelance before you try this though.
At the end of the day, whatever route you choose to take in pursuing a career in game development, persistence and dedication is absolutely essential. Put in the work to get yourself some quality experience, fine-tune your skills, and keep your knowledge base up-to-date. Don’t give up on what you want and try not to forget to enjoy yourself along the way!
About Author: Molly Crockett is a successful marketing writer for Write my essay and Assignment writer, where she shares her unique lifestyle tips and personal development advice with her audience.