5 Tips for Breaking Into the Game Development Industry

Game Development

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:

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?

Game art

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.

Game programming

If you do decide to pursue the programming side of game development, you will need to start by learning the basics of the relevant coding programs and the primary programming languages, including HTML5, Javascript, C++ and C#. This will be essential skills and knowledge necessary for getting into this industry:

  • Javascript – this is a web language, which you can write yourself or even use a game engine to build a game
  • 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 a foot in the door for the Game Development

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:

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.

Freelance

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.

You Need To Watch These Hellblade Developer Diaries

Hellblade

Ninja Theory, the developer behind such cult hits as DmC, Heavenly Sword, and Enslaved, have been hard at work over the past two years on their most ambitious and creative project to date: Hellblade. A game that promises to tackle mental illness with finesse and respect, and it looks absolutely incredible. What’s more, they’ve begun what is hopefully a new trend. Transparent, open development in the Triple-A games industry.

While they are technically a small indie team, their mission is to create a Triple-A game that doesn’t fall into the trap that most of the big dogs face. A creative, inspired, unique experience that isn’t beholden to investors and massive publishers, yet still manages to look and play as if it had a 50 million dollar budget.

A game that promises to tackle mental illness with finesse and respect, and it looks absolutely incredible. What’s more, they’ve begun what is hopefully a new trend. Transparent, open development in the Triple-A games industry.

While this idea sounds great, it has given the devs nothing but trouble since the very beginning, and this is what makes their video series on the development of Hellblade so fascinating. They show their ups, their downs, their failures and their successes, and it all culminates in possibly the most interesting documentary series of its kind.

I highly recommend you check out the playlist below.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42wG9WEl_9o&index=1&list=PLbpkF8TRYizaT6GfMcKBG-RoUOQ6BJRXp

Why Molyneux’s Enthusiasm Is a Problem

Molyneux

Peter Molyneux, the creator of several famous games such as Dungeon Keeper and Fable, has now mainly become known as the developer that constantly makes promises that he can’t keep.  The Fable series in particular has been known for promising grand concepts that it could not deliver on.  We all remember the infamous promise of planting an acorn in the original Fable and then seeing it grow over the course of the game.  This was only one of many empty promises that Molyneux made during the game’s development that soured reactions to the final product.  Now the recent Godus is going through similar criticism for failing to deliver on several promises that customers put money on through its Kickstarter campaign while Molyneux and most of his team is now moving on to work on The Trail instead.

The usual defense thrown out for Molyneux’s behavior is that he’s simply overenthusiastic and that it should be seen as a good thing that he has so much passion for the games that he works on.  I don’t consider that an acceptable excuse for one simply reason: almost every developer in the industry is passionate about the games they work on.  Every developer has grand visions for their games that ultimately can’t be delivered.  The only difference between Molyneux and most other devs is that he doesn’t know to keep talk of his ambitions in the office.

Let’s consider a game I’m sure anyone reading this is familiar with: Super Mario Bros.  We all know the content that made it into the final game.  There’s plenty of platforming, a variety of enemies and power-ups, underground and swimming levels, etc.  However, there was also plenty of content that lead designer Shigeru Miyamoto and his team wanted to include but never made it past the conceptual phase.  For one, a beam rifle was originally going to be a weapon in the game instead of the fire flower and made the game more of a run-and-gun style of game rather than a platformer.  Yoshi, Mario’s pet dinosaur that debuted in Super Mario World, was also conceived of this early on, but couldn’t be implemented because of hardware limitations.  This amount of cut content isn’t unusual as every game is ultimately forced to leave some ideas out for one reason or another.  Technical limitations, time restraints, and thematic concerns are simply the norm.

Now, let’s imagine a world where Miyamoto had the same talkative nature as Molyneux while developing Super Mario Bros.  He goes to gaming magazines and boasts about the game having you ride a dinosaur and wielding a rifle in this action-packed game.  The game releases just like the version we all know and love, but the heightened expectations caused by Miyamoto’s chatter only serves to harm the public reactions to the game and makes people skeptical of any future releases.  That’s just a best case scenario, as the development of the game could easily be compromised in an attempt to fulfill premature promises rather than trying to just create a quality game.  Now imagine that Miyamoto does the exact same thing with the next four or five games that he works on and promises that things will be better each time around.  That is the cycle that Molyneux is in right now and it has to stop.

I’m not trying to call Molyneux out as some overrated hack or anything.  He has brought us his fair share of landmark titles and does deserve a place in gaming history.  My point is that his impulsive bragging only serves to harm him, the studios he works for, the games he works on, and the trust of his fans.  For his own sake, Molyneux needs to learn some self-control and wait until he has solid features set in place before he starts to hype them up.  Otherwise, he is on the fast track to becoming the gaming equivalent of M. Night Shyamalan and his reputation will become more toxic for any game he is attached to rather than an asset.