Getting into The Gaming Industry Quick Jump / Table of Contents
- What does it take to get a Game Development Job?
- Game Development covers a lot of different jobs.
- Learn Soft Skills to apply multidisciplinary insight in any role.
- It's not all about the Programmers, Artists, or Musicians.
- Learn relevant Marketing techniques to further your potential.
- Take your Storytelling and World-crafting to the next level.
What does it take to get a Game Development Job?
Do you need to have a fantastic idea that no one else has? Do you need to fix problems in the best games on the market, or make an even better game? How do you land the perfect Game Development Job?
There are a lot of ways to make your future career part of gaming, and it doesn’t have to involve coding a new game from scratch or struggling to get a developer or publisher’s attention. Here are 4 ways to get started in the gaming industry while keeping the door open for other careers.
Game Development covers a lot of different jobs.
What does it mean to make games? Are you a programmer who types code to create apps, software, and intricate systems? Are you a storyteller or artist who creates a concept for someone else to program? Any game that works on a video game console, mobile device, or any other computer is programmed. Some are made by one person or small teams, while others have entire departments of developers, artists, writers and more. Any way you slice it game development jobs are far more diverse than most would expect.
If you’re planning on making a game on your own, programming should be the core of your learning. You either need to know how to build a game from scratch, or at least know enough about code to approve, deny, or give feedback for your team’s work.
Are you going to make a mobile game, a console game, or a PC game? Do you want to make games for as many platforms as possible? As gaming programmers, we need to figure out which languages work best with specific gaming platforms. There are certain rules, strange ticks, and system rules that make some programming languages better than others.
Learn Soft Skills to apply multidisciplinary insight in any role.
Can you become a successful, popular game developer by just writing an app and putting it up on a store?
Could that same app sit on an app store with no views, no players, and no fun?
When producing a game, we have to think about more than getting rich or getting popular overnight. Having strong insight into the many facets of game development allows you to look at just more than the game you’re working on. After all, the managers at most game companies aren’t concerned with what color and NPCs shirt should be; and that’s a good thing. Good managers in the game industry listen to their team and apply their own knowledge to make broader scale decisions, some that could be reflected in global marketing campaigns. Game development internships or game design internships are a great way to explore new areas of the industry if you’re just starting out.
Now that we’ve got some perspective, let’s think about some of these questions.
What do we need to do to make a game?
How can we make our game successful?
Do we just sit around and for reviews after we launch on a new platform?
How will our demographic respond to the change in genre?
What really is a successful game?
All of these questions depend on the kind of game you create, what the world wants from the gaming industry, and whether you can get the word out for your game. To achieve success, you need skills in the art of game design and a scientific understanding of how game projects succeed.
Any game idea can work, but some designs will have a better chance of succeeding than others. Some game projects will achieve success faster than others. To have the best chance at creating a successful game, game designers need to dig deeper into marketing and even buyer psychology.
Your best bet would be to learn more than game development. For every game-specific skill, there’s a world of knowledge, skills, and career options outside of the gaming world.
Another great article about soft skill: 6 Soft Skills needed to be a successful video game developer.
It’s not all about the Programmers, Artists, or Musicians.
Don’t just learn how to program games. Learn the fundamentals of programming to continue understanding multiple tools, techniques, and more natural ways to create what you want.
Don’t just write game stories and expect people to give you money. Enter essay and novel competitions, write articles for websites and magazines, and apply to scholarships and grants. If our game needs more money, we can make more money with programming careers or side projects.
Finally, learn about marketing. If you don’t know what you want to do in life outside of making a game, getting into marketing can show you how money moves around the world, how to make products sell better, and how potential customers think.
While some people have natural marketing skills, knowing how to understand marketing and advertising benefits everyone. It can both show you how to succeed by making money-making ideas and how to fund your dream without selling out on the core ideas. An interne
Learn relevant Marketing techniques to further your potential.
In a way, mobile gaming is just another way to get your game to the market.
While there are specific techniques, marketing techniques, and designs that set mobile gaming apart from PC gaming or console gaming, the fundamentals are the same. If you want to focus on mobile gaming, you need to understand gaming statistics.
Asking questions once again will help us figure out the focus of your game and how to get it in the hands of players.
Who plays mobile game(s) the most?
What types of game(s) do they play?
How often do they play?
Do they pay for their game up front, or do they buy cash shop (microtransactions) items later? How much do they spend?
All of these questions ask about gamers in general, not about your target gamers. Ask about the kinds of people who want to play your type of game.
If the game were compared to another in the same genre, what would it be?
While many developers dislike labels or want to show that they’re groundbreaking, that doesn’t translate to players who have heard decades of promises. Instead, think about specific parts of your game and figure out why someone would want to play the game instead of anything else.
If we’re trying to succeed with something genuinely different, how many people branch out to a different type of game?
How do we reach specific gamers? Is there an advertising plan or a social media presence?
With those questions answered, we can track down not only the best audience but the best gaming experience for that audience to make your game a reality.
Take your Storytelling and World-crafting to the next level.
Some game projects can get by with great graphics, addictive puzzles, blood-boiling combat, or other gameplay-oriented features. What really sticks to people’s minds is a good story.
A good story does have to be a novel, a wall of text, or tons of lore–but it can be. Whether we paint a picture with elegant world-building or give a reason for two enemy armies to fight each other, working on your writing and story design is critical.
Writing jobs in gaming come in many forms. Some writing is dedicated to the actions, quests, missions, and dialogue that a player sees immediately. Some writers may be responsible for the backstory, the setting, and supplemental history that gives more meaning to the game.
There are even game concepts that are closer to books than anything else. The Visual Novel (VN) genre is a predominantly Japanese and Korean industry that involves still artwork and an interactive story.
A similar industry in western games is the Choose Your Own Adventure (CYOA) genre. Both VNs and CYOA games depend on branching choices, where the choices you make will affect your progress in the game.
Many game projects use branching choices to give players the feeling of choice in a game that seems to react to more than sword slashes and gunshots. Storytelling is vital for both more in-depth storytelling in more complex, whole worlds and giving players more to do within the same gaming world.
Writers and storytellers who succeed in other parts of the writing world have a better chance of landing game jobs. Game studios that care about storytelling often want people who have already created stories that capture hearts and minds, or someone who can create an organized story on the spot.
We can reach game success in many ways. New game makers can work directly as a game creator, or support the gaming world while learning what works.
To find game development jobs, look for companies seeking multiple positions in the area you’d like to work. Reach out to them directly, include your cover letter, resume, and a link to your portfolio. Usually, if companies are hiring for multiple jobs, they are willing to discuss creative placement ideas. We can guide you into the industry with lessons, jobs, and experiences for the real world and the game world.
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