A Guide to Breaking into the Gaming Industry

Whether you are a casual or hardcore gamer, PC or console, Sony or Nintendo – you have no regrets pooling all those hours into your favourite games. But have you ever considered a career as a game designer?

A career in gaming is not limited to programming and software development (though it’s a big part), and its rewards go beyond more than just beta-testing and free games. Here are a few roads you can take, the skills you need, and advice to help you in your adventure to land your dream job in the gaming industry.

Choose a Career

There are a plethora of gaming careers, as mentioned. Besides its programmers, a game cannot reach the consumer market without coders, artists, sound engineers, voice actors, and marketers – among others. So if you think you can’t pursue a career in gaming because you lack the talent, don’t worry. Every skill has a hand in the grander scheme of game development.

Make Games

Speaking to Silicon Republic, Louise Leolin, the co-founder of the London-based DinoByte Labs believes that the best way to get into game development is to start making games. “They can be little games, like a pen-and-paper board game or card games, or you can even use tools like GameMaker Studio or Stencil to create your own digital games with little to no knowledge of coding or art,” she said. Working for the industry is a different experience from playing, so designing your own simple games will give you a head start and an idea of what you are getting into.

Get Good Hardware

The most important thing in the creation of games isn’t the software; it’s the hardware. Buy a fast-processing PC, a graphics tablet, and a responsive mouse. If you really want to pursue a career in game development, invest in good gear.

Freelance

One of the best ways to get your foot in the door is to freelance. This will allow you to build up a portfolio to showcase your experience that could lead to a more permanent job. This also means you need to be adept in the skills required for the industry. Game developers must be proficient in programming languages like C#, C++, Python, and Java. Many of the world’s most popular games are created using these languages. For example, Candy Crush was created using JavaScript, and this programming language is estimated to be used for 95% of all websites. It is for this reason that Yoss reports that freelance Java developers are in high demand across the world. Learning an essential programming language like Java will ensure that you are noticed by potential employers in your quest to get the best possible job in the industry.

If you’re not up-to-date with programmes like Java, the good news is that most of these skills can be self-taught, and developed by taking up freelance work.

Understand Your Player Base

It’s easy to learn the technical aspects of a game but conceptualising one is a real challenge. Games Industry compares games with movies – where you have seen it all, you have played it all; so how is yours going to be any different? Games are not the easiest thing to write. Diving into the psychology of who your player base is – how they think, what they want, why they like them – can greatly impact the game’s design.

A career in gaming is a great choice if you are willing to put in the effort. However, if you need help finding your purpose in life then, whether it is in the gaming industry or not, Robin Bates’s workbook can help you get started.

Post was written by Sandra Hughes

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Robin Bates

Coaching for Geeks Overlord at Coaching for Geeks
Robin Bates is a 40 year old manchild who somehow ended up in charge of Coaching for Geeks. He has a penchant for gaming, dressing up, music festivals, and the Oxford comma. He is a terrible typist despite many hours playing Typing of the Dead.
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