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There’s a huge Job Opportunities for Gamers within the ever growing video gaming industry. Besides talented programmers, there’s good demand for other video game development jobs/positions such as Graphic designers, computer engineers and more.
Video games industry is the latest cash cow in the world of business. This industry is making more than $10 billion and that’s more business than what Hollywood is presently doing. With phenomenal sales records being the order of the day, the industry is ever on the look out for fresh talent.
To be a typical video game professional one should have the skills of an artist and present day computer skills. Generally speaking, the following are the broad categories of jobs that are available in the industry:
Audio: The field of audio is relatively new to the video game industry. This part has so far been neglected and the industry bigwigs are now slowly recognizing the importance of a good audio to make a video successful. So, Sound Engineers and Composers who can strike the right chord are in demand.
Designers: Designers are the bread and butter of this industry. Depending on the specialization, people are designated as – Game Designer, Lead Designer, Level Designer, and Screenwriters. These are those people who bring a game alive. This team is responsible for creating the storyline of the game and making sure that all the levels flow correctly. Large companies may have designers working closely with scriptwriters. Senior designers usually have experience in all aspects of game development.
Production: Being a Producer requires multi tasking, analytical skills and decision making under stress. Its a difficult role and further categorized as Project manager, Associate Producer, Game Tester & Lead Tester. To bring out a game successfully, Production team works come hell or high water.
Programming: Its natural for any one who thinks of a job in the games industry to go in for software skills. Yes, Programming is the core of the games and here too specialization is the name of the game. Most companies have several positions available for programmers, ranging from graphics programmers to tool engineers. Game programmers generally need good knowledge of C++, and should also know additional languages such as Java and/or script languages like Python. Jobs begin with being a Junior Programmer, Lead Programmer, Tools Programmer, Graphics Programmer, Artificial Intelligence Programmer and Multiplayer Networking Programmer.
Visual Arts: This is the niche field for the Artists who have the traditional hand skills and have mastered or specialized in the various animation software. Great graphics can only take a good storyline further. The visual artists work with the design team to create the visual environment of the game, as well as the characters (usually using 2D and 3D modeling.) Depending on the skill sets and experience, jobs are designated as Intern Artist, 3D Model Builder, 2D Conceptual Artist, 2D Texture Artist, 3D Cut Scene Artist, 3D Character Builder, 3D Character Animator, Level Builder, Art Director and Art Technician.
Miscellaneous: This means the support staff- people who handle accounts, administration, marketing, public relations and system administrators are always in demand as no business can ever be run without these people.
Skills are more valid in this field than degrees. Most of the companies don’t insist on a degree if the job seeker proves his skills. Skills are not acquired over night. Its only with repetitive and continuous practice that one gets to master the crafts. So, all the technically qualified people should hone their skills if they ever dream of getting recognition for their skills. Those gifted and skilled people are apt to find instant world wide recognition for their work here in this industry than anywhere else. Just as one gets instant recognition for a good work, the pay too is extremely good in this field. For all kinds of jobs, the average pay for a person with an experience of 1-2 years is $50,000 and going up to almost $ 300,000 for the specialists. Yes, the glamorous video games industry is keeping its doors open, welcoming all those young whiz kids.
Here’s How Game Testers & Developers are Hired
Here are five things you probably didn’t know about the Gaming Industry – how Game Testers & Developers are hired.
The gaming industry is somewhat misunderstood and lot of people think they already know what to expect when moving into video game development.
However, the reality is that almost everybody (who’s new to this field) frequently overestimate the amount of money they’re likely to be paid, and underestimate the amount of work they’ll have to do.
It doesn’t mean its a bad place to be, but if you’re really considering a career in game testing or development, here are five things you should be aware of.
- Game Testers Work in House Most of the Time: So no work from home testing jobs! Yes, that’s how it works most of the time. You won’t get to sit at home and play whatever game arrived in your mailbox each week. Some testers are permitted at home time when needed but most of the time, especially when deadlines loom, you’ll be at the office testing on proprietary testing consoles and PCs.
- You Don’t Really Need a College Degree: If you don’t have a degree, don’t fret; you really don’t need to have a college degree to be a game developer. There are many game developers who give importance to real world experience as well, and not just education alone. That said, education can definitely help you stand out and will immediately show that you have the knowledge needed. Also, to get interviews for big companies, a college degree is a big help.
- Most Developers Hire for the Long Term: There’s definitely no job guarantee, but despite what you may have heard, developers don’t hire and throw away programmers from week to week. Most developers are operated by a larger publisher/company and assuming if a game doesn’t do well, or if the publisher consolidates its holdings, the game developer may be asked to leave (he/she gets sufficient notice to find other projects). But, as far as the developer is concerned, having the same people working together from project to project is ideal, so when the developer finds a new project, he’s likely to retain you.
- Any Skill Can Be Useful to Find Work: Yes, programming skills are a huge plus in this industry, but they are not the only way in. Good writers are in high demand, as are multilingual workers, artists, and people with project management experience. Game development involves hundreds of skilled workers with diverse backgrounds. If you can provide a unique skillset, you will be valuable.
- You Don’t Need Prior Game Development Experience: You need some form of experience, but working in the game industry isn’t necessary to land a job. Frequently, people with little or no experience start in the game testing department and work their way up to other, higher paying positions.
I’m sure there are many who’ll be more than happy to know about these aspects of recruitment in the gaming industry; if you’re not very good in studies and don’t have a good degree, you still stand a chance of getting into game development. Gaming is a vast industry and there’s a lot of opportunities for people of all skill-sets, experience levels and ages. Be persistent & be patient, and you’ll be able to land a job eventually.
Facing Video Game Job Interview: How to Make a Good Impression?
Here’s how to face a Video Game Job Interview successfully and make a good impression.
Most newbies (to the interview process) find it unnerving and can unknowingly mess up one, even if they’re quite knowledgeable about the role/job.
The interview is indeed one of the more stressful parts of getting a job, but with the right preparation you can comfortably face it and come out with flying colors.
Here are some useful tips to help you successfully navigate an interview.
- Find out more about the Company/Developer in Advance: Its better to know more about the developer, what type of games they produce, and so on. It will definitely help your cause if you can demonstrate that you have tested similar games, or if you can answer questions about games that fall in their genre.
- Try to Steer the Conversation towards Your Strength: If you don’t have specific gaming work experience, its better to be honest than to lie. But then you can always tell them why you’re still a good choice for the job. Wherever possible, try to steer the conversation towards your strength areas, without lying about anything.
- Ask Questions: Asking questions shows your eagerness for the job and tells them that you’re there to work. However, make sure those questions are about the actual job and not about the games they’re making or intend to make. Ask them about their testing process, hours of work, the compensation packages, etc. So keep all those questions ready.
- Avoid Sharing ‘Ideas’: You need to demonstrate that you’re there to do the job. So don’t share your ideas unless you’re applying for a job as a producer or a writer. Focus on showing why you’re the right candidate for the job and show off how well prepared you are for that position.
- Discuss Your Future But in their Terms: You may have other plans such as going to college to get a ‘real job’ one day, but its best to keep it to yourself. Instead tell them how you intend to advance within their company. If your interest lies in programming, tell them that you’d like to work on one of their flagship products/franchises in the future. Avoid talking about things that would make you look ‘not-dedicated’.
Even though a good job interview increases you chances of landing the gaming job manifold, you need to strike the right balance as you shouldn’t sound very desperate for the job. The best approach is to try to showcase your talents and expertise, without drawing attention to how much you want the job. And always confident, honest, and straightforward.
Does a Degree in Video Games Help You Find Jobs?
There are many who’re passionate about gaming and would like to work in the video game industry, but few of them have the the contacts as well as the resources to get there.
So, there are many who wonder if a college degree that specializes in gaming can help them get a job on the gaming industry.
Are There Degree Programs in Video Games?
Yes, there are degree programs that focuses on game development, and they’re becoming widespread.
So, if you’ve always dreamt of producing the world’s next big video game, these programs could help you out.
You can check with colleges that offer technical courses, and even art/media colleges who may be running these niche courses.
What do they teach in the courses
The longer courses usually focus on a bit of everything related to gaming. However, some colleges may also offer specialized courses, such as programming and production or art design and modelling, and so on.
Several Art institutes and Academies offer specific degrees for 3D animation and video game development. However, these courses are usually privately offered (as opposed to being offered by a community college), as a result of which they are much more expensive.
So, if the longer courses are expensive, consider choosing subjects that you’re interested in. Some like the development aspect (programming and production) whereas some like the art design and modelling part.
Those with limited funds may also opt for secondary certification to prove that you have the relevant knowledge.
Does a Degree Help You to Find a Job?
Most gaming companies prefer degree holding applicants, but they’re also open to hiring people with self-taught experience and those who have a history of successfully producing 3D designs and game models.
Though a degree in game development helps, a job is not guaranteed. You still have to find it; although most colleges do help you get in contact with gaming companies (who’re always hiring).
Top Video Game Development Companies
Over the past four decades, hundreds of video game companies have emerged around the world. Many of the earliest developers are now out of business, but there are still some of the pioneer companies in existence, such as Atari. Other early gaming companies have been acquired by newer, bigger companies such as Banpesto, which now operates under the Namco Bandai brand.
Video Game Developers vs. Publishers
Not everyone recognizes the distinction between a video game developer and a publisher. In some instances, a publishing company may come up with an idea and then search for a development company to create the software. Developers also approach publishers with their own ideas and video game concepts. There are also video game companies that handle the development of their games as well as the publishing, ranging from large software enterprises like Electronic Arts to small indie developers like Rovio Entertainment.
Silicon Valley Game Developers
The US has always played a big role in the video game industry and development companies have been located throughout the nation, but Southern California’s technology hub is the area that most game developers call home. Cryptic Studios, an online game developer noted for titles like City of Heroes, began in 2000 in Los Gatos, while Double Helix Games was established in the same area in 2007. The Washington area is home to quite a few noted names as well, including Sucker Punch Productions, Sierra Entertainment and PopCap Games.
The Biggest Gaming Companies
While the US plays a prominent role in the gaming industry, the largest game developer in the world is actually based in Japan. Nintendo’s $85 billion market is compromised of gaming consoles and portable systems, as well as game software. Activision Blizzard, known for Guitar Hero, the World of Warcraft series and other popular titles, is the second largest game developer. This company is solely a video game company, however, and does not produce consoles. Electronic Arts comes in as the third largest company, developing and publishing popular video games like the Sims and Medal of Honor.
Indie Game Developers
Big companies like those mentioned above are typically on the forefront of the game development industry, but social gaming websites like Facebook and mobile gaming trends have created new markets for many indie game developers. Indie developers typically use a variety of tools and development software, most often focusing on video games for PCs and for online play. Xbox Live offers a selection of popular indie titles as well. The most noted indie developers include Reno based 3G Studios, Insomniac Games in California, and Unreal Software in Germany.
Game developers will always be in high demand. Publishing companies will continue to have their place within the gaming industry as well. As video games continue to advance and evolve, only the best developers will keep up with the demands of modern gamers, creating a volatile and constantly shifting community where the competition is always high. Development companies have to stay on their toes to always deliver the action and graphics their fans desire.
A degree in video games is the best way to learn about game development in a structured manner, and you may also be able to find a job much faster. Other way is to start at an entry level position and prove yourself over time, in which game testing can be a good route to take. Game testers are always in demand and the knowledge you gain over time will come in very handy as you look for other related jobs within the industry. Jobs in the gaming industry are available, you need to be persistent and work hard to get those.