Keep reading if you’re interested in the games industry and want to know more about some of the ways you can kick-start your career.
As a form of media, video games are quickly becoming a top contender in the battle for our attention. The value of the video game market in 2017, in the US alone, was 18.4 billion US dollars. As a comparison, the music industry was estimated to generate 17.2 billion US dollars in 2016. It’s clear that many of us enjoy gaming, and for some of us joining the industry as a developer, artist or writer can be something of a dream career.
Breaking into the games industry is notoriously hard. For many years, there was no formal qualifications, and much of the industry was localised to the US. In 2018, things are changing as the industry continues to grow. There’s a range of ways one can break into the industry, and usually it requires a combination of strategies. Here’s 5 ways to score a career in gaming.
1. Get a relevant certificate
A career in the gaming industry doesn’t necessarily always have to mean making the game itself. Like every industry, there’s a range of roles that work together towards reaching a shared goal. Research the industry and decide what position you want to become involved with. Understanding what area you’re interested in, and what that might involve, will help you plan your pathway into the industry.
It’s not uncommon to hear of an industry leader who taught himself from his bedroom, and while the same strategy could work for you, it’s probably not your best option. The industry has gained enough attention that education providers, like Upskilled, are providing relevant courses online, like a Diploma of Digital and Interactive Games, for example.
Such a diploma could give you the competitive edge that you need in order to secure a position at a studio.
2. Build your portfolio
One of the most common questions asked, not just in gaming but across all industries is, “How can I get experience if every job asks that I have experience?” In most cases, the answer is to do it for yourself.
The internet, and technology in general, has made it incredibly easy for anyone to create and publish their work. Start making your own games and building up your portfolio. There are more free tools and free information than ever.
Create a blog and document your process and you could catch the eye of someone in the industry. Of course, if this doesn’t happen, your games and blog become valuable when you actually apply for jobs.
3. Share your work
When you have some quality content, be it a full game, a demo or artwork, you need to get it seen. If you have a keen interest in the industry it’s likely that you’ll be familiar with a range of gaming forums and discussion boards.
Use these communities to show your work off. While you may get noticed by someone who’s looking for a new hire, it’s more likely the community can give you feedback to help you improve.
4. Get a foot in the door
I’m sure we have all heard of getting a job by getting a foot in the door, and this can definitely apply to the gaming industry. A common doorway into the gaming industry is the job of a Game Tester.
It’s common because, one, it’s the easiest job to get within the industry as it requires no qualifications but two, it can and has led to other jobs. These days, Game Testers usually work remotely so they never actually meet the company, but if you can get a testing job within a game studio, you could work your way to the job you really want.
Work hard, and make sure you let the boss know that you’re interested and keen to learn and progress as much as you can.
5. Improve your skills
Improving your skills and gaining as much experience as possible is key to landing a job in gaming. To do this, you might have to explore other avenues, at least temporarily. Of course, gaining experience through an internship at a game studio would be optimal, but this might not always be possible.
Getting an internship at a non-gaming company, but in a related role, like programming can be your next best bet. This will look better on your resume than “Game Tester” because it shows you have experience working within a company, using skills which you could apply to gaming.
Getting a job in gaming, or any industry for that matter is never easy. You must work on developing your skills and building your experience. These 5 strategies can be just part of your plan to score a career in gaming. Be persistent and take every opportunity you get.