|Posted by Jason on February 12, 2016 at 4:30 AM|
The cheat sheet guide to getting various jobs in the gaming industry
Nowadays, it is no longer an impossible dream to work in a game-related industry. With a huge amount of growth in this industry and with the continuous development of new and exciting technology, people are constantly looking for enhancement in everything that is related to gaming.
For this reason, it is no surprise that more and more jobs are opening up in this gaming field. Young people are excited about getting the chance of their lives, to establish a career in the game industry.
Getting the Scoop on Game Industry Jobs
While there are numerous game industry jobs available, it is not always easy to secure a job in this field. Although it might seem to be the perfect job for everyone, working in this field has some relatively strict requirements, as specific skills and knowledge are needed in order to be able to create or develop new and interesting games for the well advancement of the game industry.
Of course, many young people are beginning their career in this industry right from the comfort of their own bedroom, mainly creating what is known as indie games. Even so, this is not as easy as one might think. Creating a game – even a simple one – requires certain skills and some strong knowledge in programming and design, for example. Additionally, there are also other things that one needs to know in order to successfully create a game.
A Passion for Indie Games
As anyone can imagine, starting a career in the game industry requires two very important things: passion and dedication, but these are simply not enough. Some might say that luck is also important, given the fact that many people would definitely enjoy working in this field, and game industry jobs are probably less than the number of those who would like one of these highly coveted jobs.
However, those who wish to establish themselves with a job in the game field and even succeed in their career, need to start from somewhere. So here is a Woodstock Production Guide to help optimistic game related job seekers to understand what the requirements are regarding specific gaming jobs.
Knowing the Facts: Woodstock Production Guide
For those who wish to develop an exciting career in the game industry, it is essential to have considerable levels of creativity, technical skills and a passion for this field. Job seekers need to have a complete understanding of how these games work and what is needed in order to keep up with the continuous changes in this ever-growing market.
Personal Portfolio for Game Industry Jobs
For the beginning, those who want game industry jobs should know that additionally to learning and gaining the necessary skills to gain employment, it is also helpful to create an impressive personal portfolio. This would be of huge assistance for obtaining game industry jobs, in nearly all cases. Even the development of a mini game can be added to one's personal portfolio, increasing the chances of consideration for a job within this domain.
Taking Small Steps with Indie Games
Potential recruiters are sure to be impressed by individuals who have already started chasing their dreams toward their chosen game industry jobs, even if this means creating indie games from the comforts of their own homes. These small accomplishments may not mean much for your wallet, but they show the employer your potential in terms of creativity and technical skills.
Qualifying for Game Industry Jobs
Those who are seriously hoping to make a career in the gaming industry need to know that an easily recognized qualification is an absolute must. Although most individuals looking for game industry jobs will probably be familiar with the wide range of professional tools and software used, this information might not be enough for consideration by most potential recruiters.
Therefore, it is wise to obtain the proper qualifications in order to help boost your career prospects in the gaming industry. Some of the more useful qualifications that are needed with most game industry jobs include Java, C++, Photoshop, Maya and 3ds Max. However, there are also a wide range of other software, tools, skills and qualifications needed, depending on the exact game industry jobs that individuals find most interesting.
Making Network Connections
In the gaming industry, it is quite essential for individuals to network and meet the most influential people in this field. Generally, one should start creating networks in this field by attending relevant events, conventions and indie games fairs, which are held in different locations, at various times, across the U.S. Making connections and talking to the right people might turn out to be quite helpful, especially for job seekers in the gaming industry.
Finding Job prospects
Thanks to its continuous development, the gaming industry has plenty of various job openings for those who wish to start their career in this field. Some of the most sought-after game industry jobs in this field include the following:
For those who are interested in obtaining one of these game industry jobs, there are a few things that you should know, such as the skills required, the qualifications and what should be done in order to increase their chances in getting hired for their dream jobs.
Stop. Think about the game industry jobs available today. Now ask yourself, which of the following jobs would make you happy? The information provided below by this Woodstock Production Guide is sure to help individuals secure their favorite game industry jobs.
Are you ready to explore the most sought after game industry jobs available today? Here they are, in no specific order, for your consideration:
Game Industry Jobs: The Game Programmer
The position of Game Programmer is a job that is found in the development department of the game industry. A game programmer is responsible for important tasks such as designing and writing the computer code that will become the backbone of running and controlling a game.
Job Meaning and Relevant Tasks
Game programmer duties can be found at the very core of the game development process. These individuals design and write the computer codes that are needed for the game to run properly and for the controls to function as they should. Depending on employer-specific job requirements, most game programmers are also incorporating and adapting any writing custom codes and ready-made code libraries.
Additionally, game programmers also test their codes and fix any existing bugs in the game they might find during the development process. These game industry workers also develop customized tools that will be used by other members existing in the game's development team. Yes, one game can be assigned an entire team to help with its development.
As everyone knows, there are various popular gaming platforms today, such as PCs, game consoles, mobiles as well as many others. Each of these various platforms have their own particular programming requirements that a game programmer must understand. Additionally, with game programming, there exists various specialisms, such as, for example, artificial intelligence (AI), physics programming, interface and control systems and 3D engine development.
The development of any game is a very complex process that requires large teams of game programmers who combine their skills as they get involved in the creation of a game. Some of these game programmers are given leadership roles, whilst others will only be working on a certain aspect related to the game's development.
The Roles of a Game Programmer
There are various roles that could be given to a game programmer on such type of development team, such as games programmer, tools programmer, middleware programmer, AI programmer and lead programmer, to name a few. The Lead programmer, for example, is responsible for translating the design into a technical specification. A Lead programmer will also delegate specific tasks to the programming team.
Other team members, like general programmers, work on various game creation tasks, which may include such duties as working with codes that have been written by other programmers. For example, some programmers are needed for specific tasks, such as working on physics. This refers to certain aspects of the game, such as the programming of movable objects in the game, helping them appear to obey to the laws of gravity.
Specialist tools programmers are responsible for identifying and designing any customization tools that will be used by other workers on the team, such as game artists or level editors. These creative game programmers would be given specific requirements that would need to be met for the development of specific tools for the functionality of the game.
Additional to building various "builds" of a game, game programmers are also responsible for fixing any bugs existing at each stage of the game designing and building process. These individuals are also responsible for creating different versions of a game for the many different platforms where it will be available for release, and also for the different territories around the world, if this is the case.
Skills and Requirements of a Game Programmer
In order to obtain this job, one would need to possess the following skills, abilities and knowledge:
-Knowledge about C, C++ and other similar programming languages
-Have specific platform experience – this depends on the exact field of the job and may refer to platforms such as Wii, Xbox or PlayStation, as for example
-Solid understanding of game play
-Be systematic and organized
-Accept taking instructions and work with strict deadlines
-Possess the ability of working on their own initiative and also as part of a team
-Have good communication skills
-Be creative and have strong problem-solving skills
-Have knowledge and be ready to accept the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures
Qualification of a Game Programmer
Generally, individuals would need to obtain a certain degree in order to be accepted as a Game Programmer. An important qualification that is usually needed for consideration is an education in physics, mathematics or computer science. However, many new entrants today must also possess a postgraduate qualification.
Additionally to the qualifications mentioned above, a game programmer also needs to be able to use C++ for programming tasks. Depending on the recruiters, some might also ask for a demo or expect the applicant to undergo a test administered by the hiring company. Although not necessarily a requirement, it is possible that recruiters would ask for specific knowledge of various game hardware platforms, or even about the latest software development techniques used in this field.
Acquiring the Game Programmer Job Position
As most individuals interested in obtaining a game programmer's job will already know, one of the first steps in starting off in this career is making this skill an important hobby. From the hobby stage, it is the one in which the person would probably take a degree to help them learn the necessary software and tools, and to gain the needed skills for this job. Earning the necessary degree also helps in creating a network of connections whom will also be working in this field.
When applying for a game programmer job, one should be able to demonstrate a strong working knowledge of games, and to know what should be done in order to make a game work. For this, it would be useful if the applicant could submit samples of game programming they have developed or indie games they are responsible for creating.
Benefits of the Job
In addition to the impressive pay that is usually involved in this particular field, a game programmer job is one that has various other benefits. A beginner would probably start off in this career as a employee in a junior position, which is where most of the general programming tasks are performed. However, these individuals would eventually specialize in this area, and this could bring a programmer into the leadership role.
Game Industry Jobs: The Sound Engineer
A sound engineer is another position within the production department of the game industry. As it is understandable from the title of this job, a sound engineer is responsible with creating the soundtrack for a game. This includes music, sound effects, ambient effects, character voices and any spoken instructions or narration. As you can imagine, this is an important aspect of game creation and sets the pace for the entertaining qualities of video or indie games.
Job Meaning and Relevant Tasks
The Sound Engineer is responsible for creating the soundtrack of a video game. Generally speaking, this involves the music and sound effects that are used to support the game's action, such as explosions and gunshots, for example. There are also other requirements such as the ambient effects of the game, namely character voices, spoken instructions, crowd noise, vehicle noise, rain sounds and other important elements that must be heard.
Sound engineers are usually hired for positions within the development studios. The size of the department depends solely upon each company offering these game industry jobs, but this can mean only one or two people or up to one hundred, depending on the complexity of the project. However, sound engineers might be required to work extra hours, especially if teams are small.
The process of creating a soundtrack for a game is long and will usually consists of many steps, such as composing the music before scoring and recording it. The sound pattern for a game is created upon agreement and once it gains management acceptance, it can become part of the creation process.
Sometimes, the Sound Engineer will need to audition and record different actors for the games they help to develop. In some cases, the voices to be recorded might need to be done in other languages as well as the primary language. Sound engineers are also responsible for sourcing any sound effects needed in the game. They might even be asked to improve the sounds whenever it is necessary.
Of course, the specific sounds required will depend solely upon the type of game and how it has been written, so this could result in both real and/or imaginary sounds. Basically, the Sound Engineers will edit, mix and master the sounds and music that will be used to produce the final soundtrack for the video game. Compared to other game industry jobs, this position is not only work but also a lot of fun.
Skills and Requirements of a Sound Engineer
-There are specific skills and abilities needed in order to become a sound engineer. Some of the requirements for this job include the following:
-Ability to compose and perform music
-Possess sound engineering skills
-Have knowledge of relevant tools and technology used for creating sounds and music
-Possess the sense of timing
-Ability to think laterally
-Have a sense of fun
-Well-developed creativity and imagination
-Ability to work independently
-Ability to manage own schedule and to meet deadlines
-Good organizational skills
-High attention to details
-Be able to feel the atmosphere presented in the game
Sound engineers also need excellent communication skills in order to be able to communicate with other members in the team of development; the job requires that the sound engineer understands what game designers and producers want to obtain and be ready for any changes.
Qualifications of a Sound Engineer
Although there is no specific qualifications required to become a Sound Engineer, a higher education qualification or degree in sound engineering might come in handy, and will look great on a job application. Various courses are available from most educational institutions, and these will cover areas such as audio engineering, acoustic and music recording.
A musical education might also be helpful for those looking to secure a job as a Sound Engineer. Additionally to abilities such as composing music and playing some instruments, it could also help to have some basic knowledge on relevant software you might work with at a future date, such as Cool Edit Pro, Logic Audio or Sound Forge.
Acquiring a Sound Engineer Job Position
Getting a Sound Engineer's job doesn't involve pursuing a specific route that needs to be followed. However, a musical background is essential, as it can prove an individual's ability to compose and perform music. Experience of sound recording, editing and mixing might be required during the game development process.
As in most situations regarding specific game industry jobs, when applying for a Sound Engineer position, it might be helpful to have a portfolio or demo prepared with previous work, even if it is work created as a hobby. Any demo or portfolio could be used for showing one's originality, creativity, ability in different types of music, and the awareness of how sound can be related to different games.
For a job as a Sound Engineer, one might rather need to prove they possess high doses of creativity and resources, as well as they are opened to a wide range of styles. A love for games is also needed. Skills in certain tools and technology might be helpful, although they are not usually a must in this particular field. And lastly, of course, as with other game industry jobs, securing connections in the field might also be helpful.
Game Industry Jobs: The Game Artist
Game Artist is a major role in the art department of the games industry. This role involves creating the visual components of a game, which includes the scenery, characters, objects, surface textures, clothing, vehicles and other important aspects of a game. The job also involves creating the concept art and the storyboards, which present the planned visual components during the pre-production stage of a game.
Job Meaning and Relevant Tasks
Some of the main tasks that a Game Artist performs refer to creating the visual elements of the game. This involves creating components such as scenery, surface textures, objects, characters, clothing, props, vehicles and user interface components. Depending on game type, the game artist needs to create elements that look realistic or, even on the contrary, elements with a stylized look.
The game artist must also model and texture the game elements in order to obtain the desired result. Directly after playability, the success of a game is usually dependent upon its visual look as well. Hence, the game artist plays an important role in the potential success of the finished game product on every available platform.
Within the art department of the game industry, there are different specialisms, such as textures, character design, environments and 3D object modeling. Generally, every artist is responsible for the creation of a particular art element of the game. Additionally to the main role of designing the elements of the game, it is also the game artist's responsibility to create artwork for different packages, promotional materials and even for websites.
The game artist works under the close supervision of the Lead Artist. These employees need to follow the specifications of the game in order to create the desired art assets. Whilst some game artists specialize in designing human figures and game characters, others will be placed in charge of specializing in buildings and landscapes, and still more artists will be assigned to making the textures used for creating 3D objects.
Game artist is a job that can cover a range of various jobs, each of them with its own responsibilities and techniques. Some of these include the following:
Concept Artist - This job usually involves working with the traditional materials, such as paper and pen, rather than with computer software. The concept artist is responsible with sketching ideas for the game worlds, objects, characters, clothing, furniture, vehicles and others. They are also asked to make suggestions for color schemes, level designs and the general mood and feel expressed by the game. Their concept art stays as the starting point in the development of the game.
3D Modeler - This is the job which involves building the characters, environments and objects in the game. These include the scenery, vegetation, life forms, furniture, vehicles and all others. When creating the designs, the 3D modeler needs to make sure that they balance visual detail and richness with the limitations of the game's technology.
2D/Texture Artist - This is the job that involves creating and applying textures to environments, characters and other game items, such as buildings, floors and surfaces of walls. This job requires a highly skilled person, who has rich knowledge of lighting, perspective, visual effects and materials.
Skills and Requirements
-Generally, the job of a game artist has the following requirements for skills and abilities:
-Ability to draw from life
-Knowledge of architecture and anatomy
-Ability to express facial expressions and emotions
-Have skills related to color, composition, perspective, lighting, modeling and texturing techniques and mood
-Be creative, imaginative and original in style and have an art portfolio that can be used as a proof for this
-Skills in storyboarding and/or comic book art
-Skills in working independently, as well as work as a part of a team
-Pay attention to details
-Strong observation skills
-Good communication skills
-Possess the ability to work based on a given style guide
Generally, a game artist should possess a degree in an art subject, such as graphic design, illustration or fine art. There are also certain courses in higher education which are accepted as qualifications when applying for this job. Additionally to such degrees and courses, those who are interested in working as game artists are also required to have knowledge of how to use 3D graphics packages, such as for example Maya and 3D Studio Max, as well as 2D packages, such as Photoshop.
Acquiring a Game Artist Job
Getting a job as a game artist is a bit more difficult than one might expect, as it requires having an art background and art related formal education. Additionally to these, the applicant should also have some knowledge of the technical part of the job and of the relevant software packages used. As nowadays, most of the games involve using 3D graphics, the game artists are required to understand the basic mathematical concepts and limitations.
Although it might be a bit difficult to get a job in this department, it is not impossible. In addition to the above mentioned requirements involved with this job, the applicant might also find it helpful to secure work placement while following an art-related degree course. This could easily provide job seekers with the needed experience needed to land their very first job in the game artist field.
As with most of the jobs, those working as game artists would probably start off in a junior position, and advancement in their careers would usually depend upon the decision of whether to specialize in 2D or 3D graphics. Experience and a strong desire to succeed will also help a game artist progress to become a team leader, senior artist or even a lead artist.
Game Industry Jobs: The Game Designer
A game designer works within the design department of the game industry. The main purpose of this job position is to devise exactly what the game consists of and the way that it will be played. The game designer is responsible for defining all of the main components of a game. For the game designer, it is essential to have excellent lines of communication with the rest of the development team, and to every person who contributes to creating the computer code and art assets of the game.
Job Meaning and Relevant Tasks
Being a game designer means planning what a game consists of and inventing how it plays. A game designer plans and defines all the components of a game, including its structure, setting, interface design, rules, characters, devices available to characters, story flow, objects and props, vehicles and any other items that appear in the game. It is also the game designer's responsibility to decide the modes of play. As soon as the game designer plans the game, he communicates his idea to the rest of the development team, so that they can begin creating the art assets and the computer code that is needed so that the game can be played.
For a better understanding of this job's meaning, it is enough to think that a game designer is the one who comes up with the game's foundation. In most of the cases, the core components to be included in the game are already invented, so that the game designer only needs to decide how they could best use these components to create the ultimate game. Designers must do this while also keeping account of the given budget and timescale provided.
As the game design process is a complex one, there are usually numerous more people assigned to work together in this department, in order to create the final game. The different people who share this aspect of the game design process are normally supervised by someone placed in charge, such as a Lead Designer.
As a game designer, one should have a strong understanding of the capabilities and benefits that different hardware platforms have. He should also be familiar with software technologies and techniques that are proper for using with each of the existing platforms, such as PC, console and mobile devices.
Among the responsibilities that game designers have, they should be able to make adjustments to the initial specification for the game, in order to make it respond to any potential technical limitations which have been identified. They also need to be able to incorporate any new programming and art creation methods that have been developed by the other workers of the team. It is also the game designer's task to train QA Testers to play the game, ensuring that the testers have a complete understanding of what the finished game is expected to be like.
The design process of a game consists of different stages, which refer to the following points:
#1 - The game designer does some initial research which is then put together with the concept document and then it is used to present the idea to the other members of the team. Within this stage, the game designer needs to convince other members that the game is worth being worked on.
#2 - During the next stage, the game designer, accompanied by a small team of programmers and artists, works on building a prototype.
#3 - The game designer creates the full game design document, which describes the envisioned playing experience and defines all the functionality, art and animation assets that are needed for creating the game. This document would possibly require certain changes and updates during the creation process of the game, in order to make the game work as desired.
Skills and Requirements
-Some of the main skills and abilities required for being a game designer include the following:
-Ability to collaborate with other team members who come from various disciplines
-Ability to communicate own visions to other workers of the team, such as programmers, artists, producers, marketing staff and any other people involved in the game development's process
-Good written and verbal communication skills
-Ability to present the ideas on paper and verbally
-Ability to accept any feedback of the presented ideas and work
-Possess imagination and creativity
-Very good basic drawing skills and visual design skills
-Have fluency in p2D and 3D graphics and animation packages, as for example NUKE, Maya and 3D Studio Max
-Have at least scripting level programming skills
-Storytelling and narrating skills
-Understanding the theory that the game play is based on
-Information design and user interface design skills
-Ability to think strategically and systematically
-Have knowledge of various games technologies and platforms
There is no specific qualification required in order to become a game designer. However, it might be wise to have a graduate degree relevant to the job. There are also certain courses in higher education that could offer benefits when applying for a job as a game designer.
Acquiring a Game Designer Job
Although there is not an exact route that one needs to follow in order to become a game designer, this is not an entry-level position. The game designer has a complex job and it involves working on projects that require an intensive process which can extend on a duration of even two years or more.
Additionally to having a degree, it would also be needed to have a certain level of experience and knowledge in this industry in order to be considered for the game designer job. Recruiters would also appreciate if the recruit is able to present them their portfolio of work, which can consist of completed game projects, written game design documents or schemes.
One of the best ways to secure a job as a game designer is moving into this position from another position in the gaming industry. This means that the applicant would already possess a certain level of experience in the field and understand certain relevant knowledge of what is needed for this job.
A most common way of obtaining a job as a game designer is starting off from other jobs in this domain, such as for example starting by working as a QA Tester. A person who is interested in becoming a game designer could also begin by working as a game trainee.
Game Industry Jobs: The Level Editor
Part of the design department of the game industry, the level editor is mainly responsible for creating and defining interactive architecture for a certain section of the game, which includes the landscape, objects and buildings.
Job Meaning and Relevant Tasks
It is the Level Editor's job to create and define interactive architecture for a certain sector of the game, which includes the landscape, buildings and objects. All these items must be related to the overall specification regarding the game's design, as per decided by the game designer. However, level editors are also provided with considerable freedom to adapt the particular look and feel of the level that they are working on.
Level editors are responsible with defining the environment, overall layout of the spaces related to the level, textures, forms and lighting. It is also the level editor's task to define the characters and objects that appear in the level, regardless of the fact that they are player-controlled or non-player characters, as well as any behaviors associated with the existing objects and characters.
The level editor develops the gameplay for the level, which involves the challenges that appear for the characters and the actions that the characters must take in order to overcome the occurred challenges. The architecture is used to define the challenges and to present all the obstacles, places to hide, elements that can be explored and interact with and test of skills.
The level editor can use certain setting and atmospheric elements to give the player hints about possible ways of advancing through each level as well as the entire game. The process that the level editor follows is sketching the ideas on paper, using specific 2D drawing software. In order to create a good level, the level editor needs to imagine the playing experience, by transposing himself in the player's position, charting all the possibilities.
After this step is finished, the idea is transformed using 3D graphics and it is then tested in the game engine. After consulting the artists and programmers, the level editor goes on by drawing up the detailed inventory that will be used for the level assets. Every of the asset will influence the game's performance, so the level editor must have a good communication with other members of the team, and to understand the limits that may occur for the number and complexity of items that can be displayed on screen at a time.
Skills and Requirements
Those who wish to become level editors should possess a range of skills and abilities, some of which include:
-Possess good spatial and layout design skills
-Ability for visualizing layouts
-Have knowledge of 3D modeling and game design principles
-Understand programming and scripting language in order to have a good communication with programmers and artists
-Good IT skills
-Great competence in using world-editing tools and software
-Strong organizational skills
-Knowledge of different platforms
-Ability to work independently and also as part of a team
-Have imagination and creativity
-Have great attention to details and ability to evaluate quality
-Ability to accept direction and give direction
-Have exceptional communication skills – written and verbal
-Ability to train QA Testers to play the game
-Be passionate about games
-Have knowledge of game design theory
There is no specific education qualification needed in order to become a Level Editor. However, it is a plus to have a graduation degree. For obtaining this job, degree subjects may vary, including design, software development and engineering. While considering a job in this field, it could also be beneficial to take a games course in higher education.
However, among the requirements for obtaining a job as a Level Editor, it is included the ability to use 3D modeling packages, such as for example Maya or 3D Studio Max. It is also required that the applicant should learn to use game world-editing tools.
It is a bonus to have the ability of sketching ideas on paper and to use 3D modeling. Although fluency in programming languages isn't a must for this job, it might be useful to have some basic competency in programming principles and higher-level scripting languages.
Acquiring a Level Editor Job
For those who are interested in obtaining a job as a level editor, they should know that there is not an exact path they should follow for this. However, it is important to know that Level Editor is not usually an entry-level position. Generally, applicants for this job are required to have experience in the game industry and also have education of at least degree standard.
Another requirement for this job is to have knowledge of game playing and some awareness of the target market. For obtaining this job, it is an advantage to be a keen game player.
Woodstock Production Guide to Getting Jobs in the Gaming Industry
Many young people are attracted to the idea of working in the gaming industry. For those who have finished school, there are generally two opportunities: either to pursue further studies or to get a job. Although it might be attractive to go straight into the workforce, finding the perfect job isn't as easy as it sounds.
Luckily, for those young people who enjoy playing games and have a strong desire of developing a career from this passion, the options that exist today are quite challenging and attractive. The game industry offers a wide range of jobs, some of which have less educational requirements than others.
Depending upon the qualifications, education, skills and abilities, one can find a suitable job in the game industry. Additionally to these, it is also essential to try to create connections in this field, in order to have a greater chance for getting chosen by game industry employers.
There are various ways for getting into this industry. However, while some jobs have their own requirements and a specific route to follow in order to qualify for the job, others are easier to obtain. Some of the best chance to get into the games industry include apprenticeships, which offer the chance to earn and learn from working in this industry. This is a good way to start building one's career in this field.
Additionally to apprenticeships, there are certain degree courses which could help one stand out from the crowd. This could make it easier to obtain the first job in the game industry.
Do Game Industry Jobs Sound Attractive and Fun?
The qualifications for those who are interested in getting a job in the game industry are not too difficult to achieve. However, this field is still developing, hence most of the training in this industry is still self-driven and self-taught.
Additionally, regardless of one's experience in this field, the game industry is constantly changing and evolving, so that it is needed to constantly learn and keep up with the many changes and requirements in terms of technology, in order to advance and be successful in this career.