What you should do if you want to make video games for a living

At some point after a marathon session, nearly every gamer has expressed the desire to one day design the games they play.

While it is understandable that many have this dream, few realize how tough it is to get and work one of these jobs, as crunch time often means putting in insane hours.

Still not deterred? Here’s what you should do if you want to make video game development your career.

1) Figure out what you want to do in the industry

You might think that you can only get into video games as a game tester or a programmer, but there is much more to this thriving industry than these stereotypical positions.

Graphic designers, voice actors/actresses, writers and others all have their role when it comes to crafting the next hit title.

Think about what you would bring to the industry given your current background, and write it down – you are going to need this when you eventually get called for an interview.

If you don’t have experience in an area which ports over to development readily, figure out what you would enjoy doing most, and take courses or a degree program at a post-secondary institution that will give you the skills you’ll need.

2) Get ideas on what would make new games innovative

There are lots of enthusiastic creative people out there trying to break into the industry … what would you bring to the table?

By drawing on a life time that you spent playing games, you’ll find the fuel you’ll need to come up with some fresh thinking.

You can find more info about gaming design by checking out sites on the web, as well as by playing console games on each of the major systems available on the market.

3) Cross-train in different competencies

Focusing on one core competency might sound like what you need to do, but firms in this day and age are looking for players that can fill different roles seamlessly.

Many companies are operating on a razor thin budget – in this situation, a total flop could sink them. As such, those that can wear multiple hats are instantly more valuable to hiring managers, as it negates the need to hire different people for each part of the game creation process.

4) Sharpen your job interview skills

Those inside the industry are thankful for the position they now hold, as they have an appreciation for how hard it was to get where they are today.

With video games even more popular today, the competition is even more fierce, with many jobs boasting at least 12:1 resume to opening ratio.

Being qualified on paper isn’t enough – you must develop the emotional intelligence to resonate with your interviewer.

Also, be prepared to answer common questions, but take care to not come off too rehearsed, as this can work against you.

Mike John
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