Making Video Games Your Career
Different Ways to Work in the Video Games Industry
Working in the video game industry today is very possible if you have the right training and skills. Making a game is a collaborative effort that sometimes involves dozens or hundreds of people all doing very specialized tasks. There are a few different ways to work in the video games industry.
One of the main ways to have a career in the video games industry is to become a programmer. This means that you will write the actual computer code to do everything from animate characters to save games. You will need to learn a large amount about coding. You will also most likely need to learn a variety of different programming, scripting and utility languages. Talented games programmers are always in demand especially if you have formal training and a computer science degree.
Designers are the people who make the content for the game. There are many different types of video game designers. You could work on character design meaning that you create the models for players, enemies and even objects. You could work on levels creating vast landscapes or highly detailed dungeons. There are even specialized positions for things like textures, sounds or animations. You generally need to have an exceptional knowledge of 3D modeling programs and a large amount of creativity for these jobs.
A highly respected position during the development of any game is the creative director. This person oversees the overall direction of the game when it comes to the look, feel and style of the game. The creative director ensures that the vision of the world is maintained consistently across all design aspects. The person works closely with the designers to meet the vision of the original developers. You usually need a good amount of experience to hold this position.
The project manager is the person who is in charge of ensuring that development goes smoothly in all areas. The project manager has to have knowledge about the different workflows for programmers, designers and other key members of the team. Becoming a project manager takes time. You also will want to have a degree in some related field. These positions can be very stressful and ultimately rewarding when the game is finally finished.
A final potential way to work in the video game industry is as a professional tester. These jobs involve testing video games at various stages of development looking for bugs, glitches or aspects that just do not seem to work right. You might start as a tester with a small indie company and eventually take up a semi-permanent position within one of the triple-A game companies. The skills you need to be a tester vary greatly from one company to the next.