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How to Turn Your Love of Video Games Into a Career
Video games have been a popular form of entertainment for decades, with the industry continually growing and reaching new heights. For many gamers, it's always been a dream to turn their love of games into a career. If you're one of those gamers, this article from Mr. Robertson's Corner will outline some steps you can take to make that dream a reality.
Network at Industry Events
One of the most significant steps you can take to kickstart a career in the video game industry is to attend industry events. Gaming conferences like the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) or the Game Developers Conference (GDC) are excellent opportunities to network, learn about upcoming trends, and get face time with prominent game developers or publishers.
To take full advantage of these events, make sure to research the topics and speakers beforehand and prepare some thoughtful questions to ask during networking opportunities. Attendees who make an impression can often make valuable connections that lead to job opportunities.
Look for Industry Job Postings
Many video game companies post job openings online, making it easy for prospective candidates to apply for positions that match their interests and skill sets. Some popular job boards to consider include Linkedin, Glassdoor, or Indeed. Also, it's essential to research each company thoroughly, including the games they currently have on the market, their company culture, and any recent news updates. This research will help you craft personalized applications that stand out to potential employers.
Become a Game Tester
As a game tester, you'll be responsible for playing video games and giving feedback on specific aspects like user interface, gameplay mechanics, and level design. Game testers are often entry-level positions and can help individuals break into the video game industry. Many video game companies have in-house testers, while some outsource this work to vendors.
Some of the skills required to become a game tester include communication skills, attention to detail, and the ability to work well under pressure. Many people who start as game testers move on to more advanced positions like game designers or developers.
Submit Personal Projects to Competitions
Creating personal projects like mobile apps or console games and submitting them to competitions can also help boost your chances of getting hired. By building and showcasing your professional portfolio, you can show potential employers your skills and creativity.
There are many online game development contests that you can enter, including game jams, hackathons, and indie developer competitions. The more contests you enter and the more recognition you receive, the higher your chances of securing a full-time position in the industry.
Use 3D Modeling Tools to Design Game Assets
3D modeling is a critical component of game development, and many job openings require experience in 3D modeling software like Maya or Blender. By using 3D design software, you'll be able to create game assets like characters, environments, and props.
Online tutorials and courses can teach you how to utilize this 3D model maker, and some even offer certifications. Building a 3D modeling portfolio can help demonstrate your skills and creativity to potential employers.
Look for Freelance Gigs Related to Game Development
Freelancing can be an excellent way to break into the video game industry. Many video game companies hire freelancers to work on various project-based assignments, including concept art, character design, sound design, or animation.
Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr provide numerous opportunities to find freelance work related to game development. Make sure to market your services and showcase your best work to stand out to potential clients.
Start Your Own Gaming Company
Starting your own video game company can be an exciting venture, especially in today's digital age. In order to scale faster and compete effectively in this dynamic industry, it's wise to leverage automation and artificial intelligence (AI). These technologies can bring about massive time efficiencies and cost savings in various areas of game development. For instance, AI can be used for procedural content generation, creating complex game environments in a fraction of the time it would take a human designer. Automation, on the other hand, can streamline repetitive tasks such as testing, freeing up your team to focus on creative aspects of game design.
Research Potential Industry Scholarships
Finally, it's essential to research any potential scholarships related to video game design. Many video game development programs offer scholarships or financial aid for students interested in pursuing video game design as a career.
Scholarships, grants, and work-study programs can help reduce the financial burden of a video game design education and provide valuable connections to individuals in the industry. Make sure to research all available opportunities and apply to as many as possible.
Breaking into the video game industry can be a challenging task, but it's not impossible. By networking, attending industry events, submitting personal projects, and learning 3D modeling skills, you can increase your chances of landing that dream job in game development. Or you can use automation to grow your own gaming company. Remember that success requires hard work, dedication, and a passion for video games.
For meaningful conversations, advice, ideas, and resources for high school and college students, visit Mr. Robertson’s Corner today!