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So you want to work in Gaming?

The gaming industry is comprised of the following sectors: publishing, development, hardware manufacturers and distribution. The industry can also be split up into console games, personal computer games and more recently, mobile and virtual reality games, although many game studios publish across multiple platforms.

Publishers are the companies who are responsible for bringing games to the market. The majority of commercial software these days is commissioned, funded and distributed by the major publishers. As well as funding and managing the development of games they are typically also responsible for marketing, sales and the actual manufacturing of the game.

Game developers are the artists, programmers, sound engineers, designers, producers and others who actually develop the games. Distributors are the ones responsible for getting the finished games to market. The growth of digital distribution has seen a shift in the way games come to market. While games can still be bought from physical shops, Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo all support digital distribution of their games. Not to mention the explosion of gaming apps that can be purchased from app stores. The rise of mobile gaming has also given indie gamers a shot at success as almost anyone can release a game on an app store, though it’s an extremely competitive market.

The gaming industry is undoubtedly a fun and creative field to work in but you can expect to work long hours, often to tight deadlines. Teamwork is critical as tight knit groups all work hard together to make a game the best it can possibly be.

Types of jobs in the Gaming industry include:

  • Level designer
  • Graphic artist
  • Programmer
  • Creative director
  • Audio engineer
  • Animator
  • Producer
  • Marketer

Personal Skills

Five key skills that will help you score a job in the Gaming industry:

  • The ability to communicate your vision to programmers, artists, producers, marketing staff, and others involved in the development process
  • Imaginative and creative
  • Good basic visual design and drawing skills
  • A thorough understanding of game play theory
  • The ability to think systematically and strategically

Interview and Job Hunting tips

  • Be very specific about what you actually contributed to past gaming projects. Don’t just say “we did this”, as the interviewer needs to know your exact contribution to the game.
  • Ask thoughtful questions about the studio’s projects after having conducted a lot of research. If you can ask specific and intelligent questions about the production or performance of their titles they are going to be impressed.
  • Show that you’re a team player by demonstrating a time you impacted another aspect of a game you were working on outside of your core responsibilities. For example if you were the programmer but you knew the UI wasn’t great so you met with designers to fix it. That shows you’re a star candidate who can push a game forward across multiple areas
  • Show that you’re a positive, pleasant person. Game developers spend long hours working together and you’re way more likely to land the job if the interviewers enjoy spending time with you.