LVL UP+ Breaking into the game industry
Level Up Your Game! We provide insight into how you can get into and work your way up in the gaming industry.
Post Your Work on Discussion Boards
If you're aspiring to be a part of the game industry, you might spend a lot of time on discussion boards to learn as much as you can. But you know who else reads those boards? Professional game developers and art directors! Time to stop lurking on those boards and start posting! Discussion boards are a great place to post your work and gain feedback. It's also a great opportunity to start building you're own following and expand into the community.
Start A Gaming Blog
Looking to write about games for a living? Then it's time to set a blog and start writing! It's a great way to get discovered and showcase your capabilities. Another popular alternative to traditional blogging, is start a vlog (video blog). This is a great option for those looking to gain traction in the community and get their name out there. While it may take time to build up your community and get your name out there, it's a great way to get noticed. It also show that you're actively building your brand and engaging the community.
Build Your Own Indie Games
Struggling to figure out how you're suppose to gain experience building games if no one will hire you without experience? The answer is simple: make your own game!
There a ton of free game dev tools available to utilize! It may take time to gain the attention of larger game studios, but until then spend that time making your own indie games. It's a great way to gain experience and build up your skill sets. Use discussions boards or blogs to post and share your work to gain traction in the community.
If you'r'e looking for game dev tips, the Georgia Game Developers Association will debuts its new "Game Dev News Network" 7:30 pm EST April 24 on YouTube, Twitch and Mixer! It's a great news network aimed at helping the game dev community and an invaluable tool if you're looking to build your own game. Check out their site here for more details.
Of all the jobs in the game industry, the job of Game Tester is the easiest to get. Why? Partly because most testing jobs don’t require a college degree or other specialized training, so anybody can apply. But also because many game testers eventually move into other jobs on the game team, so there’s always room for new testers to fill in the vacancies.
Once you have your foot in the door, it’s easy to learn more about game development and how a game studio works from the inside out. You make connections, you learn, and you grow. From there, the opportunities are yours for the taking.
If you have a skill that can be used in game development such as programming, art, or sound design, you might be able to get a job at a game studio even if you’ve never built an actual game. Not every studio has an “official” game developer internship program, but most are open to the idea of a part-time, temporary, inexpensive (or free) worker that could help them finish their game.
You want a job in games, and game studios want inexpensive workers. Get in touch with a game studio near your home and find out if they have an internship – if anything it gives you an opportunity to leave an impression on industry professionals, who may think of you should something open up.
Get a Game-Related Degree
Looking for career options in the video game industry? Why not find a school that will support your dream and #LevelUpYourGame! Here are Georgia's ten best game design schools for aspiring video game designers and developers. Atlanta is rapidly becoming one of the largest gaming cities in the country and it's never too early to think about your future!
Get a job at a Game Studio
It takes a variety of jobs to operate a successful game studio, and many of those jobs aren’t directly involved with making the game. Even if you’ve never made a video game, you could still apply for jobs at game studios in non-development roles such as information technology, tools development, or other support staff. Smaller game studios don’t have as much support staff, so focus on the larger studios and game publishers if you want to pursue this strategy. The bigger the studio, the more support jobs there will be for you to target.
Participate in Game Jams
Attending game jams is a great way for you to Level Up Your Game! It’s a great opportunity to meet new people, learn about yourself and improve your skill. Game jams also provide a great outlet when you're in the middle of a long-term project and need to take a break and recharge your creative engines.
After you do a game jam you’ll have something for your portfolio, you’ll have developed some skill working with a team under pressure, and you will have expanded your professional network by meeting new people – many of whom might be professional game developers that could help you get a job someday.
For more information about the benefits of game jams, refer to our blog post here.
Like most anything worthwhile in life, developing your skills and getting a job in the video game industry isn’t going to be easy. You might get discouraged, but remember that we’ve all been there. You have to remain persistent. Do everything you can to remain active in your local game community. Constantly check if new job listings are posted and never stop applying. It may feel futile at first, but from experience people will notice you're passion and drive. You'd be suprised how far your determination can take you.
It doesn’t feel great to have your job application turned down. But just remember that you have to fail before you can succeed – each rejection brings you another step closer to landing your first game job.
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