How to Find a Foothold in Game Development

Many people grow up with a firm fondness of video games which carries into our adult lives. A lot of the time, the media portrays gamers as unproductive members of society. So, naturally, when video game aficionados want to make a career out of doing something they love, they can often be met with a chorus of the fact that their career prospects are unrealistic. Ten, twenty years ago, that may be the case. Yet, in 2018 the gaming industry accounts for a significant proportion of the entertainment market, and that’s not likely to change any time soon. So, it makes sense for gamers to start investing their interests in their passion.

Positions in the gaming industry are popping up across job boards internationally as the gaming industry tries to constantly stay ahead of the competition in terms of graphics and gameplay experience. Whether that’s with PC games, console games, app games, or online casino games. Each individual style of game provides a different uniquely engaging experience to players that keeps them coming back for more – as long as developers are able to stay ahead of the curve.

If you often find that during a game you could have done things differently or are keen to know about the innovation that goes behind your favourite games, a career in game development is never out of the realms of possibility for avid gamers who find it easy to adopt new technology.

Even though great numbers of ambitious gamers are now enrolling in universities to learn the skills, your chances are better than ever to kick-start your career in game development. Especially if you’re located in the UK. Despite all of the Brexit uncertainty, the future of the gaming may be one of the least affected markets. Considering that the UK is the third largest games industry in the world based on the amount of sales made on both hardware and software that’s not all too likely to change as we move into an uncertain political climate. Not forgetting that it was UK-based developers behind many of the most iconic franchises such as Tomb Raider, Grand Theft Auto, Fable, and Wipeout.

As you can imagine, it takes a fair amount of people to pull off a successful game, and with the constant evolution of technology, the teams required for each project are getting larger.

The Main Job Roles in the Gaming Industry Are:

  • Programmer
  • Animator
  • 3D artist
  • 2D artist & level design
  • Game designer
  • Audio engineer
  • Game tester
  • Project manager

Walking into any of those roles will require a certain amount of experience. Which can easily be gained through taking on other common roles which are frequently available in larger companies such as Ubisoft and EA. Gaining employment in roles such as digital marketing, IT support and data analysis.

Yet, with so many universities opening up their doors and offering cutting-edge degrees, you’re more likely to gain the experience and skills there. That’s not to say that self-taught developers and animators can’t work their way up the ranks. If you do choose to partake in a degree, there are plenty of options on offer which will best suit your passion and interests.

Top degrees include game design, game development, game technology, game programme and illustration and design. Whether you’re interested in the more technical side, or want to get creative, there are plenty of different directions. However, many courses do have crossover subjects, for example in game production, it’s likely that you will learn a little about 3D modelling. To find the degree which is best suited to you, head over to the UCAS website which will give you a clear rundown of the best available degrees.

Gaining Skills and Experience

Everyone’s journey into the gaming industry is different. Some even like to kickstart their careers by creating their own computer game. Of course, the funds which EA and Ubisoft possess won’t be available but pulling off a successful game by yourself is still one sure fire way to impress employers.

There are plenty of online tutorials and reading available on the subject, and with the accessibility of game development technology it’s easier than ever to break ground with your first game. By learning how to programme small and easy games to start, you’ll be able to increase your skill set gradually with enough perseverance, dedication and time. Or, if you’re keener to make your mark with stunning graphics, working with tools such as Photoshop will help you develop your skills and talent.

When you feel like you have the necessary skills and experience, it’s time to dip your toe in the professional water. It may be harder to get your foot in the door with industry-leading gaming companies. However, there are plenty of more independent enterprises which are often looking or ambitious team members to lend a helping hand to develop the games.

In terms of getting noticed, an online presence also helps – which is the case with most modern markets. At the same time as working on your game creation skill set, always remember that networking is the perfect way to get noticed. Yet, social media offers more than the opportunity to get noticed now. It also gives budding creators the opportunity to crowdfund their own independent game.

The Key to Staying Ahead

Whichever field of game development you choose to go into, always make sure that you’re up to date with the latest developments and market trends. You can expect to see the software and hardware evolving year by year. Even though consoles only upgrade every six years on average, there’s still plenty of evolving action behind the scenes of all your favourite games.

Remember that now we’re moving into an era where innovations in gaming have been made around technology such as motion sensing and virtual reality. Whilst console gaming is as popular as ever, there are also major advancements being made in the field of online casino games. The entertainment industry and the gambling industry are now inseparably entwined as major tech advancements are being made as the lines blur between gaming and betting. Leading casino games developers such as Eyecon, Yggdrasil and Microgaming have moved beyond the traditional set up for casino games as they have even started to offer 4K gaming experiences with stunning visuals and complex gameplay experiences.

Hello there!
Hello there!

My name is Gary, a 31 year old Tech Loving marketer passionate about home tech and coffee.

I'm a Programmer for hire working with small to medium businesses.

I network in Warrington, Liverpool and Manchester in the North West, England.

This website is my online notebook dedicated to tech, marketing and finance.

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