Game design requires many different types and levels of expertise. It is by nature a team based multimedia effort. There are game designers that conceptualize and plan the playing stratagies. Some of these individuals are also involved in writing the story upon which a game is based. There are artists who work their magic with 2D and 3D computer graphics and animation. And there are the hard core programming types that often develop special software engines to drive the game. Sound designers, composers, game testers, and of course those who market and sell games are all part of a production team that take a project from concept to store shelf.
The gaming industry has become one of the largest entertainment industries in the world. Millions of dollars are spent each year designing and developing video, computer, and game machine adventures, simulations, and mind challenging problems to solve. What was once a garage industry now employs thousands around the world.
Breaking into the industry is a competitive task. A couple of generations of game players now have hopes of being game designers. The question then is how does one enter the business of game design?
One of the best career-oriented resources I have found on the Internet is Working So Other Can Play: Jobs in Video Game Development by Oliva Crosby for the Occupational Outlook Quarterly, Summer 2000. This is an exceptionally well-written article prepared for the US Department of Labor that describes the job positions and required skills needed for entering the field of game design. This is in a PDF format and makes a great addition your personal e-article collection.
Another document is Getting Into The Gaming Business by Steven L. Kent. This is a five part series published by GameSpy that will help you understand a lot of what you need to know about a career in game design. It takes you through the process, looking at traditional and specialized schools that'll get you there, as well as other informal methods such as working your way up the ladder from Q/A grunt to president or designing your own game from scratch.
Getting A Job In The Game Development Industry By Kenn Hoekstra, Project Administrator for Raven Software Corp.,is a third article that provides an answer to the question of how to get a job in the gaming industry. Hopefully this essay will give you some tips to help even the odds. The article includes many links to references which will provide you with additional information.
Finally, the International Game Developers Association (IGDA) an independent, non-profit professional association for developers of interactive entertainment provides an article database including, So You Want to be a Game Designer?
These four articles will provide you with a comprehensive overview ofworking in the field of game design.
IGDA has a wonderful we site of interest to the majority of this Newsletter's readers. The Student and Newbie Outreach page offers information and encouragement to students who want to break into the industry. The IGDA believes that the best games and the art of game design will greatly benefit when aspiring developers have the appropriate skills for their design jobs and are aware of the realities of working in the entertainment field. This site provides an array of useful information about breaking into the industry.
Finally, Game Developer Magazine has a for fee ($5.95)download publication titled 2002 Career Guide. This is a 56-page special issue in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) format. The file is 6.3MB. The Guide aims to provide you with a road map to the fast-paced, oft-changing world of game development. The goal is to turn back the veil of mystery that surrounds how games are made, what kinds of people make them, and most importantly, how to get your foot in that door.
The following references provide some perspective as to the types of positions avilable and what skills are needed.
References: Job Resources
Game Recruiter, claims to be the game industry's leading recruitment firm. Comprised of seasoned industry veterans, GameRecruiter notes that is able to offer unparalleled experience and professionalism and that it has extensive contacts in the industry and serve its major players.
Games-match.com, provides you with the opportunity to post your resume. The site claims that if you're a job seeker, your resume could be viewed by hundreds of software publishers and developers looking for your particular skill set
GameJobs.com, is an employment site serving the interactive entertainment industry. This site helps connect game industry professionals with new career opportunities, and Human Resource managers with a comprehensive solution for attracting qualified applicants.