Wednesday, December 1, 2021

5 ways to break into the video game industry

When you break down a game console to play video games like NBA2K, the biggest decision you’ll have to make is which player or team you want to be. But have you ever considered becoming one of those people who actually design games like NBA2K?

At an estimated US$336 billion, the video game industry is the largest of TV, movies and music combined. And since the industry is growing rapidly, there are a lot of opportunities to work in this field. Careers in the video game industry abound, from game designers and software engineers who program games to graphic artists or electrical engineers who design game consoles.

These jobs pay around $55,000 to $100,000 or more annually. But somewhat like the NBA itself, the video game industry is full of tough competition along the way.

As the former head of graphics for a large video game company – and as the head of the Learning Interactive Visualization Experience – or Live Lab at Texas A&M University, I know firsthand what it takes to get a job in the video game industry. What has to be done Here are 5 tips for how to do it.

1. Design Your Own Game

When it comes time to apply for a job or internship at a video game company, it helps to show off the games you’ve created or modified.

Fortunately, game engines, which are the underlying technology for games, are available free of charge and allow you to create your own game. Unreal and Unity are two that you might want to try.

You can also use free software like Houdini and Blender to create video game assets like buildings, characters, vehicles and animations.

If building a game from scratch is too hard, you can always “mod” – short for “modify” – an existing game like Portal 2, Civilization or Minecraft. This is a great start to learn the basics of game design and asset creation.

2. Participate in Game Jam

A game jam is a contest in which participants create a new video game within a set time limit. Game Jam is a great way to meet and work with others on game projects and just learn how to design games. Many jams have representatives from the video game company. These company representatives act as advisors, judges and coaches. They can give you tips and tricks on how to enter the industry. They can also give you leads in jobs.

Game jams are usually short, like a day or two, but some last for a week or more. You can enter Game Jam as an individual or as a small team. Some game jams focus on specific topics such as health, conservation or science and provide resources for teachers and students to participate, such as the Game for Change Student Challenge. Other game jams are open to anyone, including professionals, such as Global Game Jam. Some game jams are in-person, allowing you to meet face-to-face with other game designers, artists, developers, industry leaders, and game companies, such as Chilenium.

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Video game conventions are a great way to advance a player’s career.
Joe Buglewicz via Getty Images

3. Attend Sports Conventions

One of the largest conventions in America is the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, which has historically attracted over 29,000 attendees. In Europe, the annual Gamescom conference in Cologne, Germany has attracted over 370,000 attendees. Several PAX conventions take place throughout the year in various locations in the US PAX that began as Penny Arcade Expo before evolving into a full-fledged convention and exhibition. These conferences enable attendees to find out about new sports, meet sports industry professionals, play sports, and participate in seminars and workshops on topics related to designing and developing games.

A convention like PAX East also provides opportunities for indie developers to showcase their games and get feedback from the public. Most conferences will return in person in 2022 and will require a fee to attend or perform. Tickets can range in price from $50 to several hundred dollars.

4. Take Classes in Game Design

Many high schools, community colleges and universities now offer game design classes.

In addition to these classes, it helps to take classes in math, physics, arts, and technology, starting in high school if you can. Almost all careers in the video game industry benefit from all of these areas. Game designers trying to build a balanced game need a solid foundation in math and statistics. Balancing a game requires the designer to use math and statistics to ensure that no particular game element – ​​such as a particular character or strategy – dominates any other element.

Even if you don’t think you’ll be using math or doing any art, having a basic understanding of both and being able to talk about those topics with coworkers takes a lot. .

5. Play Away

To make great games, you need to be well versed with the games that are currently being played and have been successful in the past. This means that you should also play games that you do not normally play and even games that you do not like. Not all people like all sports. There are many different types of games ranging from entertainment games to educational games, health games, science games and many more. Being able to take a critical look at games and identify which elements work well, which elements can be improved and what elements you can use for your own games Will help you become a great game designer.

With a little work, you can step into the game industry. It can also be extremely beneficial. Just imagine that a game you helped create is teaching players new knowledge, or helping players heal faster, supporting scientists in their search for new proteins, or helping players spend hours at a time. Entertaining.

This article is republished from – The Conversation – Read the – original article.

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