Here’s how to get into the gaming industry
Games, ah games – once the archetypal muse of the pubescent teenager – now a $60 billion industry with big-budget titles making more money than Hollywood. For some reading this it may be hard to imagine how Donkey Kong became so rich but twenty years is an incredibly long time, especially in one of the most innovative, forward-thinking industries. Exactly because the industry is so popular and demanding it is also hard to break into. If you’re a student looking to get into gaming, your rationale is probably something like ‘I play games more than I eat breakfast so I will get a job, easy’. Unfortunately, there are hundreds of thousands of others in the same position as you. But are they all reading this article? There we go! So let’s press on. Here are a few tips on getting a job in the gaming industry.
1. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
An age-old cliché that rings true every time. Make your contacts. Attend gaming conferences, workshops, talks. Speak to people, meet with people, even play games with people. This is a key rule for any industry which is congested and challenging to break into.
2. Be proactive and engaged
The gaming industry is of course a titular behemoth full with different roles and jobs you can do. Whether it’s as a developer, a PR executive, or a journalist, it’s important to have something to show – an example of tangible work you have done which relates to your ambitions of getting into the industry. Whether it’s games that you have made, a blog you have written or a portfolio of your designs, you need to show that you’re more than just words.
3. Look in the right places
One of the perks of the gaming industry is its huge online presence. There are countless websites, forums, blogs and YouTube channels which offer up-to-date news, reviews and advice. Make sure you are clued up. A lot of these websites also have dedicated job boards for the industry – Gamasutra and Pocket Gamer to name a few.
4.Learn! Learn! Learn!
There are now a host of gaming-related courses you can study at uni which embellish your credentials and also give you good access to contacts. If you don’t want to commit to a university course, there are still many skills you can pick up outside the classroom which will help you. Experience and competence in Photoshop, C++ and Java are just some examples.
5. Play the games!
It may sound obvious but to know the industry you have to play its games! Make sure you keep on top of the latest titles and play them when you can.