This is a question a lot of people are asking these days. There is a myth that the game development team is three or four bearded programmers, wielding black magic and periodically engaged in mystical rituals using a tambourine.
This is certainly not true. The programmer now is part of a large team, and the larger the project, the more people are involved in different areas. It is not enough just to make a good game – it is necessary to constantly analyze market demands, audience, filter a huge amount of statistics, keep track of news related to platforms, and have a marketing plan, business plan, and much more.
There are two main areas in which you can develop in the game industry – “indie” and work in a company. It should be understood that working in a company is also divided into development and operation. At the development stage, game functionality is designed and implemented, content is generated and all the technical, game design, and other aspects of the game are worked through.
The goal of the stage is to create a product that is ready for operation. Operation is the launch and support of the successful functioning of the game on the market. This can be either a game purchased under license from external developers or a product of own development.
So, how do you get into the game industry?
Let’s say your programming skills tend to zero, but you have an understanding of social networks and good communication skills. Perfect! Community Manager is your choice.
Development in this specialty can lead to quite different directions – one of them is management (Project/Product Manager and later Producer), and the most common – development in marketing, for example, to become a brand manager.
As a community manager, you are the bridge between the worlds of players and developers, so you have a great responsibility to both sides. Diligence, attentiveness, patience – these are the qualities that you should develop, forming the baggage of knowledge and experience from the theory and practice.
The tester position is also often the starting point for jumping into the world of game making. It is assumed that a tester is a person who has a technical mindset and is able to describe a detected bug in technical language, can write at least a simple automation script, and can at least superficially get into the technical aspects of the project.
Testers can become strong technical game designers or programmers, but that does not mean that the tester has no chance to become, for example, a producer in the future, or move in the direction of leadership positions and management.
“Testing games is what I want to do!” – People who want to get into the game industry often say. But it’s not that simple.
A tester is, first and foremost, a responsible and attentive person. Missing even one error can cause big problems for both the players and the company (bounces from the game, “dupes” of game currency, problems with promotions and payments and much, much more).
Remember that testing is a long and painstaking process (especially AAA projects). Respect the work of testers and remember that thanks to them, you play quality and stable games.
An assistant manager of a game project will learn the skills of his manager and get into the nuance of organizational and work processes. This is a good chance to understand the structure of the company’s work and further develop the skills of the project area. Further development involves moving into positions such as Project/Product Manager, Producer.
In addition to the initial positions, there are at least a few other ways. Not the last, but perhaps the most hardcore option is “indie”. You study EVERYTHING yourself. From existing engines to the situation in the markets and a huge number, video tutorials, reports, articles.
How the “indie” workflow will be built will depend solely on you, and something, obviously, on the project itself. Small simple projects can be done even on your own, for example, something on simple engines like a Construct or Game Maker.
When creating more ambitious projects they will either have to look for like-minded people or hire people for specific tasks, if there is at least a minimum initial budget.
This route can lead anywhere – if you have a successful project, quite a few studios will be willing to invite you for an interview and even offer interesting offers. It should not be ruled out that your team itself will become such a studio, and will already be hiring people for even larger projects, or becoming a publisher, helping aspiring teams to enter the market with their games.
Game journalism is more focused on a different format – portals, blogs, communities, YouTube channels, and online broadcasts are all formats of modern journalism. If you manage to find an entrance to some game portal/channel/news resource, in most cases it leads to BizDev and PR.
If you regularly have to interact and work with foreign resources and, as a consequence, develop your foreign language skills – this can be a field of localization in the future. Journalism (in particular game journalism) involves working with a large amount of information, communication with different people, again, knowledge of the market, and understanding of certain subtleties, including in the field of the game industry.
Where to look for gamedev jobs
In addition to using web-based job search services like Jooble, don’t neglect attending industry events. Any gamedev conference is a concentration of industry specialists, companies, their management and HR’s, with whom you can talk directly, find out about the conditions of interest, find out the requirements for candidates and chat in an informal atmosphere. There are also usually walls with vacancies and resumes.
We wish you a successful entry into an industry with flashing eyes, where when you look at the clock at 5:00 p.m. on a Friday night, you think not about the weekend, but about how little time left to work, but fortunately there are still weekends to do it. Where you create art and realize that this is a tremendous amount of work, difficult, but joyful