A Message From Sid
I receive lots of letters asking for advice on how to get a job in the games industry from students in all levels of school to folks in the workforce who want to change careers. Here’s what I’ve found to be most beneficial for someone who wants to pursue a career in making games.
Get a well-rounded education. The best game designers don’t just study math and computer science, but also focus on history, literature, science, and other subjects that inspire their imagination. The games I’ve made have been on subjects that have interested me. It’s very important to have strong technical skills, but it’s also important to be able to come up with cool and interesting ideas.
Have a passion for playing games. Lots of people play games, but having a passion for games means understanding them more deeply. What makes a particular game fun? Why do you like the games you play over and over? What keeps a good game from being a great game? Play all kinds of games - boardgames, card games, and video games - and play them often. But make sure to do your homework first!
Start creating your own games. Practical experience in creating a game goes a long way in an interview. It shows that you can take an idea through to execution. Even an unfinished prototype can be an impressive demonstration of your ability as a developer. You could even team up with friends who have unique skills to create a game. If you are a programmer, find an artist and designer to work with you - games today are made by teams of people, so this approach offers a great learning opportunity too.
Take advantage of internships. An internship in a game company is a great way to see first hand how games are made. It’s a way to get your foot in the door of a company and will give you hands-on experience in the business.
We’ve also gathered links to some helpful articles about school programs in game development and tips on getting a job in the games industry.
Game Developer’s Game Career Guide. This site focuses on starting a career in the video game industry. Review tips for aspiring programmers, designers, artists, and producers, read a student project postmortem, learn how to effectively answer interview questions, and check out the directory of schools with game development programs.
Landing that Game Industry Job - Part 1. Blogger James Steele gives advice on building a professional resume.
Game Career Guide. News, features, posted jobs, and a digital counselor - this site is designed to help you get a job in the video game industry. There’s lots of great information!