5 Careers in Game Development
Last year, Netflix made a surprising-to-most claim when they said the videogame franchise Fortnite was a bigger competitor than HBO and some other streaming television services. It was not all that surprising to the videogame development world, however, as the industry has been on a steady rise for many years. Whether you’re a student looking to go to school for game development, or someone wanting to make a career jump, there are many careers paths you can take, and you may be surprised at what career skills you can bring to the world of videogames.
Here are 5 careers in the game development sector.
This is the obvious one, and being a developer entails a stellar mix of creativity, mathematics, and most importantly, computer programming. Getting a job with a major development firm is a steep climb, but one way in that can also make you a lot of money if the stars align, is making your own game. If you have a firm grasp on a couple of popular programming languages like R and Python, you’re off to a great start.
Regardless of whether you pursue an education that will require you to develop some of your own games, or you just want to look for jobs in the industry, having a self-developed product in your portfolio is essential.
Do you like videogames and rocking out? The videogame industry has a very real need for people from the world of music. Some games, like most of the popular EA Sports franchises, utilize others’ music, and picking and choosing which songs to use, as well as understanding copyright and royalties are skills most developers don’t possess.
A lot of role-playing games have hours of original scores, and guess what? Someone created those hours of original music and they were on the game developer’s payroll. A lot of work on all parts of videogame design is outsourced, so don’t be too discouraged if your Google search for videogame musician doesn’t yield a ton of results. Freelance hubs like UpWork are great places to look for contract musician work in the digital entertainment industry.
Yes. This is a real job. People get paid to be the first to play new videogames. Many games release “beta” versions to the masses to garner feedback and detect glitches, but before the masses, companies fork out good amounts of cash to have game experts search their products for bugs. This is an achievable position for dedicated gamers with analytical backgrounds, and it’s also a great way for aspiring developers to get their feet in the door.
The role of translators in the videogame development world is probably pretty obvious… they ensure a given videogame can be sold across the globe by providing services to correctly convey storylines in different languages. Very akin to translators in television and film, all large-scale videogame productions are released in at least a few languages, and the aforementioned Fortnite is available in 12.
I jump from digital animation to videogame visual arts is one of the easier ones to make, as it is, indeed, just an interactive form of digital animation. Much like developers, the best videogame visual artists need to possess big imaginations and a high level of creativity. Also relative to the developer role, having a self-animated game in your portfolio will take you a lot further than a few bullet points on a resume. Gamer hint: team up with an aspiring developer to bolster that portfolio.
Making the Jump
No matter which aspect of videogame development intrigues you the most, having some baseline knowledge of all parts of the process is important. The best chefs know how to do everything else in the kitchen, and the best developers have an ability to see, hear, and create all parts of their game in their heads before actually breaking ground.