How to enter the gaming industry?

Photo by Onur Binay on Unsplash

How to enter the gaming industry?

for high school students and curious people

I held a conference to introduce the different careers inside the gaming industry to high school students, and that presentation is a summary of it.

ℹ️ This blog article is for you if you are willing to work in the video game industry, but you are not sure how yet.


Who am I?

Sonny Alves Dias

  • 🖥 Software engineer
    Master's degree from l'Université de Technologie de Belfort-Montbéliard in France

  • 🕹 10 years in the video game industry
    Mostly doing development and production of video games

  • 🇨🇳 9 years in China
    Shanghai and Guangzhou

  • 🛠️ Skills
    Web, Unity, DevOps, Backend, IA


Foreword

The gaming industry is composed of multiple company types including:

  • Individuals : Jonathan Blow, Lukas Pope, ...

  • SMEs : Motion Twins, Hello Games, Asobo Studio, ...

  • Up to big companies and multinational groups : Don't Nod, Ubisoft, Nintendo, ...

In the latter ones, you will have a specific job role and work on your expertise. While in SMEs, you will have multiple job roles and work on your versatility.


Some definitions


Specialties List

A) Graphics
B) Audio
C) Technical
D) Marketing
E) Test / QA
F) Localization
G) Production
H) Design
I) Support


A) Graphics


Graphic artist

The graphic artist or illustrator in video games creates graphic elements to enhance the game's aesthetics, including characters and environments. Working with design teams, they use specialized software to bring their creations to life, contributing to the game's visual identity.

  • Concept artist

  • Character designer

  • Environment artist

  • 2D Games

  • Marketing


VFX Artist

Source CGHOW https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_69al2qhozI

The VFX artist in the video game industry is responsible for creating and implementing digital visual effects such as explosions, fire, and magical effects. By collaborating with development teams, they use specialized software to bring these elements to life, contributing to the game's immersive aesthetics.


3D Modeler

The 3D modeler in video games creates three-dimensional models for characters, objects, and environments, contributing to visual quality and immersion. Using specialized software, they collaborate with development teams to build the game's virtual world.


UI/UX designer

The UI/UX designer in video games designs the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX). Their role is to create intuitive and aesthetic designs, collaborating with development teams to ensure a smooth and immersive gaming experience.


Animator

The animator in the video game industry is responsible for bringing characters, objects, and actions in the game to life by creating animations. Using specialized software, they contribute to the players' immersion in the virtual world. Their work is essential for creating visually dynamic and captivating gaming experiences.


Video Editor

The video editor in the video game industry is responsible for assembling and editing video sequences to create coherent and attractive content. In collaboration with production teams, they use editing software to structure the game's visual elements, including cinematic and trailers, ensuring a smooth and impactful visual narrative for players.


B) Audio


SFX artist

Le SFX artiste dans le jeu vidéo crée et intègre les éléments sonores, tels que bruitages et musiques, pour améliorer l'expérience audio du jeu. En collaboration avec l'équipe de développement, ils utilisent des outils spécialisés pour donner vie aux mondes virtuels, contribuant ainsi à l'immersion des joueurs.


C) Technical


Gameplay Programmer

The gameplay programmer in the video game industry develops the code that governs the interaction and functionality of the gameplay. In collaboration with game designers, they translate ideas into lines of code, ensuring a smooth gaming experience that aligns with the game's vision.


Engine Programmer

The engine programmer in the video game industry focuses on developing the game engine, handling essential aspects such as graphics, physics, and performance optimization. In collaboration with development teams, they write code to improve the engine's efficiency and ensure a solid foundation for game creation.


Backend/Server Programmer

The backend programmer in the video game industry develops the server logic and databases to ensure the functionality of online features. Working closely with development teams, they write code to manage server-client interactions, ensuring smooth and reliable multiplayer experiences.


DevOps Engineer

The DevOps engineer in the video game industry facilitates collaboration between development and operations teams. Their central role involves automating deployments, monitoring performance, and ensuring continuous integration. By optimizing operational efficiency, they help ensure the stability of game infrastructures for a smooth user experience.


IT manager

The IT manager in the video game industry oversees IT operations, ensuring the security, availability, and efficiency of systems. In collaboration with teams, they define technology strategies, ensure project implementation, and contribute to the smooth functioning of the game's technological environment.


D) Marketing


Marketing is responsible for promoting games to the target audience and maximizing their visibility in the market. Their mission involves developing effective marketing strategies, including advertising campaigns, promotional partnerships, and launch events. They work closely with development teams to identify the game's unique features and create compelling messages to attract players. The marketing department also analyzes market trends and player feedback to adjust promotional strategies and optimize business results. In summary, their goal is to raise awareness of the games and boost sales while strengthening the company's brand in the video game industry.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of jobs related to video game marketing.

  • Marketing Director/CMO

  • PR relations

  • Social media manager

  • Community manager

  • Influencer/Content creator*

  • Writer and copy writer*


E) QA


The QA (Quality Assurance) department in a video game development or publishing company is responsible for ensuring the quality and reliability of games before they are released to the market. Their mission involves thoroughly testing every aspect of the game to detect bugs, glitches, and performance issues. They conduct functional, compatibility, and localization tests to ensure the game is playable, stable, and suitable for different systems and languages. The QA department works closely with development teams to report identified issues and ensure they are resolved before the game is published. In summary, their goal is to guarantee a smooth and satisfying gaming experience for players.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of jobs related to video game marketing.

  • Game tester

  • Localization tester

  • QA engineer


F) Localisation


Chef de projet localisation

The localization project manager in video games coordinates the translation and linguistic adaptation of the game for different markets. By working with teams, they ensure the cultural and linguistic adaptation of the game, providing a consistent experience for a global audience.


G) Production


Producer

The producer in the video game industry oversees the overall development of the game. Responsible for planning, coordinating, and monitoring the project, they work with development teams to ensure deadlines, budget, and creative vision are met. Their role is crucial in guaranteeing the quality and success of the game by effectively managing all production phases, from design to release.


H) Design


Game Designer

Game design involves creating the rules, mechanics, and systems that define the gaming experience. Game designers envision the game's worlds, characters, and challenges, working with the development team to bring them to life using design tools. Their goal is to create engaging and balanced interactive experiences for players.

  • Game Director

  • Game Designer

  • System Game Designer

  • Technical Game Designer


Level Designer

The level designer creates the levels and playable environments in a video game, placing game elements to offer interesting challenges and an immersive experience for players.


Narrative Designer

The narrative designer creates the story, characters, and dialogues of a video game, seamlessly integrating them into the gameplay to provide an immersive narrative experience for players.


I) Support


There are also, of course, several important roles that are common to all types of businesses and industries. Here is a non-exhaustive list below.

  • Executive Assistant

  • Administrative Secretary

  • Legal Advisor, Lawyer

  • Human Resources Manager

  • Chief Financial Officer

  • Payroll Manager

  • etc.


Some Advice

  • If you have a passion for video games, it's a good starter, but this is not enough!

  • Entering the industry can be difficult :

    • A portfolio can greatly helped you

    • An internship

    • Use your network

  • Conditions inside the industry are improving but still pay attention to:

    • Crunch problems

    • Sexism and any inclusion problems

  • Being able to speak English is a must

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