If Covid-19 has taught us anything, it’s that our economy is fickle and vulnerable to rapid change In response to social, economic, and now, public health crises. The uncertainty we live with has encouraged many of us to consider different career paths. With more people spending their days at home and generations of new gamers, technology-related careers have taken off and, in particular, game development. But how exactly does one begin to break into game development? Keep reading to discover three tips for launching a career in game development!
Obtain the necessary education
First and foremost, it is essential that you lay the groundwork for a career in video game development by getting a related degree, diploma and/or certification. This demonstrates to potential employers that you are likely to have the foundation for success. The complexity of video games means that that a large variety of more traditional careers can also lead you to the industry: history, set design, acting, stunt performance, graphic design, as well as a variety of engineering and applied skills. While it’s possible for you to teach yourself the basics of design or coding, it’s certainly a lot easier to gain an advanced knowledge and understanding through structured degree programs – where you can lean on professors and the required coursework to help develop your skills. For this reason, many game developers will go to school for computer science or concentrate specifically on game design credentials.
Leverage your network
Like any career, one of the best ways to break into a new career is through networking and making meaningful connections. Knowing an individual who currently works, or has worked in the field or at a target company, is an opportunity to reach out for advice and introductions. This is another reason a degree program may come in handy. While many develop a professional network through work experience, some recent graduates don’t always have this option. Which is why it’s important to develop those connections through joining in different learning opportunities on campus that expose you to faculty and peers with industry experience. You may find that if you are a student or recent grad, that this is a good angle to get a foot in the door.
Build a portfolio
Your degree promises potential, a portfolio can help you demonstrate skill. The best way to demonstrate this, is by building a portfolio of projects that can be evaluated by potential employers. This portfolio can include personal projects or projects that have been done as part of degree coursework. What matters the most is the quality and diversity of the portfolio. This portfolio will help future employers determine your level of ability in game development. Spend some extra time preparing your portfolio to ensure that it is something you will be proud to present to a future employer! The video game industry can be a challenging industry to break into. But if you make the right choices by choosing relevant programs, make meaningful network connections and begin building a portfolio of your work, you will have a better shot at an exciting career in game development!