The gaming industry has many different career paths. Some involve creative or artistic work, while others are more technical. Many of these jobs require a college degree, but there are also bootcamps that offer an alternative educational pathway.
The gaming industry includes several types of business jobs, such as project managers and quality assurance specialists. These professionals help manage production, distribution and marketing.
Game Advisors at video game retail stores assist customers in selecting and purchasing gaming products. They must be familiar with current trends in the electronic gaming industry and popular titles, as well as have a knowledge of the company’s point-of-sale system. They may also be responsible for merchandising, inventory control and loss prevention, as well as store cleaning and restocking duties. Other job qualifications include excellent customer service skills and the ability to handle a fast-paced work environment.
In Ultimate, Game Advisors are available to talk to players about gambling-related issues and help them set limits on their gambling. Game Advisors are also able to refer players to free professional counselling services in B.C. Many players reconnect with Game Advisors to chat about their gambling habits and get advice from a knowledgeable source. They can also offer an independent perspective on calls if the Captain, Spirit Captain or coaches are not able to resolve a call themselves. This support role does not diminish players’ responsibilities to self-officiate and make calls during games. They can, however, help to ensure that the process is as fair as possible for all parties involved.
For those with an interest in video games and a desire to build a world that hundreds, if not millions, of people can enjoy, becoming a software developer is a natural career path. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a similar field is essential, and knowledge of the specific programming languages used for game development is highly recommended.
Taking the time to develop a portfolio of work, whether it’s a personal project or professional samples from internships and on-the-job training, is also critical to finding a position as a game developer. It’s also a good idea to network with other industry professionals; they often know of new jobs or opportunities that don’t appear on job boards.
Game developers can find employment with small studios that focus on a single project or with larger companies that require them to be a small part of a massive machine. The latter is a common choice, but it can lead to excessively long shifts and a stifling atmosphere. Many industry professionals prefer to freelance or start their own studio, as it allows them to create games they can truly be passionate about.
Video game enthusiasts often hear the admonishment, “Playing video games all day won’t help you later in life!” In fact, the skills and habits you develop playing video games can be applied to other career fields. For example, many dedicated gamers have the right skill set to be successful in a role as a video game tester, or QA (quality assurance).
A high school diploma or GED is sufficient to enter the game testing industry. If you’re interested in advancing your career, earning a college degree in areas such as computer animation or interactive design can help you build a strong foundation in the gaming industry.
The key qualifications for the job are keen observation and writing skills to clearly communicate problems to developers and engineers. Most QA testers work on contract or freelance basis, so long term stability is not always guaranteed. However, game testers can advance into roles such as quality assurance engineer with experience. In addition, many companies provide free versions of their games and significant discounts on other titles to their testers.
The designers of video games come up with the characters, plots and game worlds that players interact with. They also write the game manuals and pitch new game ideas to executives and clients.
They often need a background in art, computer science or engineering to help with their creative work. They need to be comfortable working in a highly collaborative environment and be able to produce documentation explaining their design systems. They need to be able to work with a wide variety of software and have an eye for detail.
A successful game designer must be able to create the gameplay and level design that will hook players and challenge them. They may need to have a strong sense of narrative and be able to create memorable characters with their own backstories.
Entry into this role is usually through a junior/intern designer position or by promotion from a quality assurance (QC) testing job. This is a great way to learn more about the company and its operations and it is common for people who start in QC roles to move up into Production jobs over time.
While video game development positions receive the most attention, non-game-development software and engineering roles are also critical to the gaming ecosystem. These positions support the tools, platforms and infrastructure that help gaming companies create and distribute games to players. Those looking to pursue this career path should seek out bachelor’s degree programs in computer science, engineering programming or software design. Internships can help hone skills and gain valuable industry experience.
A programmer/engineer implements the game designer’s vision, stitching together the individual pieces of a game with coding and level editors. Programmers often specialize in a specific discipline, such as 3D graphics or user interfaces. UI programmers often develop routines that specify how a mouse, keyboard or joystick controls the game.
A lead programmer oversees the various submodules of a game and keeps track of progress from a programming perspective. They often communicate product needs to varied teams of artists, animators and designers. The lead programmer may also be responsible for scheduling and managing resources. The gaming industry can be volatile, as game developers depend on a steady flow of funds from the publisher. If a publisher stalls on meeting milestones or goes out of business, the developers can be forced to retrench employees and shut down production.