Let’s be honest: getting a job in games development isn’t easy. While the industry is fond of griping that there aren’t enough skilled people to go around, that doesn’t mean that they’ll hire anyone. But it’s certainly not impossible, so here’s some advice that should help…
The industry is clamouring for programmers – but most universities still churn out graduates without even knowledge of C and C++. Also, the programming fields involved in games are expanding rapidly, meaning that people with specialised skills are in high demand. Consider focusing on a field such as audio, AI, physics, networking or graphics – or database and server programming, which is becoming increasingly sought after.
Applications for art jobs live or die on your portfolio and/or showreel. If you can, tailor them towards what you know the studio specialises in – make vehicles prominent in portfolios sent to racing studios, for example. Experience in 3ds Max or Maya (or maybe XSI) will be essential, so if you’re familiar with other packages, download the free learning editions and familiarise yourself with the interface and workflow before you apply.
Design is the least concrete of all the disciplines, but that doesn’t mean that no preparation is needed. Of chief importance, you’ll be happy to hear, is knowing about games – playing them, analysing the good and bad points and thinking of ways to improve it.
Consider trying out apps such as Game Maker, RPG Maker and even LittleBigPlanet. Knowing about the development process – and why mistakes are made when everyone has the right intentions at the start – is equally important, so read features with designers and features about the craft. In Develop, preferably.
You can get started applying for your career in games development on the MCV Jobs Board.
To see a specific list of all the current jobs available in development, click one of the following categories: