Video game career guide – thephatcounselor
Is video gaming a vocation?(Video game career guide for newbies)
I am a corporate lawyer, do I love my job? Well, that is debatable, but would I choose a career in video game industry? Hell yes, I will. Most of the schools, and faculties associated with it, advise their students to opt for a conventional profession like Doctors, Engineers, Architect, Lawyers etc.
Careers in these professions have been around for 100s of years and it is one that clicks their mind the moment they are asked to opine on career directions. Video games have emerged as one of the hottest industry of this era as quoted by famous publishers and audit & advisory firms. It is about time that we start aligning our ambition with video gaming industry. Continue reading this video game career guide to find you niche and path in this ever-growing fraternity.
Video games – A billion dollar industry!
Video games industry witnessed rampant growth in the year 2016.
It is evident that the revenue from this industry surpasses other forms of entertainment like Music and the most revered Hollywood industry. Furthermore, top dogs of video game industry like Ubisoft, Rockstar, Square Enix, Bethesda etc have boasted of franchises that are bigger than biggest movie franchises.
Video games are taking over – Global domination!
Game pundits estimate video games to take over as the most popular form of entertainment in the coming years. Introduction of gaming technology like Virtual, Augmented and Hybrid reality has lured companies that otherwise were not associated with video games before. This video games career guide will provide you an insight of what video games have in store for aspiring video game professional.
HTC entered the race with Vive and brought along a host of independent and semi-independent game developers to the party. However there are only handfuls of career counsellors who advise on video game career guide because of the fear of backlash and distaste by student’s parent.
Entertainment is synonymous with Video games and vice versa
I conceive a notion that even in conventional professions, there are more unsuccessful professionals than successful ones. Same is the case with gaming industry we are to see few successful ones, however since this is a passion for lots of gamers, probability of success is relatively higher.
What career options do we helpless gamers have?
No doubt that video games is an integral part of technology, a space that will continue to grow, expand and evolve with every passing day. In fact, video games rest in the hands of technology hence the more the technology elevates, higher will video games soar. Here are 6 of the most coveted position in the video gaming industry that involves creative thinking.
1) Artwork Designer/Magna Artist
(The artist who gives a face and meaning to the game)
As the name suggests, an artwork designer is responsible (Mind you, Responsible!!) for conceptualising characters, weapons, landscapes and generic theme of the game. Artwork designers are painters who sketch every character in the game. For example Ken Sugimori, is the creative designer and illustrator of one of most popular gaming franchise of all time i.e “Pokemon.”
Generally speaking, the sub-domain and varied position of an Artwork Designer is unparalleled because the diversity in a game is based on the creative and technical skill of the designer. As a result, your co-ordination is essential to other team members who will seek your advice on how the character moves, jumps, shoots, in short the Swag is determined by your creativity.
One of the most creative area of video gaming domain – Artwork designer
Persona, Horizon Zero Dawn, Final Fantasy are some of the games that are hugely popular not only because of its game play but also the detail and novelty of character, landscape and level design. In order to become an art designer, courses and diploma in animation from any institute will be helpful.
Skills – Drawing, Sketching, Basic Technical skill of software for creating art work and Writing.
2) Game developers/ Programmers
The brainchild behind soul and pulse of the game.
As a design is approved, it needs to run, operate and interact, this is where game developers step it. Interaction between the character and the world in the game is fabricated by a programmer. Terrains are mapped, Non playable characters are coded to respond and controllable characters are assigned to interact with keyboard, mouse or controllers as the case maybe. It is highly technical, specialized and logic based.
The ‘phat’ nerds, geeks and misfits fit exactly into this definition
Typical skillset include that of maths, logical reasoning and tones of coding.For the most part, 50% or more of the employee in a studio consist of programmers and coders. Pre-requisite for this domain requires working level proficiency of computer language such as C/ C++, Java etc.
Practically, game-engines have accelerated the process of game development and eased the process to a greater extent, hence the core of development can be taken care by game engines. In most cases, the guys who pilots the game-engine are game programmers.
Skills – Proficiency in Computer language, Logical bent of mind and proficiency in mathematics.
3) Video game tester
In-house game critic! (In a good way)
Imagine sitting and playing games the entire day while getting paid for it. A tester tests games that are in a raw form before it is published. Testers essentially, determine the bugs, glitches and problems in the game.
Instead of playing the games likes gamer, a tester has to explore and run across various platform with a reverse psychology of breaking the game.
In order to gain deeper insight into the world of a game tester, opinion from one game tester has been linked.
Skills – Eye for detail, Knowledge and background in computer programming, Experience in playing video games of all sort,Writing skills.
4) Video game YouTuber
The entrepreneurial video gamer
Instead of representing someone, become your own voice. Starting a youtube channel is fairly simple and all you require is a laptop, internet and a camera with mic. As you record and publish videos, in effect you build a brand. Subscribers and viewers lay their trust on you, and your reviews for games become vital in their purchase decision.
Similarly, you can become an independent video game journalist, wherein you visit conferences and attend game award shows. Viewers are first to receive information from your channel, this brings credibility and hence adds to the overall subscriber base.
As a result, subscribers and followers on your social media increases, you can monetize on this by endorsing games or consoles or accessories. There are several methods to monetize, like ads, affiliate marketing etc. In addition to monetary compensation, you build a brand, gain independence and receive products for reviews. One of most common form of carving a career in the video game industry is through Youtube.
Skills – Witty personality, Likable character, Knowledge of video games, Basic technical skills.
5) Building a blog around video games
A blog can be an effective way to put your opinion out to the world. In other words, blog helps you speak you thoughts on a game, console, Pc or even trailers. Blogging involves written form of communication, hence writing witty by entertaining and informing your readers about a game becomes the key to building a high-value reader base.
To start a blog, you should buy a domain on godaddy, bluehost or hostgator. Choosing a domain is essential as it becomes a brand, all your time, money and efforts invested will turn your domain into an authority in video games genre.
Once you choose a suitable domain, you should subscribe to a hosting plan that makes your site visible on World Wide Web. Blogging requires discipline, patience and commitment before you could start making moolahs.
Instead, you should fuel your blog with passion over any other element. Loving the craft and dedicating time should excite you, if not, often times many blogs end up dying among the rest. As seen above, you can monetize a blog in several ways, such as affiliate marketing, google AdSense etc.
Skills – Writing, Knowledge of video games, Basic technical skills.
6) Professional Gamer e-sports athlete
Clash of the titans
One of most reputed form raking dough in the video gaming industry is by becoming a professional gamer. A pro-gamer is an expert in one or more form of games, especially competitive ones which require in-depth understanding of the game. Technical in-game skills triumph every other skill. Popular games that has elevated e-sports are Streetfighter, Counterstrike, Rainbow Six Seige, Fifa etc.
E-sports test a gamer’s ability to fully understand the game and invite the gamer to add personal creativity to the game system. You can learn mostly by observing the traits of most admired e-sport players. They have developed mastery for the game. Pro-gamers are able to twist and spin the game mechanics ethically to their style. It is a test of skills, creativity and reaction time, once mastery is attained in that arena, you can find yourself playing as a squad member of some of most sought after teams.
Skills – Mastery over a game, Eye for detail, Good grasp over technical layout of a game.