Breaking Into The Game Industry As A Game Designer
One question I get asked all of the time, and it’s a question that I answer for my students even before they ask, is “how do I break into the industry as a game designer?”
I’ll provide a quick answer to that question with some general steps to follow. However, be advised that the game industry is very competitive, with far more people interested in breaking in than there are jobs available, so this is by no means a guarantee of success.
- Create a game design portfolio (game design documents, pen and paper games, level designs and/or games made in Unity, GameMaker, Scratch, etc.). If you don’t know how to do any of this — read books, view online tutorials, attended classes and workshops.
- Play lots of games of many different types. Try to figure out what decisions the designers made in creating the rules and other game elements, why they made them, and what might you do differently.
- Start networking with people who work in games. Attend game conferences, job fairs, user groups, meet ups. Make sure you have business cards with a link to your portfolio site to hand out wherever you go.
- Once you’re ready for job hunting, scan Gamasutra, CreativeHeads.net, GameJobs.com, even Craig’s List for openings. Visit the Career Opportunities pages of game studio and publisher websites, and connect with game industry recruiters on LinkedIn. Go for any job opening you think you are qualified for. You probably won’t be able to get a game design position as your first job, so find any way to get your foot into the game industry’s door.