The gaming industry revolves around creating worlds inspired by real events but expects players to do unimaginable things in the game that could otherwise be considered illegal or taboo. The fascination with this contradicting concept of games has made it a multi-billion-dollar industry today. While playing these games, you are mostly on the hero mode; what if I told you could unlock the god mode by joining the gaming industry?
Whether a story writer, a coder, or a graphic designer, everybody has a place in the gaming industry! Yes! The gaming industry is much more than a gamer streaming from his house, although he is a vital part of it. This scope for immense career opportunities and the world’s ever-increasing interest in domains like virtual reality has helped the gaming industry emerge as the workforce of the future.
How to Unlock a Career in the Gaming Industry
Unlike most games, there is, unfortunately, no cheat code that can help you reach your desired career goal immediately. However, I’ve created a guide to help you fully utilize most career opportunities offered by the industry.
Here are a few career prospects offered by the gaming industry:
- Game Journalist: A game journalist is usually someone who plays the game and critiques it. His reviews hugely impact the market since players rely on his words before purchasing. An ideal game journalist is a passionate gamer with a journalism degree. However, several streamers act as game journalists sometimes. In a few cases, developers scout for critiques who can give them the best review. Blogging would be the right place to start if you wish to become a game journalist. The best way to kick start your journey as a game critic would be by interning with a media house as a game journalist.
- Game Developer: From the algorithms that assure us thrilling gameplay to the interesting storylines that keep us hooked, developers surely know how to add a hint of adventure to our lives! You could either develop your own game or join a gaming company as a system-based game developer. To be a game developer, you would require the following:
- A bachelor’s degree in computer science/software engineering.
- Proficiency in computer languages like C++, Java, etc.
- Strong technical skills
- Strong artistic skills
- Some experience in building APIs and libraries
- Story Writer: The game is more distinctive when a certain storyline is followed; the players also love it when their character is given his own personality and back story. A story writer is responsible for making the narratives and storylines as interesting as possible. He is expected to grasp the attention of the players with his words.
Good storylines and character dialogues not only enhance the game but can also be a tool for marketing. For example, in GTA San Andreas’, CJ is infamous in the meme world for his line, “Ah shit, here we go again.” This helped the game hit the headlines again after being released more than a decade ago.
To reign over the gaming world as a story writer, you must
- Have a journalism degree. Although it is not a necessity, it can give you advantages.
- Portfolio of writings
- Experience in story and script writing
- Audio Engineer: Audio engineer is responsible for developing enticing tunes for the game. Every game uses background music to intensify certain situations in the gameplay. Few games use audio to make interactions with NPCs more interesting. If done right, the music used in the game can hugely impact the players, just like how the enchanting Mario theme song has a hold on an entire generation of gamers.
A diploma in sound and engineering technology could be enough to be an audio engineer. However, few companies are known to recruit popular producers from the music industry and those who are TikTok famous.
- Game Designer: A game designer gives life to the algorithm created by the developer. You can consider them as the game’s architects and the developers and engineers. They mostly work with the game’s visual aspect by creating characters, the backgrounds for each level, weapons, vehicles, and every other graphic of the game. You could acquire the following to boost your career:
- A diploma in game design, graphic design, or animation
- A portfolio consisting of designs curated by you
- Advanced Certificate courses in game designing are a plus.
- Game Tester: A gamer tester is expected to play the game several times until all the bugs have been detected and fixed. Game testers systematically play the game to analyze the game and give feedback to the developers. He has to play the same level several times to see to it that the player’s gaming experience isn’t affected by any flaws in the game.
A degree isn’t necessarily required for this role. However, any degree related to graphic design and game development could be a plus. Game developers usually rely on esport tournaments and streaming platforms to recruit game testers. Anybody with a proven track record of being a skilled gamer is eligible for this role. If you think you have what it takes to be a game tester, get in touch with developers via LinkedIn and other recruitment sites, and you just might get hired to play games all day!
- Animator: A game animator is one who orchestrates the movement of the graphics designed by the game designer. Every water droplet, movement of the NPCs and playing characters, changes in the weather, etc., are defined by the animator. He is the mechanic who gets the graphics moving! Other than having a basic idea about animation, there are some things that can help you boost your career. They are:
- A bachelor’s degree in computer graphics/art
- Portfolio consisting of animations created by you
- Certificate courses in animation can also come in handy
Offbeat Gaming Careers
If you want to earn solely through playing games without dealing with the technicalities behind it, the gaming industry offers careers like:
- Live Game Streamer: The ever-improving technology literacy of the world has paved the path for careers like live game streamers. Game streamers are those players who make money from live streaming their gameplay on various platforms like twitch, YouTube, Facebook gaming, etc. They earn money through subscriptions, sponsorships, and tips. Streamers on YouTube are also paid according to the views on their video.
To build a career out of living streaming games, you need a good gaming setup and either an amusing personality or impeccable gaming skills! Having all of them is a real bonus. People will watch your streams for your pro gameplay or entertaining personality. There have also been scenarios where people came for the gaming skills but stayed for the entertaining gamer.
It isn’t difficult to become a decent live streamer. However, having an exceptional career as a streamer is very tough. Several live streamers who began as gaming streamers diversified by becoming vloggers and tiktokers.All of this only helped them gain more popularity. You, too, must be ready to explore other opportunities to ensure steady growth in the industry.
Being active in the communities by participating in forum discussions and maintaining a blog relating to games can further enhance your career. The day you can generate a good amount solely from your streaming channels is when you can officially call yourself a professional game streamer.
- Pro Esport Player: Esport is just like any other competitive organized sport. The only difference here is that it mostly consists of multiplayer video games, which you can play online. With its growing popularity and a newly attained spot in the commonwealth games, every spurts is now equal to other sports like Soccer, cricket, etc. Esports tournaments at the international level have been around for years, but this new inclusion in the commonwealth gives it a brand new professional status. You do not require a Bachelors’ of game design, game development or any other degree to become an esport player.
If you are a professional game live streamer, then you’ve already cleared the first level of becoming an esport player. Equip your gaming setup with the best gaming gear available since pro-level equipment will be used in tournaments. Being familiar with the mechanics of the devices will improve your chances of winning immensely.
Work hard, play harder is the success mantra that every esport aspirant must follow religiously. Practice every day! Understand the hierarchy of each esport and climb it to get more recognition. Being competitive and winning tournaments can easily put you on the radar of amateur teams.
Once you feel like you’re ready for the real competition, find a team that you can play aside. See to it that the players have different skills and are better than you. If your gaming skills are really good, a team may approach you to join them.
Surviving in a competitive environment can be hard. Try to maintain a balance between gaming and your life. Socialize and network with your peers and other important gaming industry players. Train for your games without sacrificing health by exercising regularly and maintaining a balanced diet.