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What is like being such a well know company for videogames and is it hard?

I am asking this because video game creating has always interested me. How such made things flow so well like a movie and run so smooth. #video-games #computer-software #software #software-engineering

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Chris’s Answer

Hello Sean,

I loved playing video games when I was in school (well, and I still do), and am so glad that I had the opportunity to work on some big-name games for a big-name game developer.

I am also so glad that I left the gaming industry.

As Daniel answers, the pay is relatively low for a programmer, and the hours are grueling. I was working 90-hour weeks for about nine months straight, working every day. Every. Single. Day. Weekends. Holidays. My birthday. Company picnic. Every single day.

I learned a lot, and made some cool things. But I also found that what I really love doing is programming, and I was able to make more money with reasonable hours outside of the gaming industry.

If you are young, if you don't have a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/family, go for it if you want! But otherwise, think about other programming jobs.

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Daniel’s Answer

I don't mean to burst your bubble because if that's really really what you truly want to do, sure. But, be aware that the video game industry on average (especially if you're talking about the large, well known companies) tends to be real grueling compared to the rest of software jobs.

See e.g. https://kotaku.com/crunch-time-why-game-developers-work-such-insane-hours-1704744577

A lot of this is possible because there's a lot of fresh grads who really want to join the video game industry, so they have an unusually large pool to draw from. Thus they don't have to pay as well and can afford to burn people out really fast.

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Rachel’s Answer

I'm really glad you've found something you really care about! I've worked with a few large video game companies, and one of the toughest things is keeping them up and running. There are lots of things you need to consider: your networks, your code's performance under high throughput and load (hopefully because you have a lot of people playing your games!)

The work can be hard, but it can also be really rewarding. One company that I worked with brings in their gamers and gets real time feedback, complete with biometric monitoring. Their gamers LOVE their games.

And I've also known lots of people that worked for video game companies and took their skills to other tech companies, where they worked on software monitoring, chat programs, video streaming, etc.

I think it's great to pursue building video games, it may even lead you to other careers that you love. I would caution you that it's hard work, but lots of people have done it, and there's no reason you can't do it too.

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Jill’s Answer

Working on a videogame can be a lot of fun! It combines creativity with technology and you get to work with amazing people.

That said, as other people mentioned, it is a very competitive industry that can include very long hours and regular downsizing. And you generally get paid less in the games industry vs other industries that use similar skills.

I would suggest taking a course that will help you design and make your own, small game. That will help you see how much you enjoy it and you can decide if it's worth pursuing. I also know many people who have full-time jobs in tech who build their own games on the side.

Jill recommends the following next steps:

Read Kotaku.com to stay up on the latest news about games and game teams
Look at IGDA.org - the International Game Developers Association has a lot of great info about the industry
Make a game! Most people applying for entry-level jobs in games will have already made their own, either from scratch or using an available game editor or even just a board game.