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I want to pursue a career in the Video game industry, Help?

Video games have been a part of my life for a long time and every time i try to find an interest in something i always come back to gaming, I love Music and would love to become a sound designer but i don't know what is required or what to do to become one. #sound-design #video-games

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William’s Answer

Hello George.

I am not a video game expert, but I know that Full Sail University has a great program in the Video Graphic, Music Production, and Creative works field. I would probably research online businesses that may be looking for video game tester as an internship. I would also probably attend to any video game conferences in which you can go network with other professionals already in the field.

Your answer is great William, thanks so much for sharing your expertise! At this moment there are more than 800 unanswered questions so I wanted to encourage you to keep going! So many students will benefit tremendously from hearing from you. Keep up the great work! Jordan Rivera COACH

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Walt’s Answer

Hi George,

As they say, I've got some good news and some bad news. First the bad news. There is no one guaranteed way to get a job in the video game industry. The industry is dominated by a few really huge shops that employ only a few hundred people each and put out the big titles about once every year or two. The rest of the industry is small, scrappy shops with two to thirty employees. Those shops put out the vast majority of mobile games, indy games, and casino games. The overall industry is small in terms of numbers of employees. That means your chances of getting a cozy, well paying job in the industry is not that great.

Now the good news. If you're a self starting person who cares less about making a ton of money than about having fun and making a decent living, there are many ways to break into the industry. Here are just a couple:

1. Write games on your own. You can get a free game engine and start programming right away. My favorite is Godot, but there is also Unity, GameMaker, CryEngine and many more. Some are easy to learn like Godot. Some are really hard, but have more features. My advice is to start with an easy to use engine like Godot and then move up to something harder once you are really comfortable with the process of creating a game. YouTube has tutorials for almost every engine out there, so download something and dive in. Once you create a game of your own that you like, deploy it to the AppStore and see who downloads it! The average game on the app store doesn't make a lot of money, in fact it may not make any, but it is valuable experience and could get you noticed by a big game shop.

2. Become part of an open source game. There are many existing games that are enhanced by their users. GitHub is full of open source games that you can contribute to. You need to learn the programming language that the game is written in, and this might involve taking classes in languages like C++, Javascript, Java or something else. Then you can download the source for the game from GitHub and start making changes. When you have some cool mods, do a "pull request" and the owners of the game will review your mods and possibly include them in the next release of the game. A bunch of cool mods can get you noticed by a paying game shop!

3. Be a game tester. If you enjoy playing games for hour on end, then your first gig might be testing a new game. This is a real commitment and it is hard to land this gig, but it is a way to get your name into a bigger shop. To hear about these gigs, hang out on the game programming message boards like IndieDB, Gamedev.net and r/gamedev.

The point is, the best way to get into the game industry is just to get in it. There is no door barring your way. You just need to be very motivated, willing to learn on your own, and have a never give up attitude. There is a ton of help out there, and the video game community is one of the most supportive groups out there.

Lastly, I am not telling you to skip college. A computer science degree will tell you a lot about how to optimize games, what basic rules underlie all games, and teach you how to build and test game code. There is a ton to know about the game industry and how to make money in it also. There are colleges that specifically offer game and simulation software as a core study program, so be sure to check them out. Just keep in mind that many great game developers started writing games in high school, so you don't have to wait until you have a college degree to get going.

Hope this helps.


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