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Should you Get Involved in the Gaming Industry

The console wars’ next generation has begun. ‘The Big Three’ (Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft) continuously strive to create the next technological breakthrough and enhancement. Now gamers can experience the top titles of the year in HD, 3D, using motion sensors and much more.  Gameplay, audio, and visuals are all enhanced.

Simply put, they are videos.  However, not as we have known them.

However, just like the previous generation of consoles, the work continues as soon as they are available in the high-street stores.  There is a new gamer generation that is needed in order to continue with the development.  This is where you come into it.

However, what if the video games industry interests you, but you don’t know how to break in?  If you feel more comfortable when you are holding a controller, the following are a couple of tips on how to land a job within the games industry.

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Market Research

Are you a level 80 Mage already?  If you are, then most likely you can just go on to step two.

In order to succeed in this industry, you obviously need to have an interest in and like playing computer games.  Actually, you need to really love computer games and not just like them.  You must be able to eat, breathe and sleep everything computer games. (Of course, we mean this is metaphorical since video games don’t taste good at all).

However, beyond being just a fan of the most recent installment of Fifa, you will have to know how computers are played and have a thorough understanding of them.  You need to know what the new games are available, what the all-time most innovative and popular games are, and why.  You also know what the limitations, advantages, and various styles of gameplay are.

Make Something

Without a doubt, this is the most important piece of advice that you absolutely have to know.

Unfortunately, just being passionate is not sufficient for paying the way to have a successful games industry career.  There are thousands of individuals in the games industry, and your most important job is setting yourself apart.  Unfortunately, just being luck is not enough to succeed.

What you should do instead, is to start to develop your own trailers, games, and mini-games.  There is a wide range of sites that can help you learn and improve your skills in various programs, from Flash games and iPhone apps, through concept art as well as creating additional mods or levels for popular games (a few famous examples include Civilisation, Half-Life, and Left 4 Dead).

Be realistic and start small.  However, having something that you can show to prospective recruiters can mean the difference between missing out and getting the job.

You get bonus points if there is an Easter egg in your game that is ready to be revealed when entering The Konami Code (you might be considering the wrong industry if you need me to tell you what that is).

Get yourself qualified

If you are really serious about breaking into this industry and quickly progress in your career, then it is an absolute must to obtain an industry-recognized qualification.

Even if you are familiar already with some of the more common professionals that are used, but there may be a lot of useful software that you are unaware of.  Undoubtedly a professional qualification can help to give your career prospects a boost.

There are many useful qualifications, including C++, Java, Maya, Max, 3ds, and Photoshop, depending on what your desired career path is (Programmer, Developer, 3D Modeling Artist, etc.).

Network Connection

For any job seekers, this is very useful, but especially for this specific industry.  Gamers and techies have a tendency to be a very close-knit breed.  In terms of social media, they tend to be especially vocal.  Briefly put, geeks do tend to stick together.

If you currently don’t know anybody in games development except for maybe a couple of friends on X-Box Live who you are playing Fallout 3 with, don’t panic.  That is because there are numerous conventions, fairs, and events that are available that can help you get started with developing your networks.

You should never underestimate the importance of knowing the key people and making the important connections, whether you are just beginning or whether you have been actively involved in the video games industry for many years. If you want to get an idea of what it’s like then this is a great book according to Amiqus. It sheds a lot of light on what it’s like in the industry.

Begin at Level 1

If all else fails, you should be afraid to get started at the bottom and work your way up.  Before shiny courses and free software were readily available, there was the fashioned path of working up the career ladder through starting out in an entry-level job.  For gaming, the entry-level position was Games Tester.

It goes against all that your mother told you.  It is true that you really can get paid for playing computer games, and sometimes even all day long.  If you are spending a lot of your time playing games anyway, then it can be the ideal career for you.

However, before you set off on the path towards your future career, don’t forget about the practicalities.  There is more involved in breaking in as a games tester than just glamor and glitz.  You will have to play games at the same level, for many days at a time sometimes, to try to find every potential bug before the game goes live (we mean viral when we say live).

Start to apply now if you still believe you can struggle through the most recent Street Fighter reboot (Ryu’s Revenge, CVXI) after we have played if for five hundred times in a row.

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