Blog Archives

How To Become A Video Game Technical Director

This article is part of the Quest for Your Career series. We focus on each specific job in the video game industry by interviewing an expert in the field. Learn what they do, how they got started, and whether it's a good job for you.
Dan White, Video Game Technical Director

Dan White: “You don’t lose respect because you don’t know things; you lose respect because you don’t ask questions.”

For every job in the video game industry, there’s a natural career progression as you gain experience over the years.

For video game programmers (also called engineers) there are typically two options. One path is to become a senior engineer and take on more challenging projects. The other is to become a technical lead, possibly increasing in scope to eventually lead multiple engineering teams and projects.

That second path — the engineering-leadership path — is a job called the Technical Director.

Today we’re speaking with Dan White, a highly-experienced Technical Director in the video game industry. He’s been making games since 1995, and in 1999 he started a game studio that’s still going strong today. We ask him what it takes to become a Technical Director, why management is rewarding, and how you can start your own career in video game engineering. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

Game Community Manager Salary for 2017

This article is part of the Video Game Developer Salary series. Read about the annual salary ranges of all video game jobs, and get advice on maximizing your paycheck throughout your career.
A video game community at PAX East

Big games draw big crowds. Who’s job is it to keep them happy?

Table of Contents

  1. Community Manager salary: Overview
  2. Community Manager salary: Factors
  3. Search for Community Manager jobs
  4. Community Manager salary: Details
  5. Demand for Community Managers
  6. Should I become a Community Manager?

If you want to get into the video game industry, you might be considering “traditional” game dev jobs like programmer, artist, or game designer. Those are some of the job roles that make the games, but as games have grown into massive experiences with millions of players, a new job role has emerged to guide and amplify masses of players after the game launches. That’s the job of the video game community manager.

Some community managers focus on social media, while others are experts in moderating and growing massive hordes of passionate players and other fans.

How much do video game community managers make? And how much could you earn as a community manager?

Read more ›

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Start Your Video Game Career Is Live!

After four years of research and over a year of writing, editing, and re-writing, I’m thrilled to announce that my new book Start Your Video Game Career is finally complete, and available for purchase!

Start Your Video Game Career, by Jason W. Bay

Click here to buy Start Your Video Game Career now!

This book is a big deal for me personally, since it’s the most in-depth book I’ve ever written. More importantly, I think it will be a powerful tool for you, because it’s packed full of knowledge, guidance, and inspiration to help you start your own successful career in the video game industry. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers, Tools

How to Write for Video Games

Profile photo of John Dennis, video game designer writer

John Dennis wants to know: Could writing for video games be your cup of tea?

What does it take to become a Video Game Writer, and how is writing for games different from linear media like books and film? How can a game writer create a story with endless possibilities, adapting to any choice a player might make — whether expected or unexpected?

Those question (and more) are answered today by John Dennis, who has worked in the game industry over 20 years on diverse titles from the beloved Worms franchise to the mega-hit Call of Duty series. He’s currently a tutor at Arvon academy for their course, Writing for Games: The Art and Business of Creating Interactive Narratives.

Read more ›

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Posted in Careers, Schools

The Path to Success in Games is Rarely a Straight Line

"I can't tell you how many times I get told no, it just makes me try harder every time someone says I can't do something. Find a way."

“It just makes me try harder every time someone says I can’t do something. Find a way.”


The following blog post was written by Kristofor Durrschmidt, co-founder, CEO and creative director of Crazy Viking Studios, an indie game development shop in the Seattle area.

Kris Durrschmidt: As a kid whose imagination exploded playing Atari 2600 and reading Conan the Barbarian comics, I never thought in a million years that I would be exactly where I am today, living this crazy dream where I get to make fun things that millions upon millions of people have played (and hopefully enjoyed).

It was not a direct path. These are jobs I have held, in chronological order, with life-long aspirations of working in Comic Books and/or Video Games. There is a reason I am sharing all this information, I will explain at the bottom. Read more ›

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My Life as a Video Game Audio Freelancer: What I Wish I Knew Starting Out

ted_wennerstrom_game_audio_composer

Game composer Ted Wennerström got here the hard way. Will you learn from his mistakes?

The following blog post was written by Ted Wennerström, a freelance video game composer, sound effects designer and producer.

Ted Wennerstrom: Having celebrated my first complete year as a full-time freelance composer and sound designer, I looked back at when I took my first stumbling steps in this harsh world of game audio. I decided to put it down as a list to not only remind myself, but to help fellow composers understand what they can expect when starting their own freelancing careers.

Here are the 5 most important lessons I’ve learned in my journey. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

How can I tell if a video game jobs website is a scam?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Bryan, who asks “Where can I find reviews for this business site and is this a legit website that I will not be scammed by?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why there are so many scammer websites for video game testing jobs
  • 5 simple techniques you can use to identify, and avoid, scammers
  • Use those techniques to see which Google search results are actually scams!

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Podcast

What are some demo ideas for my video game programming portfolio?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Max, who asks “Hello, I don’t miss an episode of your podcast ever since the first one. I have a question: What are some specific examples of demos you could prepare for different game programming positions? Could you provide some specific examples that a hiring manager would like to see for positions such as Gameplay Programmer, Graphics Programmer, or Tools Programmer, to name a few? Thanks a lot and keep up the excellent work.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Some actionable ideas for demos to put in your programming portfolio
  • Where to find inspiration for even more ideas to code
  • The most impactful and rewarding portfolio project you can do over a summer

Read more ›

Posted in Applying, Podcast, Resume

How does the video game industry adapt to new technologies?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Jesse, who asks “My biggest question is how does the game industry adapt to new technologies?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why the game industry has a love-hate relationship with new technology
  • How a game studio gets their hands on prototype hardware of pre-relase consoles
  • Why it takes years for game developers get the hang of “new” technology, and how they do it

Read more ›

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Posted in Podcast, Tools

Should I take a video game job I don’t want, just to get my foot in the door?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Indigo, who asks “I have a question about taking a job in a position you don’t want just to get your foot in the door. I’ve had many teachers and other people tell me that taking a QA job or a 2D art job is a good idea just to get in. But I know that I really wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much as a 3D art position. But it’s pretty hard to find a 3D position. So I’m not sure what to do. Any advice would be great.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What happens if you don’t have the skills you need to get the job you really want
  • 3 reasons why starting in a different job can boost your career
  • The 1 major drawback of starting in a different job

Read more ›

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Posted in Careers, Podcast
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