Blog Archives

3 Art Portfolio Traps To Avoid

Futuristic weapon concept art by Eliott Lilly

When it comes to your online portfolio, you’ll need more than a good aim to hit your target.

Eliott Lilly has been a concept artist in the video game industry for over a decade, and is credited on mega-franchise titles such as DOOM, F.E.A.R, and Black Ops. He currently works as a freelance artist, but he also finds time to mentor thousands of aspiring artists through his books and website.

All that coaching and question-answering has given him unique insight into three portfolio “traps” — fundamental problems that could be sabotaging your job hunt. In this guest post, Eliott discusses how to find and fix the most common art portfolio problems. Read more ›

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Posted in Applying

How to Start and Succeed as a Concept Artist

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.
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What’s Eliott Lilly’s secret recipe for getting attention and standing out as a concept artist?

Eliott Lilly is a concept artist working as a freelancer in the video game industry, with credits on heavy-hitting franchises including DOOM, F.E.A.R, and Black Ops. It takes hard work and persistence to achieve success as a concept artist, but it also takes dedicated mentorship (Eliott was personally trained by Donato Giancola) — and that’s why he’s paying it forward by mentoring thousands of aspiring concept artists through his books and his website, BigBadWorldOfConceptArt.com.

We spoke with Eliott to learn how new concept artists can start their careers and stand out from the crowd, and build their own success in the big bad world of concept art. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

Build a game art portfolio in 15 minutes (with personalized URL)

Home page of a finished art portfolio site

Start basic and personalize until it’s uniquely you

If you’re an aspiring video game artist, you need to have a gorgeous online portfolio.

Why? Because when art directors open your job application, the first thing they look at is your portfolio. If they aren’t immediately impressed, their next move is to hit DELETE — and send your job application to the trash.

Fortunately, you can easily build your own portfolio website — with your own personalized URL — in under 15 minutes. (If you consider yourself “technology challenged,” give yourself 30 minutes.) Here’s how. Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Tools

6 Tips for Beginner Video Game Localizers

Profile photo of Marek Makosiej, game translator localizer

Marek Makosiej is expert at translating words into profits.

Marek Makosiej is a professional technical translator and localizer for games and other software. His guest post below is aimed to help aspiring game localizers understand a bit about the industry, without getting lost in translation. If you think a job doing game localization might be for you, then don’t miss this! Read more ›

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Posted in Careers, Tools

My Game Careers Talk at AIE Seattle

A few weeks ago, I spoke with a group of students at the Academy of Interactive Entertainment, a game and film school here in Seattle. They were kind enough to make a video and share it with the world, I thought you might like it.

It was super fun, because I did an open Q&A with the students. They’re graduating soon, so they asked about everything: interviewing, resumes, portfolios, and whether good digital hygiene means you should “scrub” your social media before employers find those pics of that thing you kinda wish you hadn’t done last summer. Here’s the video. Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Interviewing

How To Become A Video Game Translator

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.
Damien Yoccoz, video game translator/localizer at Level Up Translation

Damien Yoccoz: “Speaking two languages doesn’t make you a translator any more than having two hands makes you a pianist.”

Hundreds of new video games are created every year, but unfortunately, most are made by developers who speak a language you don’t. That means unless you learn Japanese, French, Mandarin, and a dozen other languages, you’ll miss out on thousands of awesome game experiences in your lifetime.

That is, unless the developers translate their game into a language you understand, using a painstaking process called localization.

Before the 1990s, if you didn’t speak the language, you simply couldn’t play the game. Some players learned a second language like Japanese, solely so they could play rare unofficial imports. Others took matters into their own hands and made “fan translations” to distribute to other players using dial-in bulletin-board systems (BBS).

Fortunately, game localization has become so affordable that publishers release each game in multiple languages so players around the world can enjoy their creations.

Today I’m speaking with Damien Yoccoz, the founder of Level Up Translation in Basse-Normandie, France. He explains what a translator does, how he got started in the job, and what it takes to succeed as a game localizer. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

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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Game Community Manager Salary for 2017

Find game schools near you

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