Quest for Your Career: Which Game Job Is Right for You?

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239923_1568Do you want to work in the video game industry, but you aren’t sure which jobs are out there? Do you wonder which game job would be the best fit for your unique interests and personality?

Or maybe you know what you want to do – but you don’t know how to get started?

The Quest for Your Career series can help. Each week, we’ll focus on one of nearly 30 jobs in the game industry. We’ll talk to experienced industry veterans to find out what the job is, what it takes, and how you can start preparing right now.

Contents

More interviews will be added to this list as they’re published. Check back every week to read the latest article.

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Design Careers

Game Designers can hold the high-level vision for the game, but they also craft the game levels, design the in-game interactions, tune the game worlds, and write documentation to communicate the game plan to the team.

Production Careers

A game’s production team guides and focuses the game team, manages the schedule and deliverables, keeps the project moving forward smoothly, and can shepherd the overall vision for the game.

Writing Careers

Writing careers in the game industry can be on a game team as the writer of the history, characters, and dialog. Or they can be writing about video games as a blogger or journalist.

Art Careers

There are many art careers in the game industry, from designing the initial art style; to creating the landscapes and architecture of the game world; to modeling and animating the characters; to designing the user interface and in-game HUD, and more.

Programming Careers

Game Programmers write the source code that brings the game’s design, art, and audio to life. Whether they’re building the game play, the user interaction, or creating the game engine itself, programmers are always in demand.

Audio Careers

The quality of a game’s music and audio effects can be the difference between a “meh” gaming experience, and a game that takes true immersion to a higher level.

Game Tester (QA) Careers

The unsung heroes of the game industry, testers make sure the game is not only fun – but also fast, stable, and bug-free. They’re the checks and balances of the game team, ensuring that your gaming experience is top-notch.

  • QA Tester – with Bill Schneider
  • Software Development Engineer in Test (SDET)
Game Recruiter Careers

Games don’t get made without a team. Recruiters search far and wide for the best candidates, and help hiring managers make strong staffing decisions that result in winning game teams.

If you work in the game industry and would like to contribute an interview for this series, please get in touch!

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5 comments on “Quest for Your Career: Which Game Job Is Right for You?
  1. George Paraskevopoulos says:

    You should add Sound Programmer in the Programming Careers Section. And Physics Programmer also.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Sound Programmer and Physics Programmer are not normal jobs in the game industry. Usually any sound-specific programming is done by a generalist programmer, and game studios don’t generally have a dedicated physics programmer because most game engines use licensed physics engines these days.

  2. Derek says:

    I’m interested in both game programming and general game design, my talents lying mostly with programming. Do game programmers often get much input in the game design outside of simply how the game functions? I assume this would largely depend on the size of the team. But I’m just wondering if it’s likely I’ll get to participate in both areas.
    (Sorry if my question is a little vague :P)
    Thanks in advance for answering, if you can.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      You’re right that it depends on the size of the team. If you want to have a lot of input as a programmer, try working with a smaller team (like 4 to 20 people). However, programmers could have a lot of input on the design of bigger games, if they’re gameplay programmers. For example, if you’re the combat programmer on a fighting game, you may have a lot of control over the fine-tuning and overall “feel” of the combat, even if it’s a large team. Some of the best designers I know started out as programmers.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      BTW, I answered your question in more depth on this week’s podcast. Listen here: Do video game programmers get to contribute to the game design?

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