Blog Archives

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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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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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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How can I start my career as a video game industry recruiter?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Ashley, who asks “My name is Ashely and I am a recruiter that is new to the Video Game recruiting world. I wanted to combine what I do with one of my favorite hobbies which is playing video games. I discovered your blog and see that you are an expert in the field. Do you have any advice for me as a recruiter or can you guide me to any blogs that can help me crack into this industry?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why recruiting is important to the game industry
  • Three challenges to overcome to break into game industry recruiting
  • A strategy for accelerating your transition into game recruiting

Read more ›

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Do I need to be a good writer to get a job testing video games?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Dillon, who asks “I am really interested in becoming a video game tester! I really like finding bugs and sharing about it to my friends. The only problem is I’m not a great writer. Would that be a major deal breaker?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The difference between creative vs. technical writing
  • Why technical writing is important for game testing
  • How you can improve your technical writing to get a job as a tester

Read more ›

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How To Become A Video Game Audio Implementer

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.

“Implementation is such a huge part of the design of the sound that the two are really inseparable.”

The Audio Magic Behind the Audio Magic

If you’ve ever watched a “making of” documentary about video games, then you’ve seen how game audio engineers use fancy microphones and software to turn everyday sounds into otherworldly effects: a dropped coin becomes a laser blast, and a dog’s bark becomes a dragon’s roar.

But have you wondered how those sounds actually get into the game? A video game can have thousands of sounds – who keeps track of them all, and who hooks them into the game engine so they play back at exactly the right time, by exactly the right characters and events? Who makes sure they sound perfect, no matter what the player might try?

I’ll tell you who does it: That’s the job of the Video Game Audio Implementer.

Chase Thompson has been an audio engineer since 2005, and has worked on best-selling game series like Halo, Fable, and Star Wars. We talk with him today to find out how he got started in his job as a Video Game Audio Implementer, and how you can start your own career working in video game audio. Read more ›

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“Land a Job as a Video Game Tester” Book – Free Chapter

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I read you a free chapter from my book, “Land a Job as a Video Game Tester.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What is game testing? What does a game tester do?
  • QA testing vs. play testing
  • What are some pros and cons of being a tester?

Read more ›

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How To Become A Video Game Server Engineer

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.
"New problems will occur on a daily basis. Treat every problem as an onion and peel one layer at a time."

“New problems will occur on a daily basis. Treat every problem as an onion and peel one layer at a time.”

The Tastiest Code

If you’ve ever thought about becoming a game programmer, you were likely enticed by the obvious parts of game programming: The artificial intelligence; the physics engine; the visual effects system. And who could blame you? Those are tasty systems that players interact with most, and they’re interesting challenges to sink your code chops into.

But the meatiest code of all may be a part of the game that you’re barely aware of. In fact, it’s nearly invisible to most players, because it doesn’t even exist on your computer – it exists entirely “in the cloud.”

I’m talking, of course, about the game’s server software. Read more ›

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