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

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 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

What should I put into my video game programming portfolio?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Supreeth, who asks, “Hey Jason! Supreeth here, we here in India appreciate all the information provided in you website and I’m a huge fan of your podcast :). So, I would feel glad if you could provide me any certain information regarding, How do I make a game programming demo to apply for jobs? How should the demo be? In video format? How do I show my code along with my demo reel?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why you can’t afford not to have a game programming portfolio
  • How to use the “what, why, how” portfolio format
  • How to get your own portfolio website and your own domain name

Read more ›

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Posted in Podcast, Resume

Should I learn programming if I want to become a video game designer?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Dylan, who asks “I want to use Game Designer as a career path and I was wondering if being a game programmer would help with that?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why programming is at the heart of every game project
  • 3 reasons why programming will help your game design career
  • How to stand out from the crowd when you apply for your first game design job

Read more ›

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Posted in Careers, Podcast

Do you need an art degree if you already have a strong portfolio?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Mihai, who asks “I have a question regarding game art colleges. I’ve watched Marc Brunet and other artist’s videos and they strongly advised us not to attend any colleges as long as our portfolio is as strong as the Industry demands. Would you recommend attending a game art college if I already have a game studio quality portfolio?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Whether you can get a job as a game artist without a degree
  • Why an art degree doesn’t guarantee you’ll get a job… or that you’ll be a good artist
  • How to get real, candid feedback on your art skills

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Podcast

Video Game Industry Internships FAQ

How can a game internship solve the dreaded "chicken and egg" problem for students?

How can a game internship solve the dreaded “chicken and egg” problem for students?

At this very moment, many students are knee-deep in their search for their first job at a video game studio. But if you’re one of those job-seekers, you’ve likely smashed head-first into a very tricky problem: How can you get a job that requires “prior experience,” and how can you get experience if nobody will hire you? Read more ›

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Posted in Applying

What skills are required to get a job as a video game tester?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Blake, who asks, “I want to become a game tester, but I am not sure if I have the right qualifications. So I was wondering, are there any special requirements for doing this job? Also, I’m 16 years old. How old do you have to be to get this job, and how much do you get paid for your work?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • The basic requirements and pay of a video game tester
  • Which skills are most important to getting a testing job
  • My favorite resource for learning how to test games

Read more ›

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Posted in Podcast