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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.

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Posted in Careers, Schools

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

Video Game Job Hunt: Your Complete Guide

video-game-job-search

Contents

So you’ve worked hard for months – maybe years – learning how to make games. You’ve got serious game dev skills under your belt, and whether you went to school or you’re self-taught, it’s finally time to start looking for a full-time job making games.

Congratulations, because all that hard work is about to pay off. You’re soooo close to becoming a professional game developer. (That’s got a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? “Professional game developer.”)

The only thing standing between you and a job making games, is writing a good resume. And building a portfolio. And applying for jobs… and doing all those interviews… Well, okay, I guess you’ve still got some work to do.

But you’re in luck, because what you see before you is the Internet’s most comprehensive guide to mastering your video game industry job search. The opportunities are out there, and I’m here to help you find them and make them yours.

You can thank me later, once you’ve been hired and your dream has become a reality at long last. Until then, check out the articles below to help you on your way.
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Posted in Applying, Careers, Interviewing, Networking

How To Become A Video Game Graphics Programmer

This interview 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.
Portrait of Brandon Fogerty, Video Game Graphics Programmer

How does Brandon get coders and artists working together to make breathtaking graphics?

Meet Brandon Fogerty, Video Game Graphics Programmer

Brandon has been engineering interactive 3D graphics since 2006. From his early days programming avatars for clients like Motorola and NASA, to his recent cutting-edge games for Nintendo 3DS and smart phones, Brandon has been pushing the boundaries of 3D hardware for nearly a decade.

We’re speaking with him today to find out what it’s like to code professional 3D graphics, how to work successfully with artists and designers on a game team, and how you can start your own career as a Video Game Graphics Programmer.
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Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game Tester

This interview 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.
Bill Schneider, Video Game Tester

“Game testing can be an incredibly fulfilling career.”

Meet Bill Schneider, Video Game QA Tester

Of all the jobs in the game industry, testing video games might be the one that gamers around the world dream about most. Today we’re talking with a guy who’s not only tested games on just about every platform, but he’s also turned the job into a rich and rewarding career.

Bill Schneider has worked as a game tester for over a decade, and you can see his name in the credits of over 40 shipped titles – everything from Harry Potter to The Sims, and from Bejeweled to Assassin’s creed. Let’s find out how his career has taken him from a front-line game tester, to a manager and leader of entire testing teams at major game studios.  Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game Product Manager

This interview 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.

Big Data isn't just a buzzword - it makes games more fun.

Diana analyzes data from millions of players to make games more fun

Meet Diana Hsu, Video Game Product Manager

Of all the jobs in games, the Product Manager might be the newest. Forged in the rising popularity of online and free-to-play games, Diana Hsu is among the first generation of “digital native” product managers: She’s shipped several titles in her career, none of them boxed products, all of them online 24×7.

And it’s exactly that “always online” nature of modern games that enables the Product Manager to work her magic. Always online means there’s always a stream of big data coming in from millions of players – and somebody has to make sense of it all. Somebody who can filter the data through a rare mix of talent in game design, human factors, psychology, and economics, and use it to improve the live game. That person is Diana Hsu.

We’re talking to Diana today to learn how she got started, what she does at her job every day, and find out whether being a Product Manager in video games might be a good job for you. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game Music Composer

This interview 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.
Brian Schmidt, Video Game Music Composer

What could you learn about game audio from a guy who’s shipped over 130 games?

Meet Brian Schmidt, Video Game Music Composer

You’d be hard pressed to find a more accomplished composer in the history of the video game industry, than Brian Schmidt. Brian has been making game audio for nearly 30 years, and his credits include music, audio, and sound effects for well over a hundred shipped titles. He’s worked on top franchises like The Walking Dead, Madden NFL, BattleTech and more.

As if that didn’t keep him busy enough, he also runs a premier annual game music and sound design conference, GameSoundCon, and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Game Audio Network Guild.

You can learn from this guy. We’re speaking with Brian today to find out how he got into games, what he does at his job, and which skills and talents it takes to succeed as a video game music composer. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game Tools Programmer

This interview 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.
Profile photo of Brian Gish, tools programmer

“You have to prove you’re passionate about the games industry.”

Meet Brian Gish, Video Game Tools Programmer

Brian Gish has been programming video games for a decade, but not in the way you might think. He’s more of a “behind the scenes” coder. It’s Brian’s code that enables the artists, designers, and game programmers to do their jobs quickly and efficiently – and that means players get more game, and better game, for their buck. Brian is a Tools Programmer.

Today we’re talking to Brian about his experience in this little-known but critically important job. We’ll find out how he got started, why he loves it – and why you might, too. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game Systems Programmer

This interview 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.

david_c_galloway_game_systems_programmer

David’s been bending computers to his will for 30 years. What’s his secret?

Meet David C. Galloway, Video Game Systems Programmer

David Galloway began his game programming career on the Commodore 64 home computer, and has created game play code for top-shelf franchises like Assassin’s Creed and X-Men.

But his real super power is in building game system code – the core programming that drives a game engine. From math libraries, to 3D animation systems, to the code that empowers Atair to free climb across Cyprus, David writes the code that turns lifeless polygons into living, breathing 3D worlds. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

Video Game Developer Salary

game developer calculating annual pay

Does a game developer’s salary add up?

When it comes to getting a job, we all want to find a path through life that lets us do what we love every day – whether that’s creating art, writing great code, or creating new experiences for players.

But none of that matters if the job doesn’t pay enough to keep a roof over your head and dinner on the table. And it’s even more important if you have a family to care for, or if you plan to support a family some day. Having your dream job doesn’t mean squat unless it pays a living wage.

So you’re probably wondering: Does game development pay a living wage? Read more ›

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Posted in Careers
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