Blog Archives

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

The Path to Success in Games is Rarely a Straight Line

"I can't tell you how many times I get told no, it just makes me try harder every time someone says I can't do something. Find a way."

“It just makes me try harder every time someone says I can’t do something. Find a way.”

The following blog post was written by Kristofor Durrschmidt, co-founder, CEO and creative director of Crazy Viking Studios, an indie game development shop in the Seattle area.

Kris Durrschmidt: As a kid whose imagination exploded playing Atari 2600 and reading Conan the Barbarian comics, I never thought in a million years that I would be exactly where I am today, living this crazy dream where I get to make fun things that millions upon millions of people have played (and hopefully enjoyed).

It was not a direct path. These are jobs I have held, in chronological order, with life-long aspirations of working in Comic Books and/or Video Games. There is a reason I am sharing all this information, I will explain at the bottom. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

Special birthday episode! (podcast)

Today is the 3rd birthday of, let’s celebrate!

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why I started this website, and how much it’s grown
  • How I’ve stayed motivated to keep writing and podcasting after 3+ years
  • Who the real success story is behind this blog (hint: it’s not me!)

Read more ›

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Posted in Podcast

Do video game studios ever consider hiring entry-level job applicants?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Taylor, who asks “I am incredibly committed to my craft and improving at it, yet I am under the impression that when I apply for jobs, along with my application there may be 30+ talented artists who have been in the industry before. Do hiring managers occasionally consider candidates that have potential, despite not having the experience? Or do they only seriously consider ones that have industry experience?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How your entry-level salary fits into the game team’s hiring strategy
  • Why your passion and enthusiasm could be worth years of experience
  • The top 4 ways that a newbie can be even more valuable than a seasoned veteran

Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Podcast

How to Become a Video Game Character Modeler

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.
Profile photo of artist Darran Hurlbut, video game character modeler

“Be inspired, believe in yourself. There’s a lot to learn to impress yourself, and even more to impress others.”

Darran Hurlbut has been making art for as long as he can remember – but his first job as a Video Game Artist was purely accidental.

That was in 1995, and he’s never looked back. His decades-long career in games has included many roles including Concept Artist, Environment Artist, and Character Modeler. We’re speaking with him today about his primary job as a Video Game Character Modeler – how he got the job, what it takes to succeed, and how you could start your own career as a character modeler in video games. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

Gender Equality in the Video Game Industry


Women in game development fight “a battle on two fronts.” How can you become part of the solution?

Last month, I opened an email sent to me by an aspiring video game developer named Esther. She was just starting on her degree in Game Art, but something was troubling her – she’d watched a documentary about women in the game industry, and many of them said their work was valued less than equivalent work done by male teammates.

So Esther had written to ask me about equality: “Have you ever seen a woman having more problems finding a job or being appreciated for her work? Have you ever noticed that a gender inequality exists in the game industry?” Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

It’s Never Too Late to Get A Job In Video Games

A sad man wishes he could quit his job to make video games for a living.

Is every day a bad day at work? Maybe it’s time for a change.

Somewhere around the tender age of 18 or 20 years old, each of us is asked to make a decision that will impact us for decades to come. We’re made to answer the question, “What do you want to do with your life?”

I remember the year I was required to answer that question for myself. It was the year my university “strongly encouraged” me to declare a major, and I picked Biochemistry… even though I wasn’t sure what a biochemist did all day, or whether it would be a good fit for me. Knowing what I know about myself now, two decades later, I have no idea why I picked it. What the hell was I thinking?

I was expected to choose, and so I chose. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

Could Your Next Game Dev Job Be In a Foreign Country?

Video game developers walking through a Japanese city

“As soon as I made my decision, all the dread went away, and I just couldn’t wait to get there.”

Video game development is a global industry, so if you’re searching for your next game development job (or your first!), the world is your oyster. It’s common for game devs to take a job in a different city, but have you ever considered trying an entirely different country?

There are many reasons to relocate to a new country, especially if you’ve got your eye on one of the global locations that are video game development hotbeds. But does the thought of a far-away land with a different language, culture, and climate sound a bit… well… crazy?

Rest assured that it’s not at all crazy. In fact, it might also be the most rewarding and educational experience of your life.

We spoke with two brave souls who made the leap: game designer Brad Lansford, and game programmer Steve Vallee. Let’s find out why they did it, and why you should do it too. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

Video Game Graphics Programmer Portfolio

This article is part of our Video Game Job Hunt Guide. Read the full guide to learn how to write a strong resume, build a winning portfolio, ace your job interviews and more.

Screen shot from Particle + Noise shader demo, Brandon Fogerty

A graphical programming portfolio can make your resume mesmerizing.

If you’re searching for a job in the video game industry, it’s important to have an online portfolio to showcase your work. That might be easy for artists that already work in a pixel-based medium – but how can video game programmers make their code into something visually appealing that looks great on a web page? Read more ›

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Posted in Resume

5 Legit Reasons Not to Drop Out of College

Graduation hat in a grassy field

What can college teach you, that you can’t learn on your own?

I recently got this question from Jim, regarding his son’s game development career:

“My son is a freshman at a university with one of the Top 10 video game programming curriculums in the US according to Princeton Review Magazine. He says that he wants to drop out and self-teach himself to be a video game programer. I totally disagree with dropping out of college. What do you think?”

I don’t know Jim and I don’t know his son. But this question resonated with me in a big way. Not only because his son is about to make an important life decision that will tangibly impact his future. But also because I, myself, dropped out of school during my 3rd year of college and have been reflecting on that decision ever since. (That was back in 1995, so I’ve had ample time to think it over.)

So here are my thoughts on whether Jim’s son (or anybody else – maybe even you?) should or should not drop out of college and “go it alone” before starting a career as a professional game developer. Read more ›

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Posted in Schools