Blog Archives

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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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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Should I take a video game job I don’t want, just to get my foot in the door?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Indigo, who asks “I have a question about taking a job in a position you don’t want just to get your foot in the door. I’ve had many teachers and other people tell me that taking a QA job or a 2D art job is a good idea just to get in. But I know that I really wouldn’t enjoy it nearly as much as a 3D art position. But it’s pretty hard to find a 3D position. So I’m not sure what to do. Any advice would be great.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • What happens if you don’t have the skills you need to get the job you really want
  • 3 reasons why starting in a different job can boost your career
  • The 1 major drawback of starting in a different job

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 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.

“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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How To Become A Video Game Server Engineer

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.
"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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Could being a game designer make me hate games?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Anthony, who asks “One concern I have is, what if being a game designer makes me hate gaming? A friend of mine said that he has talked to developers and they have told him that it’s like eating your favorite food 20 times a day. Is that true?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How “crunch time” can affect your interest in games
  • Why I went for several months without wanting to playing games, and how I got over it
  • How learning to make games can actually increase your love for gaming

Read more ›

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Do video game programmers get to contribute to the game design?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Derek, who asks “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.”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How team size influences programmer input to game design
  • Why your choice of subject matter expertise affects your design influence
  • The #1 most impactful way to ensure you get your say in a game’s design

Read more ›

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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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