Find game schools near you
The resources below are the cream of the crop, and come recommended by top game schools and industry professionals. And – bonus! – most of them are absolutely free. Enjoy!
Lynda.com’s Online Training Library teaches computer skills via video, in many areas including as 3D art and animation, audio, design, development, and interactive design. Their courses usually consist of several short videos so you can watch just the ones that interest you or fill in your knowledge gaps.
Price: From $25/month (Career Guide special: Get 10 free days using this link.)
Online Colleges and Universities
This search engine will help you find a professional online program that fits your lifestyle. Many brick-and-mortar schools also offer online classes, degrees or certificate courses for remote students. A lot of them are high bang-for-buck since they’re hosted by professional instructors at accredited schools, and you can learn at your own pace.
I love these guys. They’ve got quick, inexpensive video courses on everything from game design, to game testing, to building mobile and PC games. They offer high-quality training videos by industry experts.
Price: Some free, some paid
How to Prepare for Your Career In Video Games
Are you thinking about a career in video games, but don’t know where to start? This is the guide you’ve been looking for. Written by Jason W. Bay from the game industry’s leading career website, GameIndustryCareerGuide.com.
Price: $2.99 Helps fund the website you’re reading right now – thank you!
You already know YouTube as the place for clips of awesome cats and videos for the best new bands. But you might not know that it’s also a gold mine of free training videos on just about any topic you can think of. Try searching for the name of any software package plus the word “tutorial” and be amazed at what you can learn – for free.
Land a Job as a Video Game Tester
This book will teach you the basics of game testing, and walk you through the process of applying/interviewing/accepting game tester jobs. It has everything you need to know to get a job testing games.
Game Industry Career Guide Search
This is a quick and easy search for game jobs near your area code.
Besides being a top industry news source, Gamasutra also has a killer job board. I’ve spoken with hiring managers who say they find their best entry-level hires here, so you may want to submit your resume sooner rather than later.
Game Job Hunter
This is a simple site that lets you search by location or job type. They have tons of job listings because they don’t charge employers for “basic” listings, so a lot of game companies post their jobs here in addition to their normal posting services.
GlassDoor is a site where employees anonymously provide salary data, interview questions, and the pros and cons of working at their company. I suspect that many of the company reviews are from employees who have been laid off or fired, so they can sound particularly bitter – and particularly frank. So take it with a grain of salt, but also be wary of studios that have a lot of bad feedback because there may be grains of truth.
Price: Free (registration required)
GameDevMap is a living map and catalog of game development organizations. It offers an interactive map of the world where you can click on any location to see which game companies are located there. It’s great for seeing which companies are around you or nearby any other city you might be considering. It’s usually a little out of date, but it’s a good way to kick off your search for a studio to call home.
MobyGames is a database of history, documentation, and reviews for electronic games. Their large database has company info, game info, screen shots, developer profiles, and game credits. It’s great for researching which companies have made which games, and which specific developers worked on any given project.
Behance is an online portfolio platform for visual artists, now owned by Adobe. It also integrates with LinkedIn so you can show parts of your portfolio directly on your LinkedIn profile. It’s an extremely fast and easy interface for creating an online portfolio, and is being rapidly adopted by art schools as their preferred resource.
Price: Free for basic site (registration required), or pay for “Pro” site
Vimeo is a site that lets you upload, enhance, and share your videos. It’s perfect if you’re an artist that makes video of your work (or if video IS your work), but also great for designers and programmers to showcase any realtime demo footage you want to show off to prospective employers.
Price: Free for Basic account (registration required), or pay monthly for Vimeo Plus
DeviantArt bills themselves as “The world’s largest social network of artists and art-lovers.” Their tools allow you to upload your art, create galleries, and share with whomever you want. They have a large community that could be a good way to meet like-minded art geeks, and they even offer a storefront where you could sell your art if you wanted to give that a shot.
Price: Free (registration required)
Gamasutra may be the oldest and most venerable game developer resource around. Their industry news, game coverage, developer blogs, and annual salary surveys are invaluable. But their most popular articles are thee monthly postmortems, which are chock full of great lessons on how – and how not – to build a game.
Develop is a European-based website and magazine focused on the games development sector. They cover technical subjects, tips and information for all members of the industry, whether programmers, designers, producers, artists, animators, QA, audio or other. Their Develop Directory is a handy listing of studios and jobs available each month.
This video game blog and news site is the first place game developers go when they roll into work at 10 a.m. and need their news fix. With everything from industry gossip to leaked footage of unreleased games, there’s always something for everybody.
Animation World Network
If you’re an animator, this is your place for animation industry news, tutorials, interviews, in-depth features and even a job board. Their website may look like it was designed in 2004, but their info is always fresh and relevant.
Mary-Margaret Walker has quite possibly been helping people find game jobs longer than you’ve been alive. Her website has an industry job board that you might try out, but the star of the show is her blog. It’s packed with practical advice and tips on starting and growing your career in games.
Game Industry Career Guide
If you’re reading this resource guide, chances are good that you know about the folks who brought it to you! We offer articles, tips and tools to help you get a job in games. If you could use some help with your resume, portfolio, job search, or just need some inspiration, swing by for a visit and we’ll give you a hand.
I’m sure you already know about LinkedIn, but are you using it? I mean, really using it? You should be, because it’s easily the #1 place that industry recruiters go to search for new talent. So get over there, upload a nice profile picture (preferably sober and fully-clothed), and fill out your profile until the progress meter is full. Trust me, it will be worth the effort.
Price: Free (registration required)
International Game Developers Association
The IGDA’s sole purpose is to support game developers (and aspiring game developers!) to advance the craft and the field. They sponsor or support most of the industry conferences that take place every year, so if you’re a member then you can usually get a hefty discount on event registration. They also offer scholarships, discounted health insurance, and membership to special interest groups. They actively advocate for quality of life and diversity in the industry.
Price: Membership is $48/year, discounts for students
Game Developers Conference
The Game Developers Conference (GDC) is the world’s largest and longest-running event for game industry professionals. Unlike the other big industry event, E3, this conference welcomes people who are trying to break into the industry and are seeking jobs. You’re encouraged to bring your portfolios, reels and resumes and make connections with companies, recruiters and industry insiders. And you’re bound to learn a thing or two while you’re at it: GDC has some of the best lectures, panels and workshops around.
Price: Ranges from $200 to $1,500 depending on the type of pass
Meetup is the world’s largest network of local groups, and it’s used heavily by game developers to organize informal industry meet-ups. If there’s one thing game developers seem to love as much as video games, it’s beer – many of the meet-ups are at local pubs. It’s a great way to relax, make some new friends and learn about the industry from people who are in the mood to talk candidly and/or dish some dirt about their past and current studios.
If you’re looking for information on a game degree or program, type your zip code below to find schools near you.
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