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 ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Careers

What’s the best way to learn video game programming while I’m in high school?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Joseph F. who asks, “I’m a high school student considering a career in game programming or design. I’m trying to learn C++ on my own with no background knowledge of programming and I wondered if you could recommend any tips for learning game-specific coding. My school doesn’t offer anything code related until junior or senior year and I’m having trouble knowing where to start. Is there anything in particular I can focus on to start practicing game coding while I’m in high school?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • How to learn the most popular game programming languages from scratch
  • How to learn to use the most popular video game engine, for free
  • The best way to combine your skills to make your first video game

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Podcast

How can I get my first game job when video game companies require prior experience?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Matthew who asks, “Hey Jason, I was looking into trying to get a job as a QA tester but all companies require years of previous experience. How do I get experience if no one will hire me unless I have it?”

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why the “chicken and egg” problem affects every game job
  • How your career can take off once you get your foot in the door at a video game studio
  • Three of the top, proven strategies for breaking into your first game job

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Networking, Podcast

10 Proven Ways to Break Into the Video Game Industry

Break into a video game career

How can you get your foot in the door, if the door won’t open?


Does the video game industry seem like a black box, with no way to break inside? All you need is a foot in the door, but how do you get it to open in the first place?

It can be done. All you need is a solid strategy.

But it’s time to stop searching for “the right way,” because there’s no one “right way.” Instead, there are many ways to get your first job at a game studio. To discover the best strategies, it takes an understanding of how the current batch of professional game developers started out.

Here are 10 strategies you can use to break into your first job at a video game studio, along with examples of pro developers that have done it. It worked for them, and it can work for you. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Applying, Networking

Why This CEO Thinks You Are the Future of Video Games

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.

Eric Jordan, video game advocate and game studio CEO

Eric Jordan believes that “young people are the future of our industry,” and is working hard to turn that vision into reality.

Eric Jordan is the CEO of Codename Entertainment, an independent game studio in Victoria, B.C., Canada. He’s a vocal advocate in support of video games and the video game industry as a whole, and even delivered an official TEDx talk titled “Video games are f**king awesome.”

You heard that right: F**king awesome.

We’re speaking with Eric today about what it’s like to run a game studio, why he thinks a career in video games is a great option for young people, and how you can get started with your own career making games. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Careers

Make your first video game today using these free tools

Make your next video game using these free game creation tools

When people ask me “how can I start making my own video games?” my answer is always the same: “Just start, and start today!” The only way to learn how to make a video game, is to make a video game. And the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll learn the skills you need – and see the look of surprise on your friends’ faces the first time they play a game made by you.

But you’re probably asking yourself, what’s the very first step I should take? What tools should I use? How can I learn all the skills needed to design and create my first game?

Fear not! It may seem overwhelming at first, but you’re not alone – even if you don’t know programming and haven’t made a game before, these 3 amazing game creation tools will get you started fast and help you every step of the way.  Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Tools

How To Become A Video Game Programmer

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 picture of Dan Posluns, Video Game Programmer

Dan’s got a trick for getting the attention of the big game studios. How does he do it?

Meet Dan Posluns, Video Game Programmer

Dan Posluns began his adventure in the cold northern lands of Canada, but journeyed to the USA to pursue a career programming video games. He’s worked on top franchises such as Spore, The Simpsons, The Sims, and LEGO Star Wars, and has written code on multiple platforms including handheld and mobile. He speaks with us today about what it takes to become a game developer, and how you can start your own quest programming games. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game 2D Artist/Animator

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.
Jason Bay poses with a zombie by Rich Werner, 2D Artist

This is me, posing at PopCap’s Seattle offices with one of Rich Werner’s zombies. “Braaaaaiiiins!”

Meet Rich Werner, 2D Artist/Animator behind “Plants vs Zombies”

Rich Werner has been using his art to make games come alive (or at least, undead) for over 15 years. He’s well-known as the artist behind Plants vs Zombies, an award-winning franchise that’s sold millions of units across a dozen gaming platforms.

Rich left his job at PopCap Games in 2012, and set out on his own to spawn a new breed of indie games. Today we talk with him about his role as a self-employed video game artist, and what it takes to succeed as a 2D Artist – whether you want to work inside of a game studio, or out on your own. Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Careers

Expert Guest: Kris Durrschmidt, Indie Developer (Part 1 of 2)

Photo of Kris Durrschmidt looking crazy

Is he really a viking? Is he actually crazy? Let’s find out.

Kris Durrschmidt is the co-founder, CEO and creative director of Crazy Viking Studios, an indie game development shop in the Seattle area. In the days just prior to completing his first major title, we spoke with him about life as a self-employed indie dev, the ups and downs of having complete creative control, and how to stay motivated.

In Part 2 of this interview, we’ll chat about running a Kickstarter, the future of the videogame industry, and advice for devs starting their careers in games. And – bonus! – the unsavory art portfolio that landed Kris his first industry job!

Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Careers

Expert Guest: Kris Durrschmidt, Indie Developer (Part 2 of 2)

Concept Art / Poster for Volgarr the Viking Videogame

Who will win, Volgarr the Viking or this giant man-eating rattlesnake viper? I know who I’m betting on!

Kris Durrschmidt is the co-founder, CEO and creative director of Crazy Viking Studios, an indie game development shop in the Seattle area.

In Part 1 of this interview (which you should definitely check out), we talked about life as a self-employed indie dev, the ups and downs of having complete creative control, and how to stay motivated. In Part 2, we chat about running a Kickstarter, the future of the videogame industry, and some advice for devs starting their careers in games. (And – bonus! – the unsavory art portfolio that landed Kris his first industry job!) Read more ›

Tagged with: , ,
Posted in Careers