Blog Archives

How To Become A Video Game Translator

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.
Damien Yoccoz, video game translator/localizer at Level Up Translation

Damien Yoccoz: “Speaking two languages doesn’t make you a translator any more than having two hands makes you a pianist.”

Hundreds of new video games are created every year, but unfortunately, most are made by developers who speak a language you don’t. That means unless you learn Japanese, French, Mandarin, and a dozen other languages, you’ll miss out on thousands of awesome game experiences in your lifetime.

That is, unless the developers translate their game into a language you understand, using a painstaking process called localization.

Before the 1990s, if you didn’t speak the language, you simply couldn’t play the game. Some players learned a second language like Japanese, solely so they could play rare unofficial imports. Others took matters into their own hands and made “fan translations” to distribute to other players using dial-in bulletin-board systems (BBS).

Fortunately, game localization has become so affordable that publishers release each game in multiple languages so players around the world can enjoy their creations.

Today I’m speaking with Damien Yoccoz, the founder of Level Up Translation in Basse-Normandie, France. He explains what a translator does, how he got started in the job, and what it takes to succeed as a game localizer. Read more ›

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Posted in Careers

How To Become A Video Game Technical Director

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.
Dan White, Video Game Technical Director

Dan White: “You don’t lose respect because you don’t know things; you lose respect because you don’t ask questions.”

For every job in the video game industry, there’s a natural career progression as you gain experience over the years.

For video game programmers (also called engineers) there are typically two options. One path is to become a senior engineer and take on more challenging projects. The other is to become a technical lead, possibly increasing in scope to eventually lead multiple engineering teams and projects.

That second path — the engineering-leadership path — is a job called the Technical Director.

Today we’re speaking with Dan White, a highly-experienced Technical Director in the video game industry. He’s been making games since 1995, and in 1999 he started a game studio that’s still going strong today. We ask him what it takes to become a Technical Director, why management is rewarding, and how you can start your own career in video game engineering. Read more ›

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Game Community Manager Salary for 2017

This article is part of the Video Game Developer Salary series. Read about the annual salary ranges of all video game jobs, and get advice on maximizing your paycheck throughout your career.
A video game community at PAX East

Big games draw big crowds. Who’s job is it to keep them happy?

Table of Contents

  1. Community Manager salary: Overview
  2. Community Manager salary: Factors
  3. Search for Community Manager jobs
  4. Community Manager salary: Details
  5. Demand for Community Managers
  6. Should I become a Community Manager?

If you want to get into the video game industry, you might be considering “traditional” game dev jobs like programmer, artist, or game designer. Those are some of the job roles that make the games, but as games have grown into massive experiences with millions of players, a new job role has emerged to guide and amplify masses of players after the game launches. That’s the job of the video game community manager.

Some community managers focus on social media, while others are experts in moderating and growing massive hordes of passionate players and other fans.

How much do video game community managers make? And how much could you earn as a community manager?

Read more ›

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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

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.

Read more ›

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Posted in Careers, Schools

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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Posted in Careers

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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Posted in Careers, Podcast

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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Posted in Careers, Podcast

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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Posted in Careers, Podcast
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