Blog Archives

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.

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Posted in Careers, Schools

Would a computer science degree be helpful for a career making video games?

In this episode of Game Industry Career Guide Podcast, I answer a question from Chris B., who’s wondering whether a computer science degree would be helpful to a video game design career, or in the video game industry in general?

In this episode, you’ll learn:

  • Why a computer science (CS) degree is helpful for a job in game design
  • How a CS degree could help you get one of the highest-paying jobs in the game industry
  • How a CS degree can provide critical job security when times get tough

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Posted in Podcast, Schools

USA Schools for Video Game Degrees and Certificates

Which "traditional" universities actually offer video game degrees?

Which “traditional” universities actually offer video game degrees?

Table of Contents

  1. Game Design Degrees
  2. Game Art Degrees
  3. Game Programming Degrees
  4. General Game Degrees

Video games are more popular than ever, and more young people than ever are thinking about making video games for a living. And whether you’re considering game design, art, programming, or management, video game-related college degrees are a popular way to get the necessary training to start your career.

You’re probably already familiar with the handful of “video game schools” such as Full Sail University and DigiPen Institute of Technology. (They advertise everywhere, so they’re hard to miss!) But did you know that dozens of other schools also offer game-related degrees and certificates?  Read more ›

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Posted in Schools, Tools

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

Top Game Design Colleges and Universities

Small boy graduates from a video game degree school.

Which video game school is right for you?

Choosing a college or university to attend can be a lot of work, and it can feel like a big commitment. That’s because it is!

The top video game design schools in the country are ranked and listed below. But before you decide on a video game school, you should spend time researching your options: Read more ›

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Posted in Schools

Art Degree vs. Portfolio: What’s More Important?

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.

Graduation hat in a grassy field

Do you need the hat and tassel, or is talent enough?

Art student Jessica Parker wrote in to ask: “How important is a degree vs a portfolio when applying for an art position? I’ve heard very polarizing opinions on that front.”

I’ve heard this discussed many times between artists as they plan out their careers in the game industry. It’s important because school is time-intensive and expensive, so the idea that you could skip the education and get a job just by building a kick-ass portfolio is an attractive option.

But the answer is more complicated than it might appear. As it turns out, “degree vs. portfolio” is a trick question – with an even trickier answer. Read more ›

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Posted in Applying, Schools