The gaming industry has been growing at a rapid pace for decades. With blistering fast internet speeds available all across the world, online multiplayer gaming is the new golden egg. Millions of people around the world are either directly or indirectly part of this vast, lucrative and burgeoning network. And you can join them.
Before you jump in head-first, consider whether you satisfy some basic criteria:
As with every field, the very first thing you need for a successful career as a game designer is a passion for the industry. Budding designers are very fortunate in that sense – they get to indulge in and get paid for doing things that they would do in their free time. Sites like E2P allow you to get paid for your talent immediately.
However, keep in mind that designing a game is much more complex than simply playing it. There is a testing phase where the objective is to play through and find bugs but that is only a small part of the job description. Depending on your exact role, most of your time will be spent at a screen writing code or designing images and videos.
Even simple modern games today require a team of people to work together behind the scenes in their individual areas of expertise. This expertise can be in a programming language, 3D art, modeling, drawing, animation, cinematography and various other fields. Few things work better at earning you a spot on the team as a diploma or degree in the relevant area of study.
That said, the emphasis in the world of game design lies more on real-world results than a piece of paper. No good game design company will turn away a brilliant candidate who creates wonderful content simply because they do not have a formal education in the field. Your best bet is to have a good mix of both.
While many potential game designers may balk at the idea of spending years studying, keep in mind that it is not all about book smarts. In all of the courses, many of the components are based on practical creation rather than theory. This allows you to get the experience necessary even before you enter the industry.
In fact, many leading game design studios keep a close eye on the course toppers at recognized colleges. Talented and promising individuals don’t even have to go looking for a job – they are immediately recruited and given paid apprenticeships by these companies. So, don’t be discouraged by the education and experience requirements – they are really just stepping stones that work in your favor.
Making Your Mark
Careers in game design are highly sought after. A 2013 study put it 15th on the list of best jobs in the United States. It received top marks for personal satisfaction and low stress and also scored well for flexibility.
However, perhaps the most satisfying thing about a career in game design is that you are leaving a permanent mark on the world. What you create and leave behind can never be erased. That is something worth doing.