Because most of us grew up playing games of some sort, the dream of working in the gaming industry has been a popular one for several years now. Games are by their very nature fun, and video gaming in particular has the ability to engage the imaginations of players and turn them into tomorrow’s potential designers, developers and artists.
There’s more to the gaming industry than just making video games though. Traditional casino games still employ many people in what is regarded by many as a glamor profession, and of course gameplay skills and theories have come to influence other sectors, from banking and finance to teaching and psychology.
A booming industry
With the global games market set to generate nearly 100 billion dollars in 2016- an 8.5% increase on last year this huge business is still growing, particularly in the Chinese and Asian markets, although North America still accounts for roughly a quarter of all gaming revenue.
Below are some key roles in the gaming industry that might appeal to you.
Experts in games of skill like poker can often make an impressive living from sharing insider knowledge and tips in books, on blogs and websites and in subscription newsletters, as well as through public appearances at seminars and conventions. Obviously you’ll need extensive experience and skill at the game in question: this article on 888poker tells you how to become a poker professional, an exciting job in its own right. It is not an easy career to pursue because it requires much study, a lot of time, dedication, dogged determination and the ability to work hard.
Average salary: varies with degree of personal success
Although the basic idea or concept may already be present, the designer is the person who makes it workable. They create the intricacies of a great game, filling in the details and working within specified technical constraints. This includes setting, characters, rules, objectives, structure and narrative flow. This isn’t an entry-level role however; you’ll need years of proven experience within the gaming industry and a portfolio of ideas and completed projects.
Average salary: $80,000
This position involves writing and creating the code that makes a game work. Different platforms have different requirements. But fluency in the C++ language is essential. A degree in Math, Physics or Computer Science is a good background, as well as experience coding in your free time. Seek out work placements to gain experience while studying.
Average salary: $82,000
There are a variety of art roles within the video gaming industry, and most likely you’ll be specializing as part of a team. Generally you’ll be responsible for all of a game’s visual elements: characters, objects, backgrounds, textures and so on. A games artist will also be expected to produce storyboards that lay out the progress of the game, so you’ll need to be a storyteller as well as a great artist- a background in comic books is an advantage. You’ll also need experience of 3-D modeling. An art degree and a great portfolio are your way in.
Average salary: $75,000
Whatever role you choose, there’s no denying that gaming is an exciting fast-growing industry. If you think you’ve got the talent, skill and inclination then it’s time to lay your cards on the table and join in.