Are you going to become a Game developer?

This is an post I made some time ago on my personal blog, and I wanted to share it here:

Are you a going to become a game developer???
I want t be a game developer.

As simple that statement is, there are a lot of issues involved:

  • Am I an artist? A coder? A game designer?
  • What kind of games do I want to develop? Casual games? Hardcore games? Mobile games?
  • How much experience do I have? A year? A released AAA title? Several flash games on the net?
  • Do I have a demo reel? Can I show some of my work in a released title?
  • These 4 simple questions should be answered to truly fulfill the minimum expectations of a gamedev studio:

Am I an artist? A coder? A game designer?

You need to be one of these, like it or not. Conceptual artists are ok if you are very talented. Sound designers, well, we can count them as artists. These 3 are the main branches of the development of a game: Art, Technology and Game design, and you need to be talented in one of these 3. If you just like to play video games, well, go play somewhere else.

What kind of games do I want to develop? Casual games? Hardcore games? Mobile games?

Casual games? Ok, go grab Unity3d , Flash, or even DXStudio .
Hardcore games? Learn every single dark corner of C++ and 3D libraries, or become the god of texturing or rig animation. You will need to SPECIALIZE! That’s it, become a superhero of whaterver you want to be. Be the best out there.

How much experience do I have? A year? A released AAA title? Several flash games on the net?

Experience is a huge deal. Every studio out there is asking for talented people with 2 years of experience in the industry. How are you supposed to do that? Make casual games! Start small and grow up. Find some friends and start modding other games (Valve’s games are great for this). If you are a coder, write some 3d or AI libraries (whatever you like), show the world what you can do.

Do I have a demo reel? Can I show some of my work in a released title?

You’ll need one of these. The idea is to FINISH SOMETHING! If you are building 35 games at the same time on not a simple one is finished, nobody will want to hire you. If you are an artist, pack you stuff together and build a sample video (demo reel). If you are a coder, make a COMPLETE game. Even simple games like a tetris remake counts, but make sure it is complete. Studios will want to hire people that are capable of finishing things. If you don’t believe me , just go and check out the Duke Nukem Forever story and you will understand why this point its so important.

Hope this tips help someone.

  • http://www.camiavellar.com Cami

    Those are great tips! So many people think “I like playing games, I want to make them,” and then don’t know where to start… This will surely be of help to those people. :)

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  • http://www.CreatedByBrett.com Brett

    This is great! Thank you for simplifying what's expected. It can be overwhelming to say “I'm going to be a game developer”. Hard to know where to start. Thanks to your blog I now know exactly where to start!

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