We’re delighted when our Corporate Ambassadors share knowledge that helps women find their path in the game world. In this feature, Iga Szymanska, QA Test Lead at highlight QA by Room 8 Group, offers a comprehensive overview of careers in game development and provides advice for those looking to enter the industry…
Whether you’re a student, junior, or an experienced professional seeking a career change, the game industry offers a variety of career paths to consider. However, choosing the right one can be tough. Let me help you explore your options.
In the game industry, you’ll find various art careers. These include designing concepts, creating game environments, building cities, crafting characters, and designing UI and in-game HUD elements. Let’s explore each of these roles:
- Concept Artists design characters, creatures, vehicles, environments, and other game assets. They create concept art to visualize ideas, helping modelers, animators, and the VFX team prepare for production.
- 2D/3D Artists build models for all game art assets, like characters, weapons, vehicles, furniture, and more. They transform concept art into ready-to-use assets for the game.
- Character Animators handle rigging and animation, making characters appear lifelike in the game’s world.
- VFX Artists specialize in creating visual effects such as smoke, fire, liquid simulations, objects colliding, destruction, etc.
- UI Artists focus on implementing and optimizing user-friendly interfaces to make game features easy to understand.
- Technical Artists bridge the gap between artists and programmers, ensuring seamless collaboration.
Programmers are the ones who write the source code that makes the game’s design, art, and audio come alive. They’re involved in everything from creating gameplay to user interaction and even building the game engine itself. Let’s take a quick look at the different specialties:
- Game Programmers code in-game interactions that make games enjoyable to play.
- Systems Programmers develop tools for other developers.
- Graphics Programmers focus on coding visual effects.
- AI Programmers handle NPC decisions and behavior.
- Server Engineers set up and optimize game servers.
- Mobile Developers create games for mobile platforms.
Sounds are what bring life to the virtual worlds on our screens. The quality of music and sound effects can truly make or break the gaming experience. Here are some career options in this field:
- Music Composers create musical scores and sound effects.
- Sound Designers collect, edit, and create sound effects, ambient effects, and music.
- Audio Engineers implement music, sound effects, and ambient effects.
Game Community Careers
Modern games are about more than just gameplay – they’re about the community. Community builders and managers play a vital role in advocating for games, players, and the industry as a whole. They ensure that the community grows in a healthy and inclusive way, making gaming enjoyable for everyone. This career branch includes:
- Community Managers wear many hats, blending aspects of management, creative writing, and analysis. They oversee the community that forms around the game.
- eSports Administrators are the referees of eSports matches. They typically collaborate with event organizers and broadcasters to resolve team or player disputes.
- Shoutcasters provide live commentary during eSports matches and conduct interviews with top eSports companies, players, and experts.
- Community Builders serve as intermediaries between the game’s community and the internal team.
Writing careers in the game industry can be either within a game development team or external to it. Here are some examples:
- Game Writers craft storylines for games, develop characters and write dialogues.
- Game Journalists report on video games and the game industry as a whole.
- Game Translators convert games from one language to another.
Game Design Careers
Game design specialists can hold a high-level vision for the game as well as delve into specific aspects of its creation. For instance:
- Game Designers imagine the game world on a macro-scale.
- Level Designers implement world design on a micro-scale.
- System Designers are creators of software systems that will power a video game.
- Content Designers design and implement short narratives and other content.
The game’s production team is crucial for organizing the game development process. They handle schedules and deliverables, ensuring the project moves forward smoothly and help maintain the overall vision for the game. Here are the roles within this team:
- Game Producers are the eyes, ears, and glue of game development. They raise the money, get talented staff on board, and ensure the game reaches its full potential.
- Product Managers oversee various aspects of game production, from design and development to team management, and ensure the final product aligns with the project’s goals.
- UX Researchers are dedicated to delivering the best possible gaming experience for players.
- eSport Producers plan, craft, and execute game broadcasts and eSports events.
Quality Assurance Careers
Quality Assurance (QA) is essential for ensuring the final product is in the best condition for users. It’s an excellent entry point for those with little to no prior experience in game development. There are different specializations within QA:
- Functional QA: specialists in this area identify, document, and reproduce issues within the game.
- Localization QA: these experts focus on checking translations and content suitability.
- Compliance QA: specialized in assessing and ensuring that the game quality complies with regulatory standards.
- SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test): SDETs are professionals who combine programming and testing skills to automate testing processes.
- Automation Testing: this specialization involves coding automated test cases.
Regardless of the path you choose, here are some things to keep in mind as you begin your journey in the game industry:
Leverage Your Existing Skills. When starting in this new industry, remember that you’re not starting from scratch. Your previous job has equipped you with skills that can be valuable here as well. Think about how you can apply them creatively.
Soft Skills Matter. Effective communication, problem-solving, work ethic, time management, and teamwork are wanted for any job. Improve these soft skills because they can set you apart when your hard skills are on par with others.
Network Actively. Networking is like a magical key that can open up numerous opportunities. Attend industry events, webinars, conferences, and expos. Connect with professionals in the field, engage with their work, and showcase your own achievements.
Rejections Are Part of the Journey. If one company doesn’t consider you as the right fit, it doesn’t mean the same for others. Keep your spirits high, learn from each experience, and keep moving forward.