What About The Games Industry?
Like games? Thought about what jobs are out there in the game industry? Molly has rounded up some important roles needed to bring a game from your brain to IRL and into the games community.
The games industry is growing. More games are being made; more and more people are playing them. It’s crazy to think that some games played by millions took a handful of people to make. Take multiplayer online battle arena game ‘League of Legends‘, it sees over 27 million players a day and even has its own global championship cup title with a prize pool of around $1million. Riot, the company of the game started with three friends and has grown to be a slick 1,000-strong operation since 2006.
I took a look at the jobs involved in the games industry to see who’s needed:
Designers AND Writers
Designers come up with the idea for the game, how it will work and look.
They work on the rules, characters, levels and settings for the entire game. You don’t necessarily need a degree to become a games designer but it takes a lot of time and hard work to get the initial idea to the final product.
Writers write the narrative structure and dialogue for the characters, filling in the finer details to the games story. Again, you don’t need a degree to become a game writer but having an understanding about game writing is a good skill to have.
Creative Directors & Producers
Someone has to oversee and coordinate a game. Creative directors and producers keep track of what’s going on.
Creative directors usually take the role of making sure the look and feel of the game is accurate whilst the producer keeps track of time and budgeting.
Programmers write the code for the game to make it work. No programmers = no game, so they are essential to a team. Unlike the other roles, a degree is preferable as it’s a large technical part to making a game. Here is a list of where you can study game programming
Sound is just as important in games as it is in film, television and in the music industry itself. Sound enhances what you see on screen. Would a racing game with no car sounds or a horror game with no eerie music make you feel as immersed? Depending on your speaker systems, you can sometimes feel the vibrations which makes your gaming experience extra cool and someone has to make that happen.
Artists & Animators
Artists will design the graphics to wrap around textures. Animators will animate the graphics to add more movement for realism. What the finished game looks like is entirely down to the artwork with direction from the producers. To be a game animator, an animation related degree is preferable as a lot of knowledge is required to work with the software. Again, artists will usually have a degree related to art.
Finding bugs and glitches and getting paid for it, game testing is probably the job of all jobs in the gaming world. Imagine getting paid to play games? It plays a crucial part before a game is released (or not as if it’s not good enough for public play) then more work needs to be done and the testers are the ones to see it through. You don’t need a qualification to be a game tester but a good knowledge and understudying of how games work will help.
Even though there are lots of opportunities to work in the games industry, most companies start with one or two people. I decided to watch ‘Indie Game: The Movie’ to find out more.
The film follows three games that were in development of the time of it being filmed – Braid by Jonathan Blow, Fez by Phil Fish and Super Meat Boy by Tommy Refenes and Edmund McMillen. The really great thing about the documentary is that is shows the reasons why people make games as well as what goes into making them. I found out that these guys have slightly different reasons for making their games but they all relate back to their feelings and emotions.
Games are an expressive art form and but indie game designers can get lost in the world dominated by big games companies like Ubisoft who make ‘Assassin’s Creed‘ or EA Games who are the biggest sports games brand. But if the game is good and the game console companies who sell the games through their stores like it, then it doesn’t matter how big or how many people made the game. This what happened to Tommy and Edmund of ‘Super Meat Boy’. The game made it to Xbox Live not long after release which instantly became a hit and has been since critically acclaimed.
So there you go, a job in the games industry would be an exciting one but with a lot of hard work and maybe a degree. To find out more about the games industry, especially the independent games industry then check out Bristol Games Hub. They hold a monthly event that you can go and chat to other gamers and test people’s games. The fact the game industry is constantly going means brand new adventures that you could be a part of so ‘gl’ and ‘hf’.
Tell us what you know about the game industry @rifemag and check out these related articles:
Support more young people to have their voices heard
Rife is Watershed‘s online magazine created for young people, by young people.
We offer paid internships and publish work by young writers, photographers, illustrators, and filmmakers from all sorts of backgrounds, helping them get into creative careers. Rife has reached over 8,000 young people through our workshops, over 220 young people have made stuff for Rife on topics ranging from mental health to identity to baked beans, and last year, over 200,000 people visited our website.
In these complex and uncertain times hearing from and supporting young people who are advocating for social change and contributing fresh perspectives has never been so important.
Through supporting Rife you can ensure that this important work continues and that more young people have their voices heard.