Working in the gaming industry is a dream for many gamers and creatives. After all, who wouldn’t want to spend their lives doing something they love?
Careers in gaming give you a front seat at some of the biggest gaming studios or up-and-coming startups, allowing you to see the trends before they happen and have an impact on the direction of new titles.
Breaking into this field is challenging, but if you have the right skills, plenty of jobs are available.
With the gaming industry expected to continue its unprecedented growth for the foreseeable future, now’s a great time to explore these positions.
Read on to learn about some of the top jobs in the video game industry.
When most people imagine jobs in the gaming industry, this is the one they’re thinking of.
Game developers use their technical expertise to program the visual ideas, sounds, and animations of the games you play.
While programming is often a solitary endeavor, developers also have to work well with other people on their team to ensure everything goes smoothly.
While many game developers are self-taught, a degree in computer science or a related field can help you get in the door.
You’ll need to understand and use different programming languages to write the code behind video games and optimize it for mobile devices, PCs, and consoles.
Most developers have a good mix of technical and creative skills and spend a lot of time working with the design team to make ideas work.
A good amount of creativity and the ability to see the big picture is needed to succeed in this career path.
As a game designer, it’s your job to dream up the fantasy worlds and plots that people explore when they play a video game.
Designers work with small to medium-sized teams to brainstorm ideas and come up with the characters that make up a game.
That’s not all; they also create the plot and gameplay. This job comes with a lot of responsibility and requires collaborating with different areas.
You must constantly come up with new ideas as a game designer because that fuels the industry.
Moreover, you have to be able to communicate your vision to others and convince them that it’s something that would be successful.
Don’t worry about being able to do all of this the moment you start your new job. Most designers start at the bottom, working on small projects and learning on the job.
As they gain more experience, they move up and begin pitching their ideas to studios and taking the lead on projects.
Creating film visuals, including characters and scenery, are two of the primary responsibilities of game animators.
As virtual reality (VR) becomes more common in video games, animators will play a central role in helping bring the game’s immersive world to life.
When they’re not working with VR technology, animators are busy producing a game’s special effects and creating visuals to bring objects, surface textures, characters, and scenery to life. Their goal is to develop graphics digitally that look natural within the context of the game.
You could work on 3D or 2D projects as an animator, depending on the company and your role. You can even express your preference and specialize in a specific area.
Although we don’t spend much time thinking about it, sound can make or break a game.
The audio engineer’s job is to ensure everything you hear in a game fits with the storyline to create an unforgettable experience.
Audio engineers use computers and sound equipment to create sound effects and build an atmosphere that keeps players engaged and makes the game more authentic.
If you’re working on a first-person shooter, you may have to go out and record the sound of an actual weapon firing, so it can be reproduced in the game.
On the other hand, for a sci-fi title, you’ll use your imagination and skill to create music that matches to the mood the game designers want to convey.
If you’re lucky enough to work on a large production, you’ll get to work with voice actors and composers to record dialogue and music.
If you don’t have a technical background and are looking for a way to break into the gaming industry, becoming a game tester, also known as a quality assurance tester, is one of the easiest ways to do so.
Testers play a critical role in the development of video games because they’re responsible for ensuring a game plays smoothly and as intended from beginning to end.
Gaming studios want to release games without errors, and it’s a tester’s job to catch them before the launch.
When people think of jobs where they can play video games all day, this is it. However, it’s not as glamorous as it may sound.
As a game tester, you’ll spend hours trying to break a game. Since studios are under tight deadlines, you’ll often spend long hours repeatedly playing the same part of a game when trying to recreate a bug you discovered.
Even with all the work involved, many people find it rewarding. Plus, you can acquire important skills as a game tester that allow you to transition into a game developer role.
Video Game Producer
As one of the most important roles in the gaming industry, video game producers oversee a game’s production from beginning to end.
This management position requires keeping the project on budget and scheduling meetings to monitor the progress and everyone’s work.
Producers act as a link between gaming studio executives and game developers. As a game’s release date approaches, they ensure everything is in place, so it can be released on time.
You don’t need a technical background for this position, and people with degrees in subjects like digital media, design, and business are often successful in this career.
While it doesn’t pay as much as the technical jobs, the top producers earn a six-figure salary.