How to get into the gaming industry: 4 top tips
Want to get into the gaming industry? Learn which roles are available and discover 4 top tips for securing a role in the industry.
As technology reaches new heights and continues to pour into many aspects of our lives, the gaming industry continues to expand. Gaming is now an increasingly popular hobby for people of all ages around the globe. But, it doesn’t have to stay just a hobby. Find out how to turn your passion into a career.
Ready to learn how to get into the gaming industry? In this article, we’ll discover what the gaming industry is, explore some gaming jobs and discuss how to get into the video game industry.
What is the gaming industry?
While many of us play games as a pastime, it’s possible that you may not have considered what goes on behind the scenes of the games you play. The gaming industry is a huge space with a plethora of different and exciting roles and responsibilities.
The industry goes far beyond the creation of games – there’s the graphics, music, development, design and much more. The gaming industry encompasses all of the roles involved in the world of gaming, from mobile to console.
The industry itself is a particularly innovative sector which continues to grow – we are constantly seeing new games and new platforms to play on. The world of gaming has even developed far beyond just playing for fun, with platforms such as Youtube and Twitch becoming hotspots to watch game related content.
Naturally, a space as unique as this is home to a wealth of creative opportunities, which can make for a fulfilling career. In our open step on careers in game development, Katherine Bidwell, founder of State of Play Games spoke about her experience. She said, “I could create worlds and they became real. I could take a player on an emotional connection and have a lot of fun with it. And I feel like the video games industry gave that to me.”
Job roles in the gaming industry
There are a wide range of job roles in the gaming industry to be discovered. Let’s explore just some of the jobs in the gaming industry – with so many different areas to work in, hopefully you’ll find one that strikes your interest.
Marketing roles in the gaming industry
To get involved in the gaming industry, you don’t necessarily have to have a hand in creating the games. Marketing is an essential part of the gaming industry, and is key to spreading awareness of available games and consoles. In our Explore and Understand the Gaming Industry course, you can learn all about the gaming landscape and how to engage a gamer audience.
Even within the marketing realm, there are an array of different roles to choose from. Explore our digital marketing courses to learn more about each of the different channels involved in marketing.
Games wouldn’t at all be possible without the crucial work from game developers. But what is game development? What does a game developer do? With their knowledge of computer programming, game developers will code many aspects of the games they’re working on. Game developers transform ideas and concepts into playable material.
They’ll often work closely with the game designer, and occasionally design aspects of games themselves. Game developers truly bring concepts to life, and they do so across a range of platforms and consoles.
Get familiar with coding for games in our Introduction to Game Programming course. Throughout this 2 week course, you’ll discover the major concepts involved in game programming.
For creative individuals with an interest in gaming, the role of a game designer could be ideal. Game designer roles vary between companies, but generally they’re responsible for creating ideas, gameplots and levels. Pretty much any aspect of a game will be imagined by a game designer – whether that be characters, backgrounds, plots and much more.
Become a game design expert with our Create Expressive Videogames course by UAL and the Institute of Coding. Here, you’ll learn the artistry and technique to create incredible video games. If character design is an area of interest, check out our video game character design course by Abertay University.
Gaming bug tester
Not all of the roles within the gaming industry are what you may expect – there are many cogs in the machine that is the gaming industry. One interesting role is that of a gaming bug tester – someone who plays games to determine if there are any problems with the game. Bug testers will report any bugs within the game to be resolved by developers.
For passionate gamers, this job sounds almost too good to be true. Who wouldn’t want to get paid for playing games? Seeing as it’s such an exciting space, these roles can be hard to come by due to high demand.
The role of a games animator is yet another creative segment of the gaming industry. A gaming animator is responsible for creating any interactive elements within games. They essentially make sure that things can move and be interacted with within a game, whether that means characters, environments and anything in between.
A games animator will work very closely with the games designer, and there is often crossover between the roles. This role may require you to work on 2D animation or 3D animation, depending on the games you work with.
We discuss game animation in a little more detail in our How to get started in animation article.
If sound is your jam, perhaps a role as a sound designer will grab your attention. As you can likely guess, a sound designer is responsible for creating soundtracks, sound effects and music within games. As a sound designer, you’ll record various sounds and edit them accordingly – they’ll need to match the animation and suit the game’s feel and theme as much as possible.
Become an expert on video games sound with our History of Video Game Music course. In this course, you’ll get the chance to explore sound within games from early arcade games to modern open-world adventures.
How to get a job in the gaming industry
By now, you’re probably wondering how exactly you can break into the exciting space that is the gaming industry. Don’t worry – we’re going to share some tips and tricks for those wondering how to get a job in the gaming industry.
To secure a job in the gaming industry, there are a few skills and interests that will go a long way. Let’s take a look at them, and then we’ll go through some tips for getting a job in the gaming industry.
As you may have guessed, creativity is at the top of our desirable skills list. No matter which role you sit in within the gaming industry, it’s likely that a creative mindset will help you progress within your career. This is particularly true for the creativity based roles such as game designers and animators, but the industry as a whole is a very creative space.
Teamwork and communication
The ability to effectively work as a team is absolutely essential if you’re planning to work in the video game industry. You’ll need to feed back to other members and work very closely with different members throughout the game making process. Since it’s important for every aspect of the game to be synchronised, a game can only be made up to scratch if all team members cooperate and communicate effectively.
A passion for gaming
While it’s not a necessity, having a passion for gaming will go a long way if you’re trying to break into the gaming industry. Many others in the industry share this passion, so you’ll benefit from being surrounded by those with a similar mindset. With a space that evolves so frequently, you’ll also need to be on top of current trends and advancements – and if you’re already passionate about gaming, it’s likely that you already are up to speed!
The specific platforms and tools you’ll need to know will depend heavily on the type of role you choose to go for. However, you’ll certainly need to learn technical skills within your selected area of specialisation. If you’re keen to get involved, we’d recommend building some key technical skills before applying for roles.
Game developers, for example, will need to learn appropriate languages to code games. As we learnt in our open step, the most common languages to code games are C# and C++.
Java is also frequently used within game development, particularly for mobile games. While Python is also used within game development, it’s less common. Get to grips with both of these languages in our software development with Python and Java course in collaboration with Github.
4 top tips for getting into the gaming industry
Now that we’ve explored what the gaming industry is and what skills may benefit you, let’s go through 4 top tips for getting into the gaming industry.
Attend a game jam!
If you’re interested in game development, getting involved in a game jam is an amazing way to get involved. A game jam is a contest-like event where groups will work together to produce a game within a specified time frame.
Game jams often have prompts or themes, so if you’re looking to get your creative juices flowing, this is a great place to start! Just search for game jams in your area, or a virtual one if that suits you better.
Try your hand at 3D modelling
If your taste lies in the artistic and creative aspects of game creation, look no further. Getting to grips with 3D modelling will open many doors for you in your career and personal life. It’s a particularly useful skill to yield if you’re keen to get involved in virtual reality gaming.
Step into the world of VR game development with our Introduction to VR, Programming, Design and Unity course. Or, learn the basics of modelling in our Intro to 3D Animation using Blender course.
Within the gaming industry, there are many like-minded individuals creating games of different styles and genres. Online forums and communities are a great way to connect with others in the industry and share tips. By connecting with others, you can learn about potential opportunities and share experiences.
Whatever area of the gaming industry you’re interested in, there’ll be a community for you to seek out. Reddit is a great place to start if you’re on the lookout for a community in your chosen field.
One of the best ways you can snag yourself a role in the competitive gaming industry is by utilising your free time to upskill. There are a range of resources available online to learn the basics of many different aspects of the gaming industry.
You can even spend your time watching streams of coding and developing to help get to grips with how it works. Online courses are a fantastic way to pick up the relevant skills to succeed in the gaming industry. We’ve put together a short list of highly-rated courses which tie into jobs in the gaming industry.
Is the gaming industry worth pursuing?
Since many people are passionate about gaming as a hobby, you may be wondering if the industry is useful beyond that. Does the gaming industry offer promising career prospects? What does the industry look like?
When it comes down to it, the gaming industry is absolutely a worthwhile space to pursue a career. People who seek out roles in the industry are likely passionate about the space, and rightfully so. The gaming industry is exciting and bursting at the seams with creativity and uniqueness.
That being said, the gaming industry is known for being a competitive sector. Some roles may be harder to secure than others due to increased demand, and roles within this space are desirable. That being said, according to Hitmarker.net, jobs in the gaming industry grew by 5% in 2021. The area that saw the most growth in this field was software development, and remains the strongest area in terms of employment.
When considering a new role, it’s also worth thinking about what the future holds for your chosen industry. The gaming market was valued at 198.4 billion USD back in 2021, and is expected to grow to 339.95 billion by 2027. This is a staggering growth trajectory, and only proves how much of a demand there is for gaming.
So, are you feeling motivated to turn your gaming hobby into a wildly fulfilling career? The gaming industry is full to the brim with exciting opportunities – it only makes sense to cash in on the possibilities that lie before you. We hope that this article has helped shed some light on how to get into the video game industry.
Whether game design or game development is your thing, there’s something for everyone. If you’re eager to start your journey towards a career in the gaming industry, why not sign up to one of the courses we recommended above?