You’ve probably heard the mantra: “do what you love.” Luckily, as a gaming programmer, you are one of the few who can really do so and live comfortably. However, the gaming industry is not always easy to get into and can get competitive at times. But if you go about it the right way, you could land a position as a video game programmer fairly quickly. Here is how you can land a position in the gaming industry.
Get the Education
There are very few specialised college courses on game programming. However, getting into a special academy like Full Sail can never hurt. In most cases, all it will take is creativity, knowledge, relevant credentials and experience to get a position.
If you do decide to get a bachelor’s degree in game programming, you should expect to work on C++, object oriented design, calculus, network fundamentals and computer graphics. Outside game programming, other degrees that could get you into game design include computer science and computer engineering. In both cases, you’ll need good prior knowledge of trigonometry, calculus, basic algorithms and linear algebra.
Build a Portfolio and Sell it
Contrary to what you may think, positions aren’t always posted, and you have to do some legwork to find positions instead of waiting for a company to post them. The first thing you should do is build a solid portfolio of your work. One great way to start is to create your own mini game, or a mod of an existing game. This could be a great way to show your talent, expertise and vision.
Next, you should start gathering the contact information of project managers and pitch to them. You could use a service like theemailfinder.co to start gathering email addresses of key people at web development companies and send them a link to your game and website. This will be a great way to get your foot in the door and show what you can do.
Get an Entry Level Job
A lot of entry level programmers may have difficulty finding a spot with a gaming development company since most of them demand that their candidates have prior experience. Many programmers decide to land a job with a smaller studio, often working on social media or mobile games. This is a great opportunity to make a name for yourself and get some notches under your belt. Furthermore, having experience on many platforms will also make you a more complete programmer.
Network, Network, Network!
Don’t be afraid to go out and congregate where game developers are. Go on conventions, join boards and forums, post on blogs, etc. In many cases, you’ll find potential business contacts asking for portfolios or even post jobs that are not available to the public. You’ll also be able to showcase your expertise by helping others by offering solutions.
While getting a position in the gaming industry can seem like a challenge, it’s perfectly possible if you know how to go about it. These few tips should be more than enough to improve your chances of getting the job you’ve always dreamed of.