Best Majors to Land a Job in the Gaming Industry

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Do you love playing video games? Do you dream of working in the gaming industry one day? Are you struggling to find a major to help you pursue your dream? Or, are you at a crossroads, wanting to chase after your passion, yet, uncertainty is holding you back? If so, this is a sign for you to brave your way through the future. As you may find the answers to those questions in this article.

THREE KEY AREAS OF WORK IN THE GAMING INDUSTRY

Let’s start with the gaming industry’s main areas of work. Getting a clear vision of what aspect you want to pursue is crucial. So, get acquainted with three of the most important ones: Production, Quality Control, and Non-specific Jobs.

GET A DEEPER LOOK INTO THE PRODUCTION

Production encompasses the creation of the game. Artist and Animator, Game Designer and Game Programmer, Game Writer and Narrative Designer, as well as Sound Designer, are some of the key roles in this area.

ARTIST AND ANIMATOR

2D Artist

The role of a 2D artist in a company can vary. It depends on the organization’s size. Their task may be creating promotional materials, illustrations, and icons. But the scope of their responsibilities may expand based on the number of specialized artists a company can afford.

If you are doing a gaming-nonrelated job but seek to transition into a 2D artist career, studying Concept Art and Digital Art may be a good starting point. After all, you can always try freelancing and earn money through commissions while honing your skill to join a gaming company one day. Who knows? What if your art catches the eye of some game developers?

Animator

Animators are critical players in the gaming and entertainment industry. They are responsible for imbuing characters with lifelike movements and crafting breathtaking CGI. In the growing market of gaming, animation has become a centerpiece. It plays a vital role in cut scenes that advance and immerse players in the story’s world.

Aside from that, working as an animator will also bring you many exciting career choices in the film industry. From animated ones to television series, it’s up to you to decide.

Concept Artist

Concept Artists are the visual architects of the virtual world. From characters to environments, they are responsible for crafting the illustrated roadmap of a title and establishing its tone. While their concepts serve as a guide, the journey from ideation to the final product can be a lengthy and complex process. Often results in differences between the two once the game is ready to greet its audience. But without their foundational vision, there could never be a refined product.

It’s essential to master using a digital drawing tablet and art applications such as Photoshop or ProCreate if you want to apply for this position. After all, you will need to convey your ideas through painting.

Environment Artist

As the name has suggested. The environment artist handles the detailed environment concepts.

They also do digital art. Sometimes, they are required to have 3D art knowledge as well.

Level Artist

With backgrounds in such majors, they are the brain behind the assets, the terrain, and more through 3D modeling. But, if you want to work with character or NPC design, there may be better fields than this. As Level Artist’s job does not include working with those in question.

Level Designer

These designers are the masterminds behind in-game levels and puzzles. By integrating the objects created by other artists, they assemble captivating challenges for players to navigate.

A degree in Architecture can be a significant advantage when applying for a Level Designer position.

Technical Artist

They are the guardians of a smooth gaming experience. Equipped with both artistic and technical knowledge, their job is to find the perfect balance between the game’s ambition and the limitations of budget, resources, and available technology. With a comprehensive understanding of game development, Technical Artists make crucial map size, object count, and frame rate decisions. Their job is to ensure the game operates optimally.

UI Artist

The buttons you press, the menu you use, the overall interface you always see whenever entering the game, and so on. Everything is the work of the User Interface Artist. Every graphic element that informs or interacts with the player is their duty.

VFX Artist

VFX Artists are the wizards who create special effects in video games. A solid understanding of art, how different particles and materials work, and mastery of rendering and modeling tools is crucial to this role.

Other than those listed above, degrees in Animation, Computer Science, Physics, or Art can also provide a strong foundation for the role. As long as you are willing to put in extra effort to learn the necessary tools.

GAME DESIGNER

For those interested in becoming a Game Designer, a passion for gaming and an in-depth understanding of gameplay mechanics are crucial. This role involves creating detailed documentation outlining all systems in the game. While technical knowledge of game engines or programming languages is not a requirement, it is a valuable asset. Most of the work will be done using tools like PowerPoint and Excel to present designs. Embracing the challenge of combining creativity with technical know-how will lead to success in this exciting field.

GAME PROGRAMMER

If you’re interested in coding, this is just the thing for you. As a Game Programmer, you’ll bring the game’s various systems to life. Your code will decide everything from gameplay mechanics to environmental elements like water movement. In larger game development teams, programmers often specialize in specific areas:

NARRATIVE DESIGNER

You are a writer. Your mind is brimming with ideas and stories to be told. But, instead of black words on white pages, you wish to see your characters and stories through more vibrant and dynamic settings. If so, consider pursuing a career as a Game writer or Narrative Designer.

The two terms are often used interchangeably. But some companies require experience as a Game Writer before becoming a Narrative Designer. As a Game Writer, you’ll write game text such as descriptions, dialogue, and parts of the story. On the other hand, Narrative Designers devise the player’s overall narrative experience, including quests. They may also need technical skills to install these designs in the game.

SOUND DESIGNER

If the Artists give the virtual world its appearance, the Sound Designers bring forth all the noise in the game. From buttons and ambient music to creaking doors and booming effects.

Writing theme songs, however, is usually done by musicians. But it’s possible to be both a Sound Designer and an independent musician if you’re up for it.

WHAT EXACTLY IS QUALITY CONTROL?

Quality Control involves testing the games for bugs or issues before they launch. In other words, here is the home to Game Testers.

It’s also one of the positions that don’t strictly require you to have a degree or experience to start working. So, if you don’t have a degree or are still waiting to graduate, consider giving it a try. After all, Quality Control will give you an excellent opportunity to grow your career within the company. It’s a solid starting point in the industry. Working as a Game Tester can lead to the opportunity to apply for a Production role in the future, with the added advantage of relevant experience.

WHAT ARE THE NON-SPECIFIC JOBS?

The gaming industry offers diverse career paths beyond direct game development. Besides hands-on roles, there are opportunities in more familiar areas. HR, finance, IT, localization, event planning, talent acquisition, and consulting are the ones.

In the gaming industry, a shared trait among all jobs is a deep love and enjoyment of video games. It’s considered a fundamental requirement by all companies in the field. And even when you have yet to land a position in your beloved area. Don’t worry. Focus on developing your skills, and the right job will come to fruition. If you are interested in how much big companies like Blizzard and Riot pay their employees, click here.

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