Dear Developers: 9 Ways To Get Into The Game Industry

Getting into the game industry as a beginner can be challenging, but there are several ways to increase your chances of success. Here are nine of the best ways to get started in the game industry:

1. Get involved in game development communities: Joining game development communities such as forums and Discord communities can help you connect with other developers and learn from their experiences. 

No one said you had to work for an established company, some Indie devs came into the industry... via their first title.

2. Create a portfolio: Building a portfolio of your own game projects is essential to showcase your skills to potential employers. 

This can come by way of your contributions to a project... if it's not a game you developed on your own. Even if you haven't worked on a game yet, you can still showcase your skills via your art, sound effects, voice acting + more!

3. Attend game development events: Attending game development events such as game jams, hackathons, and conferences can help you network with other developers and learn new skills. 

If you attend such events, be prepared so you have business cards, notepads, or anything else for networking and gathering new information. If you walk out with nothing more than memories of the event, you just may have wasted your time.

4. Learn the necessary skills: Building games requires a variety of skills such as programming, art, and design. Learning these skills through online courses, tutorials, and books can help you build a strong foundation. 

No college required.

5. Participate in game development contests: Participating in game development contests such as game jams and hackathons can help you build your skills and gain exposure. 

This is similar to number 3, but... gather any information that will benefit you in the journey. Going and forgetting vital information would... suck... royally.

6. Apply for internships: Interning at a game development studio can provide you with valuable experience and contacts in the industry. 

This one could be tricky to even obtain but always remember... Google search is your friend!

7. Build relationships with industry professionals: Building relationships with industry professionals such as game developers, publishers, and journalists can help you learn about the industry and potentially lead to job opportunities. 

At times, it's who you know but... it might be easier to meet them in a non-business setting. Building a relationship on the outside could help you get access just as quick or even quicker than being on the inside because if they're around you and know that you're skilled... they'd be more enthusiastic to want to help a friend. Professionally doesn't hurt either, especially if that person lives by the rule of not working or living with friends to avoid ruining their friendship, but... they could give you an alley-oop into another studio.

8. Seek out mentorship: Finding a mentor in the game industry can provide you with guidance and advice on how to succeed in the industry. 

The earlier you find a mentor for yourself or your child (15 to 24) the better. The older a person gets, the less people want to help them. Don't miss this boat, there are mentorship programs out there, do a Google search for local mentorship programs in the game industry. Also, check with your local government to see if they have any programs funded by the city that help youth with such a thing.

9. Be persistent: Getting into the game industry can take time and persistence. Keep practicing, building your skills, and pursuing opportunities until you achieve your goals. 

Always keep in mind, to protect your ideas. Just like you're looking for opportunities, there are people also looking for new concepts to make money from, and... if your idea isn't protected consider it snagged. It's uncool, but some consider it... business (and don't be surprised if some of those people are a part of bigger studios).

Lastly, while in pursuit of your career, never stop chipping away at an indie project. Just because you don't have a job yet, doesn't mean you can't create one for yourself if your own project hits the mark. You can start this as early as today because game dev projects don't have an age requirement, but I do encourage parents to ensure things are... kosher if your child has a team developing a game with the desire of releasing it on the market.

Sophima | Guest Contributor
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