Tips to Get Into the Mobile Gaming Industry
Game enthusiasts are often interested in joining the game industry but do not know how or where to start. This post will discuss tips for getting into the industry and highlight the most important capabilities and skills. I started life in the game industry as a QA tester, but my goal has always been to get into game design. Here’s how I see the route to becoming a game designer!
How Can I Become a Game Designer?
Firstly, the obvious route is university. As the gaming industry grows, more universities are offering game design courses. This is a great place to learn the many skills required to become a good game designer. Most of these studies offer courses on different skill sets, such as Level Design, Game Design, International Communication, Game art, and more. These courses will help you develop the necessary skills while simultaneously building a portfolio to help you find a job post-study.
The game industry is very well-connected – building a network is always a good idea. With this, it’s in your interest to find someone to help you get started. For this, go to game conferences and networking events and talk to people. Even if they can’t immediately help you, they might be looking for someone with your skillset in a few months.
Ask them for advice on what the company you apply for expects or help you set up your portfolio. And if you have already established yourself with them, then you’re already ahead of the competition. Aim of the game? Don’t be afraid to reach out to any relevant party that may be able to assist you.
3. Getting Your Foot in the Door
Once established in a gaming company, it’s easier to show your skill set. But many game designers don’t start as game designers; they start as programmers, artists, or, most likely, QA testers. It’s common to see QA testers, in particular, grow into game designers. So if you want to start in the game industry, this is a role worth looking out for. The required skills for beginning QA testers are lower, and there are generally more open positions, making it a good place to start.
Besides getting your foot in the door, having QA experience will also help you become a better game designer. Part of designing a game is finding the edge cases that need to be dealt with, or they might create unwanted player experiences. As a tester, you encounter issues that will help build your knowledge and experience to avoid certain things when designing a game yourself.
4. Experience & Internships
The best experience is work experience. This might seem obvious, but you learn a lot from working with industry professionals. Because of this, consider applying for internships at a game studio. Pro tip: Even if a company aren’t advertising an intern position, send an application anyway—you never know!
Sometimes this requires you to be enrolled in a game-related study, but some internships are open to everyone. The experience you build up from working with a team of professionals and establishing a strong portfolio is an excellent asset in your future ambitions to become a game designer.
The most important skill in the gaming industry is communication. Game teams often consist of various people with various areas of expertise and, quite often, different nationalities. Communicating with everyone in the team is a key part of being a game designer. Communicate to the artist how the game should look and feel and clearly explain how it should behave to the developer. Communication is also critical with players through focus groups or the game itself – feedback = improvement.
Adaptability is also an essential skill. Games change significantly during development, so adapting your vision based on feedback and market trends will help you create better games. Another reason is that the industry constantly changes; if you want to stay, you will have to change. Be flexible and stay open to learning new things.
Creativity is an obvious answer but not any less important. Creative solutions to problems help your game improve and stand out in a competitive market. This skill might come naturally to some people and not to others, but there are different ways to get better at being creative; maybe we’ll write a blog post about that in the future.
Showing these skills when you talk with someone in the industry or when you are interviewing will help give an excellent first impression.
We hope this helps you get started. A big takeaway we encourage you to take is don’t be shy to reach out to those established in the gaming industry. You have nothing to lose by asking.