How Do I Become a Game Developer?
// June 7th, 2012 // Uncategorized
A fellow named Mike recently asked me this:
While looking around for nearby game studios, I discovered your website and I began to wonder if you might be able to help me a little and tell me about how you all got started doing this.
The “this” was “how to develop games and not have to live in a cardboard box by the side of the street.”
It’s 2012, and the good news is that it’s easier to get started now than it was in 1912. Here’s my most general, one-size-fits-all, step-by-step. Being one-size-fits-all, it’ll be entirely incomplete for everyone. But maybe it’s a start:
- What: Figure out, broadly, what you think you’d enjoy, and be able to communicate that. The following aren’t all mutually exclusive:
- Are you interested in starting your own studio as a business? Do you want to join a small team? A bigger, AAA studio? An AAAA studio? How about an AaaaaAAaaaAAA– er– nevermind.
- What’s your area of interest? Illustration? 3D modelling? Audio design? Tools programming? AI? If you say “game design,” be prepared to back that up with some development skills.
- Pretend, for a moment, that you’re five years into your career. What does that look like to you? Sit there. Envision it. Taste it. Then be prepared to communicate that to other people.
- Major cities tend to have clusters of folks who want to create games, and things just sorta magically happen there. For example, here in Boston, we have Boston Post Mortem and Boston Indies.
- People at these groups tend to be really friendly, so introduce yourself around. Talk about the games you like, and ask people questions about what they do.
- Be consistent — it may take several visits before things “click.”
And that’s what I think an aspiring game developer should do.