Playing video games is something many people do as a way to relax or to connect with friends and family. Studies show that half of Americans play computer, console, and phone games with some regularity. However, for people who passionately love gaming — those who care about the design, artwork, and community of the games they play — this hobby could be about more than just entertainment; it could be a gateway into a very lucrative career.
The video games industry is a large and growing segment of the entertainment industry, and there are more avenues into this field than one might expect. Here are three ways to turn your gaming pastime into a career.
1. Code Games
The most obvious way to get started in the video game industry is to become a game developer. Whether you’re working as an indie developer on a small team or with a Triple-A studio making the next big release, working as a coder allows you to get deep into the game-making process.
Game development takes skills in one or more programming languages and may also require a degree in a technical field. If you have a computer science background or are looking to add to your knowledge base, this can be an excellent way to turn your passion and skills into a successful career.
2. Make Art for Games
If writing code for games doesn’t suit you or you want to explore your artistic side, being an artist for video games may be a great choice. Video game artists create 3D assets, artwork, and animation for games using a variety of tools. They work closely with developers and designers to create a visual experience for players that matches the goals of the team.
Superb visual-motor skills are an essential part of the job, as is an ability to communicate with your team about work and direction. Artists with greater knowledge of computer systems can look into becoming technical artists, a job that requires you to bridge the often-contrary needs of coders and artists.
3. Playtest Games for Developers
Being able to get paid for playing video games sounds like many people’s dreams come true, and for game playtesters, this is their actual job! However, playtesting, or QA testing, isn’t entirely as easy as it sounds — it requires a lot of skill and background knowledge to test games.
QA testers get paid to evaluate a game for bugs, user experience, and design characteristics, using their own extensive experience and knowledge of game design to guide them. They try to push games to their absolute limits to reveal issues that were overlooked by developers. Becoming a playtester can be difficult, but having a deep knowledge of game design, a high level of technical skill, and often a college degree are key first steps.
Making Yourself Attractive to Game Companies
Regardless of which path into the video game industry you have chosen, landing that dream job requires a resume that employers won’t be able to pass on. While it can seem like a daunting task at first, creating an eye-catching resume is easy if you use a professionally designed template. Simply use an online resume builder, choose a template, and fill it in with your relevant experience and skills.
With a killer resume in hand, you’ll be ready to start turning your passion for games into a paycheck.