How To Get Into The Games Industry

I recently* was asked a quite common question which, oddly, I had not been asked before, namely: how do I get into the games industry?

To which I almost have to reply: I have no clue. I could tell you how I did it (I answered an ad I saw at a demo convention late 1990 and showed some of the demos I’d worked on), and there’s a core in there that still applies today (be able to show something finished), but I doubt it’s the most reliable way to get into the industry nowadays.

Apparently, these days you no longer get laughed out of the interview room when you mention that you have a degree in something vaguely relevant. Tisk tisk… things were different in my day – we wouldn’t even invite people who’d gone to university. Excuse me, I have to go yell at some kids on my lawn.

Anyway, in lieu of actual advice, how about some links instead?

David Perry writes a ton of stuff about getting into the games industry. He’s a good guy.

Tom Sloper’s Sloperama is also a treasure trove of information about a career in the games industry.

Finally, CMP Media has an entire website dedicated to the topic: GameCareerGuide.com.

I am sure much more can be found. Programmers need to show code and do tests, artists need to make portfolios, designers have it tough. The old start in QA move to production or design “hidden short-cut” still seems to work. Ack, don’t get me started on QA.

Let me know if you have some favorite advice about getting into the games biz!

* … in February actually, zomg.

Update: Darius Kazemi has a series of articles about networking in the games industry, and Mark made a good point: the IGDA has some relevant information on their website.

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