Remember those days of getting anxious playing ‘Super Mario’ to make him jump across the multiple levels or getting angry whenever the dog used to laugh when you couldn’t shoot that duck with your gun in ‘Duck Hunt’. While playing those amazing games in childhood, many of us have often wondered how cool a career it would be to design and develop games for a living.
With more than 2.34 billion gamers worldwide, the gaming industry has successfully established itself as a fast-evolving sector in the entertainment field today. According to NASSCOM, Indian isn’t far behind in this. The Indian gaming industry does close to $890 million of business every year and there are over 100 game development organizations in India already.
Concerning this, there is a rising demand for professionals in this field, from artists to programmers to designers to audio engineers. There are many exciting job roles available around the world, which not only involves playing games but about creating and managing them.
Here’s a list of some exciting careers in the gaming industry.
1. Game Designer
Remember those awesome games like Mortal Kombat, Road Race, etc. It takes a game designer to visualize those concepts that would make an exciting game. Game Designers are the architect of games who does the planning and defines all the elements of the game like its setting, rules, environment, story flow, levels, characters, vehicles, weapons, etc. After they have decided on the overall game concept, it is then made into a game with the help of programmers, animators, producers, and audio engineers. There work also includes some initial market research in order to ensure that people would enjoy playing the game concept they are building and supervising the whole team to make sure the game experience meets with their original concept.
Education Required: A Bachelor’s in Game Design will help you get in but having a B.Tech in Computer Engineering/Computer Science can also be fruitful.
2. Narrative Designer
Every game has a story and a story cannot be complete without a context. Narrative Designers are the ones who work closely with Game Designers to add context to the story; how the villain became the villain, why they need to be defeated and what the player will gain after defeating the villain. They need creativity as they write dialogues for the characters and in-game text and sometimes they must describe the circumstances through actions or expressions of the characters more than dialogues. They define the “story experience” that a player will have during the game, thereby enhancing the experience of playing.
Education Required: A Bachelor’s in English Literature or Mass Communication along with certifications in Creative Writing/Script Writing.
3. Game Animator/ Visual Artist
Responsible for awesome graphics of the game, Visual Artists and Animators give physical structure to the characters, objects, environment, and sceneries inside the game. They provide details to the skin textures of each character, the watery gloss on the road when it rains, or define the shadows in accordance with the source of light. A visual artist also takes care of portraying the way a character jumps, crouches, sits, stands and moves. There are various job roles within the art department such as Concept Artists, 3D Modelers, 2D/Texture Artists, each with a different set of responsibilities and techniques.
Education Required: Bachelor’s in Computer Graphics/Art/Animation/Illustration
4. Sound Designer/ Audio Engineer
Remember those weird signature sounds each of the players will make in Mortal Kombat and the screechy siren noise of the police van in GTA Vice City? Sound designers and Audio engineers create all these. Their job is to add realism to the in-game world with the help of soundtracks and sound effects such as gunshots or a car’s vroom, ambient sounds like traffic, crowd noise, birds chirping, etc. Every game has its own plot and genre, and audio engineers develop audio in synchronization with it. They summarize the game’s essence in the audio they produce by blending dynamic sound effects with ambient sounds and background music to bring life to the game’s world.
Education Required: Bachelor’s in Sound Engineering/ Audiography
5. Game Developer/ Programmer
Programmers are the ones who make the game concept run. They work in connection with game artists, game designers, game producers, and sound technicians, in order to ensure the technical coding is in sync with the game design and that it does justice to its creative vision. They test the program codes and fix the flaws in the game pointed out by game testers. Game development is an excessively complex process and it needs large teams of programmers to create a game.
Education Required: A Bachelor’s in Game Programming/Game Development is a good option. But a B.Tech/B.E. in Computer Science or BCA is another possible route to be a Programmer.
6. Game Tester
Who would say no to a job where you just need to play games all day for a living! The role of Game Testers is not much distinct. However, this job is not just sitting and playing games while sipping coffee and relaxing. They need to play-test the game in a systematic way, analyzing the game’s performance, identifying bugs and suggesting changes to be made to the programmers to improve the quality and playability of the game before it goes public. Game Testing involves playing the same level repeatedly until it is assured of the absence of any bugs or glitches. The work entails playing games for long hours and making sure the gaming experience of players does not spoil due to any flaws.
Education Required: A B.Tech/B.E. degree in Computer Science is recommended. The “ISTQB Certified Tester” certification from the Indian Testing Board (ITB) can help get better opportunities.
7. DevOps Engineer
As most of the games nowadays are played online, DevOps Engineers are required to create and maintain the networks and servers. In an online multiplayer game, each individual player runs the game locally while interacting with web services in the background; the DevOps Engineer oversees it all maintaining the smooth functioning and security of the server on which players are connected. A DevOps Engineer is expected to know coding skills as well as handle the operation of the network infrastructure as it is a cross-functional role between the development and operations team.
Education Required: B.Tech/ B.E in Computer Science Engineering
8. Game Journalist/Critic
Any entertainment industry is incomplete without Journalists and Critics. They provide valuable reviews and critiques for the buyers whenever a new game is released on the market. Just like a book reviewer reads the book for you, a game journalist or critic plays the game and reviews it. They are a blend of a gamer and a writer, who play and understand the dynamics of the game and then explain it in simple terms to their audience.
Education Required: Bachelor’s in Journalism/Mass Communication
The international gaming industry is booming, and the Indian market too is catching up progressively, bringing with it enough opportunities for game lovers. It is a relatively new industry but has grown drastically in the past two decades with the expansion of internet accessibility and the advancement of technology. So, if you love gaming and would love to make a career in it then do consider the above-mentioned choices!