Game Jobs breaks down the four major career paths in game development, and offers tips on how to thrive in each position. It contains extensive chapters on finding, interviewing for, and landing your own job in video games, and it’s chock full of behind-the-scenes career tips and anecdotes from some of the biggest names on the highest profile projects in gaming history.
My pal Scott is a great friend, and a terrific designer. He's worked on everything from PacMan to God of War, and most recently lent his knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm to Disney as an Imagineer. His book Level Up! The Guide to Great Video Game Design inspired me to write the VGC Series in the first place. But that's just one of his titles. Scott's books are all about great game design - on console, mobile, even tabletop games. If you're serious about design, be sure to check them out. I'm honored to have a blurb from him.
I've gotten some very kind feedback on the Video Game Careers Series from people that I've worked with in the past, or professionals that got the chance to read advance copies. In this quote, Zack Norman understates his experience in the "video game trade" - he was the Lead Designer on the mega-hit game Mechwarrior II, and the Creative Director on Interstate '76, perhaps the coolest PC game ever made. And those games came before his work as the Chief Creative Officer of JAMDAT Games, later to be known as EA Mobile.
If you've ever read anything about the game development industry, you've probably heard a lot of job titles tossed around. Game Jobs provides real insights on what those jobs really entail, how they fit into your career path and how to thrive in the role.
I've been on both sides of the hiring process - as a candidate, and as a hiring manager, and at some of the biggest companies in the industry. Game Jobs is full of practical tips on how to find - and land - the job of your dreams.
I've had a lot of fascinating encounters with talented, passionate people, and I've learned powerful lessons from them - lessons that have shaped my own career and my attitudes about work and life. I've used the Video Game Careers series as an opportunity to share these stories with the world. Last names have been omitted to protect people's privacy, but every story is real, and each one offers a unique view into a side of the games business that outsiders never see.
About the Industry is an invaluable resource for understanding how the games business works. Part one walks you through the companies involved, and shows how they work together - including how they make money. Confused about terms like "Alpha", "Beta" and "Crunch"? Part two breaks down the game development process, step-by-step, from pre-production to release.
I know - not much of an excerpt, right? I included this little snippet because I wanted to point out that my books have a number of additional resources to go along with the information in the text. I want my readers to get the best possible preparation for working in the games business, including e-mail access to me for questions and additional help. (download your resource guide at www.videogamecareerbook.com/resourceguide)
Since game development can be a complex topic, my solution has been to fill the books with examples that are easy to read, and sometimes even funny. I find that when I'm laughing, that makes learning a lot easier.
I use the Once Upon a Time convention when I'm describing lessons that I have learned from events that happened to me personally in my own career. I usually leave names out of these examples, but if you were really motivated to go through my wikipedia page, you could probably figure out which project I was working on when each anecdote happened. Or just e-mail me, and I'll tell you myself (in strictest confidence, of course).
Gamers love to play games. But playing games isn't the same thing as making them, and I can't stress that enough. The average career in games is less that 5 years, and a big part of the reason why is because so many players approach the job like it was the hobby that they love, and they get disappointed. I feel it's better to set the record straight now, and get aspiring developers in the right mindset to succeed.
The Beginners Guide can help you decide if game development is the right career for you. It illustrates the basic skills you’ll need in a fun and simple way. It even has a handy guide for determining how ready you are to work in games.
This is one of the possible conclusions that people might reach after completing the first exercise in the Beginner's Guide. It might seem crazy to tell people that game development isn't the right career for them when I'm trying to sell video game career guides. But I'd rather have people learn what game development really is and decide they don't like it, rather than them spending years pursuing the wrong career path. It might sound harsh, but I'm very pleased that I was able to come up with a simple set of beginner exercises to help my readers figure this out.
I included this quiz in the Beginner's Guide so aspiring game developers could see how their experience and skills stack up against the demands of professional game projects. Take the quiz and compare your score with the Readiness Index. If you're a little short of "pro", there are handy tips and recommendations for what you can work on to help prepare yourself for your own Video Game Career!
There is a mindset to game development - a self-starting attitude that leads to curiosity and engagement with tools and technology. The Beginner's Guide has simple exercises that anyone can do to introduce themselves to the process of game development. And just in case, I offer extra tools to members of my mailing list - a Checklist that will lead aspiring developers through the tasks step-by-step, and a Resource Guide, with links to all the software, services and organizations listed in the series.
I wanted to give anyone who found my books a quick look inside. This intro section proceeds all the good stuff, so I'll bubble some of that next!
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