I have been in this industry for 5 years, I passed out in 2013 from ICAT, a animation and gaming college, Chennai, India and obtained B.A (HONS) – Game Design degree, which was from the University of Wales, UK.
From the time I finished my course, I have been a indie game designer and a publisher. I have made a game with a UK based company called tutotoons, called candy treasures.. While I was working with them I did three courses. One in game development in unity and one in modelling in 3ds max and finally I did a course in digital marketing.
Next l collaborated with a game programmer and an artist to make a game called puppet pals under my own production company. It is now available on google play and ios. My latest game is called knockout Bowling and it is wholly done by me using unity assets.
I always wanted to write about how this field works, how to join a gaming company or should you have your own gaming company.
You don’t need a diploma or a degree to get into a gaming company. But you need to learn the basics to get into any company. Every company will check out a person’s portfolio more than the degrees.
The roles in a gaming company:
Just like films have directors, in gaming they are called game designers.
Game designer is the person who writes the game design document. Game designer controls the entire game. Game designer should know how to direct a story for the game, should know basics of art, basics of game development and sound editing.
In gaming companies there is a lead game designer, similar to the director of a film. But in a film the director takes full control over the film, in the gaming company there will be more than one game designer under the lead game designer. All of them collectively have a say in the games which they make.
In a big company there will be people who concentrate on the game play elements, they will be titled game designers.
Then there will be people who will concentrate only on the story of the game, they will be called game directors.
Then there will be people who will make levels for the game. They are called level designers.
I can explain the above with the famous call of duty franchise, the game directors control the game story they will write the story, sometimes they will write the game play also. The game play is given to others normally called game designers. Then the multiplayer maps are done by the level designers.
It is similar to animation film art, only thing that might change is the rigging and animation part for 3d made games.
There is a lead who will report to the game designers and the producer or product manager in the company.
Like an animation company there will be people who are concept artists, character development, environment artist, 3d modelling, character modelling, animation, texturing artist and rigger. Each will report to their respective lead and to the lead artist.
Say suppose I am playing a racing game in pc, in order to move the car forward, when pressing the up arrow key or the w key in the keyboard, we need the help of the developer. The developer gives life to the game play.
In many small or big companies unity or unreal engine game engines are used. Some companies use their own game engines.
They will test the games for bugs before publishing the game.
Now days it is not the number of years you have worked in the industry, it is the number of games you have published or worked on that matters.
How to earn money in this field?
You can publish your own games for the android and IOS stores, you can make it a free game and put ads in it or make it a paid game. For paid games the play store and app store takes 30% commission and if you are making a paid app, you need to register a company and pay the local government taxes.
Past few years many big gaming companies have closed down. It is easier to release your own games than working for others. I find this more fruitful.
Unreal and unity game engines have assets stores where you can sell your own 3d or 2d models or code. Same 30% commission is taken.
You can release your own games on the steam store or x box store or play station stores.
You definitively need an website to showcase your portfolio, with the website you can charge for reviews for games.
If you really want a job in the gaming field, please make at least one game before joining anywhere.
Software you need to know:
Maya and Photoshop (paid software) for artists and game designers.
Unity and unreal game engines (free to an extent) for developers and level designers
Auto desk sketchbook for 2d work