1. Be passionate!
Passion takes people far and if passion can be transparent in the work produced then skill becomes secondary. Employers look for people that know games inside and out.
2. Be a problem solver
There is a lot of potential for something to go wrong in video games like bugs and dysfunctions and employers absolutely need someone who are quick on their feet and comes up with solutions.
3. Keep up with the fast pace
The game industry works at a rapid pace. Although patience is required it is also very important to be efficient and meet deadlines.
4. Get the proper training
People cannot expect to work as a designer without the proper education in the field. There is very specific training that is involved with designing video games and most of it can be learned in school specialized in game design. Becoming educated about the industry and how the process works will be help people translate their knowledge and apply that to real world applications.
5. Gain experience
Knowledge is definitely important in any industry but what is most important is applying the knowledge to real world applications. To become a video game designer it is vital to apply the skills to test design capabilities and get more familiar with programs and applications. This can be done through internships or jobs where shadowing someone with more experience. Self teaching applications and doing projects for fun will also be good practice and add to the portfolio. Use websites and resources to take in as much knowledge as possible.
6. Build Portfolio
Create a killer portfolio and resume to be the best candidate for the dream position. The resume should include creative, marketing and business skills used for games that have been designed. Explain the game genre, target demographic, marketing hooks and business model for the games. Compile the work produced through schooling, personal endeavors, and professional experience in an online and print portfolio to showcase the work.
What will make you stand out?
Be able to communicate your design in a simple way, both verbally and in writing. Understand core game loops and break them down. Have the knowledge to explain exactly what makes a game fun. It is vital to understand disciplines you might work with. Be able to adapt to limited resources, time and budget. Most importantly, be excited about games and your work. Translate passion in anything and everything related to games.
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