What is required...

The gaming industry has come a long way from its humble beginnings. No longer do you have a few people doing multi tasking (or at least, to a large degree that isn't the case), but rather specialized occupations. Sound engineers, level designers, Technical artists, brand managers etc etc.

My question is, if you're trying to get into the modern gaming industry (like I am currently), what position should one be aiming for and what qualifications are realistically expected? What do employers want from you?

I myself, for example, am Qualified as a 3D animator, 3D modeler and I can work with C# and C++. What position do would you guys recommend I pursue? What career path promises the best entry point into the industry and what skills should I add to my resume in your opinion?

ANY advice you guys can offer is appreciated of course. Any advice you can offer for others in a similar situation (people who don't really know what gaming position to aim for) would also be great.


  • Can make 3D models: check.
    Can program C#: check.
    Can download BFXR and Bosca Ceoil, and made weird sounds: check.
    Can download Unity: check.

    I know I'm going out on a bit of a limb that your internet can support a 1gb download, but I want to let you in on a little secret. There's no such thing as getting into the industry. If you can open Unity and make a game your a game dev, congrats :)

    Now the SA scene is super fucking small. So I don't think I've heard of anyone who is a specialist level designer: everyone is a generalist. And if you want to work with other people the best way is to show prototypes of what you can do. Aside from possibly crap internet there really isn't anything stopping you from making games right now!

    PS you'd have a much better idea of what kind of industry job you'd want if you tried a bunch of things and see which ones you like.
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  • Thanks Karuji.

    I have been making games (mostly on 'Game Maker') so I do have experience in prototyping. I suspected at first that a generalist might get by in SA's gaming scene, but everyone keeps pounding the idea in my head that I need to be a master programmer to get in...maybe because I always apply for software engineering, I don't know. :P

    I am currently developing a small project (FPS survival) to help me get acquainted with Unity's capabilities and such, though I am a good generalist myself. With exception to developing sound assets, I should be able to develop an entire game, given enough time.

    PS: "If you can open Unity and make a game your a game dev, congrats :)" That made me laugh XD
  • Game Maker is a pretty great engine. It's what we use for commercial dev ;)

    My suggestion of Unity was based on experience with modelling.

    And yeah, you're resume isn't that of a programmer: those folks generally studied Comp Sci at uni and such. But that just one point of the industry. I'd recommend building on your own skill set and being really good at what you enjoy and get people to hire you for that, if you even decide to work for other people once you know what you love doing.

    Doing some arbitrary thing in the industry just to be in the industry is a pretty good way to burn out. So just keep mucking about until you know what you love and then be really good at that.

    Also post your GM games, I'd be happy to play and give feedback, or help with tech problems.
  • Now the SA scene is super fucking small. So I don't think I've heard of anyone who is a specialist level designer: everyone is a generalist.
    Just to add to this, what you should be focusing on is going to depend on whether you're targetting small/indie or large game developers. Small developers will put more of a premium on a broader skillset. They don't have a budget to hire a lot of specialists, so people who can jump into different areas are pretty valuable.

    As companies get larger, they shift to preferring deeper specialization. You'll have people who are solely character artists, or solely multiplayer/networking programmers. Generalists still play an important role, they're particularly valuable in providing a bridge between departments of specialists (someone who understands both the artists' processes and the programmers' is great for co-ordinating and communicating between the two groups).

    It sounds like your strongest skillset is modelling & animation, so that might be the best area to focus on.

  • garethf said:
    It sounds like your strongest skillset is modelling & animation, so that might be the best area to focus on.
    I'd say the same thing. You're already in the industry if you've made a game/prototype. It sounds to me you want to figure out how to get a job or get paid to do game stuff. I'll say build up a portfolio, share it with the world, find people to collaborate with at game jams or otherwise.

    Basically put yourself out there. Go to events like A MAZE that's happening right now and meet ups to network. I'd say in South Africa that's your best way forward because that's how you know who to call when there's a position open.

    Thanked by 2garethf Kobusvdwalt9
  • Thanks you guys, I'll take your advice. I'll do a bit of googly searches myself, but do you guys maybe know any events happening within the western cape? Like a game's convention maybe where industry exerts come together? A MAZE sounds cool, but I can't get to Johburg at the moment.

    I'll focus more on my creativity, which is my primary strength. Also, what do professional people think of game mods and customized maps? It might help demonstrate my ability to craft an entertaining experience, but do professionals look down on people who don't craft their own assets and code their own scripts?
    Karuji said:
    Also post your GM games, I'd be happy to play and give feedback, or help with tech problems.
    Oh lol, I managed to finish a game, but it's close to 90 megs in size. Not sure if I can post that. I've been too busy to actually finish any of my game ideas, but I might be able to scrape something together in the future and then post them here for you guys to redicu-I mean, enjoy :).
  • Actually, what is the best way to share large files over a forum, such as this one? I'd like to share whatever I create with the community, but I'm not sure how to go about it. The files are typically executable files.
  • edited
    I personally use Dropbox for my sharing needs, you can also use Google Drive or OneDrive, ~100MB shouldn't be a problem, it might take a while to upload on a typical SA Internet connection though. Once uploaded just post a public link to the file.
  • Ah, awesome Critic, thanks :)
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  • Be good at least with 2 core skills in game development, and be able or willing to do all the rest, including marketing and sales as perspective from a small studio.

    Mostly start working on your portfolio, and make it public. Do this now, later it will just cost you more of time or money to develop.
  • Err...how does drop box work with forums? I know how to send a link to an email address, that's fine, but how can I make it so that anyone on this forum can download a copy of my shtoof?
  • Run the dropbox desktop app, go to your dropbox folder (you should put the file you want to share in the Public sub-folder), right click on the file and select "copy public link", it will go to your clipboard, you can paste it here then.

  • So put the file in some DropBox sub folder. Then right click on the file, and it will give an option to copy a public link to that file. Post said link on forums.


    Image of thing you need to click ;)
    577 x 294 - 24K
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  • edited

    I hope this works. I opened my dropbox app (it took me to the website itself), i then synced up the file and followed your advice: I shared the link (which opened a window, asking to what email I wish to send the link) and then copied and pasted the link itself.

    EDIT: Let me know if you guys can actually download this-and always make sure to scan before use :)
  • edited
    So the download works fine, but I'm on my mac ATM so can't test the game >_>
  • Ok finally back on a windows machine.

    Ok yay a shmup I like shmups, and you seem to have the basics down here.

    The player movement feels kinda janky. I'd add some kinda start inertia so it felt more smooth moving.

    Firing a blue bullet against a blue background doesn't work too well (especially when not in full scree)

    The block that deal physical contact look too much regular blocks you can just fly over. This is especially bad given that the first powerup you encounter also involves dealing with these blocks for the first time.

    I didn't really get too much further than that first power up point since it seems like you'd really need it for the rest of the level.

    There's definitely some potential to make something from this, but it's going to need a good bit of refinement and iteration ;)
  • edited
    Thanks for reviewing Karuji, yea it's not the best example of a game ever but it's main goal (a rather personal goal I'll admit), was to overcome the biggest problem most game designers have; Finishing their game :P.

    But yea, you make good points, the game isn't readable enough, especially the bullets. There also needs to be a clear distinction visually between what you CAN and CAN"T fly through (I made an audio cue, but that is definitely not enough). The controls of the plane is also a rather simplistic example of avatar control, using displacement rather than simulated physics, much like in Mario (it's more like the controls in Bionic Commando).

    Two other issues I have spotted (I know, I'm suppose to promote my stuff, but meh :P), are firstly the game itself takes a tad too long to gain interest momentum. In other words, the interest curve is too long and flat. I Believe there are 9 levels in total, but I always get bored when I reach level 4. I will consider some solutions to this problem, how would a classic Scmhup go about it? Most I played tend to ramp up the difficulty to ridiculously high levels, even at level 2, so you it's hard too get any further. The second problem I noticed is the difficulty curve is completely out of whack. If you have all the power ups, you're fine. But die even once and you're chances slim down to almost nothing, rendering your lives useless. That does give me an idea though...can you make a rogue-like Schmup? Hrmmmmm...

    Alas, I cannot work on THIS project specifically anymore...I lost the project entirely when my external hard drive coughed and died. BUT, these are valuable lessons I will implement in future projects. Schmups are the easiest for me to make, they don't require a lot of interactive animations, even static sprites often work. The focus is mostly on game play and content, at least that's what I think.

    TL;DR: Thanks for your advice Karuji! I will definitely take them into consideration for future projects. The biggest reason for the shear size of the game is the music...It's very hard to find royalty free music that works with Game Maker that are also small in memory size, at least the one I use (7 I think).
    Thanked by 2Karuji dislekcia
  • Glad to hear that you'll be making more games! Looking forward to trying them out :)
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