Get a Job in the Video Game Industry
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Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
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Get a Job in the Video Game Industry

How to prepare yourself for working in the video game industry, and how to differentiate yourself from other candidates.
4.5 (6 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
72 students enrolled
Created by Lewis Pulsipher
Last updated 6/2016
English
Price: $20
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
Includes:
  • 2 hours on-demand video
  • 4 Articles
  • 7 Supplemental Resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • You’ll learn how the industry works and what kinds of jobs are available
  • You’ll learn what you need to do to prepare for working in the video game industry
  • You'll learn how to acquire the skills you need
  • You’ll learn how to make contacts and differentiate yourself from the hordes who want jobs in the industry
  • And you'll learn what's NOT important
View Curriculum
Requirements
  • No special requirements
Description

Tens of thousands of gamers want to make a living working in the video game industry. But there are not many jobs available, and it's a lot harder than playing games or getting ideas. There are entire books published about "breaking into" the game industry.

In this course you'll get the essence of what you need to know in a couple hours.

Note: This course is not part of Udemy's periodic deep discount sales.

Student comment from the exit survey:

"I'm making sure I know the basics around the industry and what is required so that I don't make a foolhardy decision to jump into something too quickly and in an unprepared way. For others in the same position, this is valuable preliminary information in one place from an authority, rather than searching around online for the information in bits and pieces from different sources (which is fine, too, as well as free, but takes a bit more time and discernment). Thanks!"

Who is the target audience?
  • People who do not work in the game industry, but want to.
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Curriculum For This Course
40 Lectures
04:01:18
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What you'll discover
3 Lectures 05:02

Here are the learning objectives and constraints for the course.

Preview 02:22

About me. This is the same intro as in Brief Free Introduction to Game Design.

pulsiphergames.com

twitter: @lewpuls

Blog:

http://pulsiphergamedesign.blogspot.com/ and http://boardgamegeek.com/blog/435/pulsipher-game-design

Preview 02:33

Voluntary (and anonymous, if you wish) Entry Survey
00:07
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How it works
10 Lectures 27:25

The video game industry is both unusual and unstable. Here's how it works.

How the industry works - it isn't very stable
07:35

The larger studios are a minority of those working in the video game industry, but this is where most people think they're going to work. This describes what jobs are available.

What kinds of jobs are available in larger studios?
03:40

If, as is likely, you can't get a job at a larger studio, you'll work in smaller ones or "indies". The jobs tend to be the same but with less specialization, and (in the indies) less pay, or no pay at all.

What about jobs NOT in larger studios?
01:30

In a highly competitive industry, employers can look for exceptional employees. You can't expect to just do what you're told and succeed.

I recommend you read the following article about recruiting, and how it's changed in the game industry:

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-01-22-tech-wars-and-talent-shortages

There's a general shortage of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) employees in the USA, so programmers may be able to obtain better working conditions than in the past. You'll find that game developers' desires have changed, so many companies recognize that they cannot treat employees poorly. But employees new-to-the-industry are usually at the bottom of the totem-pole, as with any industry, the ones most likely to be asked to work long hours in less-than-ideal conditions.

Yet there are still companies looking for the "purple squirrel", someone who has very extensive qualifications yet is willing to take relatively low pay. It's more important than ever to research companies before applying for jobs.

What kind of employees do they want?
02:49

Young people often confuse intentions and actions, thinking it's OK as long as they intended to do what they should be doing. Not in the business world . . .

Employers want results, not intentions
1 page

Many novices are perfectionists in whatever game-related task they're doing. That doesn't work in the video game industry. Speed/work-rate is very important.

Preview 02:14

Jobs skills you need. Along with a productive attitude, of course.

You might also read www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-02-18-gaming-vets-dish-out-career-advice

So what do I need?
03:37

Wishful thinking leads job-hunters to value certain characteristics and experiences that do not matter to employers.

What doesn't matter
03:23

Links to important YouTube videos
1 page

People who get into the game industry tend to last an average of only five years. With what we've seen so far, are you sure this is for you?

Warren Spector (director of a specialized game school at the time, most well-known for Deus Ex) in 2014. "For starters, make sure you're truly passionate about making games. It's grindingly hard work and if you don't love it, it'll wear you down in a hurry."

Is this really for you?
02:37
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Learning the skills
9 Lectures 20:43
Exercise: assets and weaknesses
00:45

What you need to do to prepare to work in the industry. I wrote this originally for GameCareerGuide.

http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/757/industry_hopefuls_prepare_.php

Prepare Intelligently (from GameCareerGuide)
12 pages

What you can do to learn programming. Some are self-taught, some go to school, but everyone needs to practice, practice, practice.

Learning programming on your own
04:49

What you can do to learn art. Some are self-taught, some go to school, but everyone needs to practice, practice, practice.

Learning art on your own
03:20

What you can do to learn game design on your own. Some are self-taught, some go to school, but everyone needs to practice, practice, practice.

Preview 02:12

Colleges and universities have less than pure motives owing to stiff competition for students. Game design schools are especially bad.

Colleges and Universities
03:45

In many quarters, including the video game industry, distance education degrees are not valued or respected. Here's why.

Preview 04:18

A school can say it teaches games or "game design", but what they actually teach varies a GREAT deal. Written originally for GameCareerGuide:

http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/770/game_curricula_differences_in_.php

Differences in Game Curricula (from GameCareerGuide)
4 pages

If you decide to attend a college or university, choosing which school is one of the biggest decisions you'll make in your life. You have to take it seriously.

Choosing a school
01:34
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Getting a job
8 Lectures 21:38

Sooner or later a prospective employer wants to see what you have done. That's what you put in your portfolio, preferably available on your website.

Your demo "reel"/portfolio
02:46

Employment experts suggest you target particular companies in your job search. To do that, you have to decide what your ideal employer should be like.

Your ideal company?
03:15

The answer is Yes, but maybe not for the reason(s) you think.

Is game development a "young person's game"
06:56

Exercise - research companies
00:30

You have to be able to do the job, but you also have to make yourself known to a potential employer, and resumes or answering job ads is not enough. You need to build up a network of contacts. Here's some suggestions.

Making Contacts
03:44

I'm not going to tell you about job interviews (except to note, video game industry people rarely wear ties or suits - they're quite informal).

A resume isn't likely to get you a job in the video game industry, but you want to make one as good as possible.

Resumes
9 pages

Should you work for free for a studio with the hope that they'll hire you. Opinions differ. . .

Work for Free?
02:11

In the past many people have broken into the game industry by working first in a non-development job at a game studio.

Working a related job
02:16

Some simple questions from class material.

Self-assessment
10 questions
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Conclusion
5 Lectures 08:43
July 2016: Movement of Gamedevs from one Segment of the Industry to Another
05:55

What you can do from here. First, gather more information, don't just take my word for everything! Or anything!

Conclusion and further resources
02:43

Link to class exit survey.

Exit Survey
00:05

All the slides used in the screencasts, downloadable, to provide you with notes.

All the slides used in the videos
73 pages

Lew's online courses and information sources

"Bonus Lecture" - Lew's online courses and information sources
14 pages
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Bonus Material
5 Lectures 43:36
This is a summary that may help you remember what I've put together in this class.

Part 1.

11 "Need to Knows" about getting a video game job, part 1
09:33

This is a summary that may help you remember what I've put together in this class. Part 2

11 "Need to Knows" about getting a video game job, part 2
05:19

This may help you if you have Absolutely No Idea how applications (programs) actually do what they do. Video games are simply one form of app, though (in the case of the AAA games) very complex apps.

How Apps Work
10:05

You'll find that in a great many lines of work, you'll benefit from being able to write well.  So I'm including this pair of videos as bonus material.  Part 1.

Writing Well, Part 1
07:10

You'll find that in a great many lines of work, you'll benefit from being able to write well.  So I'm including this pair of videos as bonus material.  Part 2

Writing Well, Part 2
11:29
About the Instructor
Lewis Pulsipher
3.8 Average rating
141 Reviews
10,145 Students
11 Courses
Commercially Published Game Designer, College Teacher

Dr. Lewis Pulsipher (Wikipedia: "Lewis Pulsipher"; "Britannia (board game)"; "Archomental" ) is the designer of half a dozen commercially published boardgames. His game "Britannia" is described in an Armchair General review "as one of the great titles in the world of games." Britannia was also one of the 100 games highlighted in the book "Hobby Games: the 100 Best". He has over 17,000 classroom hours of teaching experience including teaching video game design and production, and over 20 years of part-time graduate teaching experience.

His book "Game Design: How to Create Video and Tabletop Games, Start to Finish" (McFarland) focuses on practical advice for beginning game designers, about how you actually create and complete game designs. He also contributed to the books "Tabletop: Analog Game Design," "Hobby Games: the 100 Best," "Family Games: the 100 Best." His game design blog has been active since 2004, and he is a contributor and "expert blogger" on Gamasutra, the #1 site for professional video game developers.

His latest published game is the 2011 reissue with additions of "Dragon Rage," originally published in 1982. Three new versions of Britannia, including a 90-120 minute version and a diceless version, are forthcoming, as well as several other games from Worthington Publishing and others. His Viking adventure game "Sea Kings" was published by Worthington in August 2015, and the video game "Lew Pulsipher's Doomstar" on Steam in September 2016.

Lew has a Ph.D. in military and diplomatic history from Duke University, from ancient days when degrees in media, computer networking, or game design did not exist--nor did IBM PCs. In 2012 he was a speaker at the East Coast Game Conference, PrezCon, Origins Game Fair, and World Boardgaming Championships. Long ago he was contributing editor for White Dwarf and Dragon magazines, and publisher of various game fanzines. In 2013 he was Industry Insider Guest of Honor at GenCon, and in 2014 is again speaker at the ECGC.

Game design blog and teach game design blogs are on blogspot

"Expert blogger", Gamasutra

former contributing editor, White Dwarf, Dragon, Space Gamer, etc.

former publisher, Supernova, Blood and Iron, Sweep of History, etc.


"Always do right--this will gratify some and astonish the rest." --Mark Twain