The gaming industry

To get started, you’ll need to decide what type of game industry job you’re interested in. Here are the three most common roles:

  • Game artist – Your job is to create concept art, storyboards, and designs for packaging and marketing materials. You’ll need technical ability to master specialist software packages and tools such as ZBrush, Maya, Photoshop, 3DS Max, Substance Painter and Mudbox.
  • Game designer – A senior role that involves coming up with original ideas for games and overseeing the creative process. This could be across a number of platforms, including mobile, console and VR/AR. Game design requires a mix of technical and creative skills to develop and test your creations, as you may need to work with a range of programming languages and software packages including C#, C++ and Python.
  • Game developer/Game programmer – You’re responsible for taking the ideas of the designers and writing the code required to build a playable game. It’s vital that you’re able to understand and follow instructions to bring the creative vision to life. You’ll typically work in a team headed by a lead programmer. A knowledge of game programming languages and specialisation in a particular platform, such as PC, mobile or consoles, would aid your progression. You could focus on an area of programming such as AI, audio, controls and interface, game physics or 3D engine development. Learn more about how to be an applications developer. If you’re interested in coding games, see IT courses.

Explore gaming apprenticeships

As this industry is notoriously tough to break into, gaming apprenticeships offer a structured entry route, combining classroom-based learning with on-the-job training.

There are game developer apprenticeships for those looking to start out in a development position. Gaming apprenticeships are also available for roles such as game designer, tester, visual effects artist, software development technician and animator.

If you can’t find any opportunities with the major game publishers, specialist recruitment companies such as Aardvark Swift often advertise apprenticeships in video gaming.

You can search for all available gaming apprenticeships at GOV.UK – Find an apprenticeship, while you can read more about other IT apprenticeships.

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