Video game design, and video game designing jobs, rose to new heights of importance last year, with millions of people stuck at home with no jobs to go to and no means for social interaction due to the pandemic.
While to many, the job may seem complex and unattainable, the reality is that almost anyone could be, with a bit of effort, a video game designer, and work as a freelance game developer making a comfortable living.
If you would like to work from home as a video game designer or developer, it’s really not as difficult as many people seem to believe. You don’t need to spend time or money getting a four-year degree at a college, and you don’t need to spend years trying to get into a company like Bungie or Epic or Bethesda. You don’t even need to have a $3,000 gaming computer with the newest GeForce graphics card (though it won’t hurt if you do have one). You simply need to be able to prove that you know what you’re doing.
What if, however, you don’t have experience in game design? Here is a bit of advice on going from an inexperienced game developer to a talented and in-demand game developer sought after by the largest gaming companies out there, all without having to leave your home.
Learn How to Develop and Design Games
The first step, and the most important if you hope to go far in the industry, is to learn what you’re doing. You don’t need to spend tens of thousands in tuition fees to do this, however. You can learn everything you need to know to make modern video games much more cheaply than that.
Some might wonder What does a video game designer do? Truthfully, the role of a game designer can change from company to company, but they are generally not doing the hard programming work. Rather, they’re the “big-picture” person on the team; they design the game’s concept, features, setting, story, and then assess the budget requirements, schedule, and staffing needs.
There are a number of paths to gaining the knowledge to develop and design video games. Perhaps you might benefit from a program, such as the one Stratford Career Institute offers, that will allow you to learn at your own pace with a Video Game Design Distance Learning Course.
It’s important that you learn, as Stratford’s course will offer, what the great games of the past did right. You must understand why Minecraft managed to make a splash in the industry despite using retro graphics, how Overwatch took the idea of a First-Person Shooter with a skills-based “class” system and did it better than anyone (including the much-lauded Valve) ever had, how Final Fantasy VII created a storyline, battle system, and characters that enthrall people to this day, and how Angry Birds took a simple concept and turned it into a media powerhouse including two films, multiple game releases, and more.
The most important thing is to learn how the great games of the past did things right, what they did wrong, and, more importantly, what the gamers of today want in their gaming experience.
Make Your Mark on the Industry
Now that you understand the industry and you understand the gamers, if you want to work from home as a game designer or developer, you need to help put together a game. Chances are that unless you made a breakout game while learning about game design, you’re going to be working on an “indie” game—one with a smaller crew, smaller development company, and somewhat smaller paycheck.
However, take heart; there are a number of “indie” games that became phenomenal successes. Minecraft, Braid, Limbo, Super Meat Boy, Fez, and more were all independent games made by small crews who gained cache by making a quality product.
As with all industries, once you begin to design and develop games, it’ll be easier to get the next job, and then the next job, until you find yourself in demand.
Find Steady Employment
Once your work is in steady demand, perhaps to the point where you are turning down projects, you’ve made it in the industry! If you’re lucky, you’ll be working on projects that you care about, making good, high-quality titles that people around the world will enjoy. You won’t know how successful you can be until you try. The best way to start is with education on the topic, like the course Stratford Career Institute offers, to help you better understand the gaming industry, the marketplace of gaming ideas, and what people want out of their games.
Become a Video Game Designer
Stratford Career Institute offers a convenient and affordable online course to teach you the ins and outs of a video game design career.