The gaming industry has grown up and gotten itself some fancy new pants. As technology advanced and the applications allowed for a more realistic gaming experience, a new genre of media made coding more accessible. Computer and Video Games and Gaming World made coding accessible for avid players desiring to create their own games. Also, as technology progressed, multi-player games made it possible for whole communities to compete globally. These two developments made gaming an attractive, credible and even glamorous occupation to pursue.

While in the past the now lucrative gaming industry was a bit unorganized, the industry today boasts a number of varied occupations. Because of the sheer number of 3D-graphics and full-motion characters, a game goes through an entire process before completion. From conception to testing, games are handled by a team of professional coders, artists and producers.

Popular gaming occupations

Game designers: Designers plan the narrative structure of the game. Plot, setting and interface design, in addition to a number of elements, are their responsibility.

Narrative copywriter/designer: Narrative copywriters basically write the narrative structure of the game, which includes dialogue. They capture the nuances of characters so the game is authentic.

Animators: These professionals develop movement and behavior in game characters and creatures, bringing them to life. Not only are animators responsible for characters and creatures, but they are also responsible for scenery and environmental effects.

Game programmer: Programmers write the code that runs the game. They also are responsible for testing code and fixing any errors (bugs).

Game artists: These artists develop visuals related to character, scenery, objects, vehicles, surface texture and clothing.

Level editor: The level editor creates the overall infrastructure of the game, which includes interfacing buildings, objects and landscapes.

Audio engineer: The audio engineer creates the soundtrack of the game, including music, sound effects, spoken instructions, voices and environmental noise.

Game testers: Testers debug the game and refine any flaws.

These are some of the more common occupations for those interested in the creative part of developing a game.

Game developers are involved in both creating console and online games. The online gaming industry has seen an explosion in the number of sites where global communities compete to be the best of the best. Whether playing poker online at stakers.com or gaming as a part of social media, the global community is driving this industry in one of five directions. Because of industry growth within the online community, gaming professionals can take advantage of a few careers.

Careers for the online gaming professional

DevOps engineer: This professional creates the infrastructure for online gaming, and secures and stabilizes web services.

Games producer: This position is simply one in where the producer delivers the product to online sites.

Games mathematician: This position requires the gamer to create mathematical models for games, in addition to developing game analysis.

Because online gaming is evolving, the opportunities for job growth in this sector are numerous and varied.

While a plethora of jobs exist for someone interested in entering this field, competition for jobs is tough. Because few occupations require a degree, any creative coder can enter the field with an impressive portfolio, which makes it difficult to compete. Not to say that companies never hire game enthusiast right out of college, but chances are companies want employees with a proven track record and an impressive portfolio. Furthermore, the type of company a gamer works for also contributes to the competition. Working for an indie publisher is different to working for a commercial one, as the salary is not as secure for indie publishers.

Those interested in entering the gaming industry can better their chances of landing a gig in a few ways. Freelancing is one way to build a solid portfolio. This portfolio should include correct contact information, should be easy to navigate, should contain most recent work, and should be mobile. Also, use LinkedIn and other professional networking sites to attract would-be employers and to make connections in the gaming community, because many hires result from referrals. Nonetheless, if contacted by either, be prepared to turn on the shine and win over interviewers.

Even though there are more applicants than jobs available, working in the gaming industry is not an impossibility. Gamers with a passion to develop their own games might find themselves landing their dream gig, depending on their own career aspirations. With the right portfolio, the dream of working on a team that creates, develops and codes some of the most played games is not too far off in the distance.

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