I hope everyone in the U.S. had as wonderful a holiday as I did. I took the week of the holiday off to celebrate a special occasion, my graduation from college! I’ve just completed a bachelor’s degree for game design and development. That’s right, I are a game designer! :-P Sort of…
You see, here comes the hard part, and something that so many gamers wonder all the time: How do I land a job on a design team? It’s pretty daunting to look at the list of postings on gamasutra.com. Even with all the classes I took, I simply don’t meet the qualifications for a lot of these. Why? Because they’re looking for industry experience, not a degree. The idea of a Game Design degree is extremely new to the industry. They’re more interested in hiring somebody with x number of titles under their belt and at least x number of years experience.
So, here’s where it gets rough for this new breed of potential employees. We have to prove to potential employers that we’re worth hiring over somebody who’s released a couple of titles already. Sure, they may have more experience, but we have the knowledge necessary to mold a good game idea into a great one. My class included artists that learned technical skills that will allow them to grab lead positions right away, programmers that learned about player accessibility so that they can add game features in a way that will be intuitive, and schmucks like me who learned the value of a well-organized team, detailed documentation, and the benefits of a very human approach to team management so that I can take those uber-talented people and help them to create something extraordinary.
My education has left me with lots of ideas, most of them involving my favored genre, MMO’s. I can only hope to find a team to join soon so that I can help create the next great, innovative play experience for everyone to enjoy.