Careers in Game Design
Even free titles on iPhones are big business, pulling in major advertising dollars and IAPs. That means the companies behind hits like Candy Crush Saga have plenty of money to invest in the next generation of game developers, chasing the next big hit.
Has there been a bigger shift in the way we consume a form of media than what’s happened with games over the past decade? No longer confined to overclocked PCs or consoles, games are everywhere – and everyone plays them.
Beyond those big companies, thousands of likeminded designers chip away at their own indie titles, making games out of a sense of fun and passion. In some cases this winds up being just a hobby, but one look at the revenue generated by viral hit Flappy Bird (US $50,000 a day from in-app advertisements) tells you that hobbies can turn out to be massively profitable.
Game development is a career that involves using a broad range of technical and creative skills to create an engaging and interactive . Depending on the scope of the project, talents from background art to voice acting are used to bring the game to life.
One look at the credits list on a AAA title shows you how many jobs there are in the industry, and one look at the speed at which those titles make astronomical products shows you how much investment there is in ensuring the brightest talents are put to work in making the best possible products for a very discerning audience.
Beyond what we’ve mentioned here, game-making skills lend themselves to such diverse roles as interactive designer, motion graphics artist, UI/UX designer and modeller – and that’s just within the dedicated games community.
Even if you don’t commit yourself to pure game design, elements of the theory and practice are being incorporated into traditional businesses, where forward thinkers are seeing the benefits of tapping into our very human desire to play. From the very basics of putting together a quiz or creating a branded version of a popular game, to mapping RPG tropes to real-life challenges, those skills are used in service to everything from education to weight loss campaigns.
Marketing geniuses are looking for more engagement from audiences, and there’s nothing that seizes the attention of a captive populace like a game that demands just one…more…turn… Building that can’t-stop gameplay falls to people who have studied what makes a title fun, and what appeals to the different target markets.
The future of games development looks more certain than any other segment of media, thanks to just how present games have become in our lives. There have been definite shifts within the area, with app-based offerings resetting the scale of what people expect to pay and showing that a great concept can overcome rudimentary graphics, but the sheer number of non-traditional audiences spending time on Facebook games, eg. your aunty who constantly shares Farmville-style invitations, shows that there’s still a great deal of untapped potential in an industry that had perhaps become too focused on chasing teenage males.