Games development

18 Jun 2010

What is the best way of getting into the games development area?

Question: I’ve been working in customer support for the last two years and would really like a change. I’d love to get into games development, but I’ve no idea what this would involve. Could you give me an idea of what I’d need to do to get into this area? Also, is there much demand for games developers at the moment and what kind of salary could I expect to earn?

Richard, Kilkenny

Answer: The good news is gaming development is high in demand and a growing market with each passing year. As more consumers opt to spend the evening at home playing their consoles and PC games as opposed to going to movies, the industry continues to grow.

The time and effort needed to create a new, next-gen game is enormous and many people are needed on all aspects of development. From the concept artist to the programmer, working for the video-game industry can be very rewarding, and allow you to do something you really love. Here are some of the best ways you can get your foot in the door, and start playing games for a living:

  • Research the area and the types of roles you are interested in – consider your location and if you are prepared to move to where these companies are situated. Find out the technical requirements that are needed and where you can upskill your knowledge, with the various colleges providing courses at all levels.
  • Find the right job or consider an internship. Contact your IT recruitment agent to seek advice on what companies are hiring juniors to assist in training and development skills.  Learn a language – Japanese may not be the most obvious one to choose, but over half of all current games come from non-English speaking countries, with an overwhelming majority coming out of Japan. 

There are literally hundreds of things you can do to help prepare you for what is becoming a very competitive market. These are just a few that I feel are most important.

The computer is your friend – use it gather absolutely every bit of information you can about what it is you want to do. There is plenty of information out there on coding languages such as Flash, Flex, Rub on Rails etc.

Salary expectations can start at €35,000 and increase with years of experience and specialisations in core skillsets.

Gráinne Bagnall is manager at Verkom, Premier Group’s IT recruitment business.

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