By Xpgamer7 20 Comments
Alright if you don't care about my personal plan skip to the section what it means for you. That said...
My plan on getting into the industry
Since I was a kid I loved games. But I loved playing them, and wasn't sure how much I would enjoy a job in the industry. At that time I also hated writing and math. Since then I've looked through a multitude of options, become decent in writing, and accepted math even if I don't like it. I eventually decided that I knew what I wanted to do for a job. I wanted to become a game journalist. In a dream maybe I'd work at Giantbomb with the PA report being a second best choice. Seeing their rapid expansion I might have a chance later on. But you can't just jump into a respected company like these. You need to show you think in your writing, be eloquent, able to write fast and clear, and for a company like Giantbomb have a great sense of humor. You need proof, and you need recognition. There's thousands of bloggers doing reviews and thoughts, and plenty of websites. You have to stand out from these.
But It's something I wanted. To devote my life to bringing news to a community and helping people figure out which games to buy with the little money they have. To interview great people and to make things people can look back on and laugh.
Which brings me to my plan. If I ever get to a great company like that, I'd need both proof and recognition. Patrick being the newest and first to join from the outside showed his ability by creating great stories at less revered sites. He broke stories and acted like a journalist should. With a clear focus on bringing informative news that was factual and relevant he was accepted. This isn't my plan. I have a lot else I'd like to at least try. Once you get into that line you give up a lot of your free time, and there's some things I'd like to work on first. So instead I'm working on being a game dev. I spent years seeing how others create games and what makes those games good. I'm currently studying programming in my free time, and practicing art. Not to become a coder or artist but to give me an understanding of them. If I can understand the mechanics behind everything in a game's development and put it to use to create something ambitious but do-able I might have a chance and breaking in. I'm applying for college right now and looking at universities that teach this stuff, to have an even better grasp on it. That said it'll only get me recognition within the industry, but for making games not for writing. To help that I'm creating blogs here showing design elements, looking at games, and giving opinions on things like gaming news. I'm really trying to show that I'm a good writer so when I get to the point that I try to break into journalism if I can base it off games I've made(hopefully they'll be successful or at least enjoyed) and combine it with the writing I've done I might be able to break in to Journalism. With that in mind I doubt Giantbomb would just take someone who has no idea on where to find or separate(I have some idea on good and bad) news. To get a better understanding I'll hopefully be able to get into a less revered journalism site and work my way up from there. To help cement my understanding I'll probably apply for future internship at GB during a free summer or right after college. I'll do work in free time.
What can you learn from this?
Now there's a lot of people trying to get into the industry right now. Journalists, devs, programmers, artists, writers, voice actors...there's a lot. I have spent my teenage life studying news, learning how games are made, and what makes one better than another. It gives me a small head up over the people who haven't been doing the same. It's a tough life but it's one I want to go into. For those that share that feeling here's what I can say:
- The time to start studying is now. Whether it's writing, programming, reading informative books...just go for it. You need to practice to get better and if you don't you'll never get anywhere.
- Go to events. GDC, PAX, TGS, if you can make it do your best to get there. The places are chock full of people wanting to tell you their knowledge, and plenty of interesting new stuff. It's also really fun.
- Twitter. Someone(CoreyMW?) already mentioned this today, but a ton of game people have twitter to the point it almost takes away productivity. Phil Fish would support that statement. You can talk to them online, but despite them not always answering interesting conversations always come up. Recently I've been chatting with Brad Muir(@Mrmooear) and Hulk Game crit(you can find it). Find your own people and just have conversations. It's a great way to talk to people you'd otherwise never be able to talk to.
- Make contacts. People near you might be interested as well. I know some people who're helping me out, and you might find your own. Even if they don't want to get into games, there's a lot of people with interests that could be useful for your desired job. Make contacts with people who're useful to know and keep working at it.
- Start making. Sure this is KINDA a rehash of the first point. But you can't just study, you have to practice. Writing, searching, info finding, programming. There's a lot to work on and learn from that work that could be helpful to you. Keep working at it and you'll improve quickly
That's about everything I can think of. There's probably plenty more I forgot but it's a good note to work on. I hope it helps you guys find some success.