How to build a career in video games?

A booming sector, the video game industry continues to grow and job offers are increasing year after year. Over the past decade, the sector has become a full-fledged player in the French economy and now generates significant turnover.

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A true passion for a large number of professionals, there are more and more potential candidates today. If the adventure tempts you, carefully read our practical guide to discover our advice and start your career in the gaming industry.

The video game sector in a few figures

In France, the video game industry has experienced significant growth, a trend accentuated by containment measures and the increase in virtual activities. In 2020, the sector achieved a turnover of around 5.3 billion euros nationally, and nearly 180 billion dollars globally.

Also in 2020, more than 36 million French people played video games at least once a year, and more than half of them on their smartphone. The mobile gaming industry saw its turnover increase by 16% compared to the previous year.

In view of this upward trend, vacancies in the sector have also experienced significant growth. The period is therefore ideal to make your CV and try your luck in the world of video games.

Jobs that recruit in the video games sector

The video games sector includes a large number of professions: artists, developers or salespeople, for example. The options are numerous and the sector welcomes a wide variety of profiles. Find out about the main professions currently recruiting in France.

Game Designer

The game designer occupies a key position, because he is responsible for handling and developing the mechanics of the game, called “gameplay”. He is responsible in particular for defining the rules and phases of the game, the interactions, the levels of difficulty and the available functionalities.

The game designer intervenes throughout the development of the game to create a logical, interactive and captivating universe. He must have knowledge of communication, computer graphics, 3D modeling and programming languages.

Developer

The developer position is certainly the most technical position in the video game industry. It is also the most sought-after position in the sector, with over 30% of job vacancies. The developer is responsible for building and developing the architecture of a video game.

The developer makes sure that the game can run and ensures maximum playability. They must master the different programming languages ​​and know how to adapt to the console and mobile environment.

Level Designer

As its name suggests, the level designer, literally “level designer” in French, is responsible for developing the levels of a game. He imagines the course and creates the different backgrounds that the player will go through.

The level designer ensures the diversity of the game and must have a strong artistic and creative sensitivity. He should also have significant computer skills and good communication skills.

Game Artist

The game artist is closer to the artistic world than to the computer world. He is responsible for creating the light, texture, characters, landscapes and environment of the game, for example. In other words, he takes care of the visual aspects of the video game.

The game artist must master 2D and 3D graphics, drawing techniques and various animation and modeling software.

Tester

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The video game tester occupies an important place at the last link in the development chain of a game. Guarantee of quality, it is responsible for detecting the various faults and weak points of a video game before it is marketed.

It evaluates the correctness of the gameplay and the actions available in the game to allow developers to correct any bugs. He must have a great analytical capacity and know how video games work.

Choose the right training

Before you launch into the job market and start your career in the video game industry, it is important to train yourself and follow the studies that correspond to the profession that interests you.

Take stock of your desires, your qualities and your skills to direct you towards the specialty that suits you best. As indicated previously, there are many professions: game designer, developer, graphic designer, 2D / 3D animator, QA tester, project manager and much more.

Video game schools, accessible after the baccalaureate are more and more numerous. You can also follow studies in visual communication, computer science or graphics in a more traditional establishment to train you in the trade.

Develop important technical skills

If you lack professional experience in the video game industry, you have the opportunity to convince recruiters with your skills and technical ease.

Do not hesitate to learn about the most used and most requested software to train you and develop a significant mastery: programming languages, graphics software, project management tools or animation engines, everything will depend on the position you you are looking for.

It is also important to have a great ability to adapt, as studios and agencies sometimes use software developed in-house. You will therefore need to know how to rely on your knowledge to understand and master their operation.

Get a first experience in the sector

Taking training and acquiring significant theoretical knowledge on the creation of video games is an advantage, but above all it is essential to know how to put these skills into practice.

In general, an experience carries more weight on your CV than an interesting education. It is even still possible to join a studio on your own without having completed university studies.

All experiences are good to take and can tell you if you like your chosen profession. So do not hesitate to do an internship during your studies, starting with a small CDD or entering a studio in quality assurance, for example.

Apply to industry players

It may sound obvious, but to find a job in the video game industry, it is essential to step up and start applying. Identify the offers that really match your profile to put the odds in your favor during your research.

If you do not find an ad that interests you, do not hesitate to take the initiative and send spontaneous applications. Learn about the different players in the industry and apply to companies that share your interests and values ​​and could benefit from your skills.

Thanks to your research, you will also be able to gather information on the projects, the stakes, the universe, the size and the functioning of a studio. This will give you an advantage to stand out during job interviews.

Create your own project

If practicing software isn’t enough, you may want to consider building your own game from A to Z. You don’t have to think big and plan to market it to get a rewarding experience out of it. this project. A small, modest game can already teach you important lessons.

In addition, you will be able to add this game to your portfolio, even if it is not really successful or playable in practice. It will allow you to demonstrate your sense of initiative, your analytical skills and your sense of problem solving.

Develop your professional network

Creating a network of knowledge and professional contacts is an asset that can open doors for you in the industry. Your network can also allow you to deepen your knowledge of the video game industry and these different professions.

Having contacts can make it easier for you to access better opportunities. So, do not hesitate to participate in various events, fairs, conferences and networking meetings, whatever their size, to meet people that will be beneficial to you.

Show passion

Last but not least, passion is a definite advantage in finding a job in the sector. Being passionate about and having a great general knowledge of video games is the basis for making your place in the industry.

Recruiters generally tend to question candidates about their interests or ask them for their opinion on the products developed by the company. Knowing how to respond enthusiastically will help you make a good impression during the job interview.

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