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Ever participated in street racing, got chased by the police, killed numerous enemies, rescued your damsel in distress from roadside mafias, and got yourself killed several times in the process? Well, not in real life, of course. While sitting behind your gaming console, if you ever wondered how you could step out of your chair and build a career in gaming, you are in the right place.
With numerous gamers worldwide, the gaming industry has come a long way in establishing itself as among the fastest growing and ever-evolving sector in the entertainment field today.
Pertaining to this, there is a rising demand for professionals in this field, from artists to programmers to designers to audio engineers. There are many exciting job roles available, which are not just about playing games but about creating them. Let’s have a look at some of the rewarding careers in the gaming industry.
Game designer: Popularly known as the architect of games. The work includes planning and defining all the elements of the game: its setting, rules, environment, story flow, levels, characters, vehicles, weapons, etc. Game designers visualise the game concept over which the overall game is then made with the help of programmers, animators, producers and audio engineers.
They do the initial market research in order to ensure that people would enjoy playing the game concept they are building. A bachelor’s in Game Design will help you get in but having a Btech in computer engineering/computer science can also be fruitful.
Game animator/ visual artist: Visual artists and animators give physical structure to the characters, objects, environment and sceneries in the game. They provide details to the skin textures of each characters, the watery gloss on the road when it rains, or define the shadows in accordance with the source of light.
Defining the manner in which a character jumps, crouches, sits, stands and moves are what a visual artist takes good care of. There are various job roles within the art department such as Concept Artists, 3D Modellers, 2D/Texture Artists, each with a different set of responsibilities and techniques. Bachelor’s in Computer Graphics/Game Animation /Animation/Illustration
Game developer/ programmer: Programmers are the ones who add fuel to the engine. They create technical codes which make the game concept run. They work in liaison with game artists, game designers, game producers and sound technicians, in order to ensure the technical coding is in sync with the game design and that it does justice to its creative vision. They test the program codes and fix the flaws in the game pointed out by game testers.
Game development is an excessively complex process and it requires large teams of programmers to create a game. A Bachelor’s in Game Programming/ Game Development is a good option. But a Btech or BE in Computer Science/Software Engineering or BCA is another possible route to be a Programmer.
Game tester: Playing games all day for a living would be any gamer’s dream job, and the role of Game testers is not much different. But Game testers do not just sit with a cup of tea, relax and play through the game stages. They play-test the game in a systematic way, analysing the game’s performance, identifying bugs and suggesting changes to be made to the programmers to enhance the quality and the ability to play the game before it goes public.
Game testing involves playing the same level over and over again until it is assured of the absence of any bugs or glitches. The work entails playing games for long hours and making sure the gaming experience of players does not spoil due to any flaws. Getting a Btech/BE degree in Computer Science/Software development is recommended. After which you can attain the “ISTQB Certified Tester” certification from the Indian Testing Board (ITB) to increase your chances of landing a job.
DevOps engineer: As games are becoming more and more online focused, DevOps engineers are required to create and maintain the networks and servers. In an online multiplayer game, each individual player runs the game locally while interacting with web services in the background; they are in charge of maintaining the smooth functioning and security of the server on which players are connected.
Basically, it is a cross-functional role between development and operations team, which means a DevOps Engineer, is expected to know coding skills as well as handle the operation of the network infrastructure. Btech/ BE in Information Technology or Computer Science.
The international gaming industry is booming, and the Indian market too is catching up gradually, bringing with it enough opportunities for game lovers. It is a relatively new industry but has grown drastically in the past two decades with the expansion of internet accessibility and advancement of technology.
The writer is founder and CEO, Mindler.