FAQ: Game Industry Advice

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After nearly a year of jotting down my thoughts, I’ve finally compiled and refined a list of advice for those interested in breaking into games press or development.

Topping out at nearly 10,000 words the FAQ is quite a bit to digest, but I sincerely hope it aids you in your career pursuits.

Feel free to leave a comment here if you’d like me to amend the FAQ with a new question or approach a untouched subject.

Best of luck!

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28 thoughts on “FAQ: Game Industry Advice

  1. Megan, this FAQ is full of priceless advice for those wanting to break in to the indusrty. Thank you, so much. Your advice and determination reminds and inspires me to stay focused on my aspirations. It’s so great to have someone willing to share their experiences.

    I am curious what your opinion is on age/breaking in to the industry. I know that may seem like an odd inquiry, but I sometimes feel I’m “too old” to start trying to break in. Is that even an issue??

    Thank you!

    Amy Swank

  2. Hey Amy! I’m so glad to help!

    Your question is a great one, and something I didn’t think of. I’ll update the FAQ with it at a later date, but the short of it is that I don’t think age is an issue as long as you’re up to date with the newest tech. In fact, I think age in an asset in that it gives you a proper foundation of knowledge in regards to the industry. Even five years makes a difference. I was born the year the NES came out, and as such most early Nintendo games are a fuzzy memory for me. I find myself having to do lots of research to contextualize my experiences for stories, which isn’t inherently bad I suppose.

    Basically, if you’ve got the knowledge and grit, age shouldn’t make a difference. :)

  3. Thanks Meagan [so sorry for spelling your name wrong last night!] for the quick response. Now that you’ve said it, your advice makes total sense. I also love the excuse of job preparation to buy all the latest tech ;)

    I’ll be referring back to this FAQ for a long time :) Thanks again.

    -Amy

  4. Meagan tell me a little of your career, what were the paths that took you to get to where you are, because in the future I want to reflect on you (I’m a fan of tomb raider)

  5. Thank you Meagan, the FAQ helped me a lot, super anxious to play the new Lara has more or less any forecast for that month will launch? (I sent a letter to you, did you receive it?, rsrsrs is that it is first time I send a letter to someone)
    ;)

  6. So, do you need a degree to work at any game publication. There are some publications as well as game publishers that hire people just based out of fandom.

  7. Alright, follow up: What if you joined a specific gaming community, have been there forever, but not gained any notoriety (becoming part of the moderators for forums or being highlighted on their homepage.)?

  8. I see. It’s a bit unfair, but I have to learn to accept that (about people who get into the games industry)

  9. Mr. Glass: Joining a community and staying for a long time doesn’t give you notoriety. Interacting with it does. You may not be highlighted because the community wants to keep a flat hierarchy (nobody is over anyone else). May not be named moderator because you may not be needed. But if you’ve been interacting, learning netiquette, being polite, constructive and dynamic in the community, sure will help you a lot. Anyone interested can join the community and be an observer, or ask for references to notable members or moderators. But note that it’s being active and constantly learning what will make a difference ;)

  10. @ Jesus: Thank you for your reply. However, I don’t exactly agree with you. This specific site that I am talking about puts their elite members up. I assume this goes for all gaming sites, so that is why my seething jealousy isn’t resolved on that subject.

  11. @Mr. Glass: Maybe, but still I wouldn’t take that as a fair metric.

    Read it this way: I am (fictionally) a HR department head and got your CV, where I can read “Named Most Valuable Person in the community ****”. So I join the community and see that you indeed are an MVP, but using the “View all posts by…” feature most forums have, notice that 90% of them are just “cool”, “kawaii”, “+1″… First thing I’d think is that you’re an MVP because you’re close friends with an admin or moderator.

    On the other side, if I read “Long time active member of community ****” and indeed see that most of your posts are constructive, provide food for thought, insightful critics, or even better, link related and interesting news frequently, and have been the promoter/coordinator of activities such as meetings, contests, etc. for the community, you’re a sure bet, even if the admins didn’t value your motivation and efforts.

    That’s why I insist in the above. Not only the badges remain: it’s the facts that matter, not the praising :)

  12. @ Jesus: I prefer the praise; I have been spending most of my life admiring video games and the video game community as a whole.

  13. @Mr. Glass: My last sentence was about getting into the industry ;) Did you praised any of today’s big names of the industry before they were into it? Most of them have followed this path: Hard work -> getting into the industry -> hard work -> recognition and praise. Very few already got praise before getting into the industry, and _none_ before working hard. I have quite a clear idea and am very confident when I say these things because of some reasons. However, I can’t force you to accept my advice/opinion.

  14. Hello Meagan, I sent a letter to you and got back with the message (address inadequate), then you could pass me the address just right.
    hugs. :)

  15. @Mister Glass: Sorry for the delay in getting back to you! It’s hard to muse as to the reason your work isn’t being promoted without knowing more about the outlet. If I was in your position, I’d straight out ask. Is there a community manager you can speak to who might be able to offer some insight into the process or offer a constructive critique of your work? In my opinion there isn’t much risk involved, and you stand to gain a greater understanding of how the outlet works and learn how to better contribute!

  16. @ Meagan: Thank you for your response. There is a CM that I can talk to, but, I would just get the run around; either a person is good enough to play a certain game that gets attention, or good at other things. So, it wouldn’t really work out well for me. I am just barely branching out, and I have just made one web show with my friend. (can I place the link here, or PM it to you?)

    So I need a team to help me out and unfortunately, it is hard for me to assemble a team consisting of an editor, cameraman and host.

  17. Meagan to work at Crystal Dynamics is necessary to know everything about Tomb Raider? The first game to the last?

  18. Hi Meagan Marie, is your fan of France, I live in Marseille and I have read

    Tone through and your biography, it’s huge made than Tomb Raider became the engine of
    Your passion for the most part the media such as the Comics, Cosplay, Cinema, video games and Art in General.

    Lara Croft is the catalyst of all is that your passion then, it’s amazing.

    And it is rare to see a woman also passionate for the creative universe, and I find damage that the female artist is not so large, I hope that his is going to change.

    In any case I hope that you will remain as passionate it is pleasure see! salvation.

  19. Hey Weslley! Depends on what sort of work you’re looking to do! If you wanted to work in brand or community management or the like, you need to have a solid understanding of your franchise. If it’s a more technical position, you can learn as you go, in my opinion!

  20. Hey Meagan, just found this on Gamasutra (they’re “right out of the oven”). Very insightful as well if you ask me. Thought you may want to link them for further reading as an additional resource :)
    http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/1057/how_to_break_into_the_industry_.php
    http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/1058/how_to_break_into_the_industry_.php
    http://www.gamecareerguide.com/features/1061/how_to_break_into_the_industry_.php

    Best regards!

  21. I’ve been researching types of work roles in games and I was torn between (PROGRAMMING & ART) because I like drawing very much and I love 3D modeling, thanks for the tip Meagan.

  22. I received an e-mail from Square Enix, talking about you and Tomb Raider, so I Googled your name and thats how I found this blog. Your game industry advice is a very interesting read, thank you. You have a direct, no b.s. way of putting things, which I appreciate. As a man, a brother, and a life-long video game fan, I was appalled at the way you (and I can only assume other women) have been treated and talked to. Is this 2012 or 1912? Anyway, thanks again and keep fighting the good fight.

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