FAQ: Game Industry Advice

A passion for video games isn’t enough to cut it in this industry. Multiplayer lobbies, enthusiast forums, and fan-run websites are filled to the brim with passionate gamers, all of whom ensure our industry thrives. Although passion is essential, hard work, talent, networking, and a bit of luck are absolutely imperative to gaining a foothold in the professional world of video games.

While still relatively new to the industry – I logged three years at Game Informer before transitioning to Crystal Dynamics in May 2011 – there are some tips of the trade I am happy to share for those who aspire to enter the profession.

As I’m still quite green when it comes to video game development, the majority of my thoughts and experiences below speak to the world of video game press. Nevertheless, there is some inherent crossover which makes the advice below relevant to the industry as a whole. It may be worth a look even if you intend to pursue a specialty on the development side.

As always, feel free to leave a comment for further clarification or to ask a fresh question. I’ll address them as soon as possible and amend the FAQ to the best of my ability. Good luck on your journey!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

[Last Updated: December 23, 2011]

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How did you get your start in the industry?
  2. What was the day-to-day like at Game Informer?
  3. You no longer work at Game Informer, correct? Where are you now?
  4. What does a Community Manager do?
  5. What is your favorite perk at Crystal Dynamics? Any disadvantages?
  6. Since you began working for Crystal Dynamics have you gained deeper insight into the process of creating a game?
  7. What do you like better: working in gaming press or game development?
  8. Is games journalism a good way to break into the development industry?
  9. Is it imperative I go to school to get a job in the game industry?
  10. What would you say was the hardest obstacle you had to overcome when getting to where you are today?
  11. Is it harder to get a job in the game industry as a female?
  12. What should I do if confronted by overtly sexist behavior at an industry event?
  13. Do you find that your hobbies (cosplay & modeling) make it difficult to be taken seriously as a professional woman in game development?
  14. Is there anything you would do differently looking back at your early career? Anything specific aspiring young women should avoid?
  15. I have a really awesome idea for a game. Who should I talk to about it?

Getting Specific: Industry Advice

  1. Network
  2. Play Games
  3. Write Early, and Write Often
  4. Ask for Feedback
  5. Don’t be Married to Minnesota
  6. Work Hard
  7. Don’t Give Up

Bonus Round: Quick Tips & Additional Resources

  1. Proof, Proof, and Proof Again
  2. Don’t 1337 Speak
  3. Know Whom to Contact
  4. Personalize Your Message
  5. Beware of the Google Search
  6. Don’t Overdo the Drinking
Thank you to Sebastian Haley, Brianna Keller, Ashley Quenan, Brad Pilcher, and Brandon Epting for helping me ensure this FAQ hit the mark!
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