The below isn’t bulleted advice, but rather insight into how I secured my job at Game Informer, what the day-to-day was like working at the magazine, and the transition to working at Crystal Dynamics. I feel that personal anecdotes are always helpful for making large subjects easier to digest.
- How did you get your start in the industry?
- What was the day-to-day like at Game Informer?
- You no longer work at Game Informer, correct? Where are you now?
- What does a Community Manager do?
- What is your favorite perk at Crystal Dynamics? Any disadvantages?
- Since you began working for Crystal Dynamics have you gained deeper insight into the process of creating a game?
- What do you like better: working in gaming press or game development?
- Is games journalism a good way to break into the development industry?
- Is it imperative I go to school to get a job in the game industry?
- What would you say was the hardest obstacle you had to overcome when getting to where you are today?
- Is it harder to get a job in the game industry as a female?
- What should I do if confronted by overtly sexist behavior at an industry event?
- Do you find that your hobbies (cosplay & modeling) make it difficult to be taken seriously as a professional woman in game development?
- Is there anything you would do differently looking back at your early career? Anything specific aspiring young women should avoid?
- I have a really awesome idea for a game. Who should I talk to about it?
Q: How did you get your start in the industry?
I got my break in the industry at Game Informer magazine – a dream job I secured right out of college. I’d been a longtime reader of the publication and realized in my teens that GI HQ was located in my home state of Minnesota. I made up my mind that I would work for Game Informer someday, and stayed steadfast in that goal all the way through college. Video games have always been my passion, extending beyond their entertainment value to a love and fascination with the industry itself. The desire to work at Game Informer gave me much-needed direction and a clear career path.
I’m quite an aesthetically driven person. I also love writing. As such I decided to pursue a degree in Graphic Design with a minor in Journalism & Mass Communications at the University of Minnesota. I made this decision to doubly position myself for employment at Game Informer as a designer or as part of the editorial staff. If GI didn’t pan out, I planned on moving west and finding a user interface or creative position at a development studio.
I saturated myself in the industry as soon as my studies at the University of Minnesota began. I used every opportunity possible to tie my coursework back to video games – be it fabricating a Chocobo sculpture in my metalworking class, creating a three-dimensional “History of Nintendo” timeline for brand studies, or spending a semester researching video-game legislation for my senior ethics project. My thought was that these projects showcased my passion for gaming and could only add to my employability.
While improving upon my design skills in college, I simultaneously honed my writing online. The first major outlet I immersed myself in was Destructoid, a site that offers a fantastic chance for community contributions to run alongside articles by the professional staff. Several of my art projects and blogs were promoted to the front page, giving me much needed encouragement to stick to the path I had chosen. I also spent the majority of my college years writing for the Girls Entertainment Network in its various incarnations, reporting on comics, cosplay, gaming, and learning management essentials. While it was a small and specialist blog that offered no pay, GEN provided me with the opportunity to attend events as a member of the gaming press in order to network and learn even more about the inner-workings of the gaming industry. The experience was invaluable.
I applied at Game Informer for the first time during my sophomore year of college. Strangely enough, I had made friends with one of the editors on MySpace, who left a comment on my profile when he noticed my tagline arrogantly read “future Game Informer editor.” He notified me of an open position, and I stayed up all night polishing my resume and playing the recently released Final Fantasy: Dirge of Cerberus for mock review. I submitted both the next day and received a call from Editor-in-Chief Andy McNamara later that week.
My heart was in my throat the entire call, until it sunk to my stomach when Andy explained that he couldn’t be responsible for pulling me out of school. Andy kindly encouraged me to finish my degree and follow up when I graduated. I was devastated at the time, but now I am unbelievably thankful that Andy turned me down. Those remaining two years of school were pivotal to my growth as a professional.
When I graduated I had a full portfolio of both design and editorial pieces, all of which were related to gaming. I applied a second time at Game Informer the day I received my diploma. I followed up with calls and emails, but didn’t hear anything back for a month or so – understandable considering how little free time GI staffers have. Eventually I got Andy on the phone and expressed my eagerness to apply for a design or editorial position. While there wasn’t an explicit position open at the moment, I asked if I could come in for an informational interview, as I wanted to connect with the team in person. The interview went very well, and we kept in contact.
Another month passed and I began to fret. Fortunately, just as I was preparing to scour the job fair at the annual Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, I got an offer for a position as an Associate Online Editor.
Long story right? The short of it is that securing a job wasn’t easy, even though Game Informer was my first stop out of school. Not giving up in the face of rejection is hard, but will prove fruitful if you use those hurdles as a learning opportunity. The industry is difficult to break into, but not impossible if you are persistent, have clear career goals, and build relationships along the way.
Q: What was the day-to-day like working at Game Informer? What are the average duties of the gaming press?
Understanding the expectations of a given position is imperative for properly preparing to enter the job market. However you choose to identify yourself – a games journalist, entertainment writer, or member of the gaming press – the day-to-day is never the same. It’s impossible to perfectly forecast game reveals and industry announcements. In my opinion that’s the best part of the gig. The game industry is ever changing and evolving, which makes it a fascinating subject.
Game Informer isn’t the perfect case study because it’s an increasingly rare combination of print and online publishing. As such, my time was split between hourly, daily, and monthly deadlines for both the magazine and website. In this capacity, time management is one of the most important skills for you to master. Generally speaking though I would break up my day between writing news for the website and working on original features, previews, and reviews for both the website and the magazine. Contrary to popular belief, I did not sit around playing video games all day. I’d review one or two games a month, but sitting at my desk, controller in hand, was the exception, not the rule.
Email correspondence was also a major aspect of my job. Securing preview or review code, scheduling interviews, and working with PR to flesh out potential features required time and efficient communication. I’d also often help with editorial design for the website, proof pages for the magazine, dabble in video editing, and spend time interacting with the community via comments and blogs.
Events and travel are one of the biggest perks of the gig, but also the most stressful. Events like GDC, E3, GamesCom and TGS often require running from appointment to appointment, working through meals, and getting next to no sleep. Events equate to game announcements, new preview codes, and exclusive interviews, all which need to be reported on in a timely manner without sacrificing quality. It’s difficult but rewarding considering you’ll be in the thick of it, rubbing shoulders with industry luminaries and standing on the front line of innovation. If you’re anything like me, you live for it. You just need a long nap when it’s all over.
Later in my time at Game Informer I was given the opportunity to write a pair of cover stories (Portal 2, Tomb Raider), which trumped any responsibility I’d had thus far. Dozens of calls negotiating content with PR representatives, preparing interviews, and conducting research was the prelude to days of drafting and writing the ten-page exclusives. Condensing and publishing a month’s worth of content for the Gameinformer.com followed. Introducing a game to the world was a massive responsibility, but also a major point of pride in my writing portfolio.
That’s what it all boils down to really – writing. Whether composing emails, breaking news, drafting interview questions, fleshing out a game preview, or reviewing a retail product, you’ve got to have a strong grasp of the written word and have the ability to quickly turn around content. Critical thinking and intelligent analysis are also important for editorial and investigative work, although opportunities to exercise the latter aren’t overly common in my experience. Mastery will come with time, as will the knowledge and insight into the industry that will make your job much easier.
Q: You no longer work at Game Informer, correct? Where are you now?
Correct. While I had no explicit intention of leaving GI, I was tempted away by none other than Lady Lara Croft. I worked quite closely with Crystal Dynamics while writing the exclusive Tomb Raider cover story, and I was offered a position at the studio as a result of that collaboration.
I absolutely adored my time working at the magazine, but considering how influential Tomb Raider was in my teen years, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to help shape Lara’s future. I’m currently Community & Communication Manager at Crystal Dynamics where I act as liaison between the studio and the public/fans.
Q: What does a Community Manager do? Do you sit on Facebook and Twitter all day?
While social media is the most public aspect of my job, in reality being a Community Manager is an all-encompassing position that requires a strong understanding of social tools, data analysis, public relations, brand and franchise development, event planning, leadership skills, and more.
I usually kick off the day with email and forward-facing communication such as posting blogs, updating Twitter and Facebook, and checking in on the forums. This is all part of keeping both longtime and new fans updated on information as well as growing excitement for our upcoming products.
After checking on the status of our community it’s onto the long-term projects such as fleshing out PR plans with the brand team, exploring licensing opportunities and product partnerships, conceptualizing and realizing brand initiatives (such as the Tomb Raider 15-Year Celebration), and keeping a pulse on the sentiment of our studio and products by monitoring press coverage and fan discussions. This sort of information is compiled and presented to our team for analysis. All of the above requires working regularly with international Square Enix teams and weekly check-ins with territories worldwide.
When the time comes I’m also responsible for helping coordinate and prepare global asset drops, preview embargoes, and press releases. As the campaign for a title ramps up, I’ll be traveling to industry events worldwide providing demos & hosting community events.
I’ve also taken on the responsibility of promoting the studio itself, such as implementing monthly newsletters and podcasts (which I plan, schedule, prep, record, and edit myself) to help build up awareness of studio culture, charitable initiatives, and job openings. Quite a bit of my job is actually forecasting the communication requirements of our studio and products so to best meet the needs of consumers and fans, be it through our website, forums, or social media tools.
When not doing the above, I’m occasionally asked to do something unique such as read temporary voiceover work for the game, play test a level, act as a sounding board for ideas, do some design work, and so on. I wear multiple hats, just as most do in our industry. For this reason it’s extremely important to diversify your skills, but more on that later.
Just like Game Informer, no two days are alike and I love it. It’s a very intense and demanding job, but every day I learn more about the inner workings of game development and am inspired to work hard in order to do the team and our collective effort justice.
Q: What is your favorite perk of your job at Crystal Dynamics? Are there any major disadvantages?
Travel is by far the perk I value most. I really enjoy attending trade shows and demoing a game, or meeting up with fellow fans at smaller events. I suppose a disadvantage to being a Community Manager of a global brand is the hours, as there is always a Tomb Raider community awake in the world. That being said I’ve been passionate about the franchise for fifteen years, and as such the line between work and play often blurs. I enjoy working and working hard.
Q: Since you began working for Crystal Dynamics, have you gained deeper insight into the process of creating a game? Do you aspire to work in design at some point in your career?
Yes, I have! However working in a development house has actually made me keenly aware of how little I know and how much more I’d like to learn. I try to ask questions, attend meetings, and chat with other employees whenever possible. A deeper understanding of how the studio functions can only help me be more successful at my job. I’ve still got a long way to go, but it’s a fun process.
I’d love to work on some aspect of game design in the future. At 26 I’ve got lots of time, however, and I’m in no hurry. I see my role at Crystal Dynamics as a continuing education and am hungry to learn and grow as a professional. As for now I’m immensely enjoying my time working with the community and wouldn’t change a thing.
Q: What do you like better: working in gaming press or game development?
I loved being a member of the games press, but working on the development side is where I belong. Both professions have perks though. As a member of the press you are constantly exposed to new experiences. It’s your job to know a bit about everything, and then (depending on the outlet) to specialize in a few specific beats. The diversity is great.
On the development side you instead focus wholeheartedly on a single project (or a handful of projects). You learn your product inside and out and it becomes a part of you. You have tunnel vision to a degree, but the ownership is unbelievably rewarding.
Q: Is games journalism a good way to break into the development industry? It seemed to work for you.
To some degree it is. Game journalists have invaluable networking opportunities that can aid them in breaking into development. It’s an option, but I don’t encourage this specific methodology. The industry is continuing to boom, and games are infiltrating nearly every aspect of our daily lives including education, health, and science. Members of the games press have a responsibility to consumers that shouldn’t be taken lightly or looked at as a stepping-stone.
You could say I’m guilty of doing just that, but I stated earlier, I was quite satisfied at Game Informer and had no intentions of leaving anytime in the near future. I’d always known that at some point I’d want to trade critiquing for creating, but to look at the job as a pit stop does a disservice to both yourself and your readers. Do your best to write with intelligence, honesty, and integrity while you’re a member of the games press.
I’m certainly not saying that you’re required to stick to one field. I’ve seen lots of movement from press to development and vice-versa. The industry itself seems fairly fluid in regards to job opportunities once you’ve gained the appropriate experience and a proper foothold. My recommendation is to commit fully to your current job and responsibilities. If you don’t live up to (or exceed expectations), chances are doors won’t open for you anyway.
Q: Is it imperative I go to school to get a job in the game industry?
While my constantly-accruing student debt wants to scream “yes!” so as to feel completely vindicated, the longer I work in this industry the more I’ve come to (begrudgingly) accept that a degree isn’t imperative. In fact a large number of the most prominent industry veterans I’ve met (both game designers and game journalists) don’t have degrees, or they studied a totally unrelated field. It’s understandable considering that they paved the way for our industry by creating and iterating upon the standards by which we work today, and therefore helped to establish the still-fledgling curriculum taught at specialty schools.
In regards to games press specifically, I actually know very few individuals that have a degree in journalism or studied writing – technical, creative, or otherwise. Again, most these individuals evolved with the profession and learned as the industry matured.
A second category seems to have secured spots as press through time and relentless dedication. If you write well, write often, and write about relevant subjects, you’ll eventually start to gain traction. These individuals started blogging on smaller websites and proved themselves over time. Eventually their efforts were noticed and they were offered larger platforms for their writing. With the larger platform came a larger audience and eventually followers. It often takes years to advance through this organic way, but I know many individuals who have done just that. Most of them started their own blogs years ago and now write for major entertainment outlets.
In my experience most individuals who have degrees are of the younger generation. I’ve been told that a degree in Journalism, English, or Liberal Arts makes for a more attractive job candidate, especially if they specialize in a secondary area of expertise such as multimedia or design. There is also an inherent bonus in having been taught the technical aspects of writing as well as the basics of journalistic ethics. A common complaint that echoes through our industry is that the cult of personality perseveres over fair and balanced reporting. I believe that a formal education could help to mitigate this unfortunate truth.
On the development side, the specialty you intend to pursue makes a difference in the degree of training needed. For example, exceptionally talented concept artists often train themselves and have been honing their skill most their lives. If you wanted to work as a software engineer, however, you literally have to learn a foreign language. That being said, most recruitment specialists communicate the same sentiment. It all boils down to an impressive portfolio. Your work speaks for itself, regardless of if you’ve attended school. To get a better idea of what is expected of you in each specialty and insight into what recruitment specialists look for, check out Respawn Entertainment’s very useful career guide.
Note I said a degree “isn’t imperative” – I believe a degree is still very important to securing a job in the industry. If you’re still on the fence, there are many secondary reasons for attending school even if you are capable of teaching yourself new skills at home. In my opinion, one of the biggest draws of attending college is that your education won’t be in a bubble. My time at the University of Minnesota was essential in helping further develop my time management skills and ability to work in a very structured environment. Working side by side with peers, learning how to properly critique creative works, and learning to iterate upon an idea after receiving feedback was invaluable.
Not to mention most universities have discounted book and software programs, massive libraries, computer labs, machine shops, and more resources at your disposal. Mandatory internships also provide a fantastic opportunity to connect with potential clients. Additionally, your school will want to brag about a high job placement rating and therefore will aid you in looking for employment post-graduation.
So no, a degree isn’t imperative. Hard work and talent is, however. If pursuing a formal education from an accredited university isn’t your style, you’ll still need to put in the time and energy to learn new skills and prepare a very impressive portfolio. If you’ve refined one over the years without an advanced education, more power to you.
Q: What would you say was the hardest obstacle you had to overcome when getting to where you are today?
Honestly, I’ve struggled most finding a work/life balance, and that lead to some very difficult decisions and changes in my personal life.
To some degree this is my own fault – I’m a workaholic. I love working. I feed off seeing projects to fruition. But at the same time, the industry also demands it. Everyone in this industry works hard. Crunch time is a real thing (although it’s handled better by some studios than others). To work in game development you’ll have to accept that. You live and breathe games, and you need to find like-minded individuals who have the same ethos. I needed to accept that I’m a career woman, and that is what I want from life for the foreseeable future. I needed to get to the point where I stopped apologizing for working hard.
I won’t get too personal, but my passion for my career resulted in the alienation of some longtime friends. They didn’t appreciate my long hours or frequent absences due to travel. While I was satisfied with a once-a-month catch-up with them, they often criticized me for making work my priority over my social life. I suppose that I did let work take priority (out of necessity), but work was also my social life. I loved my online community and coworkers.
I guess what I’m getting at is that you should expect to work and work hard. If you’re like me your nine to five is more than a job; it’s your passion. Some people may not understand that drive and commitment, but soon enough you’ll attract individuals who do. You’ll find friends who are fine meeting for a drink to catch up between conventions. In my opinion, it means you’ll have more to talk about!
This isn’t to say that you can’t work in the industry and have a healthy work/life balance. It all depends on your priorities. It just took a bit of time to figure out mine.
Q: Is it harder to get a job in the game industry as a female? Have you struggled with sexism or had to work harder to gain respect?
There is no easy way to answer this question, and I can only speak to my own experiences. In the past five years I’ve been exposed to both pros and cons of being a female in the industry.
As a minority in the gaming industry, being a female means you are noticed and remembered. Considering the importance of networking, securing a spot in someone’s consciousness is very valuable. This is a double-edged sword however. It’s great to have your resume at the top of a pile due to familiarity, but the reality plays to my intense fear of being hired as the most qualified female candidate, rather than the most qualified candidate period. As far as I know this wasn’t the case with my past or present employer.
Being a female can also make it harder to gain the respect so freely given to male counterparts. I’d like to put on record immediately that this frustrating behavior has never originated from Game Informer or Crystal Dynamics, but rather from third parties.
Early on in my career I’d often walk into interviews where polite introductions turned into an interrogation about how I obtained my job. This happened more often than not, and several times I was asked point-blank if I was hired to fill the “pretty face quota” at Game Informer. I’m not joking. Backhanded compliment aside, I had hoped that working for the largest gaming publication in the world was proof enough of my competence, but often it wasn’t. Such exchanges are tame examples of offensive behavior.
I’ve had much more uncomfortable encounters that resulted in strained working relationships with professionals once the alcohol wore off them the next morning. I even left GDC three years back feeling entirely dejected, after a professional/near stranger commented that he didn’t “recognize me with my clothing on.” We had briefly met the night prior at an award show when I was wearing a (modest) cocktail dress.
Additionally, every games journalist has a blind spot or two in our industry. When there is a gap in your knowledge – let’s say in regards to a specific genre of games that isn’t your beat – you may find it accredited to your gender rather than your editorial specialty. I’ve been explicitly told so to my face, but instances have become less and less frequent as I’ve forged a reputation in the gaming circles.
So my answer is a non-answer. I will never cater to the critics and cynics who doubt me due to my sex. If you’re a female hoping to break into the industry you shouldn’t either. It doesn’t hurt to be prepared, however, so you’re ready to respond with an intelligent and disarming quip for any potential lowbrow types you meet.
Q: What should I do if confronted by overtly sexist behavior at an industry event?
Our industry works hard and plays hard too. I learned this at my very first GDC when an extremely drunk CEO pointed to my midsection at an after party and said he wanted to “have his babies in there.” Again, not joking.
The incident above brings me to a very unfortunate tip I feel obligated to share. Ladies, if you encounter such behavior, report it. Tell your supervisor. Tell the individual’s supervisor. Tell it to the offender’s face. Let them know it isn’t acceptable to treat you in such a degrading manner. Unfortunately you’ll get enough of it from the Internet, and you absolutely shouldn’t have to put up with it from industry colleagues.
If you don’t stand up for yourself the harasser will do the same to someone else. The worst I’ve had was at an E3 party where a drunk (and married) PR representative relentlessly commented on my breasts in a manner that couldn’t possibly be any more lewd. I was new at Game Informer and didn’t want to strain a professional relationship. I sat there and smiled and took it. Essentially, I was a coward. I was afraid of being “that chick” or developing a reputation as a prude, which I’m not. I’ve got a pretty liberal sense of humor and can take a joke, but this was the epitome of unprofessional behavior.
It wasn’t until I was back in Minnesota and made an offhand comment about it to my supervisor that I realized the severity of the situation. He asked if he could confront the publisher about it, promising to keep the incident as private as possible. The individual was severely reprimanded and forced to apologize to me directly, and he was watched closely from then on. It was uncomfortable, but necessary.
I want to stress that the industry isn’t full of barbarians by any means. Most colleagues I work with are perfectly respectful and professional. However, this is an issue that occurs often enough that it needs to be addressed.
Q: Do you find that your hobbies (cosplay & modeling) make it difficult to be taken seriously as a professional woman in game development? Do you feel like you’ll ever have to choose between them?
Yes, the scenario above is something I’ve struggled with in the past.
I love this industry and have poured blood, sweat, and tears into my work to ensure that I am taken seriously as a professional. I also love cosplay and everything it encompasses. For a time I wondered if I would have to choose between the two. It became a pressing issue when my work at Game Informer started to give my name a bit of traction.
I’d already encountered my share of sexist behavior prior to this dilemma, as detailed above. I already had to work harder than most my male peers to be respected. I questioned if “running around in spandex” on the weekends would make my battle even more difficult.
After a lot of thought I acknowledged that cosplaying could indeed make it harder to be taken seriously as a female in the industry. I decided to continue cosplaying regardless for several reasons. First, I don’t cosplay exclusively as scantily clad characters. The characters I gravitate to are multifaceted. My cosplay often showcases the duality of femininity and strength, and I think that is something worth embracing. If you find the resulting photos sexy, that’s fine. That isn’t my end-all, be-all goal however. Sometimes being grotesque is just as rewarding.
Additionally, while I love dressing up and paying tribute to the franchises I adore, cosplay is just as much about the journey as the destination. I genuinely look at it as an art form. Cosplay has taught me an array of skills, and my knowledge continues to expand with every new project. It is an expensive and time-consuming practice I wouldn’t indulge in if it weren’t vastly rewarding on a personal level. Ultimately, I’d be disingenuous to who I am if I let concerns about public perception keep me from enjoying my favorite hobby.
I’ve come to the point where instead of fretting over what other individuals think and worrying if I’m doing myself a disservice on a professional level, I instead fully embrace it as a creative outlet. The bottom line is that I plan to be a part of this industry for a long, long time. I also intend to continue cosplaying and modeling till the personal appeal fades. If someone sees a picture of me on the net in a leggy ensemble or wearing some stretchy fabric and they decide it discredits all the hard work I’ve done thus far, it’s their loss. Being true to yourself is important in such a creative industry. If you find yourself having to sacrifice who you are in order to be “successful,” perhaps you’re looking in the wrong place.
Q: Is there anything you would do differently looking back at your early career? Anything specific aspiring young women should avoid?
Unfortunately, yes. Don’t take photos of yourself biting a controller or posing suggestively with a light gun. Don’t perpetuate the “sexy guurl gamer” stereotype. I did, and I wished I hadn’t. Let me be clear before we continue – the photos I took aren’t mature in any capacity. I have a very specific PG-13 rule when it comes to how much skin I’ll show on a shoot or in a costume. My regrets are in regards to the theme rather than the execution of said photos.
While my intentions were altruistic, I was naive to how the photos could impact me at a later date. The Internet is a vacuum and those sorts of images will haunt you forever, especially when someone is actively looking for ammo to discredit you.
To further explain my situation, I took the photos when I was actively pursuing commercial modeling back in college long before Game Informer. I thought I had an epiphany. I loved video games and modeling, and I decided it would be perfect to combine both my passions. I’m a creative sort, and I was inspired – that was my entire motive. I didn’t take the photos to impress anyone, but when I posted them online in my favorite forum I suppose I expected it would give me a bit of extra credibility, the same way sharing my other gaming projects did. I thought it was further proof that I was hardcore because the photos were staged in mygame room, with my games, and my peripherals. Instead the photos facilitated lewd comments and quite a bit of ire from the other female forum users, rightfully so.
I had already established myself as a valuable member of the community at that point, so my reputation was only slightly tarnished in the eyes of a few forum friends. I continued to post my gaming related sculptures and crafts, and it was obvious that I was genuine.
Then I made matters worse. I accepted an offer to appear in GamePro magazine in a “Girls who Game” spread. I was ecstatic at the thought of appearing in a national gaming magazine. I really liked my photos from a creative standpoint, and I let that excitement blind me from the lesson I had just learned. When I saw the spread – mostly full of girls in bras and thongs – I realized how poorly it reflected on female gamers. If I hadn’t come to that conclusion, the Internet went on to make the point for me. I attempted to defend myself in the comments of the corresponding web article, but eventually admitted that I had made a mistake when I realized I was defending my pride rather than a justifiable cause.
Bottom line: It isn’t worth it. You don’t have to prove your passion for gaming to the masses, and those you do need to impress (potential employers) aren’t going to be trolling for photos. They may Google search you though, and the last thing you want is discrediting photos popping up when you most need to be taken seriously.
Q: I have a really awesome idea for a game. Who should I talk to about it?
I’ve received this question hundreds of times, both at Game Informer and Crystal Dynamics. There is no easy way to say this, so it’s better to just be blunt.
You may have the best game idea in the entire world, but without the experience to back it up (in the game industry or otherwise) ideas mean very little. While your creativity and comprehension of game mechanics will become a massively important aspect of your marketability, it will do you very little good till you’ve established yourself in a studio.
You won’t be hired for an idea. You’ll be hired for talent, passion, and the ability to execute phenomenal ideas. To get in the door at a studio, you’ll need specific talents and skills. For now, hold onto that idea and hone your skills in order to make yourself a valuable asset to a game studio. Sit on your idea and flesh it out. Then, when you’ve put in your time and earned the platform to pitch it, do so to an audience of eager colleagues. Good things come to those who wait and work hard.
Conversely, you could just make your own game. Going indie is a long and arduous but not impossible road. If you’re competent enough and have the resources at your disposal to make your own game, however, chances are you wouldn’t be asking me for help to see it through in the first place.