on 09 October 20
Having spent little over eight years in the roller coaster world of games design, I have found it to be both a blessing and a burden. People are often asking me questions about my work and few seem to realize that among the many roses, hide many thorns. I came to understand that I could answer these questions for people beyond my peer group. By simply writing about my work I could help so many people looking to get in to game design as a career, and thus, this article was born.
Working Hours and Working Environment
Working the national average of around 40 hours per week leaves little room for complaint. However, when a game’s deadline starts to approach you do see a huge increase in both working hours and workload. Thankfully, my position (and duties) allow me to take some of my work home, ergo presenting me with an opportunity to escape the noisy office environment for my peaceful and quiet home office. I find I work much better without so many distractions, but duty often calls me to my desk at work. Being a games designer doesn’t entail sitting at a computer every working hour, but also calls for a lot of meetings and briefs. Whilst these aren’t what I chose this career for, they are essential to all parties involved.
Payment and Rewards
I will have to admit that as a games developer, personal reward heavily outweighs my modest £36,000 a year salary. The thought that I am creating something that will be enjoyed by many makes my work so much more enjoyable and keeps me motivated when deadlines are fast-approaching.
On seeing (and playing) a final release, a certain pride manifests itself in me. Working on games from early development stages right up to release is an amazing experience and one seldom achieved in other, more ‘conventional’ careers. A lot of people think that the majority of our work involves sitting on over-sized bean bags testing games and playing until our heart’s content, regrettably, this is far from the case. It is not all gaming, free games and games coupons, the job demands constant hard work and true dedication, often resulting in your mind forever being trapped in work-mode. If you can do this, then you will reap the rewards this line of work has to offer.
So, in a nutshell, being a games developer is a very rewarding career with real prospects for the dedicated. It can often be very challenging (which I personally like) and deadlines are a constant Sword of Damocles hanging precariously above our heads. I would encourage anyone reading this to go for the dream, especially those with a creative flair and a love of computer games. Don’t be put off by other people in the industry that claim their careers ruined gaming for them. In my case anyway, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Likewise, don’t believe that you need to be super-qualified either. A degree (computer science/engineering) is preferred by industry employers, but by no means mandatory.
This blog is listed under Digital Media & Games Community
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