Breaking into the world of video game development isn’t easy. Even though there are now more video game development companies around than ever before, it is still a highly competitive field due to how popular gaming is. It is now one of, if not the biggest hobby in the world. Branching off into competitive sports, entertainment through streaming, and even being used in education settings.
So with gaming being so popular, it is no surprise that more and more people are turning their attention towards the world of video game development. That is why it is so important that you understand all the basic skills you need to succeed in this field. Without them, you are going to be passed over for one of the hundreds of other viable applicants out there.
A poor writer does not read. A poor artist does not appreciate art. A bad footballer does not watch football. And a bad video game developer does not game. Video games are an art as well as being technical. And to fully understand them you need to immerse yourself in them.
And you can’t just play Skyrim and leave it there. You need to fully understand the whole of the gaming world. You need to play everything from Rise of Kingdoms to Hitman. World of Warcraft to Fifa. Even the games you don’t like are worth playing to get an understanding of how they work on a technical level.
It also helps to stay current on gaming news. Subscribe to a few good gaming journalism sites and keep up to date on what’s going on.
Not every game developer needs to be a coder. Different people have different skills of course. But it is very useful to have a basic understanding of coding so you can fully understand how games are made. We recommend you do some free online coding courses to get yourself informed.
The benefit of this is that you will be aware of the limitations of coding and what can and cannot be done. If you are an artist this will help you understand what can be rendered with ease and what will be more complex. If you are a scriptwriter, this will help you know how difficult a scene will be to code and render.
3D Rendering was to gaming as sliced bread was to bread. It changed everything. Previously games were stuck in the second dimension much like their cartoon counterparts. But 3D Animation and rendering brought us into a more realistic and stylized world of gaming. So it is useful to understand the basics of graphic design and rendering.
There are many free rendering programs out there you can test out. Just like with coding, not everyone needs to be a master at this. But having the basics under your belt will be great, especially for building a portfolio to help you get hired.
This skill applies to any writing-based endeavor. Storyboarding is the process of drawing out the story in comic format to get a good idea of what will happen and how it should look. The important thing to remember with storyboarding is that it does NOT need to look good. Not everyone is an artist. You can use stick figures and it will still be effective. The idea is simply to help artists and game designers understand what is happening and in what order. A script is fine for this, but a script with a storyboard is extremely useful and will help your vision come to life.
If you are more interested in the technical development side of gaming then you might think you have no need to understand the basics of writing a good script. But, like learning the basics of coding, learning script writing can be extremely useful.
Not all games are about stories. But so many are and for good reason. People love stories. So learning the basics of storytelling, alongside the formatting for writing a game script, is extremely useful. Maybe you have a game idea you want to pitch. Rather than show up and say you don’t have a story yet, come up with one. Even if your script is bad having the base framework of it is a great start and shows you are proactive and inspired.
Concept Art Creation
Concept art is one of the most important stages of game development. It is where ideas go from simple words to fully formed visuals. It is the bridge between idea and creation. Very little actual development is done before the concept art has been done. So it is extremely useful to learn some basic drawing skills so you can help out in this stage.
Concept art is also useful when you are pitching your own game ideas to a company. Words are great and can create a scene. But if you can whip up a few concept art pictures of various settings in the game along with characters and items, you are far more likely to have your game picked up by a developer. Concept art allows developers and investors to get the mood and feel for your game long before anyone has the chance to play it.