At a GDC panel called “Breaking into AAA Game Development”, a number of noted developers said the best way to get a job in the games industry is to start making games.
As reported by Gamespot, Epic’s Cliff Bleszinski said hopeful game makers should just go out and “make shit” if they’re after an entry-level design job.
Robin Hunicke of thatgamecompany agreed, adding that making mods and using existing tools is the best way to starts.
Zynga’s Brian Reynolds added a note of caution, saying design jobs are the hardest entry-level jobs to get, suggesting keen designers work their way into the industry via quality assurance or coding.
Physics designers and programmers, on the other hand, have it easier, and the whole panel concurred the best approach is to make something – even if you can’t polish every single aspect of it.
Bleszinski cited Portal as an example of an amateur project that earned its creators jobs, but when first presented, looked terrible; Valve was more interested in the work and creators’ potential than limited non-core skills.
Artists should get hands-on, too. Robin Hunicke, of thatgamecompany, said artists should develop their own style along with their technical skills, to show creative flair as well as the capacity to mimic various styles.
Bleszinski added that online art communities, like DeviantArt, are great places to refine skills and get work into the public eye – and admitted that Epic sources potential employees from such sites.
The panel agreed that degrees aren’t actually necessary for entry level positions – if the applicants has the skills.