Game Developer, Tester Jobs: Get Hired

Game Developer, Tester Jobs: Get Hired

Breaking into the world of video game tester jobs and earning an official game tester salary or getting a full-time job as a game developer (artist, programmer, audio/sound engineer, etc.) doesn’t require fancy degrees, insider knowledge or a well-connected ex-roommate.

Better still, anyone can do it right from home and get started overnight.

But it’s not necessarily easy. Leading game companies receive thousands of queries from eager job seekers hoping to become professional game testers or game developers weekly. Finding ways to catch their attention — through bold designs, clever Flash games, cool smartphone apps or graphic makeovers for first-person shooter games — is the secret to standing out.

With hordes competing for the chance to work as a game tester or producer on smash hits such as World of Warcraft or Call of Duty: Black Ops, it’s how you demonstrate your talent to game developers that counts most.

So don’t just sit around playing games. Get involved with projects, from apps to books, modifications (mods) to retro remakes, that showcase your creativity.

Whether you’re an artist or programmer, designer or marketing maven, the operating rule is show, not tell. Building a portfolio is easy though, thanks to the vast range of free and cost-effective tools offered online. There’s also an array of level- and map-making utilities built into many leading games such as Fallout: New Vegas and Torchlight.

Artists, Animators and Graphic Designers

Artists should establish a singular style that acts as their personal calling card, then look for ways to gain visibility. Contributing to fan-made game updates such as King’s Quest reboot The Silver Lining and extreme visual makeovers of hits such as The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion are a great start.

Crafting quirky concepts, including paintings of popular ’80s heroes in unlikely situations or free downloadable desktop wallpaper that pays tribute to beloved series such as Halo and The Legend of Zelda, can also work.

Designers, Directors, Programmers and Producers

Designers and programmers need to create. Small-scale projects such as new maps, missions and scenarios for popular titles make a great starting point. So too, do iPhone apps, homebrew remakes of classic games from the Commodore 64 and IBM-PC, social network games and Flash titles (games designed to run in one’s Web browser).

Software engines such as the Unreal Development Kit, Torque, Adventure Game Studio, Playground SDK, and services such as App Hub can help you get started developing for computers, consoles such as the Xbox 360 or handsets that run on Apple or Windows Phone 7 systems.

To stand out, creations need to be unique and easily comprehensible at a glance.

To read the rest of this article, please click here to visit CNN.com’s How to Break Into the Video Game Industry.

To download bestselling games industry book Get Rich Playing Games free, just click here.

About Scott Steinberg
Scott Steinberg is CEO of strategic consulting and product testing firm TechSavvy Global, and a noted keynote speaker and business expert. Hailed as a top tech expert and parenting guru by critics from USA Today to NPR, he’s also an on-air analyst for ABC, CBS and CNN.

2 Comments

  1. My co-workers and I (at an unnamed large game developer)always laugh at articles about breaking into the game business, but this one is pretty decent. Good Job!

  2. cloningprocess

    @Chris

    Humans have an amazing ability to inflate their sense of self importance…

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