The Gaming Industry Today

So you want to pursue the gaming industry, but your not sure how it works and you arent familiar with what it’s truly about. Well the harsh reality is that its a vial place and almost near impossible to be successful. This thread is going to cover what it takes to be in the industry, how it works, the reality and what not to do. After being a part of the industry for over 15 years I have seen it all. I worked from Level Design, to Ownership to Management and I can tell you the ins and outs of how it all works. I will be adding new segments when I get the chance to add more so please be patient and keep checking back!

Section 1: The Gaming Industry

One of the largest profit makers in the entire world. The gaming industry practically runs the world, and let’s be honest. That’s pretty much why we are here, looking to pursue a career in the industry and do what we have the passion to do, to develop games for everyone to enjoy. But what makes it such a thriving industry and is it even possible to join? Well of course anyone can join, but it comes down to the odds of being able to join. So your an experienced developer huh? Well let’s see, last year alone I went through 450 applicants for one project, those people had experience, education, and passion. How many were chosen out of those 450, well lets see… about 28 people were hired. Which means 422 were denied. Now it’s your turn to apply…oh wait your number 451, so what makes you think you will be chosen? Well it’s odds like that you will be facing everyday of your life in this industry. You are pursuing a career that over 10 million other people want to pursue and your just that 1 little ant out of 10 million people. But lets say your chosen, what now? Well as a Game Developer your starting from the bottom, you might not even be making games. You might be delivering mail to the executives, making minimum wage of lets say $10/hour, you cant live off that. Lets say your promoted to level designer, well you’ve been there a year and now your making $13/hour, still cant live off that. You see, just because your skilled and experienced doesn’t mean your making big busk. Companies can’t afford to have every single employee on full-time so obviously it’s part-time work.

Let’s say you now make it to full-time, 40 hours a week. Well heres the scary truth, you’ll be making less than a carpenter would be making. Unless your a lead or supervisor, you’ll be making very little money, it sucks but thats how the industry works. Many of you see the industry as a great place to be, and it’s your dream job, but your dream job will be paying you a ****** salary. I hate to say it, but back when I would work payroll I did’t see any pretty checks for the newbies or lowbies.

Looking past all that the industry never stays the same, technology advances daily and it shifts daily. One day you’ve got the skills and the next day someone comes in with better skills, so what happens next? Well your *** is fired and replaced by someone who is better than you. There is no stability in the entertainment industry, I’ve seen people come and go faster than I’ve seen flies drop. Because EVERYONE IS REPLACEABLE [Entertainment Industry Quote]. I see many people on here quoting they are 20 year experienced freelancers asking for high pay, those are the people that will never be hired by one of us and you could tell. If after 20 years they use forums to find work than obviously they didn’t make it or they are lying and scamming you for money.

Those of you claiming to know the industry are so far from reality that it would be embarrassing to see them work in a professional environment. Take it from someone who has had many years of experience in the industry, not here to degrade people or stop them from reaching goals. Just trying to give you the education and reality of how things work.

If you are interested in having a one on one conversation please PM and I will get back to you ASAP, I truly enjoy mentoring and guiding people to the right path.

But, you are only talking about people who wants to work in a game company, that is only a fraction of what game development is, actually, I would say that is not game development at all.

Of all the people I know interested in game design/development, only the minority really wants to work at a game company.

The majority wants to:

1- save some money, quite their jobs and go 24x7 to develop the game.
2- form a team to make something in a more serious fashion.
3- work in the game in their free times, even if it takes forever.

Why is that… well, there are many reasons, but I can point 2:

  • the games that AAA companies usually produce are **** with high production value.
  • what you described about the pay and all the **** that is going on in big companies.

Money never created true motivation, the most important inventions that today we can enjoy were fruit of passionate and curious people, no one paid them to do it, they wanted to do it.

Game design is an art, you create rules that other people have to follow, you create stories, characters, interactions, truly passionate game design ceased to exist some time ago, that is why now more than ever indies games are very worth considering the moment you want to play a game.

So, again, you can be part of the game industry, in your own way, it’s not easy, it will take you a lot of time and dedication, but you will be happy with your work, and at the end of the journey, if things go moderately ok, it could net you some interesting bucks.

With tools like UE4, and sites like Kickstarter, I think indies got it easier than ever. But, at the same time, there is a lot of competition.

The writing on the wall is that the global economy is a boom and bust cycle, and probably on the precipice of a major bust. I don’t think the gaming industry’s current outlook for new entrants is any more bleak than any other western industry.

I agree with you fully, but in reality the main goal is to be successful right? 90% of the people on here are hoping to make the next best project. You stated the correct operation of the development, but do you truly understand how it works? Or do you see the smaller world of game design. What we see on here is a fraction of what the reality is.

Kickstarter is a huge joke in the Industry it’s become an inside joke for almost everyone. Look at the successful projects on Kickstarter, see how well backed they are, understand their marketing goals, their road map and how long it took to produce that campaign. Even if you had the best Kickstarter on there, if you dont have followers from the start your campaign is a complete failure.

I think the key here is, what is to be successful?, to make money?, to have a game that a lot of people enjoy even if it’s free?, to form part of a team at Blizzard HQ?.

Success varies depending on who you ask.

I will cover all those aspects except the last one, which I’m hoping was a joke.

Here is the very best advice wannabes can get from the internet about this subject:
If you (reading this) didn’t know about Sloperama, you are new to this ‘game dev’ world and should really REALLY read it all and pay attention very closely to everything that is written there.

Yes and it’s usually 20-25 year cycles and at the moment we are ‘only’ just starting to recover from a recession and many many countries are still in that recession and struggling badly. So don’t know where you get the thought we are precipice of a major bust?

I have to wonder why you keep wanting to make these types of threads

Me as well. Certainly things are typed are not to motivate someone but on the contrary. So if you want to demotivate people to join the industry for w/e reason good luck with that.

I have my conspiracy theory. To get rid of potential competition before it even rises.

Or he is just troll. After all it’s internet.

Anyway. Renegade X, proves that if want to do something, you can. The only thing you need is determination and motivation.

Well, that and good tech, but that’s what we’re here for.

Aye, and I hate so much to bump this, but this bugs me greatly thinking that it may give young devs the wrong impression. So look here, life is rough folks. Don’t matter what the industry is, gaming, movie, food, farming, t-shirts with wolves howling at the moon…same struggles, same monetary barriers, same success issues. Your goal might be lofty, perhaps even unobtainable, but hell, so is any path you might take. So are you gonna put all your effort into doing a job you hate or start building yourself up to something you enjoy? Not like success is guaranteed either way.

I keep starting a response and deleting it to this thread, full of tl;dr. So I’ll just leave it at this. Making money is important, but if that’s your main goal…man, you’ve got a bitter road ahead.

Motivation, determination and persistence is what always made great things happen.

The technical aspects, today more than ever are easily reachable. Even if you are totally new to programming, you can learn, is not difficult, it takes time, it could take you more or less time compared to others, but eventually you will be able to code what you need. With UE4, you don’t even need to be a guru at C++ to get something to work.

Yeah, I’m also curious about the OP’s true intentions…

I would also love to know where OP gets his statistics from with all the “90%” and “99%”. Would love some sources.

Seems like an interesting read, but good grief that website hurts my eyes.

Well Crud. I’m depressed now. You guys are messin’ with my fantasy. Back to farming.

I have no idea who/what Sloperama is and what is ‘game dev’? And no I’ll not pay attention to it.

This is not the only sector working like that, you must be able to move to opportunities or new propositions, many people from big companies just quit and made their own studio or move to opportunities more interesting and involving. Also the more intresting jobs are not always on the bigger studios; for example Torchlight 1&2 was made by a small indie studio composed of people coming from Blizzard that worked on Diablo, and there is many others examples like that.

BIO-HAZARD you’re seriously wasting your time with this. All the naive newcomers that you’re trying to reach believe that they are the 1% or could be the 1%. I have to even think that you are like that as well? You’re trying to recruit people to start a horror game right?

People shouldn’t be afraid to fail. The most successful people embrace failure and learn from it. You’re right. It’s incredibly difficult to succeed. But anything worth doing is difficult and that makes the reward for succeeding so much greater. Yes many of these projects will fail, some quicker than others, but hopefully people will learn from their mistakes and move on.

This is just like starting your own business in anything! And guess what? Very few start-up businesses are successful as well.

Just let people find out for themselves.

It’s funny to me how you don’t understand my point. I recommend re-reading the post and then making a solid point that isn’t so cookie cutter, I am not telling people to give up. That’s not at all what I am saying and if you took the time to break down the post you would have understood that, but instead you saw something that made you mad and decided to post. My post addresses all those people who come with wild ideas or requests. So to sit here and say that I am just saying this to be rude, or that I don’t kow what I’m talking about is a very idiotic response.

I posted a thread to help further prove my point, it’s a way to teach and guide people in the right path. But again, your agitated so your remarks will be based off anger not intelligence.