Game design is an exciting and interesting field for all kinds of individuals, but is it possible to break into the industry without experience or connections? This article breaks down some of the biggest challenges today's students face in this highly competitive industry. From an abundance of talent to a global workforce that often boasts low wages, game design is a highly challenging industry.
Game design is a diverse field that includes plenty of specializations. Animation, character art, programming, level design, user interface design and even marketing are all necessary roles in a game development company. What you choose to pursue will influence your employability, and the most in-demand skills like programming and user interface design may find higher salaries outside of the game design field. If you're lucky enough to score a contract job, even that may not be enough to spell success. It's often difficult to escape temporary jobs and obtain an in-house position that will last at least a year or two. That said, plenty of today's game designers have creative and fulfilling jobs that aren't dotted with low wages and stress. It is still possible to have hope and pursue a career like game design today, particularly when you pursue an appropriate specialization.
Talent vs. Jobs
With a decreasing demand for employees and an increasing supply of talent, it's clear that game design has become much more competitive in the past three years. 2D illustrators and concept artists often face a unfathomable levels of competition, making it necessary to build a strong network of industry professionals while searching for an opportunity. The amount of unemployed yet incredibly talented people is high the game industry, making this career suitable for only the most resilient. With plenty of hard work and a focus on networking, you'll have a much higher chance of standing out from the crowd.
Pressure and Competition
A job in game design demands long hours and a pressure to produce quality work on a deadline. In the global economy, this becomes more difficult when artists overseas can find financial stability with a much lower wage. Mobile game design in particular can be a particularly cutthroat and competitive industry to break into. All you have to do is check out any mobile app store and see plenty of imitation games vying for money. That isn't to discourage budding creative professionals from trying something new, but it remains a harsh reality that plenty of today's game design companies cut costs with outsourcing and even unethically cloning the work of others. It's simply challenging to stand out in the bloated industry of game design or to compete with someone who can work for $5 an hour.
With these things in mind, it's important not to get discouraged. Although the barrier to entry in the world of game design is high and there are plenty of talented people around, it's still possible to make a living doing what you love. All in all, a career in game design is as competitive as it is rewarding.