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What was a pivotal moment that got you into games?

Video games developers from Square Enix and Sumo Digital talk about what inspired them to get into the industry.
Was there a pivotal moment that made you decide to take this course or pursue a job in games? Everybody has to start somewhere. I started at the XX plus Game Jam in Bristol, which is where I met my teammate. And after a 24-hour game jam, our game won Audience Choice Award, which meant it was the game people most wanted to see finished. And that’s how I became an indie game developer. Here are some other developers talking about a pivotal moment that got them into games. Well, firstly I did a summer internship at a software company. And I just got to realise, that’s not what I want to do.
Yeah, I want to make games, I want to make things I care about. I want to take part in a competition and get into the finals, which involves an interview, a panel interview with people from different companies, including here. Yeah, I don’t think there was a pivotal moment where I thought I would get into industry. It was more like lots of different events that kind of occurred where I realised it was a career I could go into. Because I don’t know about you guys, but for me, it was like, is this even a viable career option? Are there a lot of jobs for it in the UK? Like, are we able to go into it? Do I need a degree?
Do I need this special thing? Do I need to have gone to a certain school? Also for me, it was kind of the realisation that these games are created by someone. They don’t just magically appear, you know? Someone has to make them. And you’re seeing that, yeah, it is a career that people can do. I got a call to say there was an interview at Gremlin interactive, who were a video games developer. The idea of working in video games really excited me. It was something that I’d never done before. So really, there wasn’t a pivotal moment of getting into games, but I suppose the bigger question is, that’s why I’ve stayed in games for such a long time.
You know, for me, video games, it’s not a job, it’s more a way of life. I was very fortunate in that there was a team within the company that needed a producer. And I wasn’t a producer, but they needed a person and they knew that I was a good cultural fit. So I was given this terrifying opportunity to run a project myself. And I decided to just say yes to that. When I graduated, I worked for an advertising agency. And I found the way they worked and working with clients quite depressing and slightly soul-destroying for myself. So I set up an independent game studio because I found the freedom I had was brilliant compared to that.
So I wanted to continue doing that. I saw a job advert for a map builder. And I thought it would be using my AutoCAD skills and so I turned up to the company. And it turned out to be a games company. And they were creating Train Simulator. And I ended up placing trees. I tried to go into the film and TV industry thinking that would be a great combination of sort of creativeness and my love of organising things as well. And it wasn’t really until I was working at the BBC as a project manager as well that I realised that film and TV wasn’t going to happen. I didn’t really know how to get in.
And so I just decided to switch my focus to games. And everything sort of just clicked into place after that.
If you’re just setting out on a path and thinking maybe it’s for you, then the key to it is research. I think you need to understand how games are made, what types of people make the games, what skills are required, whether that’s art skills, whether it’s programming skills, whether it’s being a producer. Try and find out what the different roles are within the industry. Then you need to look at your educational path because there definitely needs to be one. It is a tough industry to get into. You do need to get qualified in different ways and you do need to learn lots of skills to get to the different roles. The industry is so competitive.
There are so many graduates every year looking for an opportunity to get into games. My advice would be, do your best to stand out. Go for it. It’s not as daunting as it seems. Yeah. I think I have to take active participation in it. You have to be persistent. Definitely let your passion translate into actively getting involved in the games industry. You know, speaking to people, reaching out on LinkedIn. Really try and make as many contacts as you can, as many things as you can do sort of like outside of looking for work. Getting involved in communities, doing game jams, and really try and demonstrate your passion and your want to get into games.
And as much as you can do outside, that will always, always stand you in good stead.

Each developer we interviewed has taken a different journey to their current position.

From passion to profession, these developers harnessed their love of games and art or organisation skills to pursue a career that continues to motivate them.

What inspired these developers to get into games?

Were any of their inspirations similar to yours?

How do you think you could turn your passion into your profession?

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How To Start Your Career In Games Development

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