Don't Power Down Yet: 7 Jobs for Gamers You Should Consider
By Aaron Lawrence on 03/02/2017
You’ve spent many memorable hours gaming through your childhood and teenage years. You’ve finally come to the realization that it’s time to start planning for your future. But before you consider it game over for your favorite pastime, you should know there are actually careers out there that leverage the skills and interests you’ve acquired from your years of gaming.
If you’re ready to take your passion to the next level, it all starts with a little research and planning. We compiled a list of some perfect jobs for gamers that you can’t afford to ignore. Keep reading to see if one of these careers could be in your future.
7 appealing job options for gamers
Have you ever stepped into a virtual world and marveled at the beauty and realism? Have you ever wondered how the video games you live and breathe are actually created?
Most of the visuals you see after you log in are brought to life by talented animators. Animators play important roles on the team that works to develop video games by animating graphics and models using different computer programs and illustrations. For example, one animator might focus on animating characters while another may be responsible for the background scenery.
You know the magical effect animation can have within a video game, allowing players to take a break from reality and get lost in an alternate world. As an animator, you could be the person responsible for bringing those enchanting scenes to life.
2. Game developer
There are many players on the team that creates a game. One position essential to the production of a video game is the game developer. Game developers make sure that the concept and the vision of the game are actually being put into action. They are the ones who actually build the game, working with designers and artists alike.
As an avid gamer, you definitely have your favorites when it comes to storylines and campaign play. But as a developer, it would be your job to translate a concept storyboard into an actual video game.
3. Technical artist
As you might imagine, it isn’t exactly easy to transfer an illustration on paper into a computer program. To help with this, technical artists are responsible for bridging the gap between the artists and the programmers who are working on a video game. Technical artists ensure that certain “art assets” can transfer to the game without exceeding the technical limits. Despite their technical knowledge, these pros work as a part of the art team, collaborating closely with lead artist and the creative director as well as the programming team.
If you’re intrigued at the idea of working on a video game, but consider yourself more tech savvy than artistic in the traditional sense, this position might be right up your alley.
4. 3D modeler
At first glance, you might assume 3D modelers play essentially the same role as animators do. But they actually have completely separate responsibilities in the video game creation process.
Animators are the professionals who set illustrations and graphics in motion, similar to puppeteers. But 3D modelers actually create the skeletons of characters and other elements of the environment. They start with 2D textures (like illustrations on paper) and use computer programs to convert them into 3D models based on the concept art for the game.
3D modelers are the reason modern video games aren’t flat like the early versions of Super Mario Bros. If you have a keen attention to detail and appreciate the realistic nature of the games you play, this position is definitely worth considering.
5. Storyboard artist
When a script or a concept for a video game has been developed, there’s no magic button that just translates it into animated form. Someone has to create this vision and get the designs on paper, and that someone is the storyboard artist.
Their job is to draw storyboards, either physically or electronically, that detail the flow of a script or concept. An artist’s storyboard sketches can help producers and video game makers visualize a scene or sequence of action before actually beginning production, according to Animation Career Review.
If you are a gamer who loves following the progression of a campaign, this might be your chance to be doing that every day at work.
6. Interaction designer
With all the stages that go into creating a video game, there is still the question of user-friendliness. In order for a video game to be successful, its players must be able to interact and communicate seamlessly with the device. In simplified terms, an interaction designer works with the development and design team to make sure that the game functions properly and intuitively for the user.
When you are playing video games, do you ever find yourself thinking about how you might improve the ease of use or overall enjoyment? This intuition from your extensive experience as a player would be a valuable asset in a career as an interaction designer.
3D modelers and animators both work with computer programs and storyboard artists draw rough sketches, so who is actually drawing the characters and environments that will be incorporated into a video game? The answer is illustrators.
Video game illustrators take the ideas and visions of the creators and transform them into drawings, while making sure they follow the original vision of the game. They are responsible for drawing the characters, the settings and even the individual items that appear in the video game.
If you have a knack for drawing or have even doodled scenes of your own video game ideas, working as a video game illustrator could be your dream come true.
Make the virtual world your reality
Whether you realized it or not, it takes a whole army of professionals to bring a video game to life. Whether you’d consider yourself more artistic or technical, more detail-oriented or conceptual, there’s a place for you on the team that brings imaginary worlds to life.
If you are interested some of these jobs for gamers, start by researching each career individually to get more specific information. After all, it’s important to enjoy your specific task in video game creation as well as the overall project. Start by learning more about the process in our article, Play for Life: What You Need to Know About Becoming a Video Game Developer.