Aspects of Games
There are many elements to making a computer game; each of which will, for larger projects especially, require specific people who are specialized at one particular aspect of the design of the game — music writers, level designers, 3D modellers and so forth.
As an unspecialised person looking in, it’s important to get some idea as to what aspect of the games development industry one is interested in, to better be able to ascertain what steps are needed to first be taken in order to reach said level of specialization.
There are many ways of getting into the industry, and many steps that can be taken to improve one’s chances, or routes to become more experienced/sought after by employers. The general idea is to start on something small — like an Indie game of some sort — and to build knowledge and experience from there.
It may also be helpful to gain a fundamental understanding of a range of different aspects of games design around the particular field you’re interested in, to better understand your individual place and how you work as a cog in the overall machine.
Darby McDevitt has been a creative scriptwriter and lead writer of Assassin’s Creed at Ubisoft. The largest games he has written for are Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. He was also lead writer for Lord of the Rings: The Third Age (the game for the GameCube, PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles, that is).
Alongside writing for games, he has also published works of fiction, released several music albums and also written, produced, directed or designed the audio for a number of successful films.
However, many companies, such as Valve and Ubisoft seek something along the lines of “three years industry experience” before they’re willing to take a new worker on board, so smaller pieces of work, in smaller businesses, must be made to start off with. Of course, if you can prove yourself to be very skilled in what you’re doing, the years of experience don’t have to be just in games design.
Work Experience Required
The level of experience required to be a part of a game does, of course, depend on what company is being applied to. Some games companies are of the opinion that you just need to show aptitude. Such companies believe you don’t need to do any “professional” work; all you need do is show some finished pieces of creative work to exhibit your style, your ability to finish what you start and that you can put ideas into motion.
Other companies require people to have had several years active experience in the industry or to have published a piece of work, or to have a degree or working knowledge of the industry. It comes down to things which can be attained with further education, or things gained only after active years in the industry.
It all depends on where you want to get to.