How I got a job as a Video Game Programmer

How I got a job as a Video Game Programmer


hey guys what’s up Ombarus here and
welcome to another episode in this week I thought I’d talk a little bit about my
experience in how I became a game programmer because you see normally
I’d be talking about my development of my own game but this week I’ve been
mostly fixing a whole bunch of bugs I mean a whole huge list but it’s kind of
boring there’s not much to talk about so I thought this week let’s make a video
about how you can become a game programmer if you’re interested in this
kind of stuff first of all a disclaimer my personal experience is probably not
representative of how you become a game programmer in general also I’m from
Canada so my experience is very much Canadian if you’re from America or
Europe maybe the way to do it is different but hopefully there’s some
similarities and you can learn something from my personal experience so it all
started about maybe 15 years ago when I decided I wanted to go to university I
did get a technical degree in computer science before deciding to go to
university but I thought I needed some more stronger foundation to be able to
maybe become a game programmer or something like that I mean it’s always
been in the back of my mind you know I wanted something more than doing web
development or being a full-stack developer or something like that you
have to remember that 15 years ago software engineering was just a budding
new program. The university I got into actually I was the second class to ever
attend this program before that if you wanted to be a into software engineering
or something like that you had to take Electrical Engineering
but nowadays there’s so much more classes you can take I mean there wasn’t
any video game development classes when I started but nowadays there are and in
university you can take video game specific development classes and you can
take, you know, machine learning classes and stuff like. This didn’t
exist 15 years ago but I did choose all the options that could lead to video
game development so I took image processing classes and the computer
graphics classes and these kind of things that I knew would help me go towards what I wanted to accomplish in software development but even after four
years of university I didn’t think it would be enough to get me a dream job I
needed some experience or maybe some personal awesome project to showcase to
stand out of the crowd of resume that piles up on people’s desks but instead I
found a job in Japan and maybe when I think about it it was actually harder
than finding a job in the video game industry but I guess I got lucky I
had a few contacts and I mean I worked for a company that made websites for
Japanese mobile market so it wasn’t exactly related or it wasn’t my dream
job but the experience was absolutely amazing and the experience in the mobile
market is actually kind of related to how I got my job when I came back to
Canada and so it was actually a really good experience after three years
working in Japan I decided it was time to come back and when I came back to
Canada I was pretty confident that three years of experience in Japan
some basic Japanese language proficiency and a university degree would be enough
to at least get me some kind of interview in a video game company so I
applied for all the video games company I could find and it turned out that not
the experience in Japan but the experience with the Japanese mobile
market just nine years ago when the smartphone market was exploding was
really a big plus and so I got myself a job in the mobile video game industry
from there I got to work on a whole bunch of titles from you know basic
casual games to really hardcore gaming on the mobile
I got incredibly a lot of experience because since the mobile is maybe a
little bit smaller like the teams are a little bit smaller you know there
isn’t like a thousand employee or thousand programmer working on the game
it’s only like a couple of, a dozen programmer maybe on a single title well
it means that you get to do a lot of stuff so I’ve touched pretty much
everything when you work in a game company it’s very common to work a whole
bunch of titles that are never going to see the light of day I’ve heard that
companies like Supercells from clash of clans and King from candy crush actually
produce like dozens of prototypes before one of those prototypes ends up
being released and becoming an actual game you don’t hear much about these
prototypes sometimes they become public beta but sometimes they don’t even
get out of the company but there’s people working on these things and so
even though I don’t have that many titles I’ve released in the last nine
years I worked on a whole bunch of titles that were prototyped abandoned
gave up canceled whatever but you know they still provided me with a lot of
experience and really all you need is to get some experience it doesn’t matter
where but if you manage to get in the video game industry after that I think
it’s fairly easy to move from one game studio to another because from my
experience looking at my coworker who’ve quit to go to another game studio or
change job or something like that after two years working at the my previous
company I I started getting offers and and recruitments and people coming to me
and I’m pretty sure it would be fairly easy if I wanted to find another job in
a game company and I’m kind of lucky because in Montreal where
I’m from there’s like 20 different game companies it’s a real mecca of game
companies and it really helps if you’re looking for a job right because they’re
all competing against each other to get like the most talented people which
means they are also hiring a lot of new blood and you have a good chance to find
a job as long as you have a little something
to make you stand out from the crowd if you want to find a job in the video game
industry the advice I could give you is maybe try to get out of like hey look
I’ve made a prototype of a platformer in unity and and try to find something a
little bit more original maybe you can get some skills that are related to
video games but not directly connected so like me getting experience in the
mobile market to get a job in a mobile video game company even though what I
was doing was web development it kind of helped me I think these kind of things
that stand out a little bit more , because nowadays everyone is
told to have a portfolio right so everyone has a few projects when they
apply for a job if they’re anywhere serious about getting a job but if your
portfolio contains some different things maybe some machine
learning or maybe some data analysis or something like that I think this will
get you a better chance of finding your dream job so that’s about it for today
guys thank you for listening I hope you enjoyed it and if you like what you see
hit that subscribe button and see you guys in my next episode bye

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