So I'd like to share my [small] knowledge of working and getting involved in the gaming industry. It's very competitive to get into the industry - No doubt about that! I'm still trying to get my foot in and get closer as I can.
Get A Gaming Degree - A major way to be guaranteed of having gaming work would be to go to school and get a gaming degree. Educate yourself with how to make video games, the design behind it and all the good works. It also doesn't hurt to know gaming history and how it evolved.
Some will succeed and some will figure out they might not want to pursue it in the end - But getting a gaming degree is a great start for a long and successful path in the gaming industry.
[source: Game Development Institute]
Own A Portfolio - This is essential! Have all your contact information up-to-date. List all your networks & be sure to display your current work. A perk is having a portfolio that is mobile/tablet friendly. In case the viewer is on-the-go and has only one of those devices in hand, they can still view the website nicely.
To land a successful job in a high-end company (ex. Microsoft, Playstation, Ubisoft, RoosterTeeth, Certain Affinity... Just to name a few.). Working in the gaming industry doesn't always mean having to create games. If you don't want to do the degree route - There are other options. It's going to take a lot of work, time and dedication.
Gaming Journalism - Create very useful & detailed game reviews - Nothing like, "This game is so cool. It's a first person shooter"... Don't state the obvious, give a nice & lengthy description on the game. Stand out! Be passionate about writing for the gaming industry. To gain more recognition, guest posting on other websites is great exposure! Try and become a daily contributor for many different game-related websites. Another great perk to add in your journalism would be to interview people who work in the industry. You get all the perks - You'll meet someone who already works inside the industry, gain extra knowledge and have a great article written by you!
I'd love to share with you an interview I had with Isaac from Iron Galaxy Studios. In the first two minutes, he shares how he got involved in the gaming industry - It's awesome to hear!
Attending Panels/Conferences - It's best to get yourself out there! Attend as many panels that catch your interest. Try and meet some game developers, artists, creators in person - Introduce yourself and let them know what you do and let them know how much you appreciate their work.
Keep Up With Social Media Networks - Make LinkedIn your best friend... And first of all, if you don't have one, be sure to create one! Twitter is another great network to have.
Like I said before, if you want recognition, it's best to put yourself out there. Follow your favorite companies, developers and anyone else in the industry. Stay in the loop and up to date with what's going on. You might see a tweet on a job offering!
It's all about networking - Don't be shy. Make some new friends in the industry. It's also having personality. You want to stand out - If you are a great worker but have a poor attitude, the chances of sticking out [in a good way] are slim.
Lastly, there are a few other options. These can turn into professional careers if you maintain a consist schedule and make sure to keep producing content.
Some of these options can help you get into the industry as a reporter, be part of a commercial, modeling products, sponsorships, etc.
YouTube Channel - Create a YouTube channel. I know, there are a million channels out there and just like Twitch, it continues to grow! Stay connected with gaming. Make a few "Let's Play" videos & add in commentary. I've seen some really outrageous game-related videos out there! Everyone has a different type of audience and preferred channel they want to see. Many people now-a-days are successfully having their YouTube channel become a career.
Twitch Streaming - Twitch is continuously growing with new streamers every single day. If you have an hour or two out of your day to stay dedicated to your stream channel - Go for it. Stream games you enjoy playing - Express yourself. If you're a really good gamer - People will stick around and watch. I've been known to stumble across a stream and watch intensely if the gameplay is really good. Be yourself - If you'll be on the mic & webcam, give the audience a dose of you! You never know who will be watching... Maybe even a few people from a good company!
I hope this article helps anyone who wants to get their feet wet and get involved in the gaming industry. I'm only giving advice from what I've been through. If you have any more suggestions and tips I'd love to know! Any information helps!