Scenes From A Game Dev Panel

A short and sweet post to fill you in on the takeaways for a great panel I had the please of moderating. Four Local Orlando Game Developers from EA, Indibox, Lockheed Martin and an Instructional Designer from KPMG shared their experiences with a great crowd on what it takes to be a game developer. If you have followed my posts in the past then you already know that it takes a lot more than good technical prowess to be successful in Game Development. In fact, your professional and social skills could be the key that leads you into the industry. I am going to purposely not comment on the following in hopes that it stirs your imagination and gets your brain engaged. I welcome additional comments and ideas as well.

The number one take away from all five panelists when asked what people who want to make games for a living should do to prepare themselves for a career in gaming was simple – MAKE GAMES!

That's right, start now. Why wait? Here is a list of a few ot the free tools they mentioned to investigate and start learning:

  • Unreal 4
  • Unity
  • Visual Studio
  • Game Maker
  • Impact JS

Also, remember that many of today's AAA titles have level editors that allow you to play around and create your own custom levels and designs. Spend a little time getting familiar with these tools, and have fun!

When I asked these five rockstars what they felt were the most important attributes they consider in potential candidates, they were all in agreement with the following:

  • Communication
  • Teamwork
  • Ability to Learn
  • Enthusiasm
  • Initiative
  • Willingness
  • Collaboration
  • Cultural Fit
  • Innovation
  • Open Mindedness

Yes, technical skills are important, but it certainly is not the end all. If you can't be the things listed above you have made the wrong career choice.

So, let me make this easy for you. Whether you already make games for a living or may be thinking about a career, download these tools, round up some friends – or better yet go make some new friends that also want to make games – and get busy.

I want to thank the good folks at Otronicon for the opportunity to moderate this panel and especially thank the panelists themselves for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their experiences with us.

If you fast forward to 1:29 at the video link below you can catch the panel in action. [youtube]

Let me hear from you!