Starting a gaming career? Easier than you think!
Since I was a kid, I liked playing games and wondered how it would be to actually make them on my own. At that time, I was thinking that the only way to become a game developer would be if I leave Serbia. Luckily, I was wrong. There were many roadblocks along the way, almost no programming education in elementary school, and not a single course about game development in college. That is why students had no realistic idea of what it means to create games, and the general opinion of students is that it isn’t real programming. It is quite opposite, in fact. Game development is a very interesting and dynamic job with a lot of opportunities for professional development in many different subfields. There should be even more engagement of companies and the government to educate young people about what game development really is and how to jumpstart their career.
While I was studying at college, I had no real knowledge of game dev companies in Niš, a southern Serbian city. At one local job fair, I had the opportunity to meet people from Webelinx. I saw that as an opportunity to get into the game development world, and, with an internship at Webelinx, I achieved just that. I learned what game development really is and a lot more about it… Starting a career in Niš wasn’t that hard after all. In the beginning, I saw Webelinx as an opportunity that will launch my career off and allow me to get a job in some of the big companies worldwide, companies that we all heard of. After some time, I saw that the company goals were the same as mine, and here I am, 5 years later, still at Webelinx. I had it all right here, in my hometown.
I never could imagine that I would work on a big, ambitious project with a big team here in Niš. Currently, I am leading a team of 7 developers, which is a very interesting task in game development. You can interact with all the processes that have to happen before a game can be shipped, and you can see how many different parts have to be interconnected before that happens. The ever-evolving market and technology (we are talking weeks here) require constant updating of the project, which makes game development very challenging, but also very satisfying.
One of the projects I worked on (also the one I am currently working on) is a storytelling mobile game. We all heard of Heavy Rain, Until Dawn, and Telltale’s Walking Dead series, and trying to recreate that type of genre on a mobile phone was a really challenging task, but when you are working as a team, everything is possible. So, as a team, we succeeded and created a game called Love Story.
In game development everyone is there just for one thing, to create games, which results in a unique positive team atmosphere in the company. I was very lucky to have really talented people around me along the way.
Young generations that are interested in programming games (or people that would like to change their field of work) have plenty of places right here in Serbia where they can start their game development careers. That makes me happy because Serbia has a bright game dev future since there are many talented people out there.
For most of us, this isn’t a career, it’s a passion.