The Importance of Soft Skills in the Gaming Industry

Authors:
Norbert Varga, CEO Digital Arrow
Aleksandar Trudić, Executive assistant and educator Digital Arrow

Soft skills and technical education are essential for every employee in the gaming industry. Now, if we take a closer look at most existing high education and business courses, there are no soft skill subjects or topics specifically geared toward the gaming industry that would enable potential employees to work more efficiently. Likewise, when looking at general marketing advertisements for the positions, almost everyone is on the lookout for a communicative QA, a producer with high organizational skills or an art director with reporting skills. What would happen if we found someone with amazing 3D art skills but less developed problem-solving skills; or someone who shows great potential for UI programming, but who is still just in the field of general programming?

What Makes Us Different in the Industry?

At Digital Arrow we offer educational activities in both technical and soft skills for our employees. We’ve come to the conclusion that a holistic approach to education is one of our greatest strengths – soft skills together with technical skills are a quality combo for each employee. Internal results of these methods have shown us improved communication between employees, seeing them openly address with their team leaders the issues they are facing which in turn increases functionality and operability in the workplace. In addition, our technical experts can bring an inside perspective which can enable others on the team to do a better job.

The Technical Part of Education Isn’t Enough

Working on a project doesn’t only include writing a good story, making a good design document or making an environment concept. Technical skills are equally as important as social skills. If you watch some gaming international conferences on YouTube, for example, the QA team leaders will say that communication is very important in solving game issues. And it’s not just about oral communication, it also comes into play in the documentative phase – you can’t expect to bring about a solution with: “Go down, then go left and enter the cave and you’ll find a hole which needs to be fixed.”

The only thing we have is the rawest information, and it needs to be improved. A better version of the example would look something like this: “Make your way down the stairs near the magical tree, and you’ll see a cave on your left-hand side. In that cave, you will notice a black graphic circle about 2cm in radius which needs to be fixed so the player doesn’t miss the real cave entrance.”

What About Meetings, Group Dynamics, Training Skills?

Why should these skills be reserved for every industry except for the gaming industry? Well, the answer is: they shouldn’t be! The gaming industry in Serbia deserves competent employees, lecturers and trainers for all areas: production, 2D and 3D art, animation, programming etc, and I think readers will agree with us. But there is one catch…

Standards in Training, Learning and Development: The Future of the Gaming Industry in Serbia

We believe it’s incredibly important to create national standards in lecturing/training in the gaming industry. At Digital Arrow, for example, we have our own internal standards. On an international level, we have the European Training Strategy which is mostly directed to those who are working with young people in the context of non-formal education and that might be a good place to start. We also have international coaching associations that have their own standards which we could also use. But for that knowledge to have a long-lasting effect, we should focus on education. Not just mentoring, transferring knowledge from seniors to juniors, from Jedi to Padawan – but a structured, institutionalized approach to learning game and narrative design. And with an increasing number of programs, mostly originating within the gaming industry itself – aiming to teach various aspects of game development – we have a bright future to look forward to.

Interested in joining the gaming industry? Find hot job offers on our Jobs page.