Your career in gaming

The gaming industry globally employs tens of thousands of people in dozens of occupational categories. All these people make games for over two billion players around the world who now spend over $ 150 billion on games. The industry grows at a steady pace of about 10% year on year. The games and their creators have been awarded in various categories, just like the rest of the creative industries (film, music, theater) and are considered top art and tech talents. E-sport is on the rise, and the intertwining of video games with other forms of entertainment and learning is becoming more common.

Research among our members shows that Serbia currently employs more than 1,300 people in the video game industry, and over 60% of our members plan to expand their teams in the coming period. The industry needs a wide variety of staff: developers and artists, business development experts, testing and customer support, marketing experts, monetization experts, sound designers, community communication specialists, sales people, managers for promotional activities…

Find your place in a diverse and creative gaming industry

Our community is always available to help anyone just starting out, and the SGA is constantly working to improve opportunities for education, training, and networking.

If you are planning a career in the largest and fastest-growing entertainment industry, we want to introduce you to all the opportunities that await you. Whether you are attracted to working on AAA titles or making your next indie hit, it is important to understand in time what options are available, so that you can direct the development of your skills in the right direction. You can view all currently open positions in the Serbian gaming industry on our JobAds platform.

DEV

Probably everyone who has played video games as a child at one point thought how they would like to make games or come up with their own after an adventure on Sega, Sony, Amiga, PC, or another platform. The development and programming of games was just as elusive as the possibility of being an astronaut or a secret agent. Today, the situation is far different, and developers of all kinds can easily find internships and full-time positions in the colorful gaming industry. Experienced developers advise:

How to start: as soon as possible. First as a hobby and enjoy it as much as you can before it becomes a profession. This way, you will much more ready and capable for the real thing. Think abstractly, design, and write each system as best you can, as if it were a part of the test for the best position in the best company. Be in the industry, try to move in game dev circles, participate in GamJams.

Skills required: imagination and love of games, excellent programming knowledge… Reading, typing, comprehension, testing, and working hard. All languages ​​come into play (once you are familiar with the programming paradigms, it is easy to switch from one language to another), and especially object-oriented programming (OOP). Problem-solving and analytical thinking – just like any other programming gigs – but more fun. Where you are weaker, you strengthen with work, time, and experience. Basic database work is always desirable.

The most common positions: there are many, and they usually depend on the complexity of the project and the size of the company or team. For example, Gameplay Programmer, Software Engineer, UI Programmer, Game Engine Programmer, Tools programmer, etc. All positions have a standard gradation according to experience – intern, junior, meddle, senior.

  • Intern – a person with no professional experience, but wants to do this job. Recommendation: graduating from college is a plus. Make your own games, upload them to GitHub, make an interesting CV.
  • Junior – you have worked for a while, but you still didn’t master all the technologies, processes, and skills.
  • Middle – you are able to bring a “feature” from the initial to the final stage.
  • Senior – you are able to mentor colleagues and help them develop. You know a lot of things, but you continue to learn every day and follow emerging technologies and useful events.

Most common tools: Unity3D environment, C #; Unreal Engine, C ++; Proprietary engines, Web based environments, JavaScript.

Commonly used systems: AWS – Amazon Web Services (databases, storage ); Firebase (databases, storage, authentication, analytics)

ART

Game artists are in charge of everything that is visible in the game – characters, vehicles, environment, scenery, materials, user interface, animations, trailers, concept art, lighting… Whether it’s been done in a 2D or a 3D style. We should also not forget the tech artists who approach the games from another angle, combining the artistic and programming part, paying attention to the performance and optimization of the sets, making tools for artists, etc.

Because of this diversity, it is recommended that you decide on time what interests you the most. A career in game art is increasingly attracting artists from other industries because it allows your work to take on a fourth – interactive dimension. Cooperation with all other team members makes the whole process even more interesting.

Required skills: the ability to work in a team, basics of visual art (composition, harmony…), readiness to accept feedback, knowledge of software and modern techniques of how to do something, following trends, both in gaming and in your industry

Top positions: Concept artist / Illustrator, Environment 3D artist, Character 3D artist, Animator, VFX artist, UI artist, Graphic designer

How to start: follow trends in processes and tools, build a portfolio – put in it what you would like to do, personal projects, and works are absolutely an option, show your vision, or a redesign of an existing game or character. In the beginning – imitate: take a project that you like and try to remake it. Follow tutorials and online courses. Find one that you would like to follow from start to finish. Leave ego aside, seek feedback and opinions from others.

The most common tools: Photoshop (for concept artists and illustrators), 3DS Max, Maya, Blender (for 3D artists and animators), zBrush (for 3D character artists), Substance Painter and Designer (for all 3D artists), Illustrator, Adobe XD, After effects (for UI artists), Unity or Unreal

SOUND

What gives a special dimension to any gaming project is everything a player can hear, be it music, sound effects, or character dialogue. The sound quality can turn a mediocre game into a good one, or spoil a title’s game experience with otherwise great mechanics.

There is a place in the gaming industry for: sound designers, sound engineers, Foley artists, Voice Foley artists, VO actors, actors, composers, musicians, singers, music producers, audio editors, audio producers, audio directors, electronic music producers, programmers and many more.

Knowledge of audio equipment, basic music theory, basic acoustics, software for recording, editing and producing audio files (DAW), middleware software and computer hardware is very important.

To be able to work well with the rest of the team (which includes dev department, art department, animation department, game designers, creative directors, producers, QA department, HR department…) depending on the complexity of the project, it is desirable to have basic information knowledge in their areas, the basic knowledge of the Game Engine in which the game is made and the most basic knowledge of programming, because that way you can connect the audio with the game, test the levels and simply design your audio system better and more creatively. This also applies to composers: you will be paid to save time for sound designers, developers and QA, and thus better test and improve your adaptable music yourself.

Some of the positions: junior sound designer, sound designer, audio artist, senior sound designer, lead sound designer, dialogue supervisor, audio programmer, composer, audio director

The most common tools: DAW – Reaper, Cubase, Nuendo, Pro Tools and Pro Tools Ultimate; Middleware software – Wwise and FMOD; Game Engine – Unreal 4 and Unity, Communication and Project Management: Office, Google Docs, Jira, Slack, GitHub, OBS, DaVinci Resolve and Adobe Premiere

GAME DESIGN

When we say game design, some people think of the visual part first, some think of programming. However, what is actually meant here is the creation of the very concept of the game and its essence. The famous questions: “What is this game about? What does the player actually do in it and in what way?”. These issues are addressed by the game designer.

Designing a game concept involves designing goals, rules, and challenges in video games by creating specific mechanics, levels, tasks, and puzzles — through everything that makes the gaming experience fun, interesting, and sometimes challenging. Game design, in addition to creating mechanics, also deals with the design of the story, dialogue and the entire narrative if the game requires it.

In smaller teams, game designers deal with other areas as well, such as programming or art production, while in larger teams, game designers deal exclusively with game design and even specialize in certain segments, such as system design, mechanics, or narratives.

Required skills: the ability to work in a team, analytical skills, storytelling, critical thinking, creativity, passion for video games, knowledge of gaming trends

Top positions: Game Designer (junior, medior, senior), Lead Game Designer, Narrative Designer

How to get started: watch tutorials and make small prototypes in any technology (engine), deal with any branch of video game production to get to know the production process

The most common tools: Game Engine (Unreal, Unity, CryEngine….), Google Docs, Google Sheets, any software for making sketches and diagrams

BIZ DEV

In order for a game to have a better chance of achieving success and generating revenue for a company or an indie studio, it is essential that there is at least one person on the team whose role is to focus on the commercial development of the product and the company. This person is usually called a Biz Dev and has very broad responsibilities. From PR to project management, but with an emphasis on identifying and realizing opportunities that will enable the team to better market and monetize the game.

During game development, Biz Dev is in charge of market analysis, game positioning, and finding strategic partners including game publishers all of which can have a huge impact on the game’s commercial success. Once the game is released, Biz Dev’s role is to create new or improve existing sources of game revenue through partnerships, sales, and licensing. As the game develops and grows, so does the opportunity to scale all these activities, with the creation of a portfolio of games, more partnerships, investment, and various other activities that are necessary for growth. A good Biz Dev very often plays a key role in the commercial success of a company.

Required skills: excellent communication, pragmatism, creativity, “get stuff done” mentality, good organization, endurance, perseverance

Top positions: Business Development, Business Intelligence, Licensing Manager, Product Manager, Producer, Monetization Specialist, Corporate Development, Sales, Publishing Manager

It’s good to start: the positions of a market analyst, product management assistant, sales assistant or marketing assistant are all great starting positions. A good Biz Dev is has an understanding of all areas of business, from product creation technology to marketing tactics for branding, which only shows that virtually any type of knowledge and experience is relevant for further career development.

The most common tools: Email, LinkedIn, CRM systems

OTHER

Over the past few years, some new occupations have emerged from gaming. Esport is now already known for professional players and transfers not unlike those in classic sports. Streamers are an integral part of this online sphere of gaming and don’t forget that there are those who report on all this and cover all news and updates about gaming – journalists and bloggers.