Your child, like many others, is probably hooked on the latest video game out right now. And while a lot of kids have dreams of becoming a player on a professional team, the reality is that this is a very challenging aspiration to achieve. However, there are actually a multitude of other jobs out there related to video games, including video game development, esports production, games journalism, and more! In this blog, we’ll be focusing on just a few of the many careers your child can excel in specifically in the video game development industry.
This is probably what most people think of when they think of someone who works in the gaming industry. Game programmers provide the tools necessary to help games run smoothly and give players an engaging experience. Game programmers can have a wide array of jobs, such as creating player objectives, writing scripts, developing reward systems, handling player controls, and even designing the network to handle hundreds of players like on Fortnite servers. If your child is logically or mathematically inclined, this may be a great career choice for them to explore!
Engaging your child in courses like Ukatsu’s Intro to Programming, learning languages such as C++ and C#, or following YouTube tutorials on channels like Brackeys are great ways to help your child learn more about game programming and how to start creating their own projects.
This is where you can combine both programming and creativity into one exciting career! As a level designer, you are in charge of taking different pieces from the art, animation, storyline and programming departments, and bringing a video game level into fruition. Children who enjoy both creative and logical outlets may enjoy this path, as this career requires both an artistic eye to design what the player sees in game, as well as the ability to discern how the components of the game should be put together.
Becoming familiar with different free game engines such as Unity and Unreal, or even taking classes such as Ukatsu’s Game Design Career Builder can help strengthen your child’s knowledge of this profession and if it’s a great fit for them.
Artists are responsible for some of the most stunning imagery in video games today. Whenever you’re able to play a video game and feel fully immersed and appreciative of the detailed environment surrounding you, such as in Red Dead Redemption 2 or Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, that’s all thanks to an artist.
Two of the more popular types of artists in the industry are Concept and 3D Artists. Just like the name implies, a Concept Artist is in charge of coming up with the concept or idea of how a level, object, or character should look like in a video game. A 3D artist often takes those concepts and turns them into a reality, creating things from a chair or table to designing the actual characters themselves to developing extremely large set pieces of cityscapes.
If your child enjoys drawing, or if they’re interested in a 3D modeling class at their school, this may be a career they would be interested in. The application Blender is a fantastic free tool with many tutorials on YouTube to help your child start learning the ins and outs of 3D modeling.
User Interface/User Experience Designer
Have you heard your child say the phrases “My health is low” or “I have no shield” before? This probably means they were looking at the User Interface of the video game they were playing. As a User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) Designer, you are in charge of making sure that what the player sees in game is intuitive and easy to navigate. In games like Fortnite, a user’s interface is the display showing their shield, health, and key bindings for weapons and building. UI/UX can refer to the menus and settings in video games as well, or even the Heads Up Display in Virtual Reality or games like Subnautica. As a UI/UX Designer, a player should never feel frustrated and lost while trying to do tasks such as finding an item in their character’s inventory or when needing to change a setting in their controls.
If your child has an aptitude for graphic design or has a knack for the aesthetic, they may take interest in this career. If they’re also interested in learning how to make video games, the YouTuber Brackeys has videos on how to create your own menu, settings display, and more!
A video game wouldn’t be nearly as immersive without its music. Games like Marvel’s Spider-Man and God of War are highly revered for their high caliber music and soundtrack. Soundtrack Composers in the gaming industry are responsible for taking a video game’s story and gameplay and translating it into a soundtrack that enhances the game as a whole. Their music makes the fight scenes all the more intense, and the heavy scenes all the more emotional. If your child enjoys playing an instruments or composing their own music and also has a passion for video games, being a composer may be something they may want to pursue in the future.
Video Game Writer
The writer is in charge of creating one of the cornerstones of most video games -- the story. Creating the story for a video game is different than other mediums, as the writer has to ensure that the narrative does not compromise the gaming experience. Even with this challenge, a writer can create some of the most emotional and riveting cutscenes, dialogue, and storylines in a video game, such as the powerful opening scene in God of War and the incredibly deep and intricate storyline in The Last of Us.
Children who enjoy writing creatively or excel in their English classes may find this field extremely interesting. If your child has a creative mind, encourage them to write down their ideas into a journal or notebook or typing up their stories in an online document. If they’re also interested in making their own video games, work with them to make one of their stories a reality by turning it into their very own video game!