Congratulations, you are now working in the games industry. However now is not the time to be complacent. Behind you are hundreds of thousands more with similar aspirations, some who would gladly do your job for free. While in front of you it is likely that you have far-reaching aspirations in which you've only just begun to achieve. Outlined below are the keys to being successful over the life of your career.
- Stay relevant by continuing to maintain a current knowledge of the market and study newfound discipline and development practices vigorously
- Maintain friendly relationships with your co-workers as the industry is very small and you will most likely see them again at a new company in the future
- Don't ever let your passion for creating games wane as it is the fuel that keeps you going through the rough times
- Practice humility and take time to watch and learn from those around you
- Recognize the somewhat transient nature of the games industry and think long and hard about where to put down roots for your family
The unfortunate reality of developing games today is that positions are often added and just as frequently dropped at a moment's notice due to the volatility and relative youth of the overall industry. Though getting your foot in the door is cause for celebration it is likely that you will once again be looking for employment in the future.
"As a kid, I was always reading programming books or making simple games on the computer. I got into the industry after studying Computer Science in college and having a job outside of the gaming industry for a couple of years to build up base skills. Having a solid C/C++ background helped a lot.
Later on I left the normal sector to become an independent iOS developer, since I wanted the fun and challenge of running everything on my own. It's been a blast, and I'd say the most important thing is to do what you love, and put high quality into everything you do. If you can choose a niche and own it, money and success is sure to follow."
- Ray Wenderlich, Founder | Razeware
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In conclusion we will leave you with this one last thought. When hiring developers of all disciplines we look long and hard for three key characteristics:
Passion. Attitude. Drive.
"Continued success is never easily achieved in the games industry. A strong foundation for repeatable success begins with each team member having an unwavering passion for their craft, a collaborative and positive attitude regardless of the state of play, and a drive that leads to creative problem-solving and total accountability to your team, studio and ultimately the customer .
Always strive to expand your sphere of influence within a team by bettering yourself through researching, networking, and developing new skills. Borrow best practices from the most successful companies in the world (regardless of industry) and adapt them to your team's needs.
These are the guiding principles we've used to achieve continued success with our games year after year."
- Brian Clayton, General Manager and Executive Producer | Paragon Studios
Continue to grow your wealth of experience, play nice with others, and hang on tight to that desire that brought you here in the first place and you will have a long and rewarding career in games development.