Since my embarkation into the professional world of video games I've garnered a lot of encouragement, helpful advice, and excitement from others who share my passion. It has been an invigorating experience that has left me full of excitement and optimism for the future. I'm sure many others who are in my situation or have been in my position quickly learned how competitive the industry is, as well as how difficult the barriers to entry are. Regardless, we continue to march forward in the midst of all that stands against us in pursuit of our dreams. I sincerely hope you share my optimism for what our future profession holds in store for us.
I wish I could say we were always certain of our destiny to become Video Game Professionals. The reality is, that attempting to secure video game employment can be demoralizing, especially when one has pursued it for a grievous amount of time. Accompanying, I've noticed a particularly concerning trend among some industry professionals. This trend has kept me awake many times over the past year, and has almost halted my pursuit for employment in the industry. The "trend" that I am referring to is the notion that a small percentage of experienced veterans feel the need to discourage aspiring video game professionals from entering the industry.
Now, giving experienced veterans the benefit of the doubt, I am sure this discouragement is only meant to shed light for those who might indulge in "the Art of Naiveté." Potentials may be unaware of the harsh conditions that the industry sometimes exudes. For whatever reason, It is ostensible that some veterans are out to sabotage the progression of those who dream to make video games for a living. Though these cantankerous individuals are few in numbers, their impact on ones decision to pursue another career can be colossal.
I have written this post to contradict those who discourage others. For the individual who may feel discouraged or the professional who might need that extra bit of motivation, I beg you to continue you journey through to its final destination. Wherever that may be.
It all starts with a dream. Many of us want to be in the video game industry for similar reasons. We want to make those fun video games that we've enjoyed and continue to enjoy. We want to be creative. We want a fun work environment. Money, power, perhaps even fame. Unfortunately none of these reasons are good enough. None of those reasons will suffice for what lies ahead. You need something more to successfully embark on this journey. There has to be something more powerful, something deeper. There has to be a calling so deep within ones being that it is able to far out weighs any coherency as to why one would want to work in video games.
Money should be of no object. You laugh at me, and I understand. However, money is the tool that allows the developer to survive and continue on their path in the hopes of creating more video games. If someone were to guarantee that you will always have food in your stomach, clothes on your back, and a small roof over your head, are these not the only necessities you need to pursue your vision full heartedly? Many of us already have this luxury, so what else could you possibly need to chase a dream? Nothing. I apologize for being candid, but with those three things secured one is able to do the rest through resilience, determination, and hard work.
Now, I know most of us have obligatory duties and responsibilities that require us to maybe work in a job that is unrelated to our field. This job may feed you. It may provide for your family. It may reduce financial obligations. However, this job should be considered as a stepping stone in the journey to your Valhalla. You can still make your dream come true. You have to want to pursue the vision so badly that it shakes the very core of who you are. If you thirst for game creation as much as you thirst for water, your soul mate, or the very air you breathe, I can promise you that you will work in games and you will love every minute of it. For it is, in essence, what you are meant to do.
Some of you might say, "Well, I can't break into the industry. I've tried everything. It's to hard." Well there is good news and bad news. Bad news is you will most likely never in your life "try" everything, so get used to that and accept it. Good news: you already work in the industry my friend! To those who live, eat, breathe, and sleep video games, you are consciously or unconsciously sustaining and growing the beautiful world which is game development. When you program, research, draw, talk, and blog about video games you are actively working in the industry. You may not be getting that steady paycheck, but you have food in your stomach, you have clothes on your back, you have a roof over your head (hopefully), and most importantly you are working in games.
This is where you smile and pat yourself on the back. And now a little about me and my dedication:
I happen to be one of those people that dream to make video games for a living. I am an aspiring producer and game designer, as well as a horrendous writer (grammatically. Probably spelling too…I'M WORKING ON IT!"). I wake up at 8 am every morning so that I can teach myself programming or fill my thirsty brain with information that might help me become a great producer one day. I then attend my day job and university classes. I come back, study until 2 am, and then do it all over again. To me, I work in the industry every single day of my life regardless of my employment status. I'll sit and sketch in what sometimes feels like a futile attempt to get better, and I study everything possible relating to the video game industry, plus some. When ever faced with an opportunity to learn something new, I never shy away in the hopes that the obtained knowledge might come into play as a professional. If one looks closely enough, there is a way to connect that boring biology class to video game development; somehow. I have no experience. I have a lot to learn, and I'm hungry to the point that nothing will satisfy my drive to be the best at what I do. I may never see that day, I may never officially be employed by a game development company, but at the end of the day I will have pursued my life long dream with the ferocity that is hard to match. Not many people can say that.
Why am I telling you this? Because I sincerely hope you find the passion that drives you to continually move forward, despite what others may say. You can't always study 4 hours a day (trust me I try), and there will be dry spells in your progression. Weeks, months, even years may go by. Deep inside you know that voice will not stop whispering in your ear to answer your internal calling. Follow it. Trust it. Love it.
If you want to work in games please just do it. Even if you study a subject an hour a day for 3 years, that's over a thousand hours of studying that subject. That is enough to be sufficient at what ever it is you choose to do. However, for heavens sake, don't stop there! Continue on your path to greatness and never assume your good enough (though you very well may be).
It's cliche to tell you, "Don't let anyone stop you," but I mean it when I say, "Please pursue your dream." You would be doing a disservice to world if you didn't. If you were destined to be the next Steve Jobs, Denzel Washington, or Cliffy B how could you afford to let someone or something discourage you? You can't! So don't start now! If all else, I can promise that you will have, at bare minimum, one person rooting for you. Me :-)!
You don't work in games because you want to. You work in games because you have to.
I recently started my first official blog. If you feel inclined to follow, please do. I will be marking every step of my journey, beginning with this post. I promise I will also make sure to incorporate proper grammar and writing techniques into my studies.
You can follow at risingproducer.com
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Why You Have to Work in the Video Game Industry Now?
In my debut blog post, I hope to influence readers to be unwavering in their pursuit of becoming a Video Game Professional. I will attempt to establish my thoughts and forecasts on what it will take to enter the industry, all while introducing myself.