You don’t have free time, you only have time for games. Reviews, top-tens and playthroughs fill up your YouTube recommendations. Your nightmares are filled with lag, buffering symbols and disconnections. You talk in a strange language that your friends don’t understand, using words like MMO, RPG and FPS. You are a gamer. But you want to level-up, to evolve, unlock that next skill-point; you want to be in gaming.
Well, you’ve come to the right place, not just this article but also the right University with a great number of gaming companies just down the road in Leamington Spa. During the second term a number of people in the gaming industry came to Warwick University to talk about their companies and getting into the industry in general. Here is what they had to say:
In Leamington Spa, a city fast becoming the Silicon Valley of the Midlands, the future for video-games seems bright
Want to get your foot in the door but don’t know how? Well Amiqus has got you covered. These guys are a recruitment agency that specialise in getting you into the gaming industry. Helping you get into programming, art, design, marketing, leadership and pretty much anything else you can think of; they’re a great way of working out what it is exactly you would like to do in the industry.
- Come to us for personal one-to-one contact, internships, general advice or just to help keep you in-the-loop
- They work with companies in the gaming industry, most recently with Epic Games, to find the job that’s right for you
- Don’t be afraid to get in touch, you can speak to someone over the phone or just send over an e-mail. All services that they offer are completely free!
For something a little more direct consider looking into Hardlight games, who are a local games studio based in Leamington Spa. A small studio but nevertheless successful and quickly expanding, increasing from a team of six in 2012 to over 35 today, Hardlight have been working with SAGA to bring Sonic to the mobile world in the form of Sonic Dash 2, Sonic Jump and Sonic Jump Fever.
- The gaming industry requires a lot of commitment, so be sure that you’re prepared to put the time and effort in if this is the career you’re interested in
- Hardlight have connections with Japan and the US, with lots of new opportunities to come
- Mobile games are a hugely successful industry but also a great way to get your foot in the door for other types of video-games
Third Kind Games
A video-games Development Company, also based in Leamington Spa, Third Kind Games are focusing on making triple-A games; with their current project the D.R.G Initiative (working title) recently being announced.
- While at university get involved in societies that may be related to games, try to find other gamers like yourself and even have a go at making your own creations that you could put in your CV
- Don’t be afraid of starting in a bit more obscure part of the industry. Dan Hughes, co-founder of Third Kind Games, started out in Quality Assurance
- Working in the gaming industry requires that you have good communication skills so that you can work well in a team; make sure this is something that you want
Yet another Games Developer based in Leamington spa, Pixel Toys develop games for mobile, tablet and VR audiences. Drop Dead, Warhammer, Gunfinger and Super Little Acorns are all among their repertoire with more soon to follow.
- Though they’re a new studio, just four years old, they’re now a global leader in quality 3D games
- The gaming industry is constantly changing and when working in it you will have the opportunity to define studio culture, values and practices
- Gaming is very big at the moment. It’s an industry that now makes more than Hollywood, so now is the time to get into it
Cardboard Sword Games
For somewhere a little further afield check out Cardboard Sword Games. With working on games including Forza Horizon 3, Not a Hero and Mirrored, Cardboard Sword Games are fast becoming important developers in the gaming industry.
- Right now there are loads of new opportunities for Indie developers in a way there has never been before
- Working for triple A games are good ways of making connections, gaining experience and for training and mentorship
- Meanwhile starting up your own studio can offer different sort of challenges, creative freedom and experience in areas outside your specialty – when considering going into the gaming industry you should think of the pros and cons of these two options
You can very easily end up working in a flexible career offering plenty of creative freedom in an industry that you love
Back to Leamington Spa (was getting worried for a second), Playground Games are one of the teams that have been working on the Forza Horizon series and are now recruiting for their second project. With about 150 staff members they’re the biggest game developer on our list.
- The industry offers a great variety of different roles including environment, concept, vehicle and lighting Artists, gameplay, online, audio and AI Engineers, level and game Designers, Producers, Quality Assurers and many more roles. Have a good look into what you might be interested in.
- Playground games want to make the making as well as the playing of video-games fun; offering a flexible and creative working environment and lots of perks which include a Royalty scheme, duvet days and free breakfast!
- If job security is what you’re looking for, then working for a big company like Playground Games is a good place to go for
So, clearly there are a lot of options, both local and national, at a time when video-games, mobile, Indie or triple A, have never been so successful. Not only were almost all of our companies recruiting, but most had graduate jobs perfect for any soon-to-be graduated student. The key things our industry experts said to us were that if you are interested in getting into the gaming industry you should try to find experience wherever you can, be prepared to put a lot of work in and make sure that you have a strong interest in video-games and the area of the industry that you are going into. In return you can very easily end up working in a flexible career offering plenty of creative freedom in an industry that you love. Whatever you choose to do one thing is clear; in Leamington Spa, a city fast becoming the Silicon Valley of the Midlands, the future for video-games seems bright.