Chris Winn - Game Designer
Starting out in games can be exceptionally difficult.
There’s a huge amount of competition and, especially coming straight from graduation, it can often be hard to work out what exactly makes you stand out from the crowd.
Or, at least, that’s how I felt one and a half years ago before I got my first role as a game design intern here at Outplay.
I was our first ever game design intern and it’s that process which led to me being offered the permanent position which I hold today.
The aim of this blog piece is to try and distil that experience into a few pieces of advice for anyone finding themselves in that same position now or in the near future. Below are my biggest tips, based on my relatively recent experience, for how you to get that starting foot in the door for your perfect career:
1 - Understand the Experience You Already Have
As a student or recent graduate, it often feels like you have no experience and nothing to talk about in your resume, applications, or interviews.
That totally isn’t true.
All of the skills you’ve learnt within any course you’ve completed, personal projects you’ve pursued, or even just hobbies you’ve chased, will absolutely be applicable within the job openings you’ll be applying for and should be presented in your portfolio.
In fact, I found that it was often my biggest project failures which created the best portfolio pieces and, as long as you know why they failed, these can become great talking points when it comes to painting the picture for why you’re the best applicant for any position.
This leads nicely into:
2 - Take Opportunities and Work with Others
Every time you try and do something it makes you better at doing that thing.
Whether that means applying for large-scale undertakings like the Tranzfuser graduate scheme or pursuing smaller personal projects like making your dream platformer in Unity, Game Maker, or Construct, the best way to practice something is always to do it.
You’ll receive bonus points if these projects bring you into contact with other people with different skill sets and voices. Games are made by people and the more practice you can get working within those multiperson and multidisciplinary environments the better (even more true for those looking to get into game design).
Then again, none of that will matter if you don’t:
3 - Apply for Things and Be Persistent
Before I got my job at Outplay I applied to twenty-seven different job postings at various different companies.
Granted, not all of those applications were for entry-level positions (we call that ‘post-graduation hubris’) but sometimes you just have to keep applying until you find the right opportunity.
There’s a variety of different entry-level graduate schemes and internships available across multiple disciplines and sometimes even speculative applications can lead to something major. I don’t believe you’ll ever lose out through sending an application and, if you’re passionate enough, you’ll make time to create as many cover letters and resumes as you need to before you land that dream opportunity.
If you need somewhere to start then why not start here, at Outplay? Get a head start on the graduation season and find your first step by looking at our live roles here!