This year marks the fifth year I’ve been active within the gaming industry as a freelancer. Within five years I’ve worked on two dozen games, dozens of reviews, attended approximately 35 conventions and gatherings, met hundreds if not thousands of people, spoke on panels, and built some awesome memories. Here are some of my take-a-ways from working in an industry saturated with creative people and a desire to have fun.
(1) Got an Idea for a Game? Great. Then What?
There are dozens if not hundreds of people out there who have a natural ability to design games. Game design is a multi-disciplinary function that may blend psychology, group dynamics, mathematics, strategy, engineering and creativity. There are many folk who run circles around me in game design, but there are just as many that don’t understand what that critical next step is and how it relates to running a business.
(2) Working in the Gaming Industry is Often a Labor of Love
There’s a common phrase that I hear all the time, “If you want to make money in the gaming industry, stay out of it.” Because the people behind-the-scenes are in this industry for different reasons, there are multitudes of levels of professionalism and business conduct. It is not uncommon for a person not to get paid–even when a contract is in place. Communication can either be sparse or excessive, which may create challenges with how much time it takes to complete a project. Yet, people keep coming back year after year because they love what they do.