Why finding a job in the game industry so hard?


Before beginning to write this blog, I was planning to write a blog about the implementation of AI in game development. However, I don’t want to talk about it right now. The number of days that are left for this semester is becoming smaller and smaller. The summer vacation becomes closer and closer. I become more and more stressful because of being unemployed. I want to use this opportunity to express my pressure and all the frustrations that are stopping me from breathing every day. I want to talk about how to pursue a career in the game industry. I understand that the game blog should talk about some design problems in video games or some games that I want to share. However, I believe pursuing a career in the game industry is the goal of the students in the game design class and this topic is related to everyone.

There is a talk at GDC this year called “Are Games Art School? How to Teach Game Development When There Are No Jobs”. Unfortunately, I didn’t go, but this is the first time that I found that not only me, the educator is also noticing this challenge. When I was back in my undergrad, I was trying to find an electrical engineer job with my limited undergraduate knowledge. I found it very difficult since the knowledge they teach in undergrad is extensive that nothing goes deep. Fortunately, I found a company that appreciates my value. After I came to ETC, I thought that everything would be easier, especially with my master’s degree. However, the cruelty of reality is killing me every day. At first, I was trying to find a production internship. With my only production experience in school projects, I usually got rejected in the resume screening round. Or even during the interview, they always asked me about how to deal with the situations that never happened to me. Production internship in the game industry is narrow. Usually, a company has to be big enough to recruit an internship in production. Later, I began to apply for a game design internship. I have to admit that I didn’t play that much game compared to boys. Even though I have played the piano for years, I have terrible finger techniques with the game consoles. As a result, the games that I could talk about with the interviewers are limited. As expected, I failed. I come to ETC because I want to have a chance to do more creative side of the project instead of coding. However, being creative is hard and needs a lot of practice and experience. With the time constraint, I could not make the game design projects as fun as I wish. I am not satisfied with what I did. I begin to doubt myself whether I still have the motivation, confidence, and bravery to become a game designer.  After watching Caine’s Arcade this week, I was impressed by the insistence and passion of a little boy in designing his own game. I admit that my game design experience on my resume isn’t good enough and it is very rational why they rejected me. Compare to Caine, I think my motivation is just 10% of a little boy having fun building his paper arcade.

I don't want to make excuses for myself. There are so many things that I can improve. But, how could I get enough experience to qualify for being a game designer without somebody gives me my first job? How could I know whether I have enough motivation and courage to pursue something that I do self-doubting every day?


Sorry in advance If you think I am complaining too much. But, please help! A student in your class needs your opinion and advice. Thank you in advance as well :) 


Ava Tan

Pittsburgh, PA