Finding a job
Computer games technology
There are many different job roles within the games industry and the work can be extremely varied. Employers are largely games developers or games publishers. Companies within the industry can vary in size – from small companies employing less than five people, to multinational studios offering opportunities to hundreds of potential employees.
Depending on the nature of the opportunity, target clients could range from educational institutions to broadcasters, from marketing and advertising agencies to mobile phone companies.
Types of jobs in the sector
- Games design and development – This involves devising what a game consists of and how it plays, defining all the core elements and communicating this to the rest of the development team who create the art assets and computer code.
- Game programming – This is at the heart of the game development process and focuses on writing the computer code that runs and controls the game. It also incorporates writing custom code as required and testing and fixing code and bugs.
- DevOps engineering – Involves creating and maintaining network systems for games with online components and solving problems for the design and development teams by using web services. This role may be referred to as “Network Engineer” or “Web Services Engineer”
- Audio engineering – Involves creating the soundtrack for a game, which may include music, sound effects, character voices and spoken instructions. This area of work is likely to be based in development studios.
- Artwork and modelling– This could include work as a concept artist, animator and 3D modeller. These roles focus on creating the visual elements of a game, such as characters, including movement and behaviour, scenery, objects, surface textures and even user interface components. They also create concept art and storyboards, which help communicate visual elements during the pre-production phase.
- Software testing/Quality assurance – This involves testing, tuning, debugging and suggesting detailed refinements that ensure the quality and playability of the finished game.
Where to find computer game technology jobs
When searching for roles, you have the option of online jobs boards, specialist recruitment aagencies, becoming self-employed or using your network of contacts.
- MyCareer – Can be accessed through our website to search the latest vacancies, save job searches and set up job alerts
- GamesIndustry.biz – Offers news, features and events, as well as having a dedicated Jobs Board, which will help you to manage your career in the games industry
- MCV Develop – provides a jobs board, which outlines opportunities in art/animation, design, digital media, engineering, programming, production, development and quality assurance
- Games Jobs Direct – A global video games jobs board for the games industry – advertising vacancies which cover games design, games programming, games development and commercial roles including sales, marketing, PR and operational functions
- UK Games Map - Ukie - An interactive tool that shows the locations of games companies and games service providers in the UK
- Climax Studios advise that they’re open to receiving speculative applications
- Aardvark Swift – A recruitment consultancy matching individuals to opportunities linked to video games, online and mobile entertainment
- Datascope Recruitment – Recruitment consultancy for the games, online and mobile technology industries – based in central London with services covering roles such as programming, art, design, development, sales, marketing and PR
- Amiqus – A specialist games recruitment agency connecting skilled candidates to the right studios in the gaming industry and enabling individuals to create networks
Project work forms a large proportion of employment in this sector, so fixed-term contracts and freelance work is very common. You may need to explore working on a self-employed basis.
Student StartUp Team – Starting up and finding work as a freelancer can be a difficult task, but the Student StartUp Team have developed a range of online resources for you to access. Founding your own games company can be an excellent way to combine your creative skills, academic knowledge, and entrepreneurial spirit. Although some might consider this a daunting prospect, our Student Start-Up team is on hand to offer expert advice and guidance for up to five years after graduation. Additionally, the Student Start-Up service can provide guidance and resources for students and graduates considering working on a freelance basis. As a freelancer, you will be self-employed and hired by game companies to work on assignments or projects. For further information, visit our Student Start Up page.
- The British Interactive Media Association (BIMA) – aims to showcase and reward great digital work, share knowledge and best practice and support and develop future talent
- The Creative Industry Network – Connecting individuals and companies, providing a platform to showcase and share work, follow and connect with agencies, brands and freelancers. The site also offers a job search function across creative industries, including games
- MCVUK – In addition to its jobs board, Develop, which is a European-based website and magazine focused on the games development sector, offers the latest business, coding, art, sound and game design trends and features interviews with the creative and commercial leaders in the field
Useful Twitter feeds
Check out the following Twitter feeds for news and information about current projects and to tap into the hidden jobs market.
Tips for finding a job
Many jobs are not advertised in the traditional way, so be proactive with your search and apply speculatively. Here are some tips to gain access to the hidden jobs market:
Keep up to date with computer game technology news and trends by following the professional bodies on X (Twitter), this information might help you identify opportunities to network and tap into the hidden job market.
Keep your online job search flexible as some employers might use different titles to describe the same job role.
If you are keen to focus on a specific sector within computer game technology, check out the specialist websites for these areas for current vacancies
Most companies have an X (Twitter), LinkedIn and/or Facebook account. Follow designers and publishers that interest you, and register with them as this is often a place where new opportunities are posted and where you can keep in touch with their current activities.
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