Educational Resource Roundup

Human Head
07 / 23 / 18
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After two decades of independent game development, Human Head Studios is no stranger to the ups and downs of the industry. To best serve Madison’s growing scene, we’ve rounded up our educational blog posts, from industry positions to making games and getting hired.

Industry Positions

There are many roles on a development team, all with different responsibilities and skill sets. We talked to some of our developers to get a first-hand look at what you might expect from their position, what challenges they face, and what skills are most important:

  • Producer
    • A game’s producer ensures that the project stays on track by coordinating with everyone on their multi-disciplined team. We talked to Human Head’s Amethyst Begley about how to become a producer, what she likes about her job, and more.
  • Game Designer
    • Designers wear many hats as they work with the team to strive toward a universal vision of the game. Rune’s Brad Fawaz discusses what skills a designer should have and what challenges they face in the development process.
  • Gameplay Programmer
    • Gameplay programmers write code that implements features requested by the game designers. We talked to Justin Terry about his responsibilities and advice for aspiring programmers.
  • Marketing Director
    • Marketing directors juggle many responsibilities, as they oversee marketing for all of the studio’s titles. Kat Shanahan breaks down what those responsibilities are, what skills to focus on, and more.
  • Community Manager
    • Community managers act as the game’s ambassador, becoming the bridge between developers and the game’s community. Survived By’s Katherine Stull explains the different roles she fills and gives advice on how to get started.

These are just a few of the possible roles you can find in the industry. Studios also need sound engineers, scripters, quality assurance testers, artists, and animators!

Making Games

You can contribute to a game’s development in countless ways. The positions listed above are broadly defined and have many roles under their umbrella. Now that you know some of the possible positions, dive into development! As Co-Founder Chris Rhinehart said best, “The resources available to modern developers are astounding — Unity and Unreal can both be downloaded for free. There are tons of tutorials, examples, and forums out there to help new developers. Nothing is stopping you other than your ambition and limiting beliefs. Just download and start learning and creating.”

If you’re brand new to the scene, check out our Beginner’s Toolkit for Game Development to get a sense of where to start. Once you’ve nailed down the basics, keep learning! These insightful articles should give you more in-depth lessons and unique perspectives:

Getting Hired

Can you already develop a kickass game? Unless you’re starting your own studio, the next step is applying to jobs! Here’s some advice to help you in the process:

Beyond just applying to studios, try to get involved in your local scene! Gaming groups and events are an awesome way to connect with likeminded developers, and could lead you to your next job.

While this guide can serve as a good starting point, it is by no means comprehensive. If you’re still in search of industry wisdom, check out our Bookshelf for Developers and make sure to keep an eye on our blog as we release new articles.