One of the best things about the game development industry that I like is the amount of options available to go into and the fact that your never limited by these options either. One project you could be a level designer the next you may be a content designer. Hell, if the project is large enough you could very well be switching roles every few months. Game Design alone has numerous specialties like level design, content design, UI design, lead design etc. just to name a few. Choosing a specific path to go down is no easy feat but if I had to choose there has been two roles that have always struck out first whenever this question is asked, Level design/environment artist.
I’ve always marveled at a games environment before anything else within its world. If I’m enraptured by the game’s setting in the first 10 minutes because it’s telling me a story and sparking my imagination to life then I’m generally sold on that game. Just like the emotions and feelings invoked in me by a games environment I too want to invoke emotions in others. Level design/environment artist is a way to subtly pull the strings of the player without them knowing it (if done well) like a puppet master. There’s something luring about that for me.
One of my inspirations in the field is a man named Tor Frick, an exceptional environment artist whose made some great pieces. He actually got his break into the industry creating an entire environment with one texture. It’s easy to lose confidence when you see the level of competition you have to go up against, but it seems everywhere I go, collaboration and building your contacts list seems to be the primary way of making a break into the industry. Connecting to people in the multitude of game forums out there, reaching out to developers who inspire you, attending game events like, pax, comic con and E3, participating in events and competitions seem to be the best ways to be seen. But been seen isn’t enough you also have to be noticed, an easy to access and see portfolio with finished pieces is what really seals the deal.
I keep telling myself to get my portfolio together. It just feels like I’m nowhere near ready for that step though, maybe that’s just normal. I spose I have my next course of action.
Tor Frick Sci-Fi Lab: http://www.polycount.com/forum/showthread.php?t=89682