teenager on a computer, gaming, cyber securityThe video games industry has experienced huge growth in the last year, particularly in the mobile games space. And it’s set to grow even more this year, with research by App Annie predicting that mobile games spending could grow by 20% in 2021.

This growth has already prompted a surge in applications from those hopeful of joining the industry, but what does it take to really make it in video games if you’re just starting out?

Aline Krebs, Game Artist for hyper casual mobile games developer, Voodoo, was encouraged by her parents, her father in particular, to follow a career path that she loves. For her, that was working with video games.

Aline shares her top tips on how to get into the video games industry, the challenges she faced on her own journey, and how to overcome them.

Follow industry trends and be curious about everything

Being on top of the biggest industry trends is vital in order to demonstrate your knowledge and value to potential employers. You should keep a keen eye on what the next big games will be, look at which ones were a success or a failure, and try to understand why.

And don’t forget to expand your industry research outside of your own personal interests. You might love mobile games above all else, but it’s extremely important to engage with AAA and indie titles so you’re well-informed on the biggest topics in the industry.

Inspiration can, and often does, come from outside the video games space too. Some of the best games that have ever been made have been inspired by other forms of entertainment such as board games, books, films and theatre, or even a personal hobby.

You can take any concept and make a video game from it, whether that’s playing as a slice of bread on a mission to be made into toast, controlling a goat with a penchant for destruction or turning the serious business of immigration into a game.

Make yourself visible on social media

It’s a no brainer to keep your LinkedIn profile updated from a professional perspective, but it’s surprising how many people neglect this and other social channels. By constantly maintaining and updating your social presence, including channels such as Twitter and Instagram, you will make sure you’re ready to send your portfolio to a potential employer or recruiter at a moment’s notice.

Think of your social channels like a live portfolio of your work. You don’t need to have thousands of followers, and sometimes all it takes is for just one person to see your work to change your life, but this won’t happen if you don’t make yourself visible and show off your skills.

Believe in yourself and ignore your inner saboteur

Impostor syndrome is experienced by millions across the world, including me, and something that women in particular face in tech specific industries. It can be challenging to fight, but it’s incredibly important as a woman in the industry to believe in yourself at all times.

When I was first trying to break into the industry, I was told that my experience with 2D and 3D graphics meant I was too much of a generalist, that I wasn’t good enough and required a specialism. It hurts when people tell you that you haven’t made the grade, but instead of dwelling on it and letting your inner saboteur take over, try to understand why they’ve said that and look at ways you can improve.

One of the best ways to fight against your inner saboteur is to focus on what makes you special, and boost yourself with positive affirmations. And don’t compare yourself to other people, because that’s a sure fire way to start the negative cycle all over again.

Always keep learning

The old adage that we’re always learning is true, and exceptionally so in the video games industry. Things move incredibly fast, so you need to make sure that you’re constantly developing your skills so that you don’t get left behind.

Nobody is a master of all trades, and you’re not expected to know everything when you’re just starting out, but prioritise learning as much as possible to give yourself a competitive edge. And just because you don’t have certain skills yet, doesn’t mean that you can’t learn them.

Don’t give up

The most important thing is to never give up. It took me several years to land a permanent role in the games industry, and there were multiple times where I felt like giving up. But I couldn’t imagine working in any other industry, so I kept pushing myself because I knew there was a job out there for me somewhere. Sometimes, you have to dig deep to find it and wait longer than you might want to. But it’s not impossible, so don’t give up.

Aline KrebsAbout the author

Aline is a 2D/3D Game Artist for Voodoo Berlin, where she creates concept art and both in-game and production assets. With a passion for 3D environments and all things colourful, Aline has produced artwork for mobile games such as City of Love: Paris and Partouche Casino Games, alongside working as the solo artist for Steam and Switch game BAFL – Brakes Are For Losers. After being introduced to video games by her parents at a young age, Aline made the decision to enter the games industry as a teenager, teaching herself the skills she needed before securing a diploma in graphic design and attending Enjmin to study games and interactive digital media.

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