My first step into the gaming industry and how I’m turning my career into a game

The journey so far…

 They say that a journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step, and if that is so, then I’ve made my first step into the game industry. Its been a long time since my last post so here is my update. I’ve just gotten into Anino games, one of the first game development companies here in the Philippines. Its a company that I’ve been wanting to be a part of ever since I got out of university. I still did not get a designer position but I guess quality analyst would do for now. Its still a very long way from my ultimate goal of making serious games but it’s a start.

I watched a video of game designer Brenda Bratwaithe’s talk during the Game Developer’s Conference 2010. The talk inspired me and made me re-evaluate what I wanted to do as a game designer( well a hobbyist game designer at least). The game was a board game called ‘Train’ and it was about the holocaust and from what I’ve heard the game moved people to tears. I thought to myself, “these are the kinds of games I want to make someday”. I want to make games that can actually move people, and make them ask questions. I want to push the boundaries of games as a medium for telling people’s stories.

I’ve also come back to my roots which are non digital games(board games and card games). I figured that it would be easier for me to create games for my portfolio if I make non-digital games also.

My Quest

I’ve been reading a lot of research and articles lately regarding the game industry, and its intimidating how competitive the games industry is. Sometimes I question myself if I have have what it takes to get into those big companies. Questions like ‘am I creative enough’ and ‘Should I stop this now and get a law degree’ always pops to mind. But then I’ve also read ‘Reality is Broken’ by Jane Mcgonigal and about those all those games that have actually moved people into action and I tell myself that I can take this journey a little bit further into the next hill or crossing. In order to motivate myself into accomplishing everything that I need to accomplish within the next two years I made a game for myself. The game is called My Quest.

The game is not really a game but more of a series of tasks that I need to accomplish before the end of the year. I’ve pinpointed some larger tasks which I needed to do in order to achieve competence and up my chances into getting into serious games or a AAA game company and they are:

  • Know the market and the latest trends( demographics, what is popular)
  • Know and learn the technology(learn a game engine, read about the latest research in game design)
  • Know people( make contacts around the world and meet people who have the same goals as I do so that I can learn from them and them from me)
  • Gain exposure( I need increase my online presence, by writing about games and be involved in forums)
  • Be the best game designer I can be( by playing games, making them and studying

I broke these tasks into smaller goals. Every time I do one of these smaller tasks I earn points towards a goal. For example:

To complete the Foresight achievement I need to get a total of 1000 points. Everytime I read a news article regarding the latest games I earn 1 point towards that goal.

Another achievement is the Designer achievement. This is a bit harder to get since in order to complete it I need to make a minimum of three complete and play tested games which are to be used for my portfolio.

There are also unlockable achievements that have pre-requisites like: Make a compelling resume, Make an online portfolio, and create a demo reel.

Finally there a NPC ( people that are not me) given tasks which are tasks given by other people to help me improve as a game designer. I’m going to post this in a forum to see if I can actually get people to help me improve by giving me tasks.

By the way, the game is inspired by Assassin’s Creed. So I’m calling the missions contracts. So yeah, I’m ‘assassinating’ these challenges one at a time. Someday I’ll be a full fledged Assassin and make games that will help humanity or something like that.

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9 thoughts on “My first step into the gaming industry and how I’m turning my career into a game

  1. I love your idea of turning your career into a game. I will be starting a new job in a few weeks and I would like to adapt your idea. Of course My Quest will look a little differently because I would like to receive quests from instructional technologist and technology trainers within a college system. I’ll keep you updated on my plans and if it works. 🙂 By the way, I love your passion for the field! I am finishing up a dissertation project with the goal of informing the design of educational games. Keep your blog going and stay in the conversation. 🙂

    • Thanks a lot! I find that using a game like this allows me to give immediate feedback for myself on a weekly or daily basis. Its working pretty well and I’m making some progress. I’ll be posting some parts of MY Quest here later this week so people who stumble on this blog will have an idea where or how to start. Anyways, keep me posted on your quest and thanks for the suggestion!

  2. Tristan, why don’t you create a game for Turning Your Career into a Game? That would be useful and life changing to many people. I am exploring a creative way that would make it easy for people to create and track quests for me. I know I could use WordPress and even award points using the Cube Points plugin. However, I was wanting something with more a game feel. I would also like people to track the results and data of the quests they create and I complete. I think you could create a cool game around the concept. You may even want to target high school and college students working toward their career. I know we could also use something similar at the college level for motivating and guiding students toward completing their degrees or certificates. So many possibilities!!!

  3. Do you have an update on how this is working for you? I’m curious about what’s working and not working. I am getting ready to try a version of your idea for myself in my new position.

    • Hi! So far its been working perfectly fine! The only con is that its for one person only. I’m still thinking of a way to involve other people in these ‘quests’. What are you using to keep track of your goals? Maybe we could share ideas?

      • Unfortunately, I have not found the perfect tool and I am not a programmer. 😦 I have set-up my WP site with BuddyPress with the CubePoints plugin. It won’t be perfect but hopefully will give me a way to play with ideas.

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