Leigh Alexander over at Kotaku posted a humor article today which satirically details the steps to take before getting started in professional game design. It’s a funny piece for people even slightly in the know, but understandably it may come off as discouraging for those who actually do what to launch their game design/development careers.
The truth is, a lot of it indeed is networking, bullshitting, and unfulfilled promises. Much of the glamour is lost within just the first week on the job. Ideas get flushed down the drain faster than the money does, and many nights after working double overtime you’ll lie awake wondering “why God why did I want to do this?” If you plan to go indie with it, then add the countless hours working on getting noticed by people other than your mom, the stress of knowing that if you don’t sell games then you don’t eat lunch, and the fact that there are thousands of others out there just like you. It can wear away at anything less than an indomitable spirit.
So what’s the secret to REALLY launching your game development career?
You have to REALLY have a passion for what you want to do. A couple classes on programming and game design isn’t enough. Go out there and make your games, even if they’re just clones of Temple Run or Angry Birds or even Minesweeper. Gain real life experience. Advertise your games so hard that your friends will consider blocking you on Facebook and/or Twitter.
The secret is, part of you has to want it because you love doing it, not because you think you’ll get rich doing it. So it is with anything that’s worth doing, really.