The man behind Shenmue and many other games, Yu Suzuki. Mark Cerny (creator of Marble Madness and founder of Cerny Games) drives a Ferrari. Sega legend Yu Suzuki drives a Ferrari. Jay Allard, one of the key people on the Xbox team, drives a Ferrari. John Carmack, the man behind the PC game engines, drives a Ferrari.
The parties, the shows, the glamour, and the chance to work with games all day ... a generation of gamers is growing up looking for careers in the interactive gaming industry. The question is, "How?" How do you break in to the industry? Are there any shortcuts?
Over the last decade, several noted universities have begun teaching game classes and programs. Schools as prestigious as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Carnegie-Mellon now offer degrees or certificates in game development. According to a list published by the Interactive Digital Software Association (IDSA), the trade organization that represents video and computer game makers, nearly 50 schools now offer courses in game development or design.
And that list does not include DigiPen, a college in Redmond, WA, that specializes in games.
The Job Market
Dave Theurer (Tempest, Missile Command) and Yoshiki Okamoto (Time Pilot, Street Fighter II) started their careers as game designers. Back in the days when games had 20K of code and crack programmers could create games in their garage, companies could afford to gamble on untried talent.
Today's hit games routinely cost more than $10 million to produce and market, and the most expensive game cost an estimated $45 million to produce. Five-man development teams such as the one that made Pac-Man are a thing of the past.
Today's teams have artists who specialize in character design and artists who specialize in 3D animation. There are sound engineers, programmers, and...