A Career in Game Design

A Career in Game Design

There are millions of kids that dream of a career in game development, what could be better than playing games for a living.  The industry isn’t actually that laid back, developers do a whole lot more work than just playing games, although game testing is part of the process.  Game developers work with a game from start to finish, they think up plots, create characters and settings.  It is a huge opportunity to make a living using your imagination.  Let’s explore the world of game development and if it is a good career choice for you.

Highly Creative

This is a highly creative field that attracts as many artists as it does gamers.  The setting along with the different characters come from highly creative minds, designers create some incredible masterpieces for you to enjoy.  Games come in all different genres from epic fantasy to sports games and all require creative designers behind them.

Plenty of Jobs in the Field

The gaming industry won’t be slowing down anytime soon.  Games are big business and good designers, as well as programmers, are in high demand.  A successful game launch can mean hundreds of millions in revenue for the company.  Gaming companies are willing to spend big money to hire good talent.  The job prospects for a game designer, even those fresh out of college look great and the industry isn’t slowing down anytime soon.

Job You Love

As was said earlier there is plenty of work involved in being a game designer, lots of long hours, and huge projects to tackle. But… you can actually do a job that you love.  Yes, you will also get to test the games that you are part of building to make sure it offers an excellent experience for the end-user.  Imagine being part of the team that created one of the Grand Theft Auto games or Call of Duty, it would be an amazing experience.

Plenty of Job Growth

As you grow in your field and get some experience under your belt you stand a pretty good chance of advancing in your field and running your own team or designing your own game.  The gaming industry is wide open right now and companies are always looking for the next great idea, who says that you can’t be the one to come up with it.

Game development offers a whole plethora of job opportunities from coding to artwork, if the field interests you then don’t hesitate to chase your dreams.  There is nothing better than working in a field that you love.

How Do Mobile Games Make Money?

How Do Mobile Games Make Money?

There are millions of free games available for download for Apple and Android phones so you may wonder how do mobile games make money if game play is free.  Mobile games make money in two different ways, in app purchases and through advertising.  Mobile gaming is BIG business and game developers fight tooth and nail for every download they get.  Let’s take a look at this business model and see how game developers make their money.

In App Purchases

In app purchases are where you can buy items to make your game play better.  These can be anything from extra lives, extra levels or special tools for your character to use. Most mobile games only offer a certain amount of lives and when you exhaust them you have to wait before you can start playing again.  The game allows players to buy extra lives or even unlimited lives for a whole day for a small purchase.

Developers walk a fine line between offering enough free game play to get players involved and want them to keep playing enough so that they make a purchase.  Typically the cost for in app purchases are usually pretty low, under $10.  Getting this aspect of the game right is crucial to how mobile games make their money.

Advertising

Game developers also understand that there will be millions of players that will never make an in app purchase so they still need to find a way to monetize their audience, that’s where advertising comes in.  These ads can range from small display ads at the bottom of the screen to pauses in the game to watch a full 30 second commercial.

Some games will tie advertising into their game as a sort of in app purchase, need extra lives to continue playing then watch this 30 second commercial and you can have them.  The incentive can be extra lives, extra moves, longer play or some other special bonus.  This is called interstitial advertising and it works because it catches players in the middle of a game where their attention is focused.

Other games, particularly the epic fantasy action/adventure games used to have an upfront cost and that was where developers generated a portion of their revenue from.  Most, if not all have moved away from that business model and use some combination of in app purchases or advertising to make money.  There are still some games that will remove the advertising if you subscribe to their “Premium” version of the game.  No matter how they monetize their games you can still count on nothing being “free” in the mobile gaming world.

Console or PC?

Console or PC?

Is gaming better on a PC or a console has been a debate since the first PlayStation was launched, the launch of Xbox, a Microsoft product, made the debate even more intense.  That debate has been raging for nearly two decades now and PC users still swear that they have the better platform and consoles users say the same about consoles.  So which should you pick?  Let’s see the perks of both.

PC Gaming

PC gaming enthusiasts swear that gaming on a PC is the best and yes, there are perks to using a PC.  There are services like Steam that allow you to play while they take care of things like updates.  Games are cheaper and easy to buy, with just a click of the mouse.  Upgrading hardware is easily done and a gaming PC can last you for years.  Whereas with a console you will be buying a new one every couple of years.  The drawback is that a good gaming PC with all the peripherals is double the price of a gaming console.

Console Gaming

Consoles have come a long way and now they come with nearly every feature you can get from PC gaming.  In addition to that, they are the very definition of easy, you connect them start up your game, and go.  They have a huge selection of games and some of the big game launches are only available on a console.  Both Sony and Microsoft have their own online storefronts with some incredible deals on games.  The big drawback to console gaming is replacing the console every two or three years and deciding whether you want to go with PlayStation or Xbox.

Honorable Mention

Before we go any further in the console versus PC debate it should be mention that mobile gameplay is set to overtake them both.  Bear in mind that it is a completely different experience and both console and PC gamers will play on mobile.  What else are you going to do while standing in line at Starbucks waiting for your latte?  The quality of the game is never going to compare nor will it ever likely draw the same amount of revenue as PC or consoles but it is here to stay.

What to Choose

While this debate has been raging forever you have probably already picked your favorite platform and have your favorite games.  There is no better time to get into gaming no matter what platform you choose…even mobile.

5 Best Gaming Channels on YouTube

5 Best Gaming Channels on YouTube

Gaming channels are among the most popular content on YouTube, since the pandemic started these channels are becoming even more popular.  Gamers look for other gaming enthusiasts, reviews of new releases, and tips and tricks for getting through the game.  So who should you pay attention to and which channels should you tune into?  Here is a list of the 5 best gaming channels on YouTube that you need to check out.

PewDiePie

By far the most popular of all of the internet gaming channels out there with a whopping 109 million subscribers.  This channel has been around since 2010 and mostly features the popular Let’s Play series where he talks about first-person games.  After 10 years on YouTube, PewDiePie has set the standard for YouTubers everywhere.

Markiplier

With a respectable 28 million subscribers, his passion for gaming is evident in every video he shoots.  Markiplier became of the 100 most subscribed channels all the way back in 2014 and has been a smash hit ever since.  Each vid conveys a positive attitude and enthusiasm for gaming that his viewers love and relate to.

VanossGaming

Hailing from Canada, Evan Fong is known by the moniker VanossGaming.  The channel was created back in 2011 after Fong dropped out of college and now stands as the 13th most subscribed-to channel on the platform.  The channel highlights Evans and the Banana Bus Squad, a group of friends, playing mostly esports games.

Ninja

Richard Tyler Blevins or Ninja, as you might recognize him as, comes from the professional gaming world and started his channel back in 2011.  With 24 million subscribers his channel is sitting pretty.  If you are a Fortnite fan then this is a channel that you will want to check out.  He has one of the largest Fortnite communities on the platform.

Jacksepticeye

Now let’s head across the pond to Ireland and meet Sean William McLoughlin.  He created his channel way back in 2007 and is the oldest channel on this list, he built his channel and now has more than 26 million subscribers.  There are a bunch of different playlists you can check out including one dedicated to Minecraft and another dedicated to Fortnite.  Back in 2016 he signed up with Revelmode, a company owned by PewDiePie and that was sure to help him grow his channel.

If you’re an avid gamer then you have probably come across one or two of these channels looking for some tips or tricks on your favorite game.  All of these are worth  checking out the next time you put down the controller.

Best Selling Games of All Time

Best Selling Games of All Time

Gaming is no different than any other business and every game maker is obsessed with sales and numbers.  Some games have been around for decades and have been immensely popular while other games have exploded onto the scene in the past couple of years and sell millions of copies.  And that makes us wonder just what the bestselling games of all time are.  Let’s look at the least and see which ones have raked in the most sales.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds

This game launched back in early 2017 and has managed to sell over 70 million copies.  It is available across the PS4, Xbox One, PCs, and even on mobile phones.  Bear in mind that playing on a mobile phone, while limited is free so it doesn’t really count towards the number of games sold the mobile version of the game has been downloaded over 700 million times bringing the parent company PUBG nearly a billion dollars in revenue.

Wii Sports

Okay, this one is kind of iffy.  Wii Sports came bundled with the Wii console and they consider it their bestselling game ever with more than 82 million copies “sold”.  While 82 million is a more than respectable sales figure, is it really a sale if it comes with the console and you could question just how many of those copies were played on a regular basis.

Grand Theft Auto V

This is a HUGELY successful franchise and the sales of GTA V alone have surpassed more than 140 million copies of the game.  Not only is this game only one of three games to sell more than 100 million copies, it also stands as the most profitable game ever created.  Initially released back in 2013 since then it has made
2K more than $6 billion in cold hard cash.  It makes you wonder why it is taking a decade to launch GTA 6.

Minecraft

Minecraft is considered one of the best video games of all time.  While it has no missions to accomplish you can explore the world, build civilizations and the game is never really exhausted.  The classic version has been around since 2009 and it is available across all platforms.  To date it has sold more than 200 million copies making it the second bestselling game of all time.  Minecraft isn’t just a game it has also spawned toys, education and a film on Netflix.  Here is a look at Minecraft and why it is so great.

Tetris

The classic game has been around since 1984 and has been played across dozens of platforms making it almost impossible to calculate exactly how many games have been sold.  That being said more than 500 million copies of the game can be accounted for, easily making it the best selling game of all time.  You’ve undoubtedly played it yourself.

There you have it, the bestselling games of all time.  How many have you played?

What Goes Into Making a Really Great Game

What Goes Into Making a Really Great Game

We spend hours a day playing our favorite games without giving much of a thought as to what goes into developing a game.  Developing games is big business, with gaming companies spending millions trying to bring a game to the market.  Even those silly games like Candy Crush that we play on our phones spent a lot of time in development.  So besides a ton of money, what goes into making a really great game?  Let’s have a look at what makes a great game.

Start with a Story

Even those small games like Candy Crush have some type of backstory it is one of the features that make gamers care about the game.  Big MMORPG games have stories weaved into impressive graphics.  All of the first-person shooter games that are played on consoles have a story.  Stories give your gamers a purpose and a reason to keep playing.

Good Graphics

Graphics have come a long way, it is one of the best parts of gaming.  Characters are lifelike, colors are rich and vibrant and fight scenes and explosions are amazing.  Good graphics are also one of the things that drive the cost of gaming.

The Music

There have been some very big names in the music industry that have lent their work to video game soundtracks, Eminem’s music is on at least 5 different games.  Even your basic matching games have catchy tunes.  While music won’t make or break a good game it definitely enhances the experience.

Missions and Levels

It doesn’t matter if it is a simple game or something as complex as World of Warcraft, if you want to keep your players engaged then there needs to be some type of goal for them to reach.  Almost every game out there has different levels, usually getting progressively more difficult with different missions to complete along the way.

The Game Has to Flow

Whether you play a first-person shooter game or an MMORPG the game needs to flow smoothly from one task to the next.  Game developers include all kinds of twists and turns to keep the players engaged and entertained.  Regardless of the type of game, there are usually bonuses and hidden gems along the way.  Most also end the game with a final mission that is the most complex and difficult of all.

A good game doesn’t happen by accident it is a well-thought-out and structured collection of ideas.  The developers consider every aspect of the game from the storyline to the graphics.  Most players have no idea of the amount of work that goes into developing a game.