Did you grow up playing Super Mario on the SNES?

Whether you come from collecting Pokemon on the Gameboy Colour or click-clacking your way through Candy Crush on your phone, everyone has a game that they’ve loved at some time or another. But have you ever taken a peek behind the scenes of your most loved video games to get a closer look at how they’re made? Welcome to the world of games, where people like you get to live out their dream jobs every single day.

“The best way to get into making games is to start making games. Start thinking about fun little things you might want to do as a player and make them. You learn so fast that way,” Farooq told us. It seems like simple advice, but often the most obvious ideas get overlooked when focusing hard on forging a new career. “Every day I spend making games, I’m able to learn faster and do more than I was the previous day. Never worry about not knowing how to do something, because it’s just a matter of time. I look back at how magical coding, 3D modelling etc. felt when I started out, and I feel awesome because I know how to do that stuff now. I also get to feel super excited about all the stuff I still don’t know how to do, stuff that still feels like magic, because that means if I keep at it, I’ll be a wizard soon.”

Game Designer and Developer, Farooq Dehlvi, of Beyond Tomorrow Studios

Practice Makes Perfect?

They say practice makes perfect, and in Farooq’s case, his years of practice, patience, dedication and passion led to a blossoming career in the thing he loves most –recently co-founding his own studio, where he gets to pitch, make – and most importantly – play games! Perhaps the most valuable piece of advice Farooq offered to our students was one that rings true for jobs across every sector: “[gaming is] an industry where most people are willing to go out of their way to help each other, so never hesitate to ask for help.” Do some research into the studios that make your favourite games, find out who works there and in what role – and reach out to ask for some advice. While not everyone will reply to you right away, getting a little leg up from someone already in the industry gives a massive boost in confidence and forges connections that could help you out down the line.

If that’s whet your appetite for a taste of the gaming life, then studying is always a solid place to start. If the design aspect of game development speaks to you, consider a course in graphic design, animation, sculpture or even fashion to being with. The transferable skills you’ll learn there will put you in good standing when it comes to crafting your first game. Or if something a little more technical is up your street, computer science could be the way to go – learning to code, problem solve and make the most of AI will set you well on your way for a fulfilling career in games programming.

Finally, it wouldn’t be right to talk about jobs in gaming without mentioning play testers; the job of dreams for many. Every game needs to be vigorously tested before it hits the market, and there are plenty of opportunities available online for those willing to lend their thumbs to the cause. While it’s less permanent and lower paid than other options, it’s a fun, fast and fairly easy way to get an understanding of how things work on the inside. So whether you’re a gaming addict, a keen artist or a dab-hand at writing code, a career in gaming may just be the perfect fit for you. Take a look online at some of the opportunities available, and consider Farooq’s all-important advice – roll up your sleeves and start making games!

By Lisa Kenney – Senior Careers Features Editor