This map is constantly evolving as the entertainment technology adapts and redefines the roles and skills employed across the industry. The original goal was to create a tool which helps students visualize the various positions within the gaming industry. That continues to be the focus, but the map now includes job posting from some of the top video game companies in the US. The duties, responsibilities, and needed skills help students to plan their career, but we've been asked to remove identifying information (company, location, and salary examples). For details about specific roles at an individual company, your best bet is to contact the internal hiring agent.
Audio Technicians include Mix Technicians, Transfer Operations Technicians, Recordists, Central Operators and Projectionists. Responsibilities vary depending on the specific job title. However, duties may include setting up and operating technical equipment for a mix, aligning the recording, playback and projection equipment; assisting with the locating, setting up and breakdown of outboard equipment; completing billing forms such as mix logs and master inventory tracking sheets, and assisting clients with various technical needs.
Under the supervision of the Producer, the creative director works within the creative department to develop the overall vision of the game pertaining to interactivity, show, and marketing elements. More specifically, the individual is in charge of: • Creating the game's vision, in collaboration with other members of the creative department. • Communicating the vision to the production team; • Validating the content, jointly with the producer, with the editing department, and integrating feedback from the department; • Integrating the vision and monitoring quality, in collaboration with the Creative Committee; • Heading the Creative Committee, managing ideas and building consensuses.
Video Game Designers don’t create games. They create detailed design documents. A design document contain descriptions of all aspects of an electronic game - mission, plot, rules, flow charts, sound, artwork, and special features. The design document is the blueprint used by graphic artists, sound designers, and programmers to create the software that results in the video game.
The video game term "level" can refer to specific areas within the video game and they can also refer to certain milestones that the gamer can reach. Level designers try to create levels that build upon the skills that the gamer has developed while still offering enough difference to give the gamer variety and complexity. The level must fulfill a variety of roles. It must fit in with the mood and thematic elements of the game. The level must integrate smoothly into the overall storyline of the game. The level designer must carefully plan how the player will interact with the environment created by the level designer.
Junior Level Designer
Senior 3D Artist
Modelers work closely with Art Directors, Visual Effects Supervisors, Animation Supervisors to turn 2D concept art and traditionally sculpted maquettes into high detail, topologically sound 3D wireframe models. They will continue to assist the Technical Animator and Enveloper as the model has a skeleton put in place and the skin is developed. Following this, the model may be handed back to the Modeler, who will proceed to sculpt facial expressions and any specific muscle tension/jiggle shapes required.
Responsibilities · Leading the game’s vision, in collaboration with other members of the core team. More specifically, in charge of the quality of all content and the depth of the vision · Communicating, supporting, and spreading the vision to the production team · Validating the content, jointly with the producer and Editorial, and integrating feedback · Managing ideas and building consensuses · Working with Hollywood talent · Any other ad-hoc duties, if necessary Requirements · Significant work experience on AAA games · Capable of exerting influence and providing positive leadership · Sharp sense of creativity · Ability to listen, open-minded · Oral and written communication skills · Expertise in one or more of the design fields · Sufficient artistic skill to ensure that artistic direction is maintained · Comprehension of marketing issues · Experience with a AAA licensor is an asset
Responsibilities: Translate gameplay high level ideas into visual functional UI designs. Work with Script Implementer. Participate in visual comparisons and critiques. Competently assist in design of UI flow and function. Implement UI design assets in game. Qualifications: Experience as a vector artist specializing in graphics for User Interface. Experience in 3d in-game VFX. Proficient in Scaleform, Adobe Flash, Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects. Ability to create 3d assets in Maya or 3DSMAX to help facilitate UI design. Thorough understanding of UI/UX flow and function design. Ability to quickly adapt final assets to implementation methods. Works well in a team environment. Strong communication skills. Takes and understands direction well, meets deadlines and handles multiple tasks. Strong interpersonal skills. Good verbal and written communication skills and ability to interact effectively. Experience in motion graphics.
Technical Directors (TD) work with direction from the Visual Effects Supervisors and CG Supervisors to create the look of computer generated objects and scenes. They are responsible for lighting, shading, rendering, some compositing and for creating the motion dynamics and look of simulated effects such as water, smoke, fire and hair. TDs work with other artists such as Character Animator, Rotoscope Artists and Compositors to bring the shot together. They must be familiar with the ILM render pipeline and be technically adept to identify and debug any problems.
Provide general but crucial support to all current productions. Technical Assistants (TAs) retrieve files, process conversions, transfers, and maintaining backups. They have the opportunity to develop simple scripts and tools to streamline operations and also provide assistance in monitoring shots.
Motion Capture is a technique for recording performances from actors and applying those performances to digital characters. Companies use this technique to animate a wide range of digital characters for feature films and commercials.
Associate Producers work closely with designers, artists and programmers to organize and coordinate the game development process. An AP's number one priority within the development structure is to make sure everyone else can get their job done. This means a no nonsense approach to problem solving, daily communication with all the members of the team and working in support of the Producer in all task management and scheduling challenges.
Provide administrative support and back-up to the production team including typing memos, documents and schedules; photocopying, filing, preparing, maintaining and distributing storyboards and other reports; organizing dailies, helping with live action stage and location shooting as needed including craft service and errands.
The Script/Tools Programmers improve, develop, maintain and document the "generic scripts” used by the Render Support Department in tracking the shots rendering for each production. The generic scripts are programs and control files written in C shell, python, or other high-level computer languages. New versions of the scripts are delivered to the render support personnel by the Script/Tools Programmer who then assists with the integration of the tool as well as following up should any problems occur. They will also receive show specific script changes from the Assistant Technical Directors and then assist in integrating changes into the generic scripts. When necessary, the Render Support Department may ask for other programming tasks to be completed also. This sounds like a description of tools programmers in an animation house.
Systems Developers are responsible for design, prototype and construction of complex computer and data storage systems needed to create cutting edge graphical images. They define and build applications, including software and hardware, needed to support the artists in fulfilling their mission of creating visual images for the motion pictures. Systems Developers function as a liaison with the application software groups and artistic groups.
Responsibilities: Maintain audio signal analysis system. Improve the audio authoring pipeline. Research and investigate new audio analysis techniques. Work closely with the rest of the engineering team to identify areas for improvement and collaboration. Coordinate with leads to ensure smooth roll out of new features. Qualifications: 5+ years programming experience. Shipped at least 2 games as an engineer for PS3 or Xbox360. Bachelors in software engineering, computer science, or equivalent. Strong applied math skills, with a focus on digital signal processing. Excellent C/ C++ skills. Fluency in assembly and SIMD programming, with a focus on efficient DSP implementations. Expertise on at least one major current gen platform (Xbox 360 or PS3). Ability to be self-directed, focused, results-oriented, resourceful problem-solver, capable of working with minimal supervision. Strong communications skills. Music theory knowledge/understanding of musical instruments a strong plus.
Responsibilities: - Design public-facing sites with an eye towards scalability and usability. - Support and evolve internal and external sites with updates and new features. - Architect and code for mobile devices. - Demonstrate user experience through wireframes and mockups. - Create prototype mockups for focus testing. - Support outside agencies with web design needs. - Assist IT with asset creation and design of sites. - Assist in the support, creation and maintenance of content management tools. - Assist in creation of web portals with e-commerce solutions. - Assist marketing team with misc. art and design tasks. Required Skills: -Experienced with HTML5/CSS/JQuery - Experienced with Photoshop - Experienced with backend technologies Rails/Ruby/PHP/etc. - A solid understanding of layout and design - Understanding of forum and message board design and layout - Able to communicate visual ideas and create rapid prototypes - Able to accept and implement feedback into work - Ability to think critically about user experience - Able to manage time wisely and efficiently to meet deadlines. Desired Skills: - Passion for (and deep knowledge of) video games. - Experience with Illustrator - Experience with Motion Graphic design with After Effects - Experience with Video Editing with Premier - Experience with 3DS Max/Maya - Experience with print and online advertising - Experience with font design and typography
Desktop Support Technician
Director of Product Development
Video game testers are responsible for finding and reporting bugs in games during the different stages of development of a video game. They need to have keen observational abilities, along with good logical and analytical reasoning abilities. Experienced video game testers work closely with programmers and designers, to make sure critical bugs present in games are fixed before the gold disc is created. Their work is stressful and often involves erratic shifts, but the emotional rewards in the end more than make up for it.
The QA Director is responsible for the QA Department (People, Projects and Processes) for all projects. The key activities are Strategic Planning, Organizing, Directing, Monitoring and Coaching the QA Team with a focus on the QA Managers.