So You Want to be a Game Dev?

Ned Jordan
In Short
At Digital Dragons 2023 I spoke with Olle Pridiuksson, one of the founders of Gamedev Camp - a game incubator, about how their program can help programmers and artists looking to get into game development.
When you hear the term “game incubator”, is this the first thing that pops into your head?

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Yeah, me too. The reality can be quite different, though. If you’re looking to break into the videogame industry, but don’t have the resume to get your foot in the door, a game incubator could just be the opportunity that you need. At Digital Dragons 2023, I had the chance to speak with Olle Pridiuksson, the founder of the incubator Gamedev Camp. At Gamedev Camp you don’t need to quit your day job or move into a home filled with other developers – the entire process is conducted remotely.

So, say that you want to break into game development, what is that process? It begins with an application. Gamedev Camp is not for someone without any experience in development or art - programmers will need to submit samples of their work such as a GitHub link or a game they’ve been working on, while artists will need a link to their online portfolio. Pridiuksson told me that they are really looking for people who are serious and can prove that they can focus on something to completion.

Once accepted, Gamedev Camp will match a group of applicants together to form a complete four-person team – a game designer, a programmer, a 2D artist, and a 3D artist. As for what kind of game they will create, it’s entirely up to the team. During the first meeting everyone will bring their ideas to the table and decide what they want to make. What follows is a three-month program with an end goal of producing a working game demo.

Gamedev Camp lets you manage your own time in that you don’t have to quit your day job to be a part of the program, but they will make sure that you have a structured schedule with set tasks and deadlines. You will also need to make scheduled meetings, both with your team and with the team mentor – meeting times will be set on European time, so if you want to participate from the US or Japan you’ll need to be sure that you can adjust your schedule to the time difference. Sessions and meetings are conducted in English, though, so at least those of you in the US and Canada would not have to contend with a language barrier in addition to the time difference. Sessions are conducted on Discord.

Each team is assigned a mentor who is someone with an extensive background working in the game industry. Mentors will hold sessions with the team to provide expertise, advice, and feedback on the game project. They are also available for one-on-one meetings to provide specific help to a team member.

Once the three months are up, the team will present its demo to the Gamedev Camp and a panel of industry experts and investors. At this point a decision will need to be made by both the team and its individual members. If you look at the experience as a boot camp for working in the industry, Gamedev Camp will help you with finding a job in the industry now that you have a completed game project on your resume. On the other hand, if you find that your game has the potential to be published, Gamedev Camp will act as your team’s agent. They will help you look for investors and a publisher, as well as act as your PR agency to secure your game a spot at game conferences and spread the word about your game to the media and industry.

If this sounds of interest to you, you can begin the application process here. The cost of the program is 600 euros, which is about $650 at the time that I am writing this. I enjoyed speaking with Olle Pridiuksson, he does seem to have a real enthusiasm for helping people learn how to bring a game to life, and I think that he would be a good coach and mentor for someone looking to break into the industry.

Transmitted: 2/26/2024 7:54:27 PM