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Break Into The Game Industry: How to Get A Job Making Video Games (Consumer) [Paperback]

Ernest Adams
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 19.99
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Book Description

1 Jun 2003 Consumer
Find out from an industry veteran exactly what you need to do to become a game designer, tester, artist, producer, programmer, writer, soundtrack composer, videographer, or sales/marketing professional. You’ll get full-spectrum coverage of positions available within the game industry as well as details on how a game is created--from start to finish--and much more.

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Break Into The Game Industry: How to Get A Job Making Video Games (Consumer) + The Computer Game Design Course: Principles, Practices and Techniques for the Aspiring Game Designer
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne (1 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0072226609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0072226607
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 18.3 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 837,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


Beyond the stellar coverage of the field, the practical advice is sparkling... Adams has all the answers. --, October 2003 (Nadine Cruit)

This is a great book... encyclopedic in scope... and helpful to those who want to make it happen. -- Toronto Globe and Mail, June 16, 2003 (Andrew Allentuck)

From the Back Cover

"Ernest Adams has been around the gaming block many times; his industry insights coupled with the developer war stories should give any aspirant that extra edge to break into the game industry." --Jason Della Rocca, Program Director, International Game Developers Association

Practical Advice for Landing the Job You Want!

Join the fun! Learn how to become part of the excitement and creativity of game development--one of the hottest and most profitable industries today. Author, game designer, and producer Ernest Adams takes you inside the game industry, then delivers an action plan for you to break in--even without any game industry experience. Get great career advice and learn the different jobs that are available. Whether you're a curious gamer, a student, or a career changer seeking immediate help, this handy guide provides the information and insider advice you need to land a job in the game industry.

  • Learn how a game is built and published
  • Understand and acquire the skills you need to get into the industry
  • Discover the inner workings of the game business
  • Get your foot in the door as a game tester or with other entry-level jobs
  • Exercise your creativity as a game designer, artist, producer, or programmer
  • Get the right education for the job you want
  • Gain insightful advice from more than 20 industry professionals
  • Includes hundreds of useful resources for job seekers

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
BEFORE we get into how the video game industry operates-and how you can be part of it-we're going to take a quick look at its history. Read the first page
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Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 25 Mar 2004
Like people have already written, this book is more about the industry than how you're going to get into it. I bought the book knowing that, but I found this book very useful, covering many subjects that I wanted to learn more about. Some of the stuff he discusses in the book are things you can find out by doing simple searches on Google, but I think he has done a good job on collecting information that is crucial when trying to get into this business.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone who want to develop a game.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, interesting and informative! 22 Oct 2003
This book was really good, it tells you all you need to know about the industry before you commit your-self to trying to get into it. The only thing I would say is that it does concentrate too much on 'networking', were you have to know someone in the industry to get in. That said it does give the warnings and the information to decide if it is the right path for you. Also it has very good interviews with people in the industry, a good bit is were it give you a 'day in the life of' for each sector of the industry form real people in the industry.
Would recommend this to anyone looking to enter the industry or to anyone remotely interested in the industry!
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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Kelly
Well, I liked this book until I got to the chapter that actually told you how to get into the industry. It explains how the industry works, and is very interesting, however in a nutshell, it says unless you know someone in the industry, forget it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Like Having a Personal Mentor 12 Jun 2003
By Dave Grundgeiger - Published on
This book is a detailed and highly readable roadmap to careers in the game software industry. Assuming only that you have an acute interest in becoming part of the game software phenomenon, Adams shows you step-by-step how to break into this field as a programmer, artist, animator, audio technician, musician, writer, designer, tester, marketer, customer service rep, or even mailroom clerk.
The book begins with a wealth of fundamental knowledge, giving a history of interactive entertainment and a taxonomy of game software venues, including PC, home console, arcade, online, handheld device, "location-based" entertainment, and gambling equipment. Chapters explaining how the game industry functions and how games are produced--from idea through manufacturing--round out the very thorough treatment of fundamentals.
With the fundamentals under your belt, Adams explains how to get from here to there, wherever "here" is for you, and with "there" being a career in the game software industry. There is separate advice for those still in high school, those in college, and those currently in careers other than game software. Every major job in the game software industry is explained, and there are "day-in-the-life" sidebars for each, written by people actually holding those jobs. There is also specific, detailed information on what education you will need (which could be formal or self-taught) in order to do each of these jobs.
Lastly, Adams leads you through the job hunt and hiring process itself, explaining how to package yourself, how to find opportunities, how to interview, and--once you're hired--what legal issues pertain to the ideas that you create for your employer.
Peppered throughout the text are "war stories" and insider anecdotes from Adams and other game software professionals. You're left with the sense that you've been in the trenches all along, working alongside the best in the industry.
I found this book to be well organized, well written, informative, and genuinely interesting. It's about 300 pages, which I consider to be the perfect length for most books. Reading this book is like having a personal mentor show you the ropes carefully, methodically, and with respect.
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For true neophytes, primary, high schoolers, college applicants. Not experienced hobbyists or graduates 1 Feb 2006
By Munly Leong - Published on
My quick review of Break Into the Game Industry - How to get a job making video games by Ernest Adams.

This book is a very light read and aimed specifically at real neophytes who enjoy games and are giving a passing thought at doing something in games for a living without much knowledge of the industry. If you've grown up with the industry and are doing the indie or trying to break in thing, this isn't for you. Book can be pretty much read in one night, and for a lot of people there's a lot you can skim.

However, I would recommend this book VERY STRONGLY as a purchase for high school or even primary school children researching this as a possible career path. It pretty much covers a lot of things you need to get started *early*. Don't wait till you hit "working age" to start like I did. It's the only book out there that really targets kids and not working professionals trying to get in. It spends an entire chapter (and more) on how you should plan your education, what to look for, courses that will help etc. This stuff is good stuff, not the usual BS from "How to choose a college" guides.

There is also a very good summary of publishing contracts in there, that might be unfamiliar territory for a lot of people. Even though it wasn't new to me, I'm still photocopying it for something I can refer to if anything as a very good summary reference (I borrowed the book ).

Some of the best stuff is at the end in the appendices. There are huge lists of game companies and schools for anybody that is looking to apply at either. Book mentions that they are available at gamasutra as well but it doesn't hurt to have a hard copy. There is also the IGDA curriculum framework in there too, something which I wish my current school would have spent more time taking to heart instead of just looking at buzzwords.

Bottom line is, this is still a loaner for the most part. If you've been highly specialised in one area, this book can help catch you up from a more generalist perspective. There are some great war stories in there as well, but I can't recommend buying the book just for them. For anyone at primary school level, or looking at college this book should merit serious consideration as a purchase.
37 of 48 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT what i thought it would be.... 1 Nov 2003
By e. white - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am an experienced computer professional, who decided to change professions, which also makes me a recent graduate of a 3D animation school(i graduated at the top of my class). I purchased this book based on's(supposedly one of the best game recruiters) recomendation AND based on the other reviews listed for this book. I really thought this book would be informative. I was WRONG. This book was a huge WASTE of money. And I am not sure that the other reviews listed for this book are even from REAL buyers... I definately do not share their opinion.
This book was basically a waste of money, because it only gives you general information that most people already know. For example on page 189 the section "How to find a Job" starts. The first paragraph is a "its not what you know, its WHO you know." section. How is that supposed to help recent graduates or professionals changing professions?
In short, this book is NOT for professionals or graduates. It might be useful to high school students, who need might need to learn how to focus their career goals towards an game career... but even then i am not sure how it would help when they get to the position of actually trying to get the job.
TOTALLY DISSATISFIED, and WISH I could get my money back! This was a highway robbery at its best.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book 17 Oct 2003
By Jarrod Loidl - Published on
There a lot of books on breaking into the game industry so why would you buy this one? Hell, the overall gist is the same where ever you look - online, books, here, etc. 1) Build a folio, 2) Take any entry level job you can in the industry and be prepared to work your way up 3) if you can, try to meet people in the industry already.
If you want more indepth information than that however, this book is for you.
1) Everything is clearly broken down into sections very cleanly. Nice index and appendix makes it easy to reference.
2) Covers every possible angle - whether you're young, a college graduate or already working in another industry and deals with your strengths and weaknesses
3) Well written and substantiated by interviews with industry professionals (from game designers to game industry job recruiters)
No words are wasted in this. Every word holds some meaning. I was suprised at the breakdown on minority groups, different ethnic groups and gender issues in the gaming industry. I felt this chapter alone (whilst not necessarily relevant to me) increased it's target audience substantially by tackling a lot of issues that not a lot of authors have considered.
A lot of other books out there are a collection of interviews with various game developer professionals and often their answers are disjointed and do not answer the question directly, if at all. This does not make these books any "less" valuable, only a little bit harder to find the information you might be looking for.
If you want a nice, clean, crisp and concise book on breaking into the game industry, this is the book for you. My only gripe about this book was that I felt it was rather short (largely personal perception, I understand that). That said, it did cover everything you could possibly think of (short of building your own game company, but that's a topic for another book I think) so do bear that in mind, hence my rating.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have for Everyone Interested in Game Design 24 May 2007
By C. Dewitt - Published on
This book is a perfect edition for anyone who wants to know how a game industry works, inside and out. Between talking about game design docs in depth, going through each job and what you need for it, and the indexes in the back that give you links to get you on your way, I reccommend it to everyone who wants to be in the business.
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