Game Design Intern Jobs, Employment
If you’re looking to step into the games industry, summer is a great time to work on building your resume.
Many game design students are finishing up their last year of school or have already graduated. Others may be out of school for a while but looking to break into being professional designers. Summer “internships” are great for getting your foot in the door and gaining some experience.
While this advice is geared towards game design students, I think it’s useful for anyone looking to break into the industry. So whether you’re a programmer or an artist or something else entirely, don’t be afraid to apply!
Let’s get started with…
What Game Design Internships Are Like Getting one of these internships isn’t just about making a good impression and then sitting back and watching the offers roll in. You’ll be doing real work that will show off your skills. I did things like Designing mechanics and levels for games Collaborating on designs with other team members Answering questions about our game from playtesters Fixing bugs in existing code Helping out with other tasks big or small
Some internships are super competitive while others are almost impossible to get. I can’t speak for all game design internships, but I’m going to focus mainly on the kinds that students have told me about their experiences getting. Those include: Big companies (like Microsoft and Blizzard) Indies/smaller companies (like Intelligent Systems and Heart Machine) Schools Other organizations like Games for Change and charities
Let’s go into a bit more detail about each of those categories…
These are the sorts of companies that you think about when you’re thinking about big games. They also tend to be the best in terms of compensation, perks, and work-life balance. On the other hand, they can be tough to break into. I’ve heard stories about only getting one or two interns per summer at some places. Also, since these are big companies with existing cultures, changing things can be difficult if not impossible.
What You Can Do Here These internships usually have multiple game design spots available alongside programming and art internships. But people usually apply for non-design-related internships too – especially programmers! There’s a very good chance that applicants will have the opportunity to do design work because there aren’t nearly enough people to fill all the open positions. But this varies between companies, so don’t be afraid to ask in your cover letter if you have a particular passion or skill that you want to focus on.
What You Can Get Out of It These are some of the best internships for learning new things and gaining experience in working in an actual company environment with real deadlines. Plus, these are some of the highest paying internships too – often around $45-55k/yr if it’s a full-time summer internship. (Internship length can vary though.) If you do well, that’s also an opportunity to get hired by that company after college! If not…well, at least you’ll have some experience to put on your resume.
Indies/Other Companies These are smaller companies that don’t have the resources of big AAA publishers, but still need good game design interns. The work-life balance isn’t as balanced as at a bigger company, but you’re also likely to get more responsibility and ownership over your projects.
What You Can Do Here It’s important to remember that these are small teams! You’ll be able to wear many hats here too, but there are limits. Any type of design or programming task is possible though – even QA if you decide to go back to school afterward! There are usually at least 1-2 paid internship spots available for game designers per summer. And unlike big companies, there’s more of an opportunity to build your own team and do something different than what the other interns there are doing.
What You Can Get Out of it This is a great way for students with limited experience to show their skills and gain real-world experience in game design or QA. Also, small companies tend to pay less than big ones – often around $35-45k/yr if it’s a full-time summer internship. (Internship length can vary though.) So this is another good option if you’re looking for money rather than an internship at Microsoft or Blizzard.
Game Design Internships, the easiest way to get into the industry.
The best thing you can do if you’re interested in getting into game development is to take an internship at a company that intrigues you. Getting your foot in the door of any industry is hard and most people don’t even know where to start looking. That’s why we’ve listed below some of the biggest companies and their internship programs with contact information (Note: You MUST be currently enrolled as a college student, or have graduated within four months). We highly recommend calling/emailing these companies with your resume/portfolio BEFORE showing up for anything as they may not accept walk-ins! In addition, some employers might require more experience than others so only apply if you’re at the level they require. Remember, all these employers want is to see that you’re determined and willing to learn something new…so good luck!
For a list of ALL internships available:
Electronic Arts (EA) – http://www.ea.com/students Activision Blizzard
Disney Interactive – http://jobs.disneyinteractive.com/ Fox Mobile Entertainment
Ubisoft – http://www.ubisoftcareers.com/en-us/students Activision Publishing, Inc. –
Xbox LIVE Arcade (XLA) Team – http://xbox-jobs.net/jobdetail/?id=7139&c=7963&jb=11551427 Wayforward Technologies – [email protected] Robot Entertainment – [email protected]
Bronto Software – http://www.bronto.com/about/careers DeNA – [email protected] ArenaNet (NCSoft) – [email protected] SGN (SGN Games) – [email protected] Zynga Canada – [email protected] Trion Worlds – [email protected] High 5 Games – [email protected] Dot Disney Mobile (Disney Interactive Media Group) – [email protected] Blizzard Entertainment – [email protected] Boss Fight Entertainment – [email protected] Gazillion Entertainment, Marvel Heroes Division – [email protected]
Crescent Moon Games – http://www.crescentmoongames.com/jobs IronMonkey Studios – [email protected] So Couch Studios – [email protected] NGMoco:) – [email protected]:) Kabam Austin (Kabam Sports) – [email protected] Flockdraw, Inc – [email protected] U4iA Games LLC – [email protected]
Electronic Arts (EA)
Fox Mobile Entertainment
Activision Publishing, Inc. –
Electronic Arts (EA) –
Activision Blizzard –
Disney Interactive –
Fox Mobile Entertainment –
Activision Publishing, Inc.
PerBlue – [email protected]