Making a permanent impression since 1994
November 21, 2005
Getting paid for playing around
Imagine, just for a moment, that every day when you go to work, you get to play games. Or, if you’re not playing them, you’re doing the art for them, or even perhaps designing them. Sounds like fun, right? For those involved in the industry, it’s a reality.
Get your game on
If you dream of playing and making games as a career, people in the industry have this advice for you:
* Be creative and come up with an original game idea.
with rules and work out all the kinks of the game.
Create a written proposal that explains your game in extreme detail.
Find a company that accepts game submissions.
Send your proposal and wait for a reply.
– Zach Brokenrope
Kovalic, graphic artist and a founder of gamesmaker Out of the Box Publishing
Inc., said his job is “everything I could’ve wished for. It’s totally
wouldn’t it be? Since 1998, Kovalic has designed and drawn cover art for Out
of The Box, a medium-size game company based in of Wisconsin. He even gets to
play the games.
first “job” as an artist began in the late 1970s when he produced a comic
strip for his high school newspaper. After he graduated from
the University of Wisconsin, there was no stopping him.
part of the team that founded Out of the Box in 1998, he’s taken part in the
production of every game published by the company. He even designed one himself,
a question and answer game called Whad’Ya Know? It’s
based on the public radio show by the same name hosted by Michael Feldman.
Kovalic’s real job is illustration.
designing the cover for a game box, Kovalic said he tries to create a “fun and
cartoony look” which he said helps games appeal to a wider audience.
you do is to appeal to people,” said Kovalic. “How well a game sells depends
a lot on what it looks like on the shelves.”
into the games business has a basic requirement, according to Kovalic.
main thing you need is a love of games,” Kovalic said. “People in this
industry are really passionate about gaming, and you need that. But get a
college degree, that way you have something to fall back on.”
never quite know where life is going to take you, and in the case of Alan R.
Moon, it’s especially true.
college, Moon majored in theater and English, but it wasn’t until taking a job
at a gaming magazine that he found his true calling in creating games.
became really interested in designing,” he said.
began working for gamesmaker Avalon Hill and designed his first game, Black Spy.
then, Moon’s published more than 70 games worldwide. He’s now able to
develop games full-time, partly due to the recent success of his game
Ticket to Ride.
time it takes for Moon to produce a game varies, he said. Some games take as
many as four years to complete, he said, while others can reach the store shelf
in less then one.
really hard to make a living,” he said. “There are only a small number of
people who do it full-time. I used to work as a waiter a lot.”
research and development
Ellen Winter plays a game from her company, Out of the Box, she always
understands the rules. After all, she writes them.
helped co-found the company in 1998 after she, her former husband Mark Osterhaus
and their son Max Osterhaus came up with Bosworth, their first game.
then, Winter has taken part in every game the company’s produced, overseeing
all aspects of development.
her past career as an educator comes in handy on the job – like when she’s
writing the rules for games.
have to be very analytical,” she said. “When you’re trying to explain how
to play a game to a person you want them to think and develop strategies on
their own. Every little word you use is important. You want to be as
also works on the more detailed parts of games, such as deciding what colors and
shapes should be used in certain games.
Help The Tattoo thrive! Your donation can help us continue to provide the world's premier teen journalism.
|© 2005 by The Tattoo. All rights reserved.|