Games Industry Roles and Contexts

BA1b – Games Industry Roles and Contexts

This project involves the exploration of the commercial side of gaming, with a focus on roles, practices, structures, and possible futures in the games industry. It will open our mindsets towards job roles in the games industry through inependant research.
You will research the different ways in which artists and designers are involved in
digital game production, ranging from ‘AAA’ developer/publishers to small
independent studios. The project further engages co-operation and overlap across
media industries and the economic and social dynamics of production/consumption.
Working in assigned groups of 3 or 4 you will produce a 10-minute presentation that
focuses on an aspect of change in the games industry – exploring why you think this
is significant for game development and what its implications are for the future of
You will:
Undertake extensive research into practitioners and companies to gain
understanding of contemporary industry roles and practices. Conduct primary
research by contacting and/or visiting examples of the above, making effective use of
guest lecture content, and present your findings in a professional and co-ordinated
You will conduct secondary research of academic and industry sources using both
analogue (books, journals, magazines, corporate literature) and digital (developer
blogs, e-journals, conference papers) sources. You will be expected to historically
and culturally contextualize your example. Be aware that in the industry teamwork
and co-operation in the face of hard deadlines is essential, and your group is
expected to present as a team.











 Chris Green: The Role Of A Game ArtistFile

 Megan RiceFile

 A LINK TO UKIE: The Association for UK Interactive EntertainmentURL

 Aiden Le Santo, Art Director, Sprung Studios, on a career in UX/UIFile

 Shayleen Hulbert, How to build a profile and go Freelance as a 3D Game Artist

 Robin Milton, ‘How to Graduate Like a Boss’ 2018Fil

 Christian Heimbach, A Big Picture of the Games Industry & Where to Find the Artist’s PlaceFile



Diversity between 2D&3D within AAA & Indie companies

As a group we began researching the relationship/synergy between 2D and 3D artists in AAA and Indie game companies. How these artists’ role and work impacts the development/production pipeline – How do they influence each other? – Numbers of each in jobs 2D vs 3D (which gets hired more frequently?)

It was vital that we contacted professionals currently working in the industry. I contacted ‘Maxime’ who worked as a Senior Level Designer at Ubisoft. He then went on to make his own company ‘Gingear Studios’. This is the perfect case to use for my research since Maxime has a opinion on/ experience in a AAA and an Indie company.

-research actual companies, ubisoft, epik games, ADVERTS artstation, how frequently job roles appear, more or less in sub roles, junior/senior look a JOB TITLES. Big jobs get advertised with more competition. Genralist position bottom of pyramid. -Sources: linkdin, books ‘Game development essentials’, reddit (FAQ), Twitter, actual humans we know,



Artist Roles within an Indie games company:

An Indie company generally hires less people than a AAA company. An Indie game can require employees to take on board several crucial roles as one job.

These involve:



-Project manager




-Sound designer/composer

-Quality Assurance tester


In an independent game company there is more demand for universally skilled individuals. These individuals can be expected to produce a combination of concept art, character, environment, animation, illustration, and design; all 2D and 3D. One person may be expected to complete all of these roles.




We contacted Gingear studio for a professional opinion on this matter. THE OWNER named ‘Maxime’ replied with; “AAA companies hire people to do very specialized work, whereas indie studios are looking for people who are awesome at something and great at lots of other stuff.” Indie companies need creative people who are able to provide a great input on the production of the game. They must not only be proficient in for example, 2D concept art, but simultaneously be capable of 3D concept art. Having a skill in 2D and 3D is much more valuable to a games company as they could hire one person instead of two, when one person is all that is required.

Jobs often require that you must have experience with Photoshop and Maya and similar software. It can be assumed that people won’t be expected to solely be a 2D or 3D artist within a AAA and more importantly an Indie company.  Within a role, people are expected to be able to do either or; or the minimum be skilled within other areas.


Maxime worked at Ubisoft (2005 – 2015) as a Software Architect / Senior Level Designer, on projects such as Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, Assassin’s Creed III and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands (Wii). Looking at his previous roles it is clear he  had his fair share of experience in working for a AAA company.

He said, “I was in charge of marketing and finance. For our next game, we don’t plan to be more than 8 on the project, to give you an idea.”






Gingear is an indie games development studio founded by Maxime Beaudoin and Julie Lortie-Pelletier in February 2015.







“AAA companies hire people to do very specialized work, whereas indie studios are looking for people who are awesome at something and great at lots of other stuff. We and other fellow indie developers we know do freelance work to finance our own projects. You cannot expect to self-finance a quality console game, but you have to be willing to invest a great amount of resources and money to build a convincing demo and fund the whole thing. So you often end up doing both until you get your funding and spen a couple of years working on your IP.
Open Bar! was designed and programmed by Maxime alone. We had help from a graphic designer, a sound designer and translators (all subcontractors). I was in charge of marketing and finance. For our next game, we don’t plan to be more than 8 on the project, to give you an idea.
Not a lot of people working on a game, small projects. two art designers 2d and 3d.
I am thrilled to be self employed and would not change a thing! Yes, the industry is always in perpetual change, but it’s a nice challenge and it is great for personal growth.
If you want to work in a AAA studio, you should of course try to get a degree that the industry values (what you seem to be already doing). And then, you should make a game. Anything. You find local or regional events like Gamejams and you team up with people with skills that complement your own. Build a portfolio that reflects how you can be an asset for the company you’re applying to. When a potential employer sees that game design (and not just gaming) is your passion, they will be interested to hear more about you. Even if you end up doing specialized work, it’s always better to understand the whole process of creating a game from start to finish. Then you know how to be more effective in whatever you do, whether you’re in a team of 5 or 500.”




Web Sources:



-‘Game Development Essentials (second edition) Jeannie Novak.



-‘The Video Game Industry: Formation, Present State, and Future’. Edited by Peter Zackariasson and Timothy L. Wilson.





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