Michael Ratch joins us as a new #OKGNtech columnist, starting with the first edition of Gaming News.
GAMING — A $100 BILLION INDUSTRY
It wasn’t that long ago video games were considered a niche activity for nerds. Now it’s one of the biggest and most successful forms of entertainment in the world. It is estimated that there are currently 2.3 billion gamers across the globe. In 2017 the game industry (also know as interactive entertainment) generated well over $100 billion in revenue. There is no questions that games are big business and this rapid growth is expected to continue.
The growth of the gaming industry is largely fueled by a growth in mobile gaming (we’re looking at you Adventure Capitalist and Candy Crush). In fact, it is projected that by 2021 game revenues will exceed $180 billion. In a recent article published by Venture beat, DEAN TAKAHASHI layed out the predicted growth of the global gaming industry. “In the span of a decade, mobile gaming will have grown from the smallest segment in 2012 to a 100-billion-dollar industry in 2021” said Takahashi. “This year, mobile games are expected to hit $70.3 billion — or 51 percent of the total — and they will grow to $106.4 billion by 2021 — or about 59 percent of the total’.
TRAINING — EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW.
One of the most exciting things about gaming is that video games are easier than ever to create your own. Although there is a big difference between making games for fun and making games your career, there are tons of resources both local and online to help you get started on either!
The STEM learning lab offers coding camps recommended for kids entering grade 1 and up. At a very young age, kids are taught how to build their own scenes and characters and bring them to life through interactive stories and games.
If you prefer online learning there are great videos on youtube and udemy that will teach you step by step how to make a game. Depending on your experience and the type of game you want to create there are a number of game engines to choose from. Two popular game engines for getting started are Game Maker 2 and Unity. Both engines have strong tutorials on how to make a game.
PLAYING – HOW TO GET IN THE GAME.
The best way for a beginner to get involved is to attend a Game Jam. Game Jam’s are like hackathons for video games and they are a great way to see for yourself what it’s like to create a game. People gather either in person or remotely to pitch game ideas, form teams, and create a game prototype. All of this happens in just a few short days. The Global Game Jam and Ludum Dare are two of the most popular game jams in the industry. See you there?
There are a number of local meetups and events that make it easy to network and find people to collaborate with. You can also reach out directly to one of the local game studios here in the Okanagan. These studios are often looking to hire people who are passionate about games.
If I could give you one piece of advice it would be to just jump in with both feet and just get started! Building games is fun, I promise.