Intro to Game Art
If you want to get good at art in games, there are a few ways you can go about it. Technically the most direct route is the frontal route, become a 3D Modeller. This is not so much a game design technique, as it is a field all of it’s own. I admit I am only mildly versed in 3D Modelling. You will need to get one of the big 3D modelling, suites. Most of them are free. However, there are other ways you can be artistic in your games, besides just making 3D Models, you can also be a 2D artist, or you could be a writer, or a designer. Because design is a form of art in itself, the really good designers, might not be building and modelling things themselves, but they are using existing pieces to make a whole, while is in itself a work of art. You could also be a musician, or any number of other things. Being an artist in gaming is easy, in a sense, because there are so many ways to do it, it is easy to find whatever style of art suits you best.
By the way, if you’re interested in learning about how to make VR Games, you can find out, here. <——– psyche, here.
What qualifications do you need to be a Game Artist?
You can be a game artist without any degree at all, you are judged based on your portfolio, period. But many in the industry will have a degree in art, 3D modelling, or game design.
How much money does a Game Artist make?
On Ziprecruiter, game artists range in salary from $143k to $16.5k, most game artists earn between $36k and $88k, with top earners making $134.5k in the USA.
How to press start on your game art career
For instance, here are some examples of design as artwork:
Then walking further into the town, it begins to look like this:
Further travels through town will make it look like this:
The most direct, and profitable route, to becoming a 3D Artist is to learn how to do 3D Modelling. There are so many ways to learn this and it will take you a very long time. This is not cheap field of study you figure out in a day or two. It’s more likely to takes years of study before you get good with 3D Modelling.
But once you have that, you’ll have a field of study under your belt that is beyond valuable, it’s extraordinarily valuable, you can make GOOOOOOD money at 3D Modeling. Throw in a little bit of game design on the side, and no problem, 3D Modelling will make you all kinds of bank.
It is a good solid way to earn money, you can do it no problem, it’s easy money when you have the skill. It’s highly sought after by big companies, mid levels and indies alike.
Don’t waste your time on anything else, dude. Get 3D Modelling if you want to make money in gaming. We’ll discuss other ways to get involved in the artistic side of game design.
Another good way to go, is Game Design. In the strictest and most traditional sense, game design desu. This is the art of taking preexisting resources, and applying them in a creative manner, towards the task of designing a world or game. If you’re sick of trying to learn 3D modelling, and just want an easy route to your game dev job, then this is what you need to do.
I would encourage people not to be foolish, in thinking that game design is easy, however, it is, significantly easier than learning about 3D Modelling. Or other such difficult and challenging skills.
However, please keep in mind that game design is worth less money than 3D modelling, is. So when you go about making your decision, as to how you are going to make your money, please keep in mind, that you will make more money from 3D Modelling, than from game design.
However, game design is easier, and cooler, and funner to do. So maybe you should just go with that. hmm?
Do game developers need a game design degree? Find out here, in this article by PC GAMER.
Becoming a Game Writer
You can also specialize in writing game scripts, this technically is a hard field to get into just from being a writer, however, this is not the case exactly. You see, what you need is to have a few games under your belt, then when you’ve made a game here and made a game there, and you’re feeling happy with yourself. When you have enough experience, you can request it. Or of course if you’re an indie startup like me, you can do damn near whatever you want.
I suppose it is necessary that you should want to be a good writer, if you plan to write the story of your game. But, well, not really. Just tell your story, everyone has a story to tell.
Becoming a Game Musician
You must, become a game musician, through great trial and effort, by becoming a skilled musician first. Then when you feel you can make a song for any occasion, in any genre required of you, well…..
That’s a good time to start becoming a game musician. That one will serve you well, but it takes a lot of unpaid work to get gud with music and you can’t learn it very easily in school. They can help but you might even be better getting into game design and getting used to it first, before you make any decisions.
But you can and will make decent money if you’re very good at music, you can make a living just on game music, or branch out into other things.
How to find work as an artist
So you’ve found yourself a skill, something marketable, so what are you going to do next? You need some money, you need a job, where are you gonna find it? Well there’s places like Indeed, which is good if you’re doing better than the average, but I’ve found indeed never really yielded much work, so where are you going to find work?
Simple, Upwork. If you have any real skills on your belt, Upwork is the site for you. Upwork will have you so flush with job offers, it’s just ridiculous. At it’s peak, I’d have job offers coming in all day every day, multiple times a day, it is very easy to find work on Upwork, if you have the skill, you can find really good work.
The only thing I don’t like about upwork is that the way it checks your work sometimes is to have a camera monitoring your computer screen, this I find a bit creepy or orwellian. Definitely don’t forget it’s on and watch something silly on your computer, or your boss will be looking at it, and asking questions.
In spite of this, Upwork is the best place to find work as a game designer or game artist.
3D Modelling Programs:
Maya is generally considered to be the best 3D Modelling program, it is used by Pixar and it is a very powerful piece of software. You can basically settle into this program and do all your work here, what’s the catch? Well it’s free for 3 years if you apply for it, after that, you’re looking at almost 300 dollars a month the use of Maya, which means you’re only using the best of the best of the best if you have a lot of money to work with.
This is a genuinely good program with fully professional suite of features, this program has everything you need to start your 3D modelling career, however it is not as good as Maya, it is good though, and on price, it costs a little less, maybe 80 bucks less a month, either way, you had better be serious about 3D Modelling if you want to use either one, because that’s one hell of a big investment, but if you’re a professional 3D Modeler, this is a good way to go.
Zbrush is a great program for creating people and characters, it is a powerful suite of tools which can easily take your career to the next level, what’s the catch? What atrocious amount of money are you looking at every month? Actually Zbrush is not that bad, you can even use it for 3D Printing, and all it costs you is a one time license for 900 bucks. No subscription, nothing, so investing in Zbrush is a really smart idea if you want to start a career in 3D modelling on a budget.
Blender is your best choice on a budget, actually one of your best choices outright, but it is free, has a full suite of features, and it’s open source, so if your budget is zero, then yes, you should go with Blender, it’s not quite the best of the best but, yeah you can build a career with zero investment if you get good with blender. So consider it if you’re looking to break into 3D Modelling and need to start learning TODAY.
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It’s easy to become a game artist, there are a wealth of different things you can do when it becomes to getting into game art. You can become a musician, a designer, a modeler, a writer, all kinds of things actually. There is no shortage of work out there for a skilled designer with a good suite of skills under their belt. Preferably, you might want to do all of these things at the same time, and just design your own games, sell them, and you’ll get some good cash too if you’re looking for high paying work, there are so many ways to make money in gaming, it’s just ridiculous.
Honestly gaming can easily become your bread and butter, it’s a beautiful way to make a living, and you’ll be doing something you actually love, with a future, and room for advancement. I made a decent living in the gaming industry, and now I’ve settled into a job I really like.
You can do it too.