I have been looking for a job in the gaming industry, but all jobs are for designers and developers. The problem with this is, I would prefer to be in the creating and fleshing out of ideas and stories, as well as managing the project.

I recently watched an episode of 'extra credits' on which you were mentioned.

Why are management job-vacancy positions are so far and few between in the games industry?

I understand that there are things done by the team as a whole, or by certain members of the team, though there are teams with 1 or 2 people who only deal with the story and script (this seems to be the case with Godus).

What can I do to get into the video game industry as a person managing the ideas, stories, and project?

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    Almost anyone can 'flesh out ideas' and I can guarantee a huge amount of people actually want to do that since you're basically just creating your own fantasy world. I don't think you'll ever find a vacant spot for such a function since it'll most likely be taken by someone within the team who worked on the game already. – Jeroen Vannevel Feb 1 '14 at 14:03
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    Hello user, I edited your post to focus on a solution to your problem, how to get into the industry in your preferred field. Speculative questions that ask us to guess why their are vacancies most likely won't help you get the job. Moreover, the first answer you got already focuses on how to get the job you want. So I'm hoping this helps keep the question from being put on hold. As an aside, do you have a link to the "Extra Credits" video? We'd be interested in seeing that. Thank you! – jmort253 Feb 1 '14 at 18:41
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    Why are management job-vacancy positions are so far and few ... This is true for every industry. You want to be a manager? Either you own the company or you start from entry level ! – scaaahu Feb 2 '14 at 12:43
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    There is no shortage of people in the games industry with ideas. If you don't have skills that an industry needs then you are uninteresting to the industry. – Ross Drew Feb 3 '14 at 13:01
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    I hate to give you bad news. Its very unlikely you will be trusted with this type of job without any sort of prior experience in the industry. This position is left to those designers who have a great deal of experience, have been part in several projects that have shipped and been sucessful, additionally most people in this sort of postion have several decades in the industry. – Donald Feb 3 '14 at 16:31

As of right now, Electronic Arts has 69 vacancies for jobs with 'manager' in the title, so such jobs are advertised.

I understand from your question that you haven't any experience in the game industry, but want to be managing the production of a new game. A job like that is almost always going to go to a person who has experience of the industry and the process. If you want to do that job, get yourself into the industry in whatever way you can, and then work towards doing that job.

Developing a game storyline is very close to writing. If that's what you want to do, you might consider building a portfolio of writing work - get some short stories published, or plays, or even make a short movie. Nobody will let you develop a major game storyline without you showing that you can do the job, and do it better than the hundreds or thousands of people who also want to do it.

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  • In addition, this kind of high level decisions about where a game is going gameplay and story wise are almost always made by people that either own the studio, or have been part of the studio for a long time already. The OP could consider starting his own Indie studio and work on the stories from there. This of course requires a lot of vision and knowledge, but that is no different for the equivalent role in a large gaming company. – Paul Hiemstra Feb 1 '14 at 20:56

You say "I would prefer to be in the creating and fleshing out of ideas and stories, as well as managing the project," but those are two very different things.

My game dev experience (admittedly a little dated now - several different studios between 2002 and 2005) was that project management was completely separate from game design (the "fleshing out of ideas and stories").

The project manager took care of schedule tracking, coordinating people whose work relied on each other, ensuring that milestones were met and builds made and tested, keeping an eye on the bug backlog, etc.

The game designers were the guys in charge of ideas, story, gameplay design, etc.

If you don't have any games industry experience, but have solid project management experience in other fields of software development (preferably high pressure, large team, tight budget), I would attempt to parlay that into applying for a project management job.

Game design, though.. that's the tough one. Virtually everyone who has ever played a game fancies that they have great ideas and stories. Ideas are a dime a dozen, because the truly valuable ideas are one in a million. I would say that it is almost impossible to get a game design job from outside the industry with zero experience.

The roads in are: fund and start your own studio (I worked with a guy who did that - it didn't end well), or produce indie games impressive enough to catch the eye. The problem with the latter route is that if you're not a developer, you'd need to hook up with one to get your ideas made into an indie game, and once again, ideas are a dime a dozen and most of the indie game developers have their own ideas that they want to implement.

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