Graphic designer, data scientist … The president of the National Video Game Union, Lévan Sardjevéladzé, takes stock of the professions they recruit in the video game sector.
After the cancellation of two consecutive editions due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Paris Games Week returns this Wednesday, November 2, 2022, Porte de Versailles. The opportunity for Lévan Sardjevéladzé, president of the National Video Game Syndicate, to take stock of trade live in this sector “in continuous growth for ten years”. In 2019, too many students trained in the video game industry compared to job offersrevealed the SNJV. This problem was partly due to the choice of unskilled students in the professions that companies needed. There were, for example, too many game designers and not enough developers. “Now the situation is better”, assures Lévan Sardjevéladzé. A new study on integration is expected to be published in 2023.
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■ The technical artist
What is this? It is an emerging profession. The technical artist, also called “technological artist”, acts as a link between the artists and the programmers who create the video games. He is responsible for the technical part of the artistic creation and oversees the integration of graphics data into the game engine.
In detail, he must define and adapt the graphic tools used during production. The tech artist oversees the design and graphic data (special effects, animations, etc.) in the engine. His job is also to optimize, that is, to test the tools and make any corrections. Finally, he must identify the best methods and tools to improve and facilitate the work of graphic designers.
What skills? The technical artist must be creative, have an artistic sense and demonstrate good writing skills. He obviously has to master graphic creation tools (Photoshop, Maya, Zbrush …) and programming languages (C ++, Python, Lua …). But also the methods of producing graphic data for Unreal Engine.
What compensation? According to the SNJV, the average salary for a beginner is 32,000 euros gross per year. And € 45,700 for a confirmed employee.
Which studies? A bac + 2 training as a graphic designer then a special effects specialization or a special effects school. The SNJV also recommends a Graphic BTS or Graphic Arts DMA, 2D or 3D professional license. But also a graphics or animation school or a specialized public school.
■ Specialized graphic designer
What is this? The first part of the specialist graphic designer’s job is to monitor artistic trends. It must therefore document itself in a continuous and sustained manner. Secondly, his duties are manifold. He creates models and illustrations for a graphic project, has to create storyboards of the key phases of a video game, control the staging and pacing of a film or even identify technical constraints. Then it communicates its decisions to the programmers.
He may specialize in lighting, special effects or “capture on the go”.
What skills? The specialized graphic designer must know how to implement drawing techniques, mobilize monitoring techniques and know how to work in a team. It has to be rigorous. Finally, he must master the principles of the animated image, have a basis in architecture and art history, as well as be familiar with 2D and 3D software (Painter, Maya, etc.). But also to know the concepts of anatomy, human as animal.
What compensation? At the beginning of his career, the specialized graphic designer can earn (median salary) 27,000 euros gross per year. Confirmed, the salary rises to 38,000 euros.
Which studies? Bac + 2 training as a graphic designer and then specialization in the field of special effects, or directly a specialized school. BTS in graphic design or DMA in graphic arts (2 years after baccalaureate), 2D or 3D pro degree (1 year), graphics or animation school with specialization in special effects (training from 2 to 5 years).
■ Programmer jobs
What is this? There are several types of programmers. Among them, the programmer game which programs the game mechanics, the interactions between the player and his environment as well as the modules necessary for the proper functioning of the game.audio programmer, set the game’s audio engine and audio-specific tools. For its part, the programming tools develops and maintains software tools that allow, among other things, to create game content, accelerate production or automate tasks.
What skills? Programmers need to know how to implement programming methods and techniques and handle architectural optimization problems. Among the essential skills, they must master generalist programming languages but also mathematics related to 3D.
What compensation? For the programmer gamethe average salary ranges from 36,000 euros gross per year for a “junior” to 46,000 euros for a “senior” programmer.
Which studies? The National Video Game Union recommends a BTS / IUT in computer science, a professional degree in computer science, a Bac + 5 in an engineering school or a video game school.
■ data scientist
What is this? The data scientist’s job is to create and apply algorithmic models from data to help the company make strategic and operational choices. For this, you must create monitoring and data analysis tools to understand and analyze player behavior. He builds analytics tools to collect game data and then makes recommendations to production teams. Likewise, he communicates his work to the marketing teams. He must constantly develop new analytics to make decisions aimed at improving the attractiveness of the game.
What skills? The data scientist must master mathematics, algorithms and statistics. He must also have marketing knowledge. Likewise, she must master web analytics tools, data management tools (SAS, Python, etc.) and monitoring techniques.
What salary? The average gross annual salary varies between € 44,000 (junior) and € 45,000 (senior).
Which studies? A Bac +4 / + 5 (or even PhD) in computer engineering, marketing or statistics. For an engineering course, a scientific or economic preparatory course, or / then an engineering school. For a business school student, a major in marketing and management. At the university, a master’s degree in data, mathematics, statistics.