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I'm a book illustrator, but I want to try my hand at game development. I have experience working with clients as a book illustrator, but have never worked on a game development team before. Where and how can I find a game development team?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ As written, this is probably not on topic based on precedent (see other career questions to see what has & has not gotten closed in the past). Editing to focus on how 2d game dev work/hiring art differs from traditional book illustration might be more on-topic. GameDev.net is sometimes offered as a more appropriate resource for where to find a team. The artists I've met at conferences use ArtStation for showcasing portfolios, networking, etc. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pikalek
    May 1, 2023 at 16:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ Aside form the traditional means of getting a job: Join a game jam. A popular one. You get to know people. People get to know you. You gain some experience working a game for the jam. The art for the published game becomes part of your portfolio, and evidence that you can work in games. And the contacts might help you get in the door of some game studio. Addendum: developer conferences are a good way to get in contact with game studios, you probably want some portfolio first. \$\endgroup\$
    – Theraot
    May 2, 2023 at 1:16

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A good way to gain some experience in working is a game development team without the pressure of having to deliver commercially viable work is to participate in game jams.

Game jams are game development "competitions" where solo developers or small teams receive a prompt and are then asked to create a game that loosely matches the prompt in a relatively short time window (usually between a weekend and a couple weeks). I put "competition" in quotes, because although game jams are usually framed as a competition, and there is usually either a jury or a voting system to decide which game is "the winner" of the game jam, they really don't feel very competitive. For most people it's really more about collaboration, networking, experimentation and being creative than it is about winning. And it's not uncommon at all to have a lot of participants who are still beginners at game development, so you usually don't need to be afraid of not being good enough for a game jam either.

My experience with game jams is that there is usually an overabundance of programmers but a lack of artists. So you will probably not have trouble to find a team. How do you find a team for a game jam? Many game jams have discord servers specifically for that purpose.

For a calendar of upcomming online game jams, check out this calendar on itch.io.


Another option is to join a group that wants to create a more ambitious long-term project as a hobby. That's actually how I made my first experience with working as a member of a game development team. I contributed to the development of an open source game. One place where people go to recruit people for projects like that is the subreddit r/INAT.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 game jams are great, and many have no judging/ranking at all, but culminate in something more like an arcade/festival of just playing each others' games and enjoying the creative atmosphere. I've written about them in another answer in case that's useful. Some even provide matchmaking services to help match up solo artists or audio specialists ("floaters") with teams who need art. \$\endgroup\$
    – DMGregory
    May 2, 2023 at 10:49

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