When you have a current stable job as a developer in another field, what is the best course of action to enter the game industry?
- Wait (indefinitely?) for an opportunity to sell your skills to an already established game studio (aiming at the ones with a wide employee base).
- Go indie and start making games with a few artist friends, living on your savings.
- The middle road: try to find a company that will hire you in your current sector part-time, and use the rest of the week to start an indie game project.
Some extra background information
I am currently employed as a software developer, working on banking-related systems. While this pays decently, it's not a very glamorous occupation, and I often wish I would be working on more creative projects. Sadly, my limited free time leaves me with little opportunities to take side projects.
I'm now at a turning point of my career, as I'm about to switch companies. I'm wondering if I shouldn't use this opportunity to start my own (indie game) thing.
Being hired by an established game studio is difficult, as I'm a good software developer in my current field, with some experience in management, but my experience does not translate well to the gaming industry (little knowledge of the tools specific to that sector). I would have to go back in terms of salary and responsibilities, and this would both mean not keeping my current lifestyle, and give up on the team management side for a while. Both things I'd rather not do.
If you happen to be working in the game development field (big studios, editors, or indie), and started as a software developer in another sector, I would very much like to know about your experience.