How Creating Custom Content for Gaming Could Lead to a Career

When you hear “custom content” for games, what normally comes to mind? Most would tell you it’s user-created mods for games, the kind of thing you’d install onto your PC through the Steam workshop, or perhaps you’d think of Creation Club content for Bethesda Games like Skyrim or Fallout 4. In some cases, creative gamers who create custom content in their free time have been offered positions by certain indie developers.

One such example is the indie developer team, The Indie Stone. For those of you who consider yourself gamers, I’m sure at least a couple of you have heard of The Indie Stone and their long-awaited zombie game.

A player in their safehouse, full of belongings and watching TV.

Project Zomboid, summed up, asks what you would do during a zombie apocalypse. In development for ten years, the game has transformed into an experience that has drawn the attention of many gamers, and with that, a sea of custom content.

A player camped out in the woods during the winter.

To give a few examples, one creator put together a vast expansion to the game’s selection of drivable vehicles. Another added dozens of new clothing options created from scratch. One creator even created fully functional boats through his mod before the developers had the chance to add them.

A player’s island base, complete with docks and boats.

When a game emphasizes player freedom and a sandbox feel to the extent Zomboid does, it perfectly explains the seemingly endless amount of content players can find on the Steam Workshop for the game. Over the course of the game’s development, there have been numerous talented creators hired by the developers once their work caught their attention.

One of the earliest cases I know of is the game’s farming system, which was originally a mod developed by one person several years back. Another instance is the hiring of a talented mod author with the name “Aiteron” who developed his own NPC mod and has since been brought on board to help the developers code and create NPCs more effectively.

This, by no measure, is strictly limited to just one game. Gaming’s vast popularity among all kinds of gamers has granted a seemingly endless amount of opportunity for anyone ambitious and creative enough to test the waters and create something of their own.

Gaming, surprisingly, can be so much more than the simple form of escapism that many consider it to be. Given the right amount of ambition, talent, creativity and patience, it is entirely possible to land yourself a potential job or career doing what you love.

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