If you’re someone who loves video games, then you’ve probably thought about starting a career in game development. After all, what could be more fun than getting paid to work with games all day?
Anyone with a passion for programming, creative thinking, and problem-solving may want to consider a career in game development. In this article, we’ll show you why this is such an appealing and rewarding profession. We’ll also give you some tips on starting your path towards becoming a Game Developer.
Why become a Game Developer?
Along with your passion for gaming, there are many other reasons to pursue a career in game development. Here are three of the top factors that attract people to the industry.
When people think about entertainment, they usually think about music and movies. But did you know that the video game industry is worth more than the music and movie industries combined? The global gaming market is already worth over $151 billion today, and it’s expected to grow to over $250 billion by 2025.
People just can’t get enough games, which means there’ll be a steady demand and excellent income prospects for Game Developers for years to come.
Casual work environment
Tech companies are already known for their laid-back atmosphere, but gaming companies take it to a whole new level. But don’t mistake “casual” for “indifferent.” Working for a gaming company means working with other like-minded Game Developers who are passionate and enthusiastic about what they do.
Also, more gaming companies are setting up permanent remote teams, which means you don’t have to relocate for your dream job.
Unleash your creativity
Game Developers and Designers are typically responsible for putting together game concepts, as well as the structure and rules of the game. Some Game Developers specialize in particularly creative aspects like level design or game-play mechanics. If you’re attracted by both programming and aesthetics, game development is an ideal way to put your technical and analytical skills to good use while calling on your creative side as well.
The best programming languages for Game Developers
As with any development career path, it’s important to learn the right programming languages for the job. Not only does this make you an efficient coder, , but it also helps you stand out in the job market because you’ll already have the skills your employer is looking for.
Here are the most popular programming languages for game development if you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field.
Although it’s not the easiest programming language to learn, C++ is well known among Game Developers. That’s because C++ offers the ability to control graphic processes and hardware performance, which is essential if you want to design a game that has stunning graphics or a complex AI engine.
If you want to be a Game Developer specializing in PC or console games, it’s worth it to learn C++.
Game Developers who design mobile games turn to Java as their go-to programming language. That’s because Java is relatively easy to learn, write, and debug. It’s also platform-independent, which means that it can run on any operating system.
Although Python isn’t as popular yet as Java and C++ for game development, developers who learn Python are finding it to be a great choice. With the open-source PyGame library, you can quickly design, build, and prototype games.
And anyone who’s learned Python, whether they’re a Game Developer or Data Scientist, can tell you how intuitive and powerful the language is.
How to jump-start your game development career
While you’re learning the programming skills you need to become a great Game Developer, you can do a few other things to help start your new career.
Start building your own games
Even the Senior Game Developers at Nintendo and Blizzard had to start somewhere. You can start by learning to build your own games and create a game design portfolio. Not only will you hone your programming skills, but you’ll learn a lot about yourself as a Game Developer along the way.
As you gain experience, you’ll feel more confident about designing more complex games to add to your portfolio. This gives you even more pride and confidence in your work.
Create a game design portfolio
If you want to maximize your chances of getting hired by a gaming company, you can consider creating a game design portfolio. While a solid cover letter and resume are important, nothing speaks more about your growth and skills as a Game Developer than samples of your work.
A good game design portfolio should include images, video reels, and prototypes, as well as background information such as rule sets and other documentation on the design process.
Get your foot in the door at a gaming company
The best path toward advancing your game development career isn’t always the most direct one. If you can find a way into a gaming company — perhaps as a Game Tester or an intern — then you’re already well on your way to your dream job.
Once you have your foot in the door, it’s much easier to find the right people to talk to about moving into game development.
Ready to become a Game Developer?
Now that you have some ideas about how to get into game development, it’s time to start building the skills you need to land your dream job.