Mobile phones, tablets, PCs, TVs, and gaming consoles — because of these, gaming has never before been so accessible. With almost 3 billion gamers worldwide, the gaming industry is projected to bring in over $250 billion by 2025. Such a lucrative industry is bound to attract scores of new Game Developers intent on getting a piece of this rapidly expanding market.
If you're considering a career in game development, there's good news. As the industry grows, reports show that openings for Game Developers have increased by over 5%, and demand is expected to rise by over 2% annually, representing over 30,000 new jobs within a decade.
To help you decide if game development is right for you, we'll explore a Game Developer's role, responsibilities, and required skills in the paragraphs below.
What is a Game Developer?
A Game Developer does more than just the coding or programming required to create a game. They create the initial concepts and design new games, and then they develop, test, and maintain the games they release. They may do this as a freelance developer or as part of a design and production team.
Game Developer responsibilities
Since a Game Developer is involved in more than just the technical side of game development, they may assume various mantles at different creation, design, and production phases. Depending on whether they work alone or as part of a team, they may take an active role in any or all of the following phases.
In this phase, a Game Developer or Designer comes up with the initial concepts and storyline for a new game. They also devise the framework of the game, whether it be a puzzle to solve, a series of obstacles to overcome, or enemies to defeat.
The mood (or "feel") of the game, target audience, and market strategy are also established during this process, so there's a clear purpose and intent as development continues.
Game Developers create characters, objects, and environments in this stage using the concepts and storyline established during the design phase. The chosen colors and look of the game reflect the mood and feel chosen by the designer(s), and the graphics create an animated world where the game takes place.
Sound effects and music boost the mood and enhance immersion for users. Any audio tracks and dialogue that support the storyline must be created and recorded.
In this phase, Game Developers translate the concepts above into language a computer can understand. Various coding languages may be employed to solve problems, fine-tune performance, and mesh graphics and sound with the created environment.
Game Developer requirements
Some sources say you need a degree for a career as a Game Developer, but that's not always the case. Many Game Developers don't have a degree at all.
What's most important is creativity, imagination, and knowledge of the fundamentals of game development. Remember that experience, a robust portfolio, and an attractive resume may go a lot further than a degree.
Besides your creativity and imagination, what skills will you need to acquire to become a Game Developer?
- Math, physics, and problem-solving. A strong background in math and physics will help you translate your creative ideas into gaming experiences. Many potential employers conduct interviews to establish more than just coding experience. They want to see your problem-solving skills too.
- Good communication and documentation skills. Whether you're pitching your own game as a freelancer or working as part of a team, good communication and documentation may make or break any potential deal or strategy.
- Knowledge of one or more gaming engines. Gaming engines are the framework used for building games. They're also referred to as the "game framework" or "game architecture." Some commonly used examples are Unity and Unreal.
What else will you need to become a Game Developer?
Ready to become a Game Developer? There's a lot you can do to establish yourself in the industry and make this lucrative career choice a reality, such as:
- Cultivate your creativity and imagination. Gamers are always looking for something new and exciting, so develop your story-telling abilities, stimulate your imagination, and get the creative juices flowing.
- Build your portfolio. Use the games you make in your training to build a portfolio, and if you need a little help, check out our Career Center.
- Create an attractive resume. Once you've got some experience under your belt, create an attractive resume that highlights your skills and experience to prospective employers and clients.
- Take an entry-level position. Everyone has to start somewhere. Even as you further your training and education, accept an entry-level position to gain experience and establish yourself in the industry.