Video games are not just a fun pastime but part of a mammoth market with over $85.86 billion. In the second quarter of 2020, gamers spent a record $11.6 billion on video games.
The market is enormous, and demand is massive; that is why a career as a game developer can be rewarding. The need for game developers is expected to increase by 21% by 2028. If you possess comprehensive knowledge of gaming systems and have strong technical skills, you can become a game developer. In this article, we explore the career path of a video game developer.
What do game developers do?
Game developers are professionals who combine software development with mathematics to bring games to life. The responsibility of game developers is to write highly robust code to implement all the features and functionalities. Additionally, they need to work with highly skilled game designers to create visual content for a game. Even after publishing a game, video game developers are continually engaged in development to accommodate new game feature requests and improvements. A distinctive skill game developers must know about artificial programming intelligence is to create non-player characters.
Game Developer Responsibilities:
While the exact responsibilities you will be handling depend on the type of game you will be working on, here are some standard requirements for a video game developer.
- Set up and manage Linux servers and HTTP servers
- Writing scalable code with proper OOP practices
- Lead workflow resolution by effectively routing information to appropriate queues
- Develop systems with sufficient flexibility to handle exceptions
- Provide support for any existing AS2 legacy code
- Develop animation units for the game web pages using AS2
- Work with ZendAMF and PHP to create flash communication
- Communicate and partner with senior engineers and game programmers
- Perform QA for games
- Implement APIs to support hardware-specific features
Game development skills you will need
Strong IT skills
As mentioned before, strong technical skills are mandatory to become a competent game developer. With each passing year, video games are becoming more realistic. As the gaming features and visuals enter Photorealism – a new era of the realistic physical rendering of video games – you have to demonstrate IT skills beyond coding. Graphics and animation play an essential role in video game development which is why you need to improve your designing skills.
Game developers don’t just write code; they create incredible virtual worlds that immerse the gamers. To come up with original video game ideas, you will need creativity, which is much needed. The video game market is saturated with sameness. The competitive advantage of a game lies in its uniqueness.
Video games are not like other software; they are a cultural product with cultural tastes and preferences. This article from The Atlantic elaborates that game developers need to understand human psychology and culture to capture and retain players’ attention.
Resolving technical glitches and overcoming challenges will be a routine task for you as a game developer. You will require grit and patience to solve problems and debug code. This is why problem-solving skills are essential.
Time management skills
Today’s video games are highly complex products with hundreds of thousands of components. To pull all the pieces together, companies require multiple teams of technical and artistic professionals. To be a successful game developer, you have to learn to work well under pressure, collaborate effectively, and follow project deadlines.
Top countries in the world for game developers
Unlike other programmers, game developers are benefited from choosing a location when it comes to building a career. Most game publishers and studios still work with in-house teams at the office.
Here is a graph representing the best countries for game development jobs based on the number of game developers.
Challenges you need to know
Game developers often have to take criticism from the gaming community if the game or a new feature they incorporate is glitchy or brings down the user experience. It will be essential to take a step back and take criticism. Furthermore, gaming industry technologies change lighting fast. You must be ready to learn not to get outdated. Keeping up with trends is also essential. At present, mobile games are a rage, but soon, AR/VR driven metaverse powered video games might be the norm.
The video gaming industry is enormous, and the demand for quality game developers is high. If you genuinely love video games, you can create a successful career in the industry with a bit of planning and determination. Game developers must have an innate understanding of gaming systems and strong technical skills, as listed above. We hope this article will serve as a guiding resource to build your career in game development.
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