Game Developer

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What Is a Game Developer? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.

Game developers use software engineering and technical expertise to create interactive entertainment experiences. This role is one of the driving forces behind the multi-billion dollar gaming industry. Here’s what to know about a game developer’s salary, needed skills and how to become one.

 

What Is a Game Developer?

Game developers help to program video game structures and mechanics from concept to final product. A game developer’s work can vary from large AAA gaming studio projects to small self-published indie game development projects. 

 

What Do Game Developers Do?

Game developers write code, employ design tools and implement artificial intelligence (AI) and/or VR/AR technology to create interactive virtual environments, characters and storylines for a video game. 

Game Developer Responsibilities

  • Code with computer programming languages to direct game visuals, objects and mechanics.
  • Utilize game engines to test gameplay and combine art and coding assets.
  • Leverage AI and machine learning mechanics to build immersive gameplay environments.
  • Collaborate with varied teams and enterprise stakeholders.

Day-to-Day Responsibilities of Game Developers

  • Use languages like C++ to program internal game rules and specific object functions.
  • Use tools in game engines like Unity to prototype file workflows and controller input systems. 
  • Program AI algorithms to dictate the behavior of a game area or a non-playable character.
  • Communicate product needs between artists, programmers and other game designers.

Types of Game Developers

  • First-party game developer: develops games exclusively for a platform or console and is owned under the platform’s company.
  • Second-party game developer: develops games exclusively for a platform or console, but is not fully owned under the platform’s company.
  • Third-party game developer: develops games for self-publish or for any company under commission.
  • Indie game developer: develops games independently or under a small team and is not owned by a single company.

Game Developers Within a Company

Game developers are usually part of a designated game development, game design or production team within a company. They frequently collaborate with game artists, game designers, gameplay programmers, QA analysts and testers, UI designers and UX designers to accomplish their work.

Importance of Game Developers

Game developers translate designers’ game concepts into playable code, ensuring that a creative idea reacts and responds properly when played on a gaming device. Game developers may also act as a bridge between the areas of art and technology on a development team.

A day in the life of an indie game developer. | Video: ThinMatrix

 

What Skills Are Needed to Be a Game Developer?

Qualifications to Be a Game Developer

  • Applicable internship or on-the-job experience in full-cycle game development.
  • Ability to build systems on game engine technologies.
  • Ability to create, debug and modify relevant code.
  • Proficiency in C, C++, C#, and/or Java as well as software engineering principles.
  • Working knowledge of quality assurance (QA) and user performance analysis tools.

Game Developer Prerequisites

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, game development, mathematics, software engineering or a similar field.

Game Developer Hard Skills

  • 2D and/or 3D rendering and animation knowledge.
  • AI technology and tools.
  • Computer programming languages (C, C#, C++, HTML5, Java, JavaScript, Lua, Python)
  • Full-stack development knowledge.
  • Game engine technology (CryEngine, GameMaker, Unity, Unreal Engine).
  • Gaming hardware knowledge.
  • QA and user performance analysis tools.
  • VR/AR technical knowledge.

Game Developer Soft Skills

  • Critical thinking.
  • Problem-solving.
  • Teamwork and collaboration.
  • Verbal and written communication.

Tools and Programs Game Developers Use

Find out who's hiring.
See all Developer + Engineer jobs at top tech companies & startups
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How to Become a Game Developer

Game Developer Education and Experience

Game developer candidates are often expected to have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, game development, mathematics, software engineering or a similar field. 

Candidates will need to obtain applicable experience through an internship, on-the-job training and/or work experience. Knowledge in the areas of programming languages (C, C#, C++, Java, JavaScript), software engineering, full-cycle game development, AI, rendering and animation tools as well as effective communication are also recommended.

Game Developer Certificates and Courses

Game Developer Career Path

After experience as a game developer, professionals can move into a senior game developer role. From this point, professionals may progress into management and leadership roles like game development team lead, principal game developer or director of game development.

 

Game Developer Salary and Job Outlook

Game developers are in-demand, with U.S. employment for software developers and similar roles projected to increase 25 percent by 2031

The full compensation package for a game developer depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average game developer salary.

Courses

Expand Your Game Developer Career Opportunities

Udemy

Welcome to this 2 part course where you'll get insights on careers in the gaming industry and learn about the fundamentals of game design.

We'll start things off where we explore careers in the gaming industry. You'll learn about concepts…

Udemy

This is the long-awaited sequel to the Complete Unity Developer - one of the most popular e-learning courses on the internet! Completely re-worked from scratch with brand-new projects and our…

Udemy

Ready to make games in the amazing world of Unreal Engine 5?

This "critically-acclaimed" and "insanely successful" Unreal Engine course was …

Udemy

Learning to program can be dull, and learning C++ is hard enough without having to learn a game engine as well.

In this course we teach you coding the fun way, by making games! And we'll be using a library so you can…

Certifications

Game Developer Certifications + Programs

Set the stage for your next major career move with Udacity’s online development and engineering certifications.

Start building maintainable JavaScript applications that can handle constantly changing data at scale. Discover not only how to create JavaScript-powered React applications, but how and why they work. This course dives deep into the tools and techniques you need to create custom web applications. Explore the essentials, including components, JSX, props, and state, build multi-page apps with React Router, and incorporate functionality from third-party APIs. Then, host the result with Heroku. 

 

What you'll accomplish

Incoming students should have a familiarity with HTML and the Document Object Model (DOM), along with a working knowledge of JavaScript programming and functions, objects, arrays, and classes.. Throughout this expert-designed program, you’ll:

  • Explore the essentials of programming with React, including components, JSX, props, and state.
  • Push your knowledge to the next level by learning not only how to create React applications, but how and why they work.
  • Build multi page web applications using the popular React Router package.
  • Call upon an application programming interface (API) in a React application.
  • Host a React application on Heroku to share with the world.
  • Apply what you’ve learned to build a custom React application.

 

Why General Assembly

Since 2011, General Assembly has graduated more than 40,000 students worldwide from the full time & part time courses. During the 2020 hiring shutdown, GA's students, instructors, and career coaches never lost focus, and the KPMG-validated numbers in their Outcomes report reflect it. *For students who graduated in 2020 — the peak of the pandemic — 74.4% of those who participated in GA's full-time Career Services program landed jobs within six months of graduation. General Assembly is proud of their grads + teams' relentless dedication and to see those numbers rising. Download the report here.

 

Your next step? Submit an application to talk to the General Assembly Admissions team


 

Note: reviews are referenced from Career Karma - https://careerkarma.com/schools/general-assembly

 

General Assembly

General Assembly’s Software Engineering Immersive is a transformative course designed for you to get the necessary skills for a coding role in three months. 

The Software Engineering bootcamp is led by instructors who are expert practitioners in their field, supported by career coaches that work with you since day one and enhanced by a career services team that is constantly in talks with employers about their tech hiring needs.

 

What you'll accomplish

As a graduate, you’ll have a portfolio of projects that show your knowledge of fundamental programming concepts, as well as experience with languages, frameworks, and libraries that employers demand. Throughout this expert-designed program, you’ll:

  • Create a front-end web application with modern JavaScript frameworks such as Angular or React.

  • Develop and deploy full-stack applications with in-demand technologies such as Ruby on Rails, Python with Django, and Express with Node.js.

  • Build secure full-stack applications by leveraging common design and architectural patterns like model–view–controller (MVC) and Representational State Transfer (REST).

  • Practice version control and collaborative software development with Git and GitHub.

  • Safely model and store data in SQL and NoSQL databases.

  • Consume and integrate third-party application programming interfaces (APIs) in an application.

 

Why General Assembly

Since 2011, General Assembly has graduated more than 40,000 students worldwide from the full time & part time courses. During the 2020 hiring shutdown, GA's students, instructors, and career coaches never lost focus, and the KPMG-validated numbers in their Outcomes report reflect it. *For students who graduated in 2020 — the peak of the pandemic — 74.4% of those who participated in GA's full-time Career Services program landed jobs within six months of graduation.  General Assembly is proud of their grads + teams' relentless dedication and to see those numbers rising. Download the report here.

 

Your next step? Submit an application to talk to the General Assembly Admissions team

 

 

Note: reviews are referenced from Career Karma - https://careerkarma.com/schools/general-assembly

General Assembly
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