How To Become A Game Developer: Top Tips
The game developer creates the game concept and brings the project to production. If you love to play video games and dream of making your own, the profession is for you.
Game development is the process of developing a game for a specific gaming platform — for PC, for consoles, for mobile devices, for VR, for smartwatches, etc. The game developer creates a whole virtual world with its own laws.
In fact, this is the same programmer, but with game specifics. Compared to ordinary developers who design software, the outcome of those who work on game projects is much more creative and interesting. This sphere includes a huge amount of various specialists — game designers, modelers, animators, etc.
The developer can be responsible for the entire project as a whole or a separate part of the final product: gameplay, animation, templates, graphics, internal structure, or services.
What does it take to become a game developer?
The development companies put forward serious requirements to the experience and knowledge of a specialist because the success of the project depends on the professionalism of the game developer. If you have relevant experience, have played numerous games and quests, you should go to the next stage and develop video games.
So for instance, if you want to get into the development team of your favorite game such as World of Warcraft, you must definitely know the product and be well versed in it. As a fan, you know for sure that the developers are regularly adding various quests and events that are especially popular among players, which have provoked the growth of different boosting services in the gaming industry, such as SotFO carry. It helps in the final raid instance, located in Zereth Mortis. It is an ancient place of power, containing secrets of the First Ones that the Jailer seeks to use to rewrite the rules of the universe.
As you can see, you have to understand every aspect of the game, follow trends, and meet consumers’ needs and wants in order to offer them interesting ideas. These are the qualities and knowledge that any game design employer expects from you.
And there are three types of game developers who are starting their career in this niche:
- Graduates of technical universities without work experience;
- Experienced developers and gamers without knowledge of the specifics of the engine;
- Novice engine programmers.
The easiest way to get into game development without experience is by working in other departments of the desired company for some time.
So let’s consider some basic tips on how to become a game developer.
Pre-built engines will help you with a quick start in game development. The most popular and simple game engine is Unity, which contains multiple tools to make development easier.
To start developing, you need to have at least basic programming knowledge. In particular, the Unity engine requires knowledge of the C# programming language.
It’s hard to create a game without understanding the difference between racing and fighting. And in many vacancies, employers directly request work experience in certain projects. Therefore, you will also need general knowledge to develop in this industry.
Plus, it’s the math that helps the games work. Calculate the flight path of a thrown grenade, send a projectile into enemy territory, jump from a height to the ground or climb stairs — all these actions are calculated mathematically.
You also need to know physics, especially when it comes to physical processes. The subject will help you create the logical laws of your game universe: how objects fly, collapse and fall, how they move, what affects the characters, and their actions. It won’t be superfluous to read books on this topic.
3D graphics are an essential element of any video game development. It helps to create three-dimensional objects, add movement to them, apply textures and adjust the lighting of the scene. Therefore, you will need to master 3D modeling software.
It takes a lot of practice to become a game developer, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be supported by theory. Continuous comprehensive training is required. The more you know and can show, the better.
It happens that developers choose one specialization for themselves. However, it’s very crucial to have at least basic knowledge of all aspects to understand how the system works in general.
Making a game on your own will require a whole array of skills and things to learn. This process will teach you a lot, but it’s also the most difficult path. Moreover, it’s worth realizing that the first thing you do is likely to be a failure. But this is OK, and it should be. It’s what helps you to learn.
The desire to develop and keep up-to-date on recent technologies and trends in game dev is extremely important. It always has a positive effect on the productivity and technical skill of the developer.
You also need to know how to organize your workflow and interact with the team. Then you will create your development ecosystem and work as efficiently as possible.
Diligence and persistence, accuracy, and attention to detail are welcome. After all, creating a game is a long and complicated process with multiple nuances. The ability to draw by hand, active imagination and out-of-the-box thinking will also come in handy. And, of course, you should be an ardent fan of video games.
What concerns the disadvantages of the profession, first of all, it is worth noting overtime work. It can appear for various reasons. And you will have to find and maintain a balance in order not to burn out and stay productive. Therefore, we advise you to separate work from private life.
Of course, any after-work hours negatively affect the project and the whole team, but sometimes it’s just a vital necessity, especially during the release period of the game.
How to become a game developer: summing up
The above is just the tip of the iceberg, and it takes more than one year to become a game developer. On your way, you will face a lot of troubles, and the best way to solve them is to contact the games dev community — forums, publics, channels.
Furthermore, the game development industry is rapidly growing — faster than other related fields. New technologies are appearing at lightning speed, and, to keep your technical knowledge up to date, you have to work hard. And to improve your skills — spend even more time on self-education. We wish you all the best in achieving your game development goals!