Game Developing 101
Game developers have, in our opinion, one of the best jobs out there. They get to take part in the process of creating entire worlds, creating exciting adventures that become world-famous, and even inspiring movies. They develop games where you can play in an online casino, games where dragons and magic are real, games where you crash onto a foreign planet and have to figure out how to survive.
Game developers or “devs,” as they are commonly known, write the software code that translates concepts into game features that can be played and experienced. These devs have a lot of work on their hands because today when you develop a new game, you need to be sure that it is optimized for all kinds of devices: tablets, phones, consoles, and PCs.
The game development industry is highly competitive; as you can imagine, every company wants the best devs working for them to ensure that the games they release are top-notch and in demand. If you like the sound of being a game developer, then you’ve come to the right place. Here we’ll unpack the skills you need and a little more information about development in general.
Get a Bachelor’s Degree
The base level of education you will need to go into game development is a Bachelor’s Degree. Some developers are savants and do not have any formal training, but they are the exception, not the rule. Four-year degrees offer in-depth scientific grounding that will take you a long way in computer science. If attending college is off the table for you, and it’s ok if it is, think about an online course that offers similar course content.
Ensure the courses that you look at our accredited; you should look at computer science and computer engineering as a jumping-off point. This kind of training is essential in developing your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Without that education, there’s only a slim chance that you’ll ever make the cut, but there are a few different ways that you can get it.
Math and Physics Skills Are a Must
These will be covered to some degree in whatever kind of course or degree you choose. If these aren’t your strong points, we recommend doing some extra reading or getting a tutor as math and physics are essential skills in the world of game development. You’ll need calculus, trig, and linear algebra to handle animation programming.
Physics will be required to help you grasp concepts like thermodynamics, mass, and inertia. There are lots of insightful videos and courses available online, either free of charge or at a cost-effective rate, to help with this as well.
Software Engineering Skills Won’t Hurt Either
Developers and programmers work in several languages, the most commonly used of these being Java, Python, C++, and C. There are a number of other programming languages that you’ll also need to know to be able to write the code that brings a game to life. Some of these will certainly be part of your degree or course, but you should upskill in all the ones that weren’t covered as a wide array of languages makes you an enticing prospect for any game company.
Understanding the ins and outs of server backend implementation is also a must; this can help you keep an eye on changes in systems architecture. These languages and processes do evolve over time, so upskilling will be something you’ll need to do periodically.
Though there’s a lot of technical stuff that you need to be able to move forward in this industry, a game developer is also a storyteller, a creative person. While most studios do have writers, it’s to your benefit to understand the ways that it would make sense for a story to progress.
Gain an understanding of narrative techniques and different types of storylines; this can only add to the quality of your work and may even be the push that a potential employer needs to hire you over another candidate. Game stories are becoming more and more intricate, and the industry needs developers who can grow with that trend.
Build a Portfolio
No one is likely to hire a candidate if they can’t establish what skills the candidate has and how their work looks when completed, are they? Building a portfolio is an integral part of getting hired in any industry, especially one where the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Start by creating simple games and work your way up to the more complicated stuff.
Take the time you need to build something as well as possible; there’s no rush! Include screenshots of scenes in your games to highlight particular aspects. Don’t forget to add links so that potential employers can try out your creations for themselves.
Start at the Bottom
Getting yourself an entry-level position or an internship (a paid one, of course) is a great way to build your skills and portfolio. Remember that everyone had to start somewhere! Take these opportunities to educate yourself further and become better at your craft.
There are many things that hopefuls must accomplish before they have a chance of becoming fully-fledged game developers, but we know that you’ll be up for the challenge.
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