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Video Game Developer Career


What Is a Video Game Developer?


Video game developers are responsible for the development of the software behind any video game. These professionals operate at the forefront of the video game industry itself. 

Video game development is different from video game design. Designers are responsible for the creation of a game’s aesthetic — all of the visible components, including people, cars, trees, buildings, and any other visible elements. On the other hand, video game developers take charge of the coding and the software necessary to make games successful from the onset. 


What Does a Video Game Developer Do?

On a daily basis, a video game developer can be expected to fulfill a wide range of job duties. These may include: 

  • Host design meetings, where developers meet with video game design teams to discuss how their ideas can translate into the development phase.
  • Coding the base language of the game into the back-end framework.
  • Utilization of multiple programming languages like C++ and Java to create individual game specifications.
  • Using the coding language correctly so that the video game functions well, and loads in a minimal amount of time for users across all platforms.
  • Expression of a game’s artistic elements as efficient code, without breaking the software or compromising the vision of the game’s design team.

These job duties are among those that define the day-to-day role of a video game developer. They may take on additional responsibilities depending on how their role fits within the overall video game production team. 

Daily tasks for a video game developer can vary widely. As games near their launch dates, developers are responsible for troubleshooting issues and fixing bugs. Other times, video game developers are helping to take a designer’s vision for the game and bring it to life.


What Education Does a Video Game Developer Need?

While a degree from a university or collegiate institution is not required to land a job as a video game developer, it can be key in setting you apart from competition. Typically, individuals looking to become video game developers should achieve at least a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, or a related field. In a software engineering degree program you will learn the appropriate programming languages, understand functionality of code, and gain experience working with different operating systems and networks. These are all critical in ensuring you are ready for a role as a video game developer.

What Degrees are Best for a Video Game Developer?


Software Engineering – B.S.

You're a creative and tech genius who wants the bigger opportunities....

You're a creative and tech genius who wants the bigger opportunities.

  • Time: 60% of graduates finish similar programs within 35 months.
  • Tuition: $3,985 per 6-month term.
  • Courses: 36 or 38 total courses in this program depending on your track.

Certifications included in this program at no additional cost are:

  • CompTIA Project +
  • AWS Certified Cloud Practitioner 
  • ITIL®1 Foundation Certification

Skills for your résumé that you will learn in this program:

  • Scripting and programming
  • Web development
  • Mobile application development 
  • User experience design
  • Software quality assurance

Web Application Deployment and Support Certificate – School of Technology

Enhance your résumé and take a step in your educational journey with the...

Enhance your résumé and take a step in your educational journey with the help of the Web Application Deployment and Support Certificate from the School of Technology.

  • Time: 5 months from start to finish.
  • Cost: $2,950 for the certificate.
  • Courses: 4 courses total in this program.

This certificate also offers two industry certifications, Linux Essentials and AWS Cloud, which will add extra power to your portfolio of experience. You are also guaranteed admission into a WGU School of Technology degree program. This certificate will prepare you for the next step in your career.

This program is ideal for individuals who have 3-5 years of IT experience and a basic understanding of scripting languages and SQL. Prerequisites include: Experience with either Python or Java or another high-order OO (object-oriented) programming language along with Git, experience with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, and experience with a major DBMS (database management system) - MySQL (preferred), SQL Server, Oracle, MariaDB, etc.


How Much Does a Video Game Developer Make?


The exact salary of a video game developer will fluctuate, depending on a wide variety of factors. These factors include overall experience, overall education, the size of the video game studio for which you're working, and forecasted returns on the game itself.

In general, video game developer salaries range from approximately $35,000 to $167,000 per year. This career has a wide spectrum of available income depending on your working environment. On average, video game developers earn $101,644 per year.

What Is the Projected Job Growth?


Careers in video game development maintain a very positive outlook for the foreseeable future. A rise in overall worldwide gaming, and the popularity of video game streaming, likely means that video game development for console, mobile, and computer-based games will continue to rise in parallel with interest.

In 2020, video games as an industry eclipsed the film business in terms of overall market valuation, further emphasizing the positive outlook for video game development in years to come.


What Skills Does a Video Game Developer Need?

Video game developers regularly use a series of particular skills, to achieve success as part of a fast-paced production team. The career of a video game developer is defined by a series of particular skills, utilized repeatedly for success within a fast-paced production team. Developers use these skills daily to create a game that is fun, interactive, and immersive for all players. Video game developer skill sets include:

  • Creativity: Ability to integrate unique approaches when performing repetitive tasks.
  • Teamwork: Ability to cooperate with others to accomplish a shared goal.
  • Multitasking: Ability to adeptly manage multiple projects at once.
  • Openness: Ability to remain receptive to new ideas and opinions.
  • Content design: Ability to create and design new content in a way that will resonate with game players.
  • Communication: Ability to sustain open, honest conversations
  • Problem-solving: Ability to offer and execute unique solutions to issues.

These skills and others form a foundation for successful video game development, no matter the production environment or the game to be created.

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Interested in Becoming a Video Game Developer?

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