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Video Game Developer Career

How to Become a Video Game Developer

Video game development is an exciting, rewarding career. Gaming is a popular activity all over the world. From solo, computer-based games to cooperative console games, video games offer players the chance to enjoy a friendly, competitive atmosphere. Regardless of geographic boundaries, playing can bring people together.

Individuals with a particular passion for gaming, and the skill set required to understand the coding behind what makes a video game successful, should consider video game development as a rewarding career option.

Two developers look over some code within an office.

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 development, or a related field. In a software development 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.

Software Development – B.S.

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

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

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

  • Time: 70% of graduates finish within 36 months.
  • Tuition and fees: $3,920 per 6-month term.
  • Certifications: several CIW and CompTIA included in this program.

Certified Internet Web certification included:

  • CIW User Interface Designer

CompTIA certifications included:

  • CompTIA A+
  • CompTIA Project +

Software development is the second-highest rated specialty within IT. Secure your future with a degree and additional certifications.


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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.

How Much Does a Video Game Developer Make?

$101,644

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 Job Outlook for a Video Game Developer?

Good!

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.

Where Do Video Game Developers Work?

Varies

Certain certifications can improve your knowledge of the coding languages required to become a video game developer, though they are not necessary to get a job. These coding languages include Java, C, and C++.

Certifications in Java, C, and C++ coding languages are useful for full-cycle video game developers and designers seeking to develop games that are responsive and engaging for all users. Additional certifications in ITIL, CIW, and CompTIA can be beneficial for your career path.

Interested in Becoming a Video Game Developer?

Learn more about degree programs that can prepare you for this lucrative career.

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