How to be a video game developer
Video games are a great source of entertainment and sometimes education for most children (and quite a few adults). It is a huge industry with millions of customers (and fans) all over the world. Recently, mobile games like Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, or Subway Surfers have become worldwide hits.
So, it makes perfect sense if you are interested in becoming a game developer. However, video game development is not a walk in the park (we are sure you already know that).
It requires a lot of creativity, skill, patience, dedication, and time. Here is a quick guide to becoming a video game developer.
You can learn the basic programming from online tutorials but to become a full-fledged developer, you will need proper training and education. You need to have the proper toolkit to help you out.
A bachelor’s degree in software engineering or computer science is a good place to start. You could also opt for short courses or professional certifications. However, most video game development companies will be looking for employees with proper degrees, not a short course. In addition, you will need a whole set of skills and understanding of various programming languages like C++, JAVA, computer graphics and fundamentals of the networking protocols etc.
Once you have the required skills and training under your belt, you need to get your hands dirty. You will be encouraged to develop small games during your training. It is better if you can go beyond the requirement and use your mind to come up with something unique.
Start with small programs and games. There are online video game engines such as Unity, Radiant etc. Which are commercially available. Get a hang of these tools. Once you have a sound understanding of how things work, you can look for small gigs from sites like Upwork.
Work on your creativity and problem-solving skills
Video game development is not for everyone. It is different than a website development or application development where you have a basic model that you can copy. So, creativity is an essential skill.
Similarly, you will be faced with many new challenges along the way, especially in the start. While coding and scripting the video game, there will be several bugs, glitches, and technical difficulties. You need to have an attitude that allows you to effectively tackle these problems.
Build a Portfolio
If you are thinking of becoming a game developer, you need to catch the eye of well-known companies. For this, you need to build a portfolio with a couple of short games. Develop games and make them available on app stores. Use free marketing tactics to promote your game.
If you can get a fairly popular game on your portfolio, you will hugely improve your chances of getting hired by a known company.
Get a Job
Like any other career choice, you might have to start at an entry-level position. There are exceptions but you can’t be working for a multinational straight away.
Don’t be put off by this. Use this time to keep gaining more and more experience. Learn to navigate your way through the professional circles. Network and build contacts. Put in the hours and you will eventually be rewarded with a better job. Getting an internship while you train can also give you a boost to your career.
Of course, you could also develop video games on your own. However, associating yourself with a development company has many perks. It allows you to learn from other professionals in the field. Moreover, with the name of a renowned company on your profile, you have a better chance of moving up in the industry faster.
Once you have the experience and exposure, you can move up the career ladder. It can be a senior level position in your existing firm or a jump to a better and bigger company.
If you have business management skills, you can consider launching your own company.
Bio: Ibtehaj blogs on technology and computer education-related topics at New Horizons Abu Dhabi. It also offers online courses and training programs for aspiring designers or developers.