Game Development Jobs: Different Specializations
The game development sector is constantly adapting to the most recent advancements in technology, making it a continually changing area. Working in the game development field is always in demand, and it could turn out to be a beneficial decision to pursue a job in this sector.
Be aware that these jobs are applicable across a variety of systems, including gaming consoles, computers, augmented/virtual reality devices, cell phones (mainly for iOS and Android) and handheld devices from Nintendo. Video games can be created with a range of game engines, such as Unreal, Unity, and custom-made or adapted engines like Cry Engine.
We are not considering the salary difference between Unreal and Unity developers here; instead, we are discussing these two occupations in general.
Working in game development needs certain abilities, such as coding, organization, talking, and finding solutions to difficulties. Let’s examine some of the abilities that are necessary for a job in the gaming business.
Having the ability to program, even if your role in gaming does not include programming, can be beneficial if you are seeking a job in game development. Without the ability to write effective software programs and code proficiently, it can be difficult to construct an enjoyable game. It is essential to be familiar with various programming languages, like C++, C#, Python, and Java. Learning websites like Coursera and Udemy provide both short-term and extended courses, with the option of certifications.
It can take a considerable amount of time to create a video game that is good enough to be considered satisfactory or even highly acclaimed. A majority of positions generally necessitate that personnel collaborate in order to realize a video game.
Additionally, video game developers need to be able to work efficiently under deadlines and make sure the game meets certain criteria or the customer’s expectations. They may specialize in coding for a specific console (e.g. Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PlayStation 4) or work with a variety of platforms. It is possible for them to focus on a particular type of video game, such as role-playing or first-person shooter, and the game is now prepared to be released.
Talking is one of the most essential abilities to have in the video game creation business, even though it is classified as a soft skill. Having the ability to articulate yourself clearly and effectively, whether expressing your thoughts, views, or conveying your plans to your colleagues, makes sure that you, your aptitude, and your concepts won’t be overlooked. It is beneficial for a game developer to have a willingness to consider other people’s ideas.
Video games aren’t immune to problems like technical glitches. You should aim to make your game free of bugs and working properly, as this not only makes it more enjoyable but also guarantees a great user experience, helping you to acquire a larger fanbase or customer base.
Inventiveness does not just mean having the ability to create incredible realities from nothing. It’s essential to locate methods to address issues and enhance the gaming experience, mechanics, and storyline of your video game. You must have a high level of imagination in order to introduce something unique and keep players engaged.
Animation is a very important factor in creating a captivating video game experience. It helps to bring the game to life and make it more enjoyable. To have a better chance of getting a job in game development as an animator, it’s beneficial to have experience working with animation programs and software.
What Is a Video Game Developer?
Someone who creates video games is a software engineer who specializes in developing them. They program the software for video games on PC, gaming consoles, and mobile devices. They usually collaborate with video game developers, illustrators, sound engineers, and game checkers.
Common video game developer responsibilities
What are the daily duties and qualifications needed to be a video game developer? A gaming engineer might perform any of the following tasks:
- Translate game concept art into code
- Implement features in existing gameplay systems
- Improve code quality through automation and code reviews
- Develop prototypes and mock-ups
- Work with artists and other stakeholders to identify requirements for games
- Optimize graphics for game play on multiple devices
- Maintain code & fix bugs
The specific daily tasks associated with a video game developer position will depend on the company and job title.
Video game developers vs video game designers
The roles of video game developer and video game designer are not identical; in fact, they refer to distinct occupations.
Game developers are the imaginative minds responsible for creating game narratives, plots, characters, stages, surroundings, as well as other abstract and visual components.
Game developers, in contrast, carry out the programming to make that vision become a reality. A game developer may have a hand in shaping the narrative of a video game, but typically they are executing an artist/writer’s concept.
This is comparable to how software engineers collaborate with web creators. Web designers create the visual elements of a website using a program such as Photoshop and then give the designs to developers to put into code.
Is Video Game Development A Good Career Choice?
If you are considering a career in video game development, make sure you are certain that it is an attainable profession. Let’s analyze the typical earnings of video game programmers, the need for video game job opportunities, and contemplate what may be ahead.
How much do game developers make? Not to worry—it’s a well paid job. The yearly salary of a typical game developer is about $101,644, and it can reach up to $167,000 at the highest level.
Furthermore, there are lots of video game developer jobs since the video game industry is quite large and still growing rapidly:
- Video games are a bigger industry than movies and North American sports combined, thanks to the pandemic
- The global gaming market was valued at $73.70 billion in 2020, and it is expected to reach a value of $314.40 billion by 2026 (which is a 9.64% increase)
Looking to the future, new innovations are happening all the time in the industry:
- 5G is driving the mobile-based VR gaming market
- Cloud gaming (playing a game remotely from a cloud instead of a personal device) is also emerging, eliminating the need for a dedicated gaming console/PC
- Virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality are becoming more popular
- Some video games are beginning to include elements that use blockchain technologies and cryptocurrency. In fact, 58% of video game developers are beginning to use blockchain technology.
Despite the positive aspects, it is important to recognize that there is usually a lot of competition for game development positions. It can be difficult to gain access to the video game development industry when compared to other tech-related positions, as so many people are drawn to it.
It’s important to remember this when looking into jobs in the gaming industry, but don’t let it put you off from chasing your dream of game development. You may have to put in some extra effort to distinguish yourself from the others.
If you want to be a successful game developer, you need to be committed and be ready to put in a lot of time and effort. You need to remain ahead of the competition in order to keep your advantage over other developers or game studios. If you are working for large video game production companies, you may have to adjust your ideas and goals.
These jobs don’t require a high GPA or any special qualifications. Having a bachelor’s degree or a computer science background with certifications is helpful, but it is much more important to start building up your portfolio now. Have a look at our short guide to help you secure a job in the gaming industry.
Still, game development jobs offer plenty of benefits, such as:
- The opportunity to work on something that you’re passionate about
Getting a position in game development lets you take what you love to do and make it your profession. This business has tremendous potential for expansion, learning, and honing one’s abilities.
- Potentially getting higher compensation
The higher your proficiency in game development, the more money you can potentially make. Collaborating with other talented developers, designers, and artists gives you the chance to absorb knowledge from them and sharpen your skills.
- Having the chance to strike a work-life balance
Creating video games can involve a lot of hard work and may mean putting in extra hours, but many companies offer a pliable, remote work option.
- Knowing that you’re working on something that people will play and enjoy
Working in the video game development field provides the opportunity to create something that gamers will find entertaining and fun. The pleasure that comes with realizing that other players will appreciate your accomplishments.
Creating a great game does not guarantee it will be successful. “Your personnel are the key to success.” — Imre Jele, Bossa Studios Co-Founder
Many indie developers who experienced sudden success had actually been diligently working on their projects for a decade, according to Daniel Adelman, former Indie Lead at Nintendo.
Four General Pathways in Game Development
Jason Weimann, a game developer, writer, and educator, explains that there are four distinct areas involved in the game development process. These are:
The tasks of a game artist will depend on their area of expertise.
As a concept artist, it is your job to draw or depict features of the game that your business desires. Your job is to demonstrate what a part or region of the game should appear and seem like. The artwork created by a concept artist can have an influence on the progress of a game’s development.
Other artist specializations include:
- 2D Artist
- Character Artist
- Environmental Artist
- Technical Artist
A great strategy for finding work in game development as an artist is to display your work publicly. Build a portfolio to showcase your skills.
Game makers, such as associate producers, mainly act as supervisors of the project or game. They are present to guarantee that the project is progressing as it should and will be finished by the due date. They must guarantee that the project fulfills the customer’s expectations or meets the specified criteria.
Game makers can affect the path of the project and may have some authority over the creative process.
Weimann asserts that game designers must originate the initial idea behind the game. The goal of these individuals is to create something that the market requires yet does not have by constructing a unique game.
A game designer has responsibilities beyond just creating the game. Once a game has been given the green light, the designer’s responsibilities will likely change. Game design involves creating the systems and content for a game, such as characters, NPCs and item tables.
Specializations under this field include:
- Systems Designer
- Content Designer
Demonstrating one’s talents as a game designer can be a challenge, especially if you don’t have any experience in the gaming industry. The challenge is demonstrating that you can make a game without going through all the steps of creating it, developing it, and launching it with the assistance of a group.
A programmer does not take care of the visual elements or the layout of the game. The main purpose of them is to put the game’s structure in place so that other teams are able to progress with its development.
The scope of work for a programmer is contingent on the size of the business they are employed by. In a small business, you may be asked to manage various jobs and duties, including activities that are not in your area of expertise. If you are employed by a major video game developer, you can most likely focus on your particular area of expertise, such as gameplay coding or graphics coding. Note that some of these roles may overlap occasionally.
Other specializations under the engineer or programmer field include:
- Tools Programming
- Network Programming
Making video games can be quite lucrative, even for those just starting out.
Other game development jobs worth looking into include:
- Quality Assurance
- Customer Service
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