A career as a gaming developer is both rewarding and challenging. There is a high demand for these skills and the incumbent at a studio can expect to earn £73k after ten years in the job. Here we look at the skills and qualifications you will need to enter this industry.
Qualifications Needed To Become A Gaming Developer
A four-year degree, such as a bachelor’s degree is usually the minimum requirement. There are accredited online programs as well that may suffice provided you have the right hard and soft skills for the job. However, most gaming developers are only hired after obtaining a degree. You will need to take courses in computer engineering and computer science.
Math, Physics, And Engineering Software And Hardware
You need to be competent in math and physics. Gaming development will require you to work with concepts such as thermodynamics and inertia. You will also have to know algebra, trigonometry, and calculus.
Programming languages are an essential knowledge base to write code for game development. You must be proficient in MySQL, MS SQL, and/or Oracle to develop databases. You should be knowledgeable on the implementation of server backends.
The Ability to Tell Stories
A gaming developer must be a good storyteller. The individual needs to be able to come up with fresh and original ideas and adapt existing storylines. You need to know the difference between linear storytelling and non-linear storytelling and how to narrate. Then you will have to apply code to your storytelling.
Game studios, especially the bigger ones, will require you to present a comprehensive portfolio showcasing your work. You should include screenshots so that prospective employers can assess your abilities. You can gain experience by creating your own games from the simplest to increasingly complex ones. It is easiest to start in an entry-level position at a smaller studio and develop your skills. Seek out an internship if any are available. While it takes time to break into the big league companies, it is well worth the investment of time, energy, and continued self-learning through tutorials and seminars. Engage in networking as this will keep you informed of job opportunities and expand your knowledge. You should also be experienced in using gaming software and have all the hardware to do the job, such as gaming computers and peripherals.
Soft Skills and Hard Skills
Along with your formal qualification, portfolio, knowledge, and experience, there are several hard and soft skills that are essential for game developers.
Hard skills include software development skills, analytical skills, and fluency in programming languages. This means being confident in C# and C++ as a minimum requirement. You need a fundamental grounding in software development in general. Your analytical skills should include mathematical reasoning.
Soft skills you will need are a healthy dose of creativity, the ability to solve problems, and good people skills, especially in a team.
There is a long path ahead for the prospective gaming developer, but it will be worth it when you get that top job.