Gaming is one of those things that we always make time for, regardless of our age. And if you’re a gamer with programming skills, you must’ve wondered how awesome it would be to build a career in game development. Well, the choice is certainly on the table. But first, let’s find out the benefits and odds of being a game developer.
The best upside of being a game developer is the thrill of it. You get to use top-tier game engines to code all those cool characters to life. Giving them unique attributes and skill sets as you’ve always wanted. More often, the payment is hefty as well. But, as a developer, you will have to write, design, test, & debug codes over and over until you reach perfection. So it comes down to your patience, sense of logic, and programming skills in the end.
That being said, today we are going to talk about the possibilities of a career in game development, especially the pros and cons. We will also talk about the major differences between game design and development. Moreover, we will discuss the skills you need and share some tips for you to become a successful game developer.
The Differences Between Game Design and Game Development
Most people don’t understand or realize that designing a game and developing one are not the same. There are visible differences between these two aspects. The designers mainly visualize the game from top to bottom. On the other hand, the developers handle the technical parts.
Graphics designing, rendering the arts and animations, conceptualizing an idea behind a game, laying down rules and regulations, and sometimes story writing is part of a game designer’s job. Game designers also define the primary flow and framework of a game.
But game developers are solely programmers. They understand different programming languages such as Java, Perl, Lua, C++, etc. If you have an interest in coding and you want to build a creative career, then game development can be a great opportunity for you.
As a game developer, you will be part of a team that works continuously to construct & improve a game. Your main tasks will include writing codes and identifying the bugs. Also, testing, maintenance, & debugging are some of the crucial works done by a developer.
Pros Of Being A Game Developer
You can expect the following benefits as a game developer;
- Utilize your passion for programming! Try out different languages and algorithms, set up unique logic, and surprise your fans. Gamers love twists and hidden easter eggs.
- You turn your hobby into your job. When a career meets passion, only the sky’s the limit.
- There are a lot of talented people who work as developers. You can learn a lot from them as well.
- Imagine how good it would feel when gamers enjoy and admire your work. You may even have a fanbase before you know it.
- Many game developing companies allow working from home. Doing something you love from the comfort of your cave, does it get any better?
- Game development is a sizable industry and it’s growing at a rapid pace. Imagine the possibilities! You may even start planning for a company of your own!
- Unlike most jobs, you’ll hardly need a college degree to become a professional developer. This industry is all about skills.
- The better you get at your job, the higher the numbers will be in your bank account. And big-time companies are always looking for the best developers out there.
- It’s a cool & risk-free career to pursue.
Not convinced yet? Why don’t you check out this video down below as well?
Cons Of Being A Game Developer
However, it’s not all smiles! Being a game developer has its fair share of cons.
- Game development requires a high set of skills that you gain from years of practice. Without pure focus, you cannot achieve success in this career. Here, dedication is everything.
- You will mostly be working on games designed by someone else. So you will have to follow the orders and there may be very limited scope to get creative with the story.
- It takes a long time to find and fix the bugs within game codes. So, therefore, you need to develop a tremendous amount of patience and willpower for the successful completion of your projects.
- Development is the core part of a game. And sometimes it takes months, even years to fully develop a decent game. So consistency is a big challenge here.
- As the gaming industry is developing rapidly, there is huge competition to get into this career. You will always have to be ready for different challenges.
- You may receive better payment on other platforms with the same set of skills.
- Performing the same task over and over induces monotony. Be prepared for that.
- Lack of free time may also be an issue. You’ll need complete concentration for successful completion.
5 Skills You Need To Become A Good Game Developer
Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War, Watch Dogs: Legion, Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla, Microsoft Flight Simulator, Ghost of Tsushima; these games were some of the best games of 2020. How come?
Undoubtedly, it’s always the team efforts that lead to such success. And in a team, skilled game developers often contribute the most. As a good game developer, you may have to lead your team from time to time as well.
So here are 5 skills to help you become a skilled game developer:
Solid Programming Skills
Programming is the heart of game development. Without solid and strong programming and coding skills, no way you can develop a decent game. That’s why keep practicing more and more to improve your programming skills.
Many online platforms will help you improve your skill these days. Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, Data Camp, w3schools, free code camp, not only provide intensive courses, they also offer certification programs as well. You can take short and long courses from such platforms and improve your programming skills. You can also hone your skills by developing independent projects using IDE programs.
Also, keep an eye out for newer programming languages. For example, Java has been one of the most dominant programming languages in the last two decades. But it’s rather complicated. So, easier languages like Python & Golang are becoming increasingly popular these days. Commercial games like the Witcher 3, Skyrim are built with C++.
A good game developer must possess both time and team management skills. Setting up a development framework is a crucial part of game development. With a good framework, you can formulate a decent project while ensuring the proper utilization of time. You may also manage an early release, surprising your fans and maximizing the profits. When competitive games are on the release queue, you don’t want to fall behind.
Also, coping up with the team is very important. Big shot game development companies don’t work with only one or two developers. They have teams of developers. And only a good team player can contribute to the success of the entire team.
You may think that all you need is to be a pro coder to achieve success in the game development industry. But communicating with your teammates is also as important as programming and coding. If you cannot express your vision, thoughts, or ideas properly to your team members, your potentials will always be dormant and overlooked.
So, do not hesitate to state your opinion, or suggest an alternate approach. You may be a good programmer, but that doesn’t mean you can solve each and every problem. Ask for help, suggestions, and hear out your co-workers as well.
In the gaming industry, a developer must always be ready to solve any coding and programming-related problem that he comes across. No game is 100% bug-free after release. That’s why we get updates and patches from time to time.
But a company with good developers may manage to release games with the least number of bugs. Red Dead Redemption 2 by Rockstar Games is a great example in this case. Bug-free games also ensure a loyal and growing fanbase, which is crucial for any gaming company.
Though a game developer works on different pre-set ideas or designs, it is needless to say that his creativity may still come in handy. A creative developer can find ways to improve the gameplay as well as the mechanics of the game.
Also, this is a competitive field. Here, the more creative you are, the more successful you are likely to be. A creative vision, perception, & optimism can take you a long way in this industry.
How To Be Successful In A Game Development Career
Being skillful doesn’t always mean you’ll be successful as well. Success is more dependant on work ethics and mindset. So here are a few pointers to help you grind your way to success.
Always Be Ready to Get Criticized
Not everyone has the same taste when it comes to gaming. When you develop a game, there will be people who’ll appreciate it as well as people who are going to criticize it.
Let’s face it, you can’t create a masterpiece every time. So criticism is valid. Don’t entirely rule out the critical opinions and fix the issues instead of complaining. However, if you pay too much attention to every critical opinion, you can’t move forward.
There will always be criticism and you have to learn when to react and when to ignore it.
Embrace The Latest Technologies
There was a time when we used to play 2D games with pixel graphics. Super Mario, Pacman, Space Shooter, these games ruled the industry for decades. Then came the era of 3D sandbox games, visual novels, & RPGs. The graphics kept getting better and better. And now there is virtual reality.
So as you can see, technology is breaking new barriers every day. You have to keep up with this rapid pace if you’re ever to become successful. Keep your coding skills up to date to match newer platforms.
Not so long ago, people barely had any idea that cell phones can be a huge platform for gaming. But now mobile gaming is becoming increasingly popular. Smartphones are relatively inexpensive and affordable. Allowing people to play on this platform with fewer complications.
Popular PC games like PUBG, Call of Duty, Minecraft have already released their smartphone versions. And more are in the queue. So as you can guess, Android and iOS game developers are making a fortune these days.
Conclusively, if you like programming and also enjoy gaming, game development is an awesome career to pursue. Though there are some minor drawbacks, a job as a game developer is certainly more enjoyable than most other jobs for a programmer. More importantly, you can unleash your creativity and ride your passion as you’ve always wanted.