What skills do you need to become a game developer?
As the video game industry continues to grow, there are more job openings than ever before. On the other hand, there are games like Stardew Valley which was developed by only one person and has made millions of dollars in sales. Becoming a game developer isn’t easy, but it’s not hard either. It takes dedication and patience to learn how to become a game developer. There are many technical skills that one must have in order to become a game developer. The video gaming industry is constantly growing, and there are great tools available to help you make your game faster and more easily. So with the right resources and knowledge of what you need to know as an aspiring game developer, you can succeed in this field. Read on to find out what skills you need to hone in order to become a great game developer:
Types of game developers
The term “game developer” itself is very vague as game development isn’t just about programming. In fact, there are so many important creative aspects of game development like Art, Graphics, Audio, Game Design, Narrative Design, VFX, and so much more.
Big AAA Game Studio Developers
If you want to become a game developer at a big game company, you should decide which aspect of game development that you want to be a part of. Do you want to become a gameplay programmer for a game studio? Or would you like to create animations for characters? There are often very specific roles in a lot of the big video game companies, so do your research and see which path you want to pursue.
Indie Game Developers
On the other hand, there are independent game creators, often referred to as Indie Game Developers. Indie game developers are generally a very small team (Or just a single person!) creating a game. If you want to become a solo game developer, you’d want to wear all the hats and cover all aspects of the game on your own! Solo game development is very popular nowadays because of the plethora of tools available to help you in every aspect of fame development.
With that being said, let us look at all the skills you need to create a game from start to finish,
Skills to become a game developer
Programming is an essential skill for any game developer. Whether it’s 2D or 3D, programming is a must if you want to develop any game. With the right language and source code, you can create anything. If you want to become a game developer, you need to know the right programming languages and how to create the perfect code for your game. Keep in mind, the languages and coding skills will depend on what type of game you’re developing. For example, if you want to become a mobile game developer, you will use a different coding language than someone who wants to develop a console game. Because of this, if you wish to release your game on multiple platforms, you’d want to use a cross-platform game engine like Unity or Unreal Engine which lets you create games for any platform from a single codebase.
One thing to note is that there are many visual scripting solutions for developing games where you don’t need to code but rather build your game logic visually. These are great for beginners, but I find them hard to manage for larger projects.
One of the most noticeable and important areas of a game is graphics design. A lot of people don’t realize how important graphics are until they experience a game with bad graphics. If you want to become a game developer, it’s essential that you know how to create graphics or art that looks good. One thing to note is your art does not have to be super complicated in order to look good. Hit games like Thomas Was Alone use basic shapes as graphics but succeed to pull off an immersive atmosphere. So it’s not important how graphically intense your game is, but rather how well the graphics complement the world you’re trying to immerse your players in. Many game developers outsource their graphics, but if you want to become a game developer, you should know how to design graphics and be able to do so yourself. If you want to become a serious game developer, you will need to know how to design graphics from scratch, which can be difficult, but it’s an essential skill.
- Blender for 3D art and animation
- Photoshop for 2D art (Free alternative: Gimp)
- Aseprite for 2D pixel art and aniamtion
If you want to become a game developer, you should know how to create audio for your game. Audio design is another important part of the game, and it can make or break the game. If you want to become a game developer, you should know how to create audio and what the best audio software is to use. If you want to become a serious game developer, you should know how to create audio from scratch, which can be difficult. That being said, it’s an essential skill that you must have.
- Audacity for editing audio
- Any Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) for creating music (For example, FL Studio)
Game Design is the backbone of your game. It dictates how your game plays, how the player feels when playing your game, and ultimately how fun your game is. If you want to become a game developer, you need to know how to design a great game. It all starts with an idea, and then you have to create and design the game. You need to know how to create the perfect game design for the type of game you’re trying to build. Game Design is a massive topic on its own, so it cannot be covered in detail in a single article. But it is an essential skill that you must have if you want to become a game developer.
Publishing and Business Skills
If you want to become a serious game developer, you should know the ins and outs of publishing games and the business side of game development. Many game developers understand how to create a game, but they don’t know how to publish their game or make money from their creation. If you want to become a serious game developer, you should know how to publish your game and make money from your creation so that you can keep doing what you do.
In this article, we looked at types of game development and how AAA game development studios differ from Indie game developers. We also looked at the various technical and creative skills you need to become a game developer. All of this may seem intimidating, but take things one at a time and always start small. Maybe make a simple pong game as your first game rather than creating your dream open-world RPG. Making simple games will solidify your understanding of different topics, and you’ll learn something new with every project.
If you have any questions regarding this article or want to talk about game development, you can find me on Twitter. Thank you for reading!
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