How to Become a Video Game Developer

Video game development is the art and discipline of building games. The job covers everything from coming up with the game idea and writing code to distributing the game and everything in between. If you’re looking to break into the game industry, you came to the right place.

On top of being exciting, game development is a lucrative career. In America only, over 65% of people play games, meaning there is a huge market for your games. And if you had no idea, gamers spent over 118 billion dollars in 2018 only. For the aspiring game designer, that’s a huge chunk of change.

You can only expect the game industry to keep growing in the future, especially with the arrival of new technologies. Today, the average gamer is 31 years old, meaning games are no longer meant for kids. There are over 2.4 billion gamers around the world, and you can expect the number to keep rising.

In todays’ post, we cover a couple of tips you need to start a successful career in game development. Whether you’re a beginner or trying to grow your game development career, the tips we cover today will come in handy.

Without further ado, let us get down to business.

Get the Right Education

The first thing you want to do is school up on all things game development. While you don’t need a formal education for some roles, such as game testing, you need a solid educational background to develop games.

You need a bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science or a related field to shine as a game developer. The degree offers you knowledge, skills and the academic clout you need to thrive as a video game developer.

With the right education, you can easily ace interviews and land your dream video game development job. You’re better placed to succeed in a market that’s becoming increasingly competitive whether you’re starting out or already hold a job.

Work on Personal Projects

To be a great video game developer, you must live, eat and drink game design. Don’t leave your pet projects to collect dust; work on improving your game design skills with hours of practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll become and the more you can charge.

Besides, a potential employer is more likely to hire you if they see what you can do. Start with a simple project, and once completed, ensure you share your game with potential employers at any given opportunity. Even something is simple as a board game can help you to get the job you want.

On top of honing your skills, personal projects help you to gain experience and build out a portfolio. Other than that, it allows you to find your passion and decide on the genre to follow. If you don’t practice, your game development skills will atrophy. So, keep at it, and never stop.

Network Extensively

Do you want to start or grow a video game development career? If so, you should network like your livelihood depended on it, and it does. Don’t hide in a cocoon. Instead, share your pet projects with the world.

Join discussion boards such as IGN, Neogaf, Gamespot and so on. For more boards, feel free to checkout 30 most popular video game forums. But don’t stop after joining. Instead, participate actively in the discussions to get your name there.

On top of that, feel confident to share your games with the communities. You’ll be surprised to learn that potential employers visit the boards too. A well curated discussion around your personal project can catch their attention, and get you a fantastic job with little effort.

Other than that, hit up networking events and just be awesome at getting your name out there without being a creep, or that other salesy guy who talks marketese whenever they get the chance.

Build a Portfolio

Whether you freelance or looking for an office job, you can never discount the importance of a good portfolio. When you build games, port them on your portfolio, and keep things fresh. A basic portfolio should have solid about, contact us, portfolio and hire pages.

Afterall, you want people to find you easily. A few business cards might come in handy too, but with the internet at your disposal, you can’t afford to prospect for game development work without a nice portfolio website. Websites are relatively cheap and easy to run nowadays, so you have no excuse.

Just make sure potential employers can find you easily whenever they are looking to hire new talent. If you don’t have a website (or don’t want one for one reason or another), create a few social media pages to market yourself.

Persistence

Just like anything worthwhile in life, you have to prepare for the tough days ahead. Getting a great job in the video game development industry is no easy work, but with the right motivation, it’s very much doable.

It is going to take months and many rejections to get the job you want, but through it all, it pays to remain consistent and persistent. Never ever give up, and never stop growing; learning and improving. I would be lying if I told you the perfect job comes easily.

But if you persist, your efforts and patience will be rewarded handsomely. Learn all you can, and keep on keeping; that’s how winning is done.

Conclusion

A career in video game development is as exciting as it is lucrative. But it is not for everybody. If you’re looking to start a career in this industry, learn as much as you can, practice, network, build a portfolio and remain persistent.

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