Game developers are involved in the creation and production of games for PCs, game consoles, online games, arcades, tablets/phones and so on. They design concepts for gameplay, generate scripts and storyboards, use 2D or 3D modelling software when producing visual effects. They also produce the audio features and debug and beta test the game.
With a large games company, you may focus on a particular area of programming such as network, engine, graphic, toolchain and artificial intelligence. With a smaller independent ‘indie’ game producer, there’s often much less of a distinction between the role of developer and designer, and your job may incorporate both programming and design.
The making of a game from concept to finished product can take years and involve teams of professionals. There are several stages, including creating and designing a game’s look and how it plays, animating characters and objects, creating audio, programming, localization, testing, editing and producing.
Starting salary: £19,000 to £25,000.
With experience: £35,000 to £50,000.
Senior positions: £55,000 to in excess of £75,000.
Typically work 40-hour weeks, although the role offers some flexibility and you won't necessarily work 9am to 5pm.
Career progression can be relatively fast. Many rise from junior to lead within 5 - 7 years and reach senior level within the first 10 years.
Skills Valued by Employers
- Technical ability with a range of programming languages and/or software packages
- Teamworking and communication skills
- Self-motivation and the ability to work independently on your own projects
- A creative and innovative approach to solving complex technical problems
- Working hours flexibility to meet deadlines and client requirements
- Organizational skills to manage and prioritize your workload effectively
- Attention to detail
- Willingness to keep learning and developing your skills
- Enthusiasm for and knowledge of the games industry.