Video game development is a fascinating industry and one of the best to work in for those who enjoy both the creative and logical aspects of coding.

Here we take a look at what you can expect from a career as a video game developer.

What is a video game developer?

Put simply, a video game developer is a software developer who works in the field of video games.

Developers who work in the video gaming industry are typically among the most creative developers, but their role extends beyond merely writing the code for games, as they are commonly required to design, build and test games as well.

Video game developers usually need to understand all aspects of the field, but broadly speaking, developers will be split between the world of design and programming.

Designers are tasked with creating a game based on their knowledge of code and creating a plan to build the game. Programmers will then begin the build based on the plans set out by the designers.

The easiest way to think of this is the split between architects and contractors: the architects make the plans and the contractors carry out the build, with both needing to consider the role of the other in their own process.

How competitive is the video game developer field?

The video game developer field is very competitive as it’s seen by many as one of the most appealing sectors to work in.

Given the demands of customers for more and better games, the hours can be very long and the work is often very taxing, with experts in the field advising that video game developers should expect to work an absolute minimum of 60 hours per week

The salary expectations are also fairly low compared to other jobs in the development industry, although a caveat to this is that anyone with an independent game title which becomes popular can stand to make an extraordinary amount of money.

Despite these drawbacks, the reason video game development is so competitive for relatively low pay is that the draw of building a popular game is one that some people cannot resist. In the same way that many amateur athletes could earn more by getting a different job, it doesn’t always have to be about the money.

For some, the thrill of creating and competing in the field is rewarding enough.

How does learning to code help you become a video game developer?

By learning to code, you’ll have a greater appreciation of how programmes can be built and how they can be improved. This gives you a good grounding while also teaching you how to solve problems.

Depending on whether you have designs on working as an independent publisher or for a larger company, the skills you’ll need can vary. Most bigger organisations still use C++ with C# also being implemented by more companies choosing to use the Unity 3D engine.

Game development isn’t limited to PCs and consoles though, and internet-based games are another viable option for anyone wanting to get into the industry.

These games will more commonly use JavaScript, although other languages such as Python are also utilised depending on the nature of the game. iOS is also really helpful for anyone looking to create an app-based game.

In Summary

Video game development is a tough industry to crack given the incredible level of competition, but for many, it’s a dream that’s too good to walk away from.

Many of those fortunate enough to work in the field of video game development will attest that the thrill of seeing your game out in the world is worth all the hard work, although fledgeling coders should be wary that they may be in for years of strife before getting to this point.

You can find out more about Code Nation and check out our classrooms in person by attending one of our open evenings.

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