Senior Games Developer
You Can Earn
Average salary after completing
You can earn an average of £41,969.33 a year
Career Questions Answered
What skills do I need to become a Game Developer?
You will need to show a combination of soft and technical skills.
Soft skills include:
- Attention to detail
- Ability to work as part of a team
- Knowledge of latest gaming trends
- Strong artist skills
- Logical approach
Technical skills include:
- Full-cycle game design
- Programming – C#, C++ and Java
- Scripting – Python
- Knowledge of application programming interfaces (APIs) and libraries
- 3D modelling software – Maya, Blender, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D and RealFlow
The technical skills for each Game Developer position will vary depending on what the employer expects from you and if you specialize in an area of game development, for example design, programming, testing or 3D modelling. The technical level of game development and the level of job role you are applying for will also vary and advanced skills may be required.
Do I need to have a degree?
You do not need any formal qualifications to become a Game Developer. However, if you have a degree in Computer Science, Computer Games Programming, Games Technology, Software Engineering or a related subject this may increase your chances of securing an entry-level position.
For many of the larger graduate recruiters, a degree would certainly be favourable as they only employ graduates with proven technical skills and a good degree in a computer-related discipline. Although, there are other routes into video game development aside from gaining a degree.
As this is a very competitive industry having proven experience and a strong portfolio of work is essential early on in your career. Instead of having a degree, you can gain recognised qualifications through accredited online courses. These courses will provide you with the necessary knowledge and help you on your way to building an impressive portfolio. They will also boost your employability and make you stand out against other candidates applying for the same role. With online courses you can specialise in a certain area of game development and become an expert in your field. Online learning can be studied alongside your current role and is the reason why so many people are now choosing this option instead of traditional methods.
What is the typical work environment for this career?
Video Game Developers tend to work a 40-hour week in an office environment, Monday to Friday. You will be required to work long hours with extra evening and weekend work when project deadlines are approaching. While most of your time will be spent in the office, there may be a need to travel to meet clients, attend training courses and carry out research.
Game Developers positions are available throughout the UK, with the largest concentration of jobs is in London and the South East. There are larger demands in the Midlands, and cities including Bristol, Cardiff, Sheffield, Manchester and Edinburgh.
What are the daily responsibilities?
As a video game developer, you can expect your daily responsibilities to include the following;
- Discussing game concepts with design teams
- Translating design ideas into function game code
- Coding the base engine of a game
- Developing game milestones and check points
- Troubleshooting code and fixing bugs
- Maintaining code
- Creating game specifications and designing expansion packs
What is the career path for a Game Developer?
Your career as a Game Developer is likely to start in a junior level role. After gaining five to seven years’ experience in development you can progress to a Team Leader.
Within the first ten years of working in the game development industry you can advance to a senior role such as a Team Manager, Producer or Technical Director. While these senior roles have more responsibilities, they also offer lucrative salaries.
There are many career paths for established Game Developers. You may look to work overseas, the USA and Japan are the most popular countries for developers, as well as Canada, Germany, France and Scandinavia. Using the skills you have learned over the years, you could transition into a different industry such as project management or design.
Salaries also depend on your speciality as well as the type of company you work for. Some companies offer bonuses or profit-sharing schemes based on the success of a game.