A lot has to be considered when choosing a career. We all have a goal of making a good fortune out of our careers. That means we go to school in anticipation of a job with good returns. Other than returns, most people would want a job that they enjoy doing.
Most game developers probably enjoy gaming. For that reason, you can be sure game development would work for them as a career. One of the reasons people go for game development as a career is the high returns.
For most others, it is the passion they have for the game. A lot of game developers have a history of playing the game before moving into development. Above all, there are different options to specialize in this career.
When choosing a career path, a lot has to be considered. What we never know at an early age is that the decisions you make at an early age determine your future. Whether you love Mathematics or IT and choose to give it your full attention will determine whether you succeed in some fields or not.
During that time when you’re settling for that career, perhaps you may not make the choice independently. Your parents or guardian may work hard to influence your decision. But some careers require you to start early. So that by the time you hit a certain age, you already have the basics at heart and now all you need is to actualize the knowledge and grow in experience and skills.
Think for instance about a career like game development. Is it a good career for you? What should you consider when choosing such a career? Here are some insights.
Factors to consider when choosing Game Development as a career
Well, you must learn to sacrifice your time. Game development is not a walk in the park. You must put in time and effort. It is not easy to put that plot together, code it, try it and make it work.
There will be low moments when things won’t work out. Or your beautiful ideas may be rejected by the management, forcing you to go back to the drawing board.
In essence, game development will require you to put in all the time. You will have some spare time but may lack the freedom to enjoy it knowing there’s something you need to put together.
This is where passion comes in. To be consistent, you must love what you do. And that means that you won’t feel like a prisoner even when working during odd hours just to complete the assignment.
If you have no passion for game development, it may not be long before you think about shifting careers. You may not hold on long enough to see your spare time being consumed by unfinished game development assignments.
Therefore, you can go for game development as a career if you’re passionate about it. If not, then you’d rather go for something else if you want fulfillment in the future.
Knowledge of the career
Most people go into careers not knowing what it entails. For instance, game development has different specializations. That one game you enjoy was put up by a team of specialists. The options include being a game programmer, animator, artist, writer, engineer, and other demanding options.
Each of these paths of specialization has hard and soft skill requirements you need to execute them perfectly. Knowing what each of them requires before settling for it is very important.
For instance, if you want to write games, there are things you must consider. You may have a perfect game idea that gamers would love. But is that game programmable? Is it executable by the development team?
You will need analytical skills to answer those questions. In the end, you will realize you must be creative to handle the game writing task. But your creativity skills must also be limited to the ability of your team’s execution talent.
Therefore, if you already know what your selection entails, you are free to go for it. And yes, at that point, game development is a good career for you. You should also remember that knowledge is not enough.
You must also know the details. Knowing helps you question your abilities to meet the requirements that your game development career has. This is not to make you doubt yourself but rather make you decide based on facts and not honcho. The latter can be chaotic in the future.
There are things you can learn along the way, especially soft skills. But others will give you problems if you do not start early.
I love to compare game development to sports. You can think about football because it’s my favorite sport. To score a goal, you need to move the ball between players. It can start from the goalkeeper to the forwards or any team player on the pitch.
The best team players that play the best football. If you’re not a team player, chances of the coach including you in the matchday squad might be minimal. And whatever happens on the pitch on match day is a product of daily work.
Game development involves every team member playing their role, from the game writer to the coding team. There must be proper coordination just like football coaches coordinate their teams from the touchline.
In the end, a good game will only become a reality if the team coordinates and work together. Just like it’s not possible to score goals without teamwork, making good games will not happen if one or a few members of the team refuse to cooperate.
Therefore, if you are a team player and possess all the hard skills a game developer needs, this is the right career for you. Otherwise, you may not be effective in your career unless you choose to work on your team playing capabilities.
Game development is argued to be one of the most rewarding career paths in the world. But this may mislead some into wrongly going into this without knowing what it entails.
Well, you will earn a lot but the career is also demanding. It is give-and-take and that is why you must be willing to sacrifice to benefit.
Do not go into the career because of the huge paychecks you will receive. Instead, go for it because you have the passion and skills to do it. Employers will not pay you much to see you offer mediocrity.
Career paths in the game development industry
According to zippia.com, a lead designer takes home an average of $101,038 per annum. Those on the upper cadre earn about $144,000 and those above pocket about $70,000.
On the other hand, you will be expected to design game outlooks. That means you’ll be tasked with the plot of the game and everything that will take place in the game.
Deadlines are also important in game design as well as budgeting. You will also play a role in determining these.
Game programmers earn between $32,500 and $140,000 according to ziprecruiter.com. High as the returns may be, it is also a challenging job that demands passion from the programmer.
Game programmers must possess specific soft and hard skills to do their work well. Once a game has been designed, it is up to the programmer to put together the codes that make the game come to life.
Lead designers work with junior designers who communicate with programmers to make the game plan happen.
Game animators earn between $27,000 and $103,500. To make it in this role, you must be creative with an artistic vision. Besides, you must be passionate and possess storytelling abilities.
Not only that, you must be a team player. Game development is a teamwork undertaking and that is why you must be able to work with others.
Gamers love depth and width when it comes to game plots. That is why you must possess a very wide range of knowledge of gaming trends. Importantly, you should also have great programming skills.
Game animators convert 3D graphics into motion graphics. They make the characters in the game move. Besides, a game animator is tasked with putting emotion into the game to make it real.
As a game developer, you can also specialize as a game artist. Your role will be to create 2D and 3D arts that the animator will turn into motion. Any element you see in a game is created by a game artist, except emotion and motion.
For that role, you will earn between $36,500 and $134,500. To get this job, you will need a game art/design degree or a degree in computer science. In addition, you should be creative with an artistic vision. Your storytelling ability should also be top-notch.
Programming has its challenges in whatever field. That is why you expect a game to have bugs or glitches once in a while.
Quality assurance in game development involves taking care of these inconsistencies. Part of your job will be the documentation of these challenges.
On average, you should expect to earn $55,030 per annum. You should have an eye for detail, programming skills, and analytical skills. With those competencies, you will easily point out incompetence in games and help with solutions.
You should also possess good communication skills. This allows you to communicate well the challenges found.
Lead quality assurance
After years of practice as a quality assurance officer, you can rise into a lead quality assurance officer. You will provide guidance to your team and offer direction as well as make final assurance decisions.
Lead quality assurance officers earn significantly higher than their juniors. You should possess analytical skills as well as be a good programmer.
Game writers earn between $28,000 and $99,500. This too is a lucrative game development specialization career.
As a game writer, you will create the plot and game conversations. Game writers are critical in the preproduction of games just before things move to the production stage.
A game writer creates a picture for the programmers, animators, designers, and artists to actualize. Through proper coordination, the creation will be a hit. Any hint of miscommunication may probably lead to a miss.
That is why everyone involved in game development must be a good communicator. One thing you have to work on is speaking up whenever even the minor details are missed. It’s the little details that make the difference in the end.
Software engineers just like programmers help put together programs to make a game. He/she is tasked with making the game development successful. That is why he/she will be involved from the preproduction process to the end.
Software engineers also play a significant in the testing of the game. Gamers want a smooth game with no inconvenience. A software engineer ensures this is achieved. Their software mastery skills play a major role in this process.
Owing to the delicate nature of software engineers’ role in game development, they are one of the highest-paid in the career. The compensation matches the energy and input they put into their jobs.
As a game developer, you must be passionate. Besides, you have to play several games to have a wide knowledge and deep understanding of what gamers want. That way, you will put your soft and hard skills into proper use and develop exciting games.
The salaries of a game developer are high and may go higher depending on your area of specialization. Years of experience also matter as well as the returns of the game you developed. The higher the sales and downloads the more you’re likely to get paid.