Never before has gaming been as popular as it is now. Undoubtedly, the credit goes to all video game developers for developing games with realistic graphic designs and simulations for multiple platforms, including PCs, consoles, mobile phones, and tablets.
With around 3 billion gamers globally, the game industry is expected to generate a revenue of $250 billion by the end of 2025. Well, that sounds like a lot of space for game development companies to become part of this expansion since the market is continuously growing.
With this exponential growth paired with the advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, more and more businesses are switching towards game development to enjoy the boons. But finding a competent video game developer who can match the industry standards is easier said than done.
In today’s article, we’ll talk about the skills to look for in a proficient game developer, their duties, and their responsibilities. By the end of this article, you’ll be well-versed in the ways to find the most suitable candidate for this position and how much you should be paying them.
Who Is A Video Game Developer?
A video game developer is an individual who is specialized in programming and developing the full features of a video game. They acquire proficient coding knowledge and possess substantial problem-solving skills with a high sense of creativity. To make the game more entertaining, excellent developers also have a great understanding of game design, which includes:
- Following the storyline
- Character development
- Creating challenges at every level
- Strategizing surprises during the gameplay
Video game developers are also excellent testers who can check features and find bugs and glitches before the game is made available to the general public. While experience is an irreplaceable trait for video game developers, their academic background matters the most. To qualify for this position, they should possess at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science or software engineering.
7 Skills A Video Game Developer Must Possess
Here are the 7 abilities that you must look for when hiring a successful developer:
I. Creativity And Cultural Knowledge
A video game programmer must have profound creative thinking to produce original and stunning gaming ideas and come up with amazing virtual worlds. Greater creativity allows developers to add uniqueness to the game. It helps them create imaginative, more fascinating characters and enthralling maps.
At the same time, game developers should deeply understand cultural preferences and tastes. They must realize that gaming may be computing for the people behind the screens but at the core, it is influenced by mainstream customs and norms. This helps video game designers capture players’ attention and interest as they create an environment that hits their psychology.
II. Effective Programming
Everything you experience in a game is powered by programming, which makes game programming one of the most vital parts of development. A video game's programmer gives life to all of its visual and audio components once visual artists and sound engineers have produced the graphics and music.
Coding helps game developers build environments and mechanics by choosing languages based on the game they want to develop. For instance, some languages are preferable for developing mobile games while others are indispensable for desktop and console games, including Java, C#, and C++.
III. Passionate About The Job
A game developer without a passion for gaming? Not a suitable candidate for this job…
A person who builds games for a living but doesn’t like playing one cannot be a successful game creator. For learning and inspiration, the ideal applicant should be a passionate gamer. It helps them analyze:
- How popular games work
- What the gaming community really wants to play
- What they can do to improve their existing products
Developers who are avid gamers possess exceptional attention skills that help enhance their performance and productivity at work and sets them apart from other developers.
These aspects are known to Aloa, and we ensure that every member of the game production team is passionate about gaming so that they can produce user-centric games. Our team is made up of cross-platform gamers with exceptional educational backgrounds. So whether you are looking for resources for staff augmentation or want to outsource the complete project, there are no barriers between us and our customers.
Animation and game development are indeed two different fields. However, both eventually cross over with one another. Developers with animation skills can build 2D and 3D smooth movable characters and objects. This skill allows them to add emotion, personality, and practicality to the game.
Game development platforms are another reason why game creators should be familiar with animation. Most of them have built-in animation features that can only be handled by someone who knows animation well. That is why many game companies prefer a candidate with technical skills in both domains to make the best gaming product.
V. Ability To Work On Game Engines
The most common trait and ability that companies look for in a game developer is the ability to work on different game engines. The ideal candidate should at the very least be familiar with several of the renowned game development platforms, if not the complete list. Moreover, a game developer should be familiar with the engine type to use while creating a specific genre of game.
Unity and Unreal Engine are the two popular development frameworks in the gaming world. Unity is a cross-platform game engine that permits developers to build 2D and 3D games and is popular for mobile and indie games.
On the other hand, the Unreal Engine is ideal for 3D games across multiple platforms, including PCs and consoles. This engine is ideal for developing first-person shooter games using the C++ programming language.
A game developer may look like a lone ranger but in reality, video game development involves many people. Multiple departments and teams work harmoniously to ensure the game is completed as per the specifications and is ready to be launched on time.
An exceptional candidate works with project managers, music teams, storyboard artists, and others to ensure the final product has no loopholes. Given the amount of teamwork required, a video game developer absolutely must have good communication and collaboration skills. They should be comfortable discussing ideas and accept the feedback of other team members.
VII. Time Management
Developers should adhere strictly to deadlines if they want to be competitive in the video game industry. They should know how to break big tasks into smaller chunks for easier management and timely completion. They must have the skills to complete chores in the shortest time possible to ensure there are no delays in the game launch.
Video Game Developer - Roles & Responsibilities
A video game developer typically fills the following roles:
But regardless of the position, a game developer should perform the below responsibilities.
A. Creating The Game Concept
A video game developer's first and foremost responsibility is to develop a game concept. They are responsible for brainstorming ideas and collaborating with other team members. They are also in charge of coming up with technical analysis to determine the requirements and viability of the concept.
B. Deciding Development Platforms
A game designer decides which game engine to work on for the development process. They should know about the latest technologies and trends and should be capable enough to understand the type of games users enjoy.
C. Building Prototype And Initial Playable Version
It's a no-brainer that the game developer should be well-versed in translating the idea into code. But an ideal developer knows how to convert the game art, text assets, and audio into formats that the game engine can utilize. They should be able to create prototypes using a programming language to execute the game design.
And that's not all. Video game developers are also responsible for testing the game to determine:
- How user-friendly is the gameplay
- Errors in the functionality or game art
- How well the game’s storyline is functioning
The developer is also tasked to create the first version of the game after checking and fixing the bugs in the prototype. Once done, they play the first version and review and refactor the existing code to improve the experience and functionality.
D. Crafting Vertical Slice
A vertical slice is the game’s unfinished version that developers share with the investors and game publishers. To guarantee that the stakeholders have a clear understanding of the game, they must first make sure it has all the necessary components before presenting it.
Video game developers at Aloa know their responsibility towards your business and investors. Our dedicated game development team tests each and every detail to ensure that only the premium product reaches you. And our readiness allows us to solve challenges in game development that arise before and after launch.
E. Adjustments And Completion
Video game developers are entrusted with all the significant adjustments and changes to meet stakeholders' as well as users' requirements. This includes fixing bugs, adding or removing artwork and features, and assuring that all the controls are fully functional.
And once the game reaches its gold master stage, they send the complete game and its source codes to the publishers. Now that we are familiar with the roles and responsibilities of a video game developer, let’s take a look at some of the most effective ways to find the right fit for your company.
5 Proven Ways To Find The Right Video Game Developer
Here are 5 methods to help you get the best video game developer for your game studio.
1. Professional Development Websites
The most authentic way to get a competent, talented, multi-tasking game developer is by approaching professional service providers like Aloa. It is the most inexpensive way to craft an incredible game with state-of-the-art graphics, sound, and overall control.
At Aloa, we have dedicated teams of developers with all the right skill sets to craft cross-platform games. You can outsource your projects to our creative teams or add them remotely to your current game development team for 100% successful outcomes.
2. Game Job Boards
Job boards are great to find talented game designers and developers. You can contact them or let them reach out to you by posting game developer jobs. While there are many websites of a similar nature, we suggest searching on ArcadJobs and Game Developer.
ArcadJobs is a relatively new job board launched back in 2019. It is a complete online community for game developers to exchange ideas. However, the website is doing wonders for both employers and job seekers. You can post a job by paying $27 for 60 days.
2.2 Game Developer
Game Developer, previously known as Gamasutra, is a popular website for those interested in game development. This job board features renowned game development companies, including Bandai Namco and InnoGames. You can post your requirements through paid listings available at different prices to recruit the best talent.
3. Professional Job Sites
Here are two professional websites where you can post the jobs to find the right candidate for your ongoing game development projects.
LinkedIn is a professional networking site that hosts 600+ million profiles of professionals, including game developers and software engineers. While there is a free version available to post a job, it has limited reach. You can get a paid subscription to promote your job to reach a wider audience and simplify your talent hunt to meet the exact match.
Indeed has 250+ million visitors each month allowing job seekers to find their potential employers and post resumes. You can reach out to the candidates directly or post a job so that interested game developers can contact you through the platform.
4. Freelance Marketplaces
There are several freelance platforms where you can find game designers and programmers who work remotely on your projects. You can hire them at a fixed rate or pay them hourly. However, as freelancers are sometimes juggling many jobs, you should proceed with extreme caution if you choose this option because not all of them can be relied upon to finish work by the deadline. Some of the prominent freelance marketplaces are:
- People Per Hour
When people think of Twitter, they typically associate it with news, celebrities, and politics. But if you know the right hashtags and communities, you can certainly find some best game developers. You can try posting a job with related hashtags, such as:
Make sure to screen the candidates thoroughly by verifying their portfolios before making any offer to the most suitable candidate.
Let's now explore the appropriate salary to pay a video game developer.
How Much Should A Video Game Developer Be Paid?
Video game developers are in high demand in the employment market since they are hard to come by. So if you’re not sure of how much you should pay to the right candidate, this section will definitely be your guide.
The Average Salary Of A Video Game Developer In The US
On average, a video game developer's salary is around $80,331 per annum in the United States. The figure includes the basic pay of $74,925 a year with additional benefits (bonus or profit sharing) of $5,406.
The payscale for entry-level game developers is around $50,000 per year while the salary for experienced candidates ranges from $130,000 to $180,000, depending on the experience in the related field and employer.
Here’s a quick rundown of the annual salaries of game developers across some major states:
- California - $89,950 per year
- New York State - $83,138 per year
- Massachusetts - $82,047 per year
- Texas - $78,030 per year
- Washington, DC - $75,468 per year
- Missouri - $71,129 per year
Average Salary Of A Video Game Developer Across The Globe
According to Glassdoor, these 8 countries offer high annual salaries to game developers:
- China - 177,796 USD per year
- Finland - 106,899 USD per year
- Sweden - 84,531 USD per year
- Switzerland - 74,312 USD per year
- Denmark - 59,453 USD per year
- Canada - 53,349 USD per year
- United Kingdom - 50,378 USD per year
- Australia - 47,470 USD per year
A competent video game developer is someone who is both creative and extremely knowledgeable about code and uses culture and experience to develop highly engaging games through different engines.
Even while game creation is a lucrative and in-demand career path, it may be challenging to learn. And because of this very reason, the top talent rarely changes employers, making it even more challenging to find the right video game developer. But the long-term benefits for your business will be enormous.
While there are many ways for finding developers who possess the right skill set, hiring remote game developers is the most direct approach to do it. And in cases like this, Aloa is your best choice.
We have a team of proficient video game developers who have been selected after a thorough vetting process and are capable of handling any software development work. When we deliver, quality, timing, and scalability are never compromised.