Games Careers Week – How to become a computer games developer
By Sarah Wood
It's a dream career for many young people, but how do you become a computer games developer?
During Games Careers Week (26th March - 2nd April) we take a closer look at how you might get into this exciting and competitive line of work.
There are several routes into becoming a computer games developer, including university, college, an apprenticehip or working towards the role.
Relevant degrees or foundation degrees include computer games technology, computer games development, computer science, interactive media and maths. Degree courses which include a work placement are an advantage when it comes to looking for work.
College courses can lead onto more advanced qualifications or a higher apprenticeship or help candidates to get a trainee position with a company. Relevant courses include A Level in computing, T Level in digital production, design and development and Higher National Diploma (HND) in creative media production or games development.
Anyone looking for a career in the industry will need these skills:
• Design skills and knowledge
• Analytical thinking skills
• Ability to write computer code
• Thorough with attention to detail
• Maths knowledge
• Ability to come up with new ways of doing things
• Ability to use their initiative
• Complex problem-solving skills
• Thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
Working in the computer games industry, day-to-day tasks could include:
• Deciding what a game will look like and how it can be played
• Coming up with original ideas or working from an existing concept
• Creating visual characters, objects and scenery
• Producing concept art and drawings or storyboards
• Bringing the characters, objects and scenery to life with computer modelling and animation software
• Creating the code to make the game work
Salaries range from about £19,000 for people starting out in the industry, up to around £59,000 for experienced and senior developers. Earnings could go significantly higher for anyone who independently develops a successful game.
Find out about jobs and apprenticeships in the computer games industry on the National Careers Service website
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