CK Logo
Sign in
Bootcamps

Don’t lose your preferences!

Sign-in or sign-up to save your personalization preferences to return to later

Get matched to top bootcamps today

Software Engineering
Phone

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, and you consent to receive offers and opportunities from Career Karma by telephone, text message, and email.

Get matched to top Game Development bootcamps

Career PathsChevron right imageGame DevelopmentChevron right image

How to Become a Game Developer

As the internet and web applications become a bigger part of our lives, the gaming industry's growth has exploded, and with it, the demand for Game Developers. Gaming companies are releasing products on our phones and computers, where we are spending more and more time.
Someone has to build, update, and maintain the games people play every day. Worldwide, Game Developers are in high demand, commanding impressive salaries. Game development is an attractive career path for many, especially for those that enjoy gaming.
So, how do you become a Game Developer? In this guide, we give you all the information you need to decide if a career in game development is right for you. We also provide details on Game Developers' salaries and training programs.

What is a Game Developer?

Game Developers are responsible for designing, programming and testing games. Their work involves creating the visual content of a game as well as writing the code necessary to implement its features.
Game Developers create specifications for a game, and use those specifications to inform the plan. They create the storyline, characters, activities, scoring system, and environment of the game, breaking each component into smaller parts assigned to different team members.
These professionals use programming languages to write the code that supplies the logic and allows the player to interact with the game. But the work of a Game Developer does not stop there—throughout the development process, they must also test the game and debug code to ensure users have a seamless experience.
Game Developers continue to make improvements to the game after its release. Such enhancements include add-ons to the game that introduce new levels and functionality.
This is a list of the main responsibilities of a Game Developer:
  • Translate specifications into efficient code
  • Create and maintain the engine on which the game relies
  • Produce prototypes and create code to implement them
  • Create a development schedule and determine milestones
  • Create unit tests and quality assurance procedures
  • Fix bugs and resolve other problems to maintain the game
  • Animate characters and objects

🚀

With help from a bootcamp, you could be a Game developer in 12 months.

Job Outlook

Game Developers are handsomely rewarded for their services. According to Glassdoor, most Game Developers earn between $47,000 and $88,000 per year, with the national average at $56,000.

Salaries in the sector vary widely depending on the company and the location. Game Developers in San Francisco report earning an average of $70,200 per year. The same Game Developers in Seattle would earn $64,500.

Your salary will also vary depending on experience. Senior Game Developers (developers with extensive educational and/or work experience) earn an average of $110,000 per year. Keep in mind that this does not include stock options, employee benefits, or other perks offered by some tech companies.

How Can You Become a Game Developer?

Several paths can lead you to your dream job—becoming a Game Developer. These are some of the most common ways to kickstart a career in game development:
  1. Earn a university or college degree in computer science, animation or related field
  2. Attend a coding bootcamp specializing in game development
  3. Self-teaching using the many resources freely available on the Internet
Each path has its advantages and drawbacks. Pursuing a college degree will provide you with a well-rounded education in computer science, opening the doors to a career in game development.
Coding bootcamps are an excellent alternative to a college education. A coding bootcamp allows you to acquire the skills you need to thrive in a specific career in tech in a fraction of the time you would need for a university degree. Also, during your time at a bootcamp, you will build your professional portfolio to show potential employers.

Companies that Hire Bootcamp Grads

Company image 0
Company image 1
Company image 2
Company image 3
Company image 4
Company image 5
Company image 6

Top Skills Needed for Game Development Careers

To succeed as a Game Developer, you need to develop and master a host of skills. These can be divided into two categories: technical or hard skills, and interpersonal or soft ones.

Essential Technical Skills

The technical skills needed to become a Game Developer include programming languages and development concepts.
  1. Game engine:

    Game Developers need to master at least one game engine. Unity is the most popular development platform for creating multi-platform and interactive games. Other companies use other tools, such as the Unreal Engine. Game Developers need to know how to use a game engine to create, update and maintain a game.

  2. Programming language:

    Game Developers need to know at least one programming language. The most popular one for platform games is C#, which is similar to Java, another language you may be expected to know. Game Developers may also need to know Python and Lua.

  3. 2D/3D modeling:

    To become a Game Developer, you should be able to model 2D/3D assets using tools like Unity, Maya, Blender and RealFlow. You will also be expected to manage assets for a game, and iterate upon existing asset models.

  4. Programming specialty:

    These professionals must master at least one programming specialty. For example, if you’re working on game mechanics, you need to know about animation and physics; those working on multiplayer support need to know about web services and networking.

  5. Prototyping and testing:

    As a Game Developer, you should be able to produce prototypes of gameplay ideas and features, including low-fidelity and high-fidelity versions. You should also be able to write test cases and test plans as well as execute a game test effectively.

Essential Soft Skills

Here are the soft skills you will need to succeed in a career in game development:
  • Teamwork:

    As a Game Developer, you will most likely work in a team, so you must feel comfortable working with others. You will be expected to lend a hand to your teammates if they need help.

  • Creativity:

    Making games is a very creative endeavor. Game Developers need to find creative solutions to difficult programming problems, such as designing the assets of a game, and figuring out how the player interacts with the product.

  • Problem-solving:

    All positions that involve programming require a high degree of problem-solving. Game Developers must be able to think critically and break down problems into smaller components that can be tackled individually. You will be expected to anticipate the challenges that users could encounter in a game and find solutions.

How to Become a Game Developer

Becoming a Game Developer involves the following steps:
  1. Learn about game development by attending a bootcamp, earning a degree at a university or college, or teaching yourself using resources available online
  2. Develop and practice your technical skills
  3. Build your portfolio
  4. Write your technical resume
  5. Search for jobs
It’s a lot of work. The good news is that Career Kaarma can help you every step of the way. We provide the mentorship and coaching you need as well as access to a community of peers that can support you in your career as a Game Developer.
Career Karma also helps you find the best game development bootcamps, so you can get the training you need to succeed in your new career!

Learn about other top in-demand careers in technologies

What people say about us

slider image
Ashley Sutton
Arr long disabled
Arrow long next

Q&A

Answers to commonly asked questions

What are the top cities with bootcamps?

Bootcamps are in all the metro hubs including  New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Chicago, Seattle, San Diego, Washington D.C., Houston, Dallas, Austin, Denver

What is a coding bootcamp?

A coding bootcamp is a 3 to 18 months course that provides hands on programming training that technology companies are looking for.

Is Career Karma a coding bootcamp?

We are not a coding bootcamp. Career Karma is an online community of people learning to code and starting new careers in technology. We will help you start learning how to code, prepare for coding interviews and connect you with other people...

What is the application process?

Once you join Career Karma's 21 Day Challenge, you will learn everything you need to know about how to select a coding bootcamp and get conditional acceptances from top schools. We also help you with weekly workshops, mentorship and coaching...

Is Career Karma really free?

Yes, Career Karma is always free for students. We never ask for your credit card or pay us a dime. Only thing we ask is when you get a job in technology, you help someone behind you.

Do I need prior coding experience?

You don't need to know how to code to start preparing for a coding bootcamp. Career Karma will help you select a free coding prep course that will teach you all the coding basics to get accepted into any of the top coding bootcamps.

How much do coding bootcamps cost?

Each school offers multiple financing options. In recent years, most schools started offering Income Sharing where you don't pay any tuition, until you get the job as a software engineer. If you don't get a job as a software engineer, you don't...

How do I get started?

We simplied the whole process of picking a bootcamp into a simple and fun 21 Day Challenge. To get started, download the Career Karma app and join thousands of people taking control of their careers and switching into technology.