A large number of guesses may indicate that becoming a game developer is a very difficult thing to do. Others say that it is enough to make IT your hobby and you will learn everything quickly. Yes and no, because there is no universal message that can be targeted to everyone interested in the area of game developing.
In our Playstrict guide, we will try to explain and describe the various stages of development of a beginner game developer in such a way that you can decide for yourself whether this is the path you want to follow. You will also find here a list of personal qualities that will certainly be useful in acting in the field of game development and also tips on how not to get discouraged to further learning and working on the game.
What qualities and skills should a game developer have?
So let's start with character and certain skills. If at least most of the qualities such as creativity, good time management, a talent for seeking solutions, communication skills, attention to detail or the ability to work in a team, or a passion for IT topics can definitely be found among your personal qualities, you are well on your way to building a strong foundation for work as a game developer. The upside of this job will always be that you can work for yourself, but you can also expand your business to a team (but we'll talk about that later). The main thing you need to remember is that you should always manage your own development, as the game market is and will always be very competitive.
Kotaku news editor - Jason Schreier - in his authorial book entitled Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, in a very interesting way presents the backstage of game development - from the concept to the implementation of the idea. In his work, the author has taken into consideration many factors that are not commonly mentioned when creating games, and which you should have in mind. He mentioned factors such as: unpredictable changes in the schedules of operations, changes in technologies that you constantly have to learn, challenges connected with interactivity or even constantly evolving work tools. When starting to work in the game development industry, take into account the occurrence of the above phenomena, as it will help you organize your time.
Actions to take to start game development
Once you know more or less what qualities are important in the work of a game developer and what to pay attention to when planning it, you can proceed to write down the basic skills you need to acquire and start implementing them. Below you'll find a planning spread that outlines in simple points what you need to start with if you want to do it right.
- First, study what you will be creating later
Study games that are not only about topics that particularly interest you. Remember that before you work in a given area yourself, you need to learn about its structure, narrative modes, mechanics, and many other elements that make up a game.
- Be active in social media
Thanks to the opportunities that social media gives us, you can be inspired to act and create every day, but most importantly, you can get tons of development advice from accounts that run themed profiles. There is also a good chance that in SM you will meet people active in the industry who will help you on the path of learning through their experiences. Being active on social media also means keeping an eye on the market and trends.
- Make a plan
First, determine what your end goal is and choose the engine you want to work on. You need to keep in mind that this choice is important, so it's a good idea to study the capabilities of each engine previously. The engines most commonly used for game development are: Unity, The Unreal Engine, Game Maker, Godot or CryEngine. The engine you choose will determine the language you will use, so focus on this stage and think about it deeply. Useful courses for learning engines and more can be found on 3 recommended platforms - Udacity, Datacamp and Udemy. If you want to start with the simplest engine - choose GameMaker, on which many great titles have been created. One of them is the famous Hotline Miami, which has become a cult game - you can mention it as a perfect example of a successful game that was built on a really simple system.
- Start learning now
Sign up today for a course of your choice that will help you learn all the basics and introduce you to the world of game development. Thanks to this you will learn a lot of concepts useful in moving in the field of growth, but also feel that you begin to do something concrete in the designated direction. You should know, however, that no course will immediately make you a creator, but thanks to it you will open your eyes to certain aspects and you will know what you still need to learn or where to go to learn more.
- Grind your ideas and solutions
Don't discard from the start ideas that seem useless to you. Always write down ideas because you never know when they might come in handy.
- Decide if you want to work alone or in a team
Deciding whether you will work alone or in a team directly depends on your current skills. Based on what you know about yourself and what you're capable of, you'll be able to feel confident about what kind of game development you'd like to do, but keep in mind that working alone requires you to have control over many areas of creation. You must have knowledge and skills in the field of illustration, animation, creating VFX (special effects), composing sound layers, writing dialogue and characters, and promoting what you do.
6 tips how to become a game developer. Guide for a beginner
In the above points, you could get acquainted with an abbreviated system of successively important steps that you have to go through in the process of becoming a game developer. Remember that the worst thing you can do is to give up at the beginning, because many times very skilled developers after years of learning from their mistakes, scored a lot of failures, until they reached the point when they created something very qualitative. You might be one of them :)