Turning passion into a profession: video game development

Even as AAA titles continue to roll off the production line and more indie titles are released than ever before, the video game industry remains strapped for quality manpower. In what Bloomberg describes as a general shortage of software developers, the gaming industry is crying out for the kind of people who can produce the immersive worlds that characterize modern game releases. The video game industry is very competitive and demands expert skills, and any gamer looking to get involved should be well informed. For those who are successful, the rewards can be superb.

Key figures

As with any other profession, the biggest asset in video game development is the salary and benefits. According to Pay Northeastern University, video game designers can expect to earn $ 90,000 on average, plus bonuses. This amount is well above the national average and will help you commit to paying off your student loans before and after your relief date. If at some point you choose to go to school, it will provide you with additional salary benefits and the opportunity to apply for new loan relief programs. In addition to the amount of salary you earn, there is often a huge amount of overtime involved in video game development.

Understand the role

The development of video games combines creativity and technical skills. You will need to be able to efficiently code thousands of lines and debug them at the same rate. On top of that, many development teams will require large amounts of overtime to complete in what is described as a “critical culture.” According to industry magazine Venturebeat, 76% of companies will be ordering overtime during cut-off times. Make sure you have the work ethic and flexibility to meet these requirements before applying for developer roles.

Suggested reading:

Northeastern University – Tips for a Career in Video Game Development and Design

Student loan waiver programs: everything you need to know

Arts Institutes – 3 Steps To Becoming A Video Game Designer

Career progression and qualifications

Not all video game designers need a degree, however, as arts institutes point out, it helps. Game design programs will offer guided learning and key techniques in different languages, in addition to well-structured project work, which will help you develop the key skills and process knowledge used in many game design companies. games. Project management is also often taught. However, as Bloomberg pointed out, many companies are now hiring self-taught apprentices to test their skills. It’s entirely possible to make your way into video game design by creating independent projects and applying for roles; after all, most of the pioneers in the game design industry did not benefit from tailor-made courses themselves.

Career progression is not necessarily linear in game design. While some designers may become studio heads or general managers, these roles are often reserved for influential management types. Elsewhere, fans who provided valuable feedback rose to prominence – take, for example, Blizzard’s Ion Hazzikostas. Other developers may choose to use their skills in education. With the rapid pace of innovation in video games and the inclusion of new cutting-edge technologies in any new design, the need for designers with up-to-date or cutting-edge knowledge will always be present in educational settings.

Video game design is a very competitive market. However, it really caters to fans who want to become professionals – there are few other forms of media or entertainment where consumer experience and preferences translate so well into the art form itself. However, always be aware of the priorities and pressures of game design studios.


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