How to become an Online Games Developer

If you are looking to develop a career, then you might well think about Online Games as a great avenue to pursue. This is particularly true if you have an interest in playing games or programming. Online games seem to pop up all over the place and so they are always crying out for new developers to join teams and help enhance and develop games. We look at the steps you need to go through to become an online games developer.

Develop a Skill and Aptitude to Maths

As programming has its roots in the logic of maths equations then it is important that you have a good skill and maths and the associated logic. This is because a huge number of computer operations are mathematical in nature. Therefore, if you are looking to get into games development you should ensure that you have strong maths skills, this includes trigonometry and calculus skills as well as pure maths skills. This will help give you the right grounding to get into a programming course.

Get a Degree

If you want to get into Games Development, then you will need to get a degree. This can either be in Computer Science or it can be in a dedicated area such as Computer Games Programming. This is likely to include classes in specific programming languages such as C++ or C# which are needed for games programming. It may also include things like object-orientated programming, graphic design, game algorithms or networking fundamentals. You will need to get a decent passing grade, but it doesn’t necessarily matter which university you attend or whether you do the course online

Build A Portfolio

One of the best ways to get noticed as a game programmer is to create several small games that can be part of your portfolio and show off your skills. These titles should be short enough that they can be played to completion rapidly by potential employers so that they can see the range of your skills. As well as providing links to download and install the games that you are offering you should ensure that there are many screenshots and reviews of the games so that even if the person having a look at the game is unable to play it for whatever reason they can still get a good idea of your skills and strengths from the things they can view.

Find an Entry Level Position as a Game Programmer

It can be hard breaking into a major game developer role as they generally want experience. A lot of games programmers get their start with small studios doing mobile games or social media games and grow from there. The other way to get noticed is to make sure that you network. Interact with other games developers online and in-person if you can and keep in touch with them. Then when opportunities come available you will be in their mind for them.

Progress on to Being a Software Developer

After you have started building your experience as a programmer you can progress on to becoming a software developer. Whilst there are several similarities between the two roles, the software developer is usually more involved in the conceptualisation of the overall software project and concentrates on aspects such as design. They generally live most of the nuts and bolts software coding to the programmers. But they may well be called upon as a more experienced person to assist when there are difficulties. This is something you should naturally gravitate towards as you gain in experience and maybe even start leading a team of programmers of your own.

Final Thoughts

Online Game Development is a very competitive field and there are many new candidates entering the employment pool every day. You need to be prepared to work very hard to distinguish yourself and gain experience wherever you can as this will count for the most when you are looking for positions. Don’t be afraid to take a lesser position than one you have done before just to keep you ‘in the game’ as lapses in continuous work may also count against you. But ultimately this is a career you can achieve. 

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