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Become A Game Developer

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Working As A Game Developer

  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Making Decisions and Solving Problems
  • Getting Information
  • Analyzing Data or Information
  • Mostly Sitting

  • $87,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Game Developer Do

Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs. Some develop the applications that allow people to do specific tasks on a computer or another device. Others develop the underlying systems that run the devices or that control networks.

Duties

Software developers typically do the following:

  • Analyze users’ needs and then design, test, and develop software to meet those needs
  • Recommend software upgrades for customers’ existing programs and systems
  • Design each piece of an application or a system and plan how the pieces will work together
  • Create a variety of models and diagrams (such as flowcharts) that instruct programmers how to write software code
  • Ensure that a program continues to function normally through software maintenance and testing
  • Document every aspect of an application or a system as a reference for future maintenance and upgrades
  • Collaborate with other computer specialists to create optimum software

Software developers are in charge of the entire development process for a software program. They may begin by asking how the customer plans to use the software. They must identify the core functionality that users need from software programs. Software developers must also determine user requirements that are unrelated to the functionality of software, such as the level of security and performance needs. They design the program and then give instructions to programmers, who write computer code and test it.

If the program does not work as expected or if testers find it too difficult to use, software developers go back to the design process to fix the problems or improve the program. After the program is released to the customer, a developer may perform upgrades and maintenance.

Developers usually work closely with computer programmers. However, in some companies, developers write code themselves instead of giving instructions to the programmers.

Developers who supervise a software project from the planning stages through implementation sometimes are called information technology (IT) project managers. These workers monitor the project’s progress to ensure that it meets deadlines, standards, and cost targets. IT project managers who plan and direct an organization’s IT department or IT policies are included in the profile on computer and information systems managers.

The following are examples of types of software developers:

Applications software developers design computer applications, such as word processors and games, for consumers. They may create custom software for a specific customer or commercial software to be sold to the general public. Some applications software developers create complex databases for organizations. They also create programs that people use over the Internet and within a company’s intranet.

Systems software developers create the systems that keep computers functioning properly. These could be operating systems for computers that the general public buys or systems built specifically for an organization. Often, systems software developers also build the system’s interface, which is what allows users to interact with the computer. Systems software developers are creating the operating systems that control most of the consumer electronics in use today, including the systems in phones or cars.

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How To Become A Game Developer

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree in computer science and strong computer programming skills.

Education

Software developers usually have a bachelor’s degree, typically in computer science, software engineering, or a related field. A degree in mathematics is also acceptable. Computer science degree programs are the most common, because they tend to cover a broad range of topics. Students should focus on classes related to building software in order to better prepare themselves for work in the occupation. For some positions, employers may prefer a master’s degree.

Although writing code is not their first priority, developers must have a strong background in computer programming. They usually gain this experience in school. Throughout their career, developers must keep up to date on new tools and computer languages.

Software developers also need skills related to the industry in which they work. Developers working in a bank, for example, should have knowledge of finance so that they can understand a bank’s computing needs.

Other Experience

Many students gain experience in software development by completing an internship at a software company while in college.

Some software developers first work as computer programmers and then are given more responsibility as they gain experience. Eventually, they become developers.

Advancement

Software developers can advance to become information technology (IT) project managers, also called computer and information systems managers, a position in which they oversee the software development process.

Important Qualities

Analytical skills. Developers must analyze users’ needs and then design software to meet those needs.

Communication skills. Developers must be able to give clear instructions to others working on a project. They must also explain to their customers how the software works and answer any questions that arise.

Computer skills. Developers must understand computer capabilities and programming languages in order to design effective software.

Creativity. Developers are the creative minds behind new computer software.

Detail oriented. Developers often work on many parts of an application or system at the same time and must therefore be able to concentrate and pay attention to detail.

Interpersonal skills. Software developers must be able to work well with others who contribute to designing, developing, and programming successful software.

Problem-solving skills. Because developers are in charge of software from beginning to end, they must be able to solve problems that arise throughout the design process.

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Game Developer Career Paths

Game Developer
Software Engineer Consultant
Senior Software Engineer
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Senior Software Engineer
Software Engineer Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Software Engineer Consultant Senior Software Engineer
Chief Technology Officer
11 Yearsyrs
Developer Senior Software Engineer
Director Of Software Development
12 Yearsyrs
Developer Business Analyst
Product Owner
9 Yearsyrs
Developer Project Manager Development Manager
Senior Development Manager
10 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer Engineer Design Engineer
Design Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer Interactive Developer IOS Developer
Senior IOS Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Front End Developer Interactive Developer Mobile Applications Developer
Senior Mobile Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Game Designer Lead Designer Creative Director
Director Of User Experience
10 Yearsyrs
Game Designer Lead Designer Co-Founder
Chief Technology Officer & Founder
9 Yearsyrs
Game Designer Producer Web Developer
Senior Web Application Developer
7 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Project Leader Information Technology Manager
Information Technology Development Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Senior Project Manager Director Of Software Development
Vice President Of Software Engineering
13 Yearsyrs
Lead Developer Project Leader Technical Project Manager
Technical Product Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Engineer Project Leader Manager Applications Development
Vice President Of Application Development
11 Yearsyrs
Engineer Service Engineer Senior Technologist
Principal Technologist
10 Yearsyrs
IOS Developer Senior Mobile Developer
Senior Android Developer
6 Yearsyrs
Android Developer Senior Java Developer Software Engineer Lead
Software Leader
7 Yearsyrs
Mobile Applications Developer User Experience Designer
Product Lead
7 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Game Developer?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Software Developer 2.6 years
Project Developer 2.3 years
Developer 2.2 years
Contract Developer 2.1 years
Flash Developer 2.1 years
Game Designer 2.0 years
Game Developer 2.0 years
Test Developer 1.9 years
IOS Developer 1.8 years
Game Engineer 1.6 years
Game Programmer 1.5 years
Top Careers Before Game Developer
Developer 9.6%
Internship 8.3%
Programmer 7.7%
Consultant 2.7%
Instructor 2.7%
Top Careers After Game Developer
Developer 8.8%
Internship 4.3%
Engineer 3.9%
Programmer 3.9%
Co-Founder 2.7%

Do you work as a Game Developer?

Average Yearly Salary
$87,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$62,000
Min 10%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$87,000
Median 50%
$120,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Microsoft
Highest Paying City
Mountain View, CA
Highest Paying State
California
Avg Experience Level
1.6 years
How much does a Game Developer make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Game Developer in the United States is $87,322 per year or $42 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $62,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $121,000.

Real Game Developer Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Game Developer Microsoft Corporation Kirkland, WA Mar 23, 2015 $136,348
Game Developer Microsoft Corporation Kirkland, WA Jul 15, 2014 $130,548
Social Games Development (Business Systems Analyst) Playdom, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Apr 02, 2015 $128,835
Game Developer Netease Information Technology Corporation Brisbane, CA Aug 29, 2016 $120,000
Developer, Gaming Systems YUKE's La Inc. Culver City, CA Mar 30, 2016 $114,837
Game Developer GSN Games, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 01, 2015 $110,000
Game Developer Game Show Network LLC San Francisco, CA Sep 18, 2014 $110,000
Senior Computer Games Developer Soap LLC Los Angeles, CA Oct 01, 2010 $105,000
Unity Game Developer Fuel Industries Us Inc. Culver City, CA Apr 29, 2013 $105,000
Game Developer Engineer A2Z Development Center, Inc. Lake Forest, CA Nov 21, 2011 $101,000
Lead Game Developer Kidtellect Inc. New York, NY Jan 12, 2015 $100,000
Mobile Games Developer Playnext, Inc. San Jose, CA Dec 19, 2016 $100,000
Gaming Developer Cantor Fitzgerald, LP Las Vegas, NV Feb 22, 2011 $100,000
Software Developer II-Game Development Rosetta Stone Ltd. San Francisco, CA Feb 20, 2014 $89,000 -
$132,099
Game Developer PTT, LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2013 $87,714 -
$104,457
Mobile Games Developer Doubledown Interactive Seattle, WA Sep 20, 2016 $85,000
Game Developer Electronic Arts, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 15, 2011 $85,000
Gameplay & Tools Developer Giant Sparrow, LLC Santa Monica, CA Nov 25, 2013 $80,000
Game Developer Mindsnacks, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 10, 2014 $80,000 -
$90,000
Mobile Game Developer Aeria Games & Entertainment, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Sep 25, 2013 $79,498 -
$97,406
Game Developer/Designer Fabraz LLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2015 $74,000
Mobile Games Developer Playnext, Inc. San Jose, CA Aug 31, 2016 $73,424 -
$96,000
Game Developer/C++ Programmer PTT, LLC New York, NY Sep 01, 2013 $70,970 -
$121,202
SR. Game Developer Mistwalker Corporation Urban Honolulu, HI Sep 03, 2015 $67,500
SR. Game Developer Mistwalker Corporation Urban Honolulu, HI Jan 26, 2016 $67,500
Game Developer Scopely, Inc. Culver City, CA Nov 01, 2013 $65,000
Game Developer/Programmer Impact Innovations, Inc. Henderson, NV Oct 01, 2012 $65,000

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Top Skills for A Game Developer

  1. C #
  2. Android
  3. IOS
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Designed the project's path, and managed an android programmer, a graphic designer and a musician.
  • Develop game in IOS mobile Applications using swift, and you can download it from App store https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/id923843224
  • Lead overall game direction and design including user interface layout, gameplay mechanics and game economy.
  • Programmed animated spritesheets, physics engine and particle systems for sprites.
  • Combined the speed and optimal performance of C++ with the utility of Blueprints to efficiently facilitate the development process.https://nrconlon.carbonmade.com/projects/6596147

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Top 10 Best States for Game Developers

  1. California
  2. Virginia
  3. Washington
  4. Texas
  5. North Carolina
  6. District of Columbia
  7. New Hampshire
  8. Colorado
  9. Massachusetts
  10. New York
  • (5,420 jobs)
  • (2,378 jobs)
  • (995 jobs)
  • (3,276 jobs)
  • (1,397 jobs)
  • (532 jobs)
  • (167 jobs)
  • (1,007 jobs)
  • (1,290 jobs)
  • (1,929 jobs)

Game Developer Demographics

Gender

Male

73.1%

Unknown

14.7%

Female

12.1%
Ethnicity

White

53.1%

Asian

18.4%

Hispanic or Latino

14.3%

Black or African American

8.8%

Unknown

5.4%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.6%

Chinese

16.3%

Japanese

16.3%

Mandarin

11.6%

French

7.0%

Korean

4.7%

Portuguese

2.3%

Cherokee

2.3%

Dutch

2.3%

Hindi

2.3%

Arabic

2.3%
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Game Developer Education

Schools

Full Sail University

13.6%

Rochester Institute of Technology

9.0%

University of Washington

7.3%

University of Southern California

6.8%

San Jose State University

6.2%

University of Texas at Austin

5.1%

University of California - Santa Cruz

4.5%

New York University

4.0%

University of California - Irvine

4.0%

University of Utah

4.0%

George Mason University

4.0%

DePaul University

4.0%

Savannah College of Art and Design

4.0%

University of Kansas

4.0%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

4.0%

Maharishi University of Management

3.4%

University of Houston

3.4%

Indiana University Bloomington

3.4%

University of California - Berkeley

2.8%

North Carolina State University

2.8%
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Majors

Computer Science

42.2%

Graphic Design

11.2%

Computer Engineering

10.2%

Electrical Engineering

4.1%

Animation

3.4%

Computer Information Systems

2.7%

Business

2.6%

Computer Applications

2.6%

Information Technology

2.6%

Fine Arts

2.5%

Photography

2.5%

Entertainment Business

1.9%

Communication

1.9%

English

1.6%

Engineering

1.5%

General Education, Specific Areas

1.5%

Computer Programming

1.4%

Information Systems

1.4%

Psychology

1.2%

Drafting And Design

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

58.8%

Masters

20.9%

Other

11.3%

Associate

5.9%

Certificate

1.4%

Diploma

0.8%

Doctorate

0.8%
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Top Game Developer Employers

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Game Developer Videos

Extra Credits: So You Want To Be an Indie

Here's How Much Money Game Developers Make - IGN News

Day in the Life of a Game Developer

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