Are you looking to become a game developer? Computer games are fun yet game designing requires hard work. If you want to succeed as a game programmer or game animator, it takes passion and persistence. That’s on top of creativity and resilience. And in most cases, a fair amount of caffeinated beverages.
But coffee and determination aside, creativity alone will not yield the best results. The top game developers today make conscious choices that reflect on the success of their games. It takes the right use of creativity and design to come up with a game that’s entertaining.
And it helps to have a good set of habits to reach this goal. In this multidisciplinary field, you need to develop a routine and disposition as you pursue this path.
The journey to becoming a game designer can be challenging.
In this article, we take a look at the habits of game developers, which they formed over the years. We also look at the important role that they play in creating smooth gameplay.
What is game development?
Sitting under the broad umbrella of game creation is game development. It covers the creation of compelling stories and the characters that come along with them. Game development also includes generating the challenges and goals as well as the rules of the game. With the right amalgamation of these elements comes the exciting and entertaining interactions between users and the characters and objects in the game.
Game development and design is a multi-faceted field. And with promising job prospects on its horizon, it can be a rewarding career path too. However, the journey toward that goal can be challenging.
Becoming a game developer requires passion, determination, and patience. More importantly, it also involves making well-informed, conscious decisions, which entails developing good habits.
Before we get to the traits and habits that a game developer should possess, let us look at the role he plays in the overall game creation process.
What does a game developer do?
Being a game developer is often a fusion of being an artist, writer, and programmer. It is a multidisciplinary job that demands an understanding of a little bit of everything.
He is the creative driver. He brings the game to life. Everything that happens in the game is the result of his conscious choice. That is how important a game developer’s role is.
Troy Dunniway shared his thoughts on what it takes to become a good game designer. He is an award-winning AAA game designer, working with major game studios like EA, Microsoft, and Ubisoft.
“You must also understand how to design, what to design, when to design each feature, and why you are designing what you are designing,” he said.
For Troy, game development is not just about playing video games and coming up with ideas to create your own game. You also need to understand how and when to apply your ideas to the different areas of game design. And oftentimes, these areas are conflicting.
“Every game is comprised of a number of different gameplay systems, mechanics, and features,” Troy added, “which all work together to create a fun and engaging experience for players.”
Do you need to be super technical to become a good game developer?
Well, not really. But it helps to have a solid background in the technical aspects of game design and programming.
For Troy, the fundamental requirement for becoming a good game developer is to have an understanding of how to develop game systems and making them work together. This includes knowing the theory of what makes a game fun.
A good game developer needs to be an excellent storyteller, possessing some level of artistic ability.
“At the heart of most games and player experiences are the worlds, maps, and levels, which players interact in,” Troy explained. “These are the magical places, which capture our imagination, the places we love to explore, sometimes battle through, take on challenging quests as we adventure and eventually slay the evil villain in our hopes of saving the universe from some terrible fate.”
What are the common responsibilities of a game developer?
In game development, art, design, and storytelling intersect. Art and visual skills are equally as important as conceptualizing ideas and binding them together to create a story that captures the imagination.
The responsibilities of a game developer include the following:
- creating the plot, characters, and dialogue
- developing the gameplay, rules, and levels
- generating the environments and interfaces
A game developer also handles the programming, image rendering, and digital editing aspects.
What are the habits that a game developer should possess?
It may sound cliche, but game development is about conveying ideas and executing them through good storytelling.
To be a good developer, you need to be a great communicator. One who can clearly tell an engaging story that motivates the players to take action. It’s about taking ideas, no matter how simple they are, and winning people’s attention with them.
Here are the five habits and skills that you need to develop if you want to be a successful game developer.
1. Good Communication
Good communication is a crucial factor when it comes to development. Not only in terms of conveying your ideas through storytelling to the players but also with the entire development team.
Game development is not a one-man job. It takes an entire team to create a game. So if you are looking to develop one, you need other people to understand your concepts and execute your ideas. But you can only achieve this if you can effectively communicate your ideas and methods as well as receive feedback or criticism.
The game-creation process is often riddled with issues and roadblocks that need to be addressed. As a game developer, you need to identify the source of these problems and offer solutions.
Creativity is one thing, but continually evolving to innovate is another. Get on the habit to listen to new ideas. There are people who may know more than you, and it pays to hear them out.
As a game developer, you are usually in the middle of everything. And in most cases, the people around you know a thing or two about creating games. If you can learn how to work together, imagine all the wonderful things you can create. That’s the beauty of teamwork.
It is not uncommon for a game developer to move between genres. Someone with over 20 years of experience in shooter-style games could move to sports. Imagine the big learning curve that it entails.
To succeed in game development, you need to adapt. Learn a new language, figure out stuff, or do research. Invest all the time you need to expand your knowledge and skill set.
Want to become a professional game developer?
With over 2.5 billion gamers around the world, the gaming industry continues to grow year after year. This means there are more opportunities than ever for people who want to work in game development.
If you are looking to become a good game developer, these habits can help you on your way to achieving success.