If you love video games, you might want to make them your career. While your first thought might be to launch a YouTube channel dedicated to your favorite games, that isn’t always ideal. Monetizing a YouTube channel doesn’t happen fast. You need 1,000+ subscribers and 4,000+ watch hours during the past year before you’re even eligible. After that, YouTube earns an average of $0.18 per ad view according to G2 Learning Hub. Since Google keeps 45 percent of that, that works out to just shy of $10 per 1,000 video views for the creator. Even if you racked up 100,000 views per week for a year, you’d only earn $52,000 annually.
Luckily, there’s a better way. By becoming a game developer, you spend your time working on video games and still get a solid salary. These tips presented by blogger Nathan S. Gibson can show you how!
Must-Have Game Developer Skills
If you want to be a game developer, you need the right technical skills. Here is a list of some of the must-have capabilities for people in the field:
- Programming Languages (C#, C++, Python, GML, PHP, etc.)
- Mobile Languages (Swift, Objective-C, Java, etc.)
- Game Engines (Unreal Engine, CryEngine, etc.)
- Animation Software (Unity, Maya, etc.)
- Testing / QA
Additionally, game developers need solid soft skills, including:
- Time Management
It’s important to note that every employer and job is a bit different. As a result, a company may ask for other skills that aren’t on these lists.
How to Acquire Must-Have Skills
In most cases, the simplest way to get the skills you’ll need for a career as a game developer is through a college education. There are schools that offer degrees in game development specifically. However, a few alternatives can also work, including computer science, animation, computer programming, digital cinematography, and more.
As you pursue your education, it’s wise to go the extra mile. Get an internship to hone your capabilities. Tackle side projects to build a portfolio. Freelance to get some experience. All of these efforts make you more employable.
Getting Your First Job
Once you have your degree, it’s time to land your first job. If you have a solid portfolio or performed well during your internship, you may be able to land an entry-level game developer position right out of the gate. However, Best Value Schools points out that competition for those jobs can be fierce, so you may need to look at other options to get a good starting point for your career.
One great example of an entry-level job that can open doors is a game tester position. You’ll get ample experience with QA processes, as well as hone your reporting capabilities. Plus, you’ll boost your professional network, potentially giving you access to more opportunities later.
Enhance Your Resume
If you want to take your resume up a notch, getting a Master’s degree is an excellent way to do it. By furthering your education, you demonstrate your commitment to the field. Plus, you’ll acquire higher-level skills that you can apply to your job, making you a stronger candidate. Keeping your resume up to date is important, so remember to list all of your latest and most pertinent achievements and experience. Online you’ll find a number of resume templates to use for creating professional-looking and easy-to-read CVs, ideal for both printing out and handing to prospective employers as well as sending as PDFs.
For many people, getting an online Master’s degree is the perfect approach. It’s far more flexible, making it easier to balance your education and your personal obligations. Plus, many can work around a full-time job, allowing you to earn a living while you earn your graduate degree.