Should I Be a Gaming Programmer? This is a question that many students tend to ask themselves. In fact, many people wonder if the career path they’re choosing for themselves is the best fit.
As a gaming programmer, most of your days will involve coding and writing software pieces for video games. If this is something that interests you, then you might want to take this career path. However, before you go down that road, you need to find out the requirements you need to fulfill to be a game developer.
Remember as a game programmer, you’ll need to work as part of a collaborative team. This requires you to have excellent teamwork skills. Working with different artists and designers who have different creative ideas requires a lot of discipline lest you think yourself to be the best in the team.
Before you sign up for a career in this field, you need to understand that it’s a very competitive niche. This means you have to get excellent grades in school to boosts your chances of landing a well-paying job. That is why, while you’re in college, ensure you make use of programming homework help to keep your grades up.
Here is a comprehensive outline of the requirements you need to fulfill to be a video game programmer.
1. Develop High-Level Math Skills
You cannot make it in the programming industry without high-level math skills. There is a very close correlation between math and programming; in fact, by definition, coding is the creation of mathematical equations that give specific commands to a computer.
To be a game programmer, you have to be excellent in math as it determines your success in the industry. As a freshman, you need to look at your math scores before applying for a video game programming course.
A high score in physics, trigonometry, and calculus allows you to join a higher institution of learning of your choosing. In case you don’t have these courses, make sure you take them in your early college years.
2. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
Now that you’re sure your high school performance fits the bill, you can begin searching for universities to take your programming degree. To be a programmer, you need to have a general background in computer science. After all, you’re going to be dealing with computers and pieces of computer software throughout your career.
When you complete formal education to be a video game programmer, you qualify for entry jobs in the programming industry. Note that the degrees you should pursue fall under computer engineering and computer science.
For most programs, you’ll learn advanced calculus, C++ programming language, game algorithms, object-oriented design, network fundamentals, and computer graphics just to mention a few.
3. Build a Portfolio
Grades without a portfolio will not take you very far. You need to show prospective employers that you’re are a proactive game designer. Remember it is never too early to begin building your portfolio. Use every chance you get to work on projects and expand your knowledge base.
As you know, video game design is an application field, and the more projects you work on, the higher your chances of getting a well-paying job. In your portfolio, make sure you have games that people can play to completion.
You should also include links that people can follow to access the installation software of your games. Remember to incorporate screenshots as well for faster game evaluation.
4. Find an Entry Level Position as a Game Programmer
Once you graduate, your aim should be to find an entry-level game programmer position in a well-reputed gaming company. This is your opportunity to map out your career path because the first job usually determines how far you will go in the industry.
Since you already have a comprehensive portfolio, it means employers will consider you. many new graduates have a hard time breaking into the video game industry because employers are always looking for experience.
In case you get a gig with a small studio, don’t turn it down because this is your opportunity to gain more experience. Treat your first job with the seriousness it deserves because you’ll need positive recommendations to move up the ladder.
Taking up internships is an excellent way of getting the experience that entry-level positions require. During semester breaks, look for internship positions in well-reputed companies whether they pay or not.
5. Advance to Become a Software Developer
You should strive to be better and move higher in your career ladder. When you have enough experience with video game programming, you should advance to become a software developer. This opens you up to new opportunities that are much less competitive, with high pay.
As you can see, becoming a video game programmer is a journey. You need to have excellent grades coupled with experience. To be successful, you need to be a proactive game designer to uses every opportunity they get to build their portfolio.