There’s no doubt that gaming represents a significant growth industry in 2020, with this borne out by figures released by the industry body (Ukie).
According to these numbers, the video game industry in the UK was worth £5.35 billion as recently as 2019, including £3.85 billion in software and £1.35 billion in associated hardware.
This has made game development an increasingly popular and lucrative career, but how can you follow this professional path? Here are some steps to help you on your way!
What Does a Game Developer do?
There are many different steps involved with creating a video game, with designers responsible for generating initial ideas, technical drawings and rules.
This is where developers enter the fray, as they transform these individual elements into a playable and actionable game complete with visuals and audio through the provision of code.
But aside from translating design specifications into code and creating a playable game, what are the other responsibilities of a developer?
During their daily work, they’ll typically utilise program interfaces (APIs) to alternative software packages to interact with one another, with this central to most video games in the digital age. Similarly, developers will have to program the game’s terrain, creating a seamless and holistic gameplay experience that meets the expectations of players.
As games have become increasingly complex over time, they’ve also evolved to include non-player characters.
As a result, developers are now required to program artificial intelligence (AI) for such characters, in order to enhance authenticity and allow for deeper levels of interaction.
What to Expect in Terms of Salary?
According to the PayScale website, the average starting salary for game developers is £30,000 here in the UK.
This can rise to an average of £72,000 for the most experienced and skilled games developers, depending on how they approach their career and the method of working that they adopt.
Interestingly, those who evolve to work in a freelance capacity may actually be able to earn considerably more, especially if their experience is backed by a strong and impressive portfolio of work.
However, freelancing can also bring additional costs in the form of tax and insurance, as such individuals are required to safeguard themselves against various risks that may be prevalent in the marketplace.
For example, a freelance games developer may have to take out various forms of technology insurance, with numerous financial products available to safeguard everything from professional indemnity to intellectual property rights.
The latter protection is particularly important, as is a form of cyber risk coverage to help safeguard your work against the omnipresent threat of data theft.