How to Make Video Games: Choosing Possible Career Paths

A question that has fascinated the minds of many children from our generation is how to make video games. While people sometimes think that it is a boring process of being stuffed in an office and writing far too many lines of code per day, this is not necessarily the case. Making video games is more than just being able to program and possessing a great amount of technical knowledge. In other words, that’s only one aspect of making video games. The team working on a single video game is divided mainly into designers and programmers. There are more hierarchies as they are deeper explored, but these are the main divisions people get to choose from if they are interested in making video games. To get started building a career in game design today, use our Quick Degree Finder to find free information on both online and campus courses for video game design. Find the right program for you, and start building your career in graphics design before another day goes by.

If you are interested in learning how to make video games and would like to start a career as a game developer, it is important to make a distinction between these two career profiles. Deciding how to make video games depends on personal character and preferences. Making the decision between being a programmer or a designer influences the rest of the education and career path.

Programmers are technical people who are good at executing orders and making the machine execute their orders. They are usually skilled in various programming languages. Java, C and C++ are some of the most popular, but just Java and C are considered inadequate for some projects. C++ is a language that each computer programmer should be fluent in as if it was their native language.

Besides the technical skills, programmers need social skills. People sometimes believe that computer programmers are isolated people with little social or communication skills. This is not true because to work in large teams they need good presentation and communication skills just like game designers to communicate their ideas and progress of work.

Game designers are more artistic and creative. They are often given more credit in making the game than programmers are. This is only because the programmers are necessary only for converting the designer’s ideas into something a computer will understand. The designers are the actual brains behind the game and are involved in everything from level planning, game layout, graphics, character development and the storyboard.

The only technical knowledge required to be a designer is how to use the software you are designing the game with. Naturally, good presentation and communication skills are important to present the ideas to the programming part of the team.

Both of these are equally important in completing a video game, but they require two completely different mindsets. It is important to identify which type you are. Are you artistic and creative? Or would you like to stick with the technical part of the job and leave the imagination to somebody else?
People who like to express their imagination will find themselves in the role of a game designer. They will take a course which will teach them how to make video games from an artist’s perspective. A general course will cover most of the aspects which make up the game designer’s skill set.

These will include learning to design and animate 3D graphics, storyboarding, setting creating, sound effects and many more interesting topics which require creativity and a lot of imagination. Some courses can also provide specific knowledge about a particular segment of game design. These courses could be beneficial for people who are already working as game designers but would like to upgrade their knowledge. Making video games is a dynamic job which requires being constantly aware of new trends and obtaining new skills frequently.

When it comes to programming courses, the same rule applies – learning constantly is important. It cannot be stressed enough how much constant education is important these days. People used to go to school and never learned anything new about their job during their career life. This is not the case here, especially when it comes to jobs in the computer industry.

The good thing about programming courses is that they offer learning programming languages which you can use as a base for activities other than game designing. But since your interest is probably towards game design if you are attending this course, they offer lessons specifically oriented towards game design. They also include the lessons about working in larger teams, handling projects from the beginning to the end and project coordination.

Most game programming courses can last for a longer time because programming is a skill which takes a lot of time to be perfected. Some courses can last up to three years, but they do offer a bachelor’s degree once they are completed. This is a very good thing to keep in mind, since programmers are rarely employed if they do not have a higher degree. Unless you are some kind of prodigy, it is wise to look for getting a highest degree possible if you choose programming over game design.

While the programmer and graphic designer are two different types of people, they still share the same passion about learning how to make video games. This is what makes them work as a team toward a common goal to complete a project and they use each other’s strengths and cover weaknesses.
Whether you decide to become a programmer or a designer, you will need to have a lot of persistence when applying for various jobs in the beginning. Nobody makes it overnight in any occupation so do not expect to achieve any quick results. Many people who are successful video game makers today had to wait and work hard building their reputation for a long time until they became employed by a well-known company.

And they also worked for peanuts during their first jobs. It is good to look at your first jobs as important experience gaining. Learning how to make video games in courses covers only the basics of the job and you will still need real experience. You may have built an impressive portfolio during the course, but without any hands-on experience there is no way of fitting in as a long-term employee with a company. Once you gain some experience it is possible to make requests and demand a better salary. Many designers and programmers gained their working positions this way, simply by asking a company where they worked as subcontractors to start making some real money and advance in their career.

Since tasks alternate daily between design and programming, cooperation between the two teams is crucial because the games today are very complicated and it is impossible for one person to do the job by both designing and programming the game. Even if some people may have the talent for both aspects, there is no time because both demand a lot of dedication. Making the choice which approach to making video games suits you better and which you enjoy doing more, will be the factor in deciding which course to take.

To start learning the finer details of how to make video games, use our online Quick Degree Finder today. Request free info from as many schools as you like and you’ll get detailed information for the wide range of campus and online courses available on the topics that interest you.

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