Game Developer Resume Samples
The gaming industry continues to boom with no slowdown in sight, yet it seems like there are barriers if you are trying to enter the industry as a game developer. As technology advances, you may have to find non-traditional ways to get a job in a field you have dreamt about for years.
Game development requires advanced math and computer skills. You must also understand the industry, know the various roles, and envision where you fit in. You can leverage the same industry and technological advances such as automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and smartphones that presents itself as a barrier and let it be the raft that gets you into your dream field.
What Is a Game Developer?
A game developer is a software programmer (or designer) who program or write code for video games. The video game developer does not work alone. Instead, they are in a team that includes members such as designers and artists.
A game developer can play different roles on a game programming team. You may code the game engine, help with testing, facilitate design reviews, or come up with the game concept, for example. The different roles allow you to enter the field in different ways.
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How to Become a Game Developer
While being a game developer sounds like fun, it is a rewarding but challenging career. It’s highly recommended that you get a bachelor’s degree to get the foundational training you need in the field.
As a game developer, you will need both technical and soft skills. Learn about programming, the history, and how it fits in with the video gaming industry.
Gain the ability to think logically and analytically to dissect and solve problems. A game developer must pay attention to the most minute details. Programming can be frustrating, so it requires persistence, stubbornness, and the ability to walk through code logic.
As a game developer, you will be working as a team with others. Taking the initiative will show the team members you are dedicated. You must have excellent verbal and communication skills to work through tough decisions. Sometimes you may need to communicate an unpopular recommendation; your ability to get along with others and act professionally is crucial to your career.
Careers in the Gaming Industry
As a game developer, you can play different roles on a video gaming team. You can expect to start as a junior developer or a tester; however, the industry allows you to do more than software development. Think about your long-term career when deciding on your degree or apply for internships so you have relevant work experience for your resume.
The entry-level programming and logic skills are not enough to break into the industry. These skills are just primers for the advanced skills needed even to enter the field as a junior developer.
A video game programmer must be fluent in advanced programming languages. You are expected to develop AI to direct reactions of computer objects. Your code will have to control the rules and logic for the game difficulty levels and multiplayer gameplay scenarios. You’ll also have to work with people like video game artists and designers to make sure your program fits their visions for the game design and art.
While video game programmer usually requires a degree in a field like a computer science, video game development, software engineering, and game & simulation to be seriously considered for a game developer job, you also need advanced programming skills in object-oriented languages like Java or C++.
Is There a Need for Game Developers?
There has been a higher demand for game designers than there has been for game developers. Since 2014, the need for game developer jobs has dropped 65% while the gaming industry is forecasted to be worth $91 billion by 2020. So why are 50% of game developers nervously job hunting?
The way games are funded and the advancement in smartphones and virtual reality has impacted traditional developer jobs. Most gaming studios use veteran developers while AI advancement minimizes the need for line-by-line coding. Game designers are more in demand than game developers. While that may seem scary, there are overlaps between gaming roles and what they are called.
Still, while traditional jobs are shaky, there are plenty of opportunities to work independently or on small video game teams to develop games. Get and stay involved in the industry and look for creative ways to break out into the field.
Indie Game Development
Independent (indie) game development provides you a way to get in the industry. You can gain experience while polishing your business and technical chops. There are some advantages and disadvantages.
As an indie game developer, you are allowed creative leverage to stretch your creative juices. You get the ability to work whenever you want and on whatever type of project you want. You will also need discipline as well as diverse skills to get projects done on time.
The primary benefit of working on a solo or small indie team is that you will get the chance to play multiple roles on a project. Gaming projects require multiple tasks such as storytelling, sound scripting, testing, game development, graphics, arts, marketing, and managing. There are additional tasks including digital marketing, business development, and promotion.
While there are some apparent disadvantages like not having resources and having to worry about operating expenses, you can circumvent many expenses if you have the skills. Your intellect is your number one asset.
Other Ways to Break into the Gaming Industry as a Developer
If you combine indie game development with different strategies, you will increase your chances of getting into the gaming industry a lot sooner. For one, imitate the tactics of seasoned game developers.
Post your work on gaming discussion boards. You will find a range of talents on these boards. Do not make the discussion boards just about your interest. Look for opportunities to answer questions. Volunteer to work closely with a seasoned developer. Share your work, but also look for opportunities to engage and help someone.
Start a gaming blog. You can keep up with what’s going on in the industry and share that with the gaming community. A blog also gives you a chance to show your creativity. Who knows — you may even catch an investor’s attention. Remember to be sincere and build your content for the audience (and not your ego).
How to Write an Effective Game Developer Resume
Do not wait until you are looking for a job to build your game developer resume. List relevant skills and projects acquired from school, internships, and indie projects. Make sure your LinkedIn, website, and other social media tell your story in a way that makes people pause and scan your work.
Building Your Resume
Do not waste your energy building a resume from scratch. The content is more important than the template. Besides, you will have to tweak your resume with each job application so that you present the most relevant skills to the for which you are applying.
First, find a template. Conduct a Google search to find real resumes for people in your aspiring field. If you are having challenges with context, you can look at job requirements to see how to present your skills.
Include only relevant personal data like your email and phone number. Your home address is not as relevant as it would have been years ago. Furthermore, drop the objective and write an eye-catching, authentic summary.
Make sure your experience focuses on your responsibilities, results, and accomplishments. Developers can fall in love with their coding, the difficulty, and the technology they used. While your technical aptitude is essential, focusing on what problem your work solved will cause hiring managers to pay attention.
Once you draft your resume, revise and edit, then revise and edit some more. Get friends and colleagues to critique your resume. If you still don’t feel it’s quite ready, there are resume writers and editors that can tweak it to perfection.
Writing the Perfect Cover Letter
A cover letter is your chance to shove your foot in the door. It is your chance to get grab the hiring manager’s attention. Your cover letter should show that you are knowledgeable about the industry. Don’t be afraid to show your passion (since childhood if applicable). Do your research on the company. Get familiar with their history, goals, and current state. Show how your skills, experience, and values align with the companies and how you can come in hitting the ground running.
While keeping it professional, your cover letter should show your understanding of the gaming and show your personality aligns with a typical gaming work environment. Tell your story, sell your story, and back it up in the interview.
The gaming industry is booming, which means that even if the traditional route to becoming a game developer has narrowed, it does not mean that the opportunity is not there. Start with your story. Your cover letter and resume are essential to your story. They may be the tools that get your foot into the door.