How To Get into Game Programming
Game programming is considered as a creative field that comprises of technical knowledge, interpersonal communication with varied disciplines of pinning down systems, mechanics, bug fixes, rules, and code to bring life into a game. In this article, we provide useful steps to guide through your journey into game programming.
Develop Your Skills & Experience
The traditional pathway to game programming is usually through getting an educational degree in computer science or computer engineering. The field requires hard skills and getting a degree is typically the most common route.
For those who choose not to go through this route, self-teaching is another route to programming. However, it is important to remember in the field, there is the need to identify gaps in knowledge and areas for self-improvement.
Regardless of having a degree, the major things to consider are curiosity, self-learning, and a passion to continually develop/improve!
Also, a foundation of mathematics and physics concepts are useful. In most programming animations, there is a need for developers to understand calculus, trigonometry, and linear algebra. Although, game engines make the process easier!
Understand Programming Languages
To begin your journey as a game programmer, honing your understanding of programming languages are crucial to your overall development. You should continually seek to improve your knowledge of programming languages and learn other languages valued in the gaming industry.
For aspiring game programmers – understanding C++ (for PC, Console games), C# (for mobile, PC games) and Unreal engine – as most gaming studios are using unreal as their main engine for developing games.
In game development, programming languages are continually evolving, making the process of game programming a lot less tasking. To improve your understanding of programming languages, online courses are widely available –https://www.w3schools.com/, https://www.udemy.com/.
Thus, gaining expertise in some of the industry leading programming languages can help to increase your chances in the industry!
Build Your Own Games
Learning to build your own games is another key prerequisite for your own development as a game programmer. There are tools online available for you to start creating and developing your skills.
You can start building simple games, leading to more complex games, as you learn and continue to develop and build games. You should continually update your portfolio with the games you have created to showcase your work to potential employers.
Building your own games allows you to perfect your programming skills, as you learn and grow through complex systems, programming languages and game engines, as well as, learning a lot about yourself as you grow in the field.
Create a Portfolio
To increase your chances of getting noticed by a gaming studio and your overall development as a game programmer, you should consider creating a portfolio. When you have a portfolio, it speaks greatly about your growth, skills, and knowledge as a game programmer, as it shows samples of your own work.
Your portfolio should include images, video reels, prototypes, background information and other documentation that covers the entire design process of your video game(s). This shows to your potential employer your skills and experience of building games as a game programmer from start to finish.
Seek Entry Level Opportunities
Your journey to becoming a game programmer from the basic level, usually starts with an internship at a gaming studio. Through undergoing this, you will gain extensive and technical, hands-on knowledge from the gaming studio.
At the studio, you will get to meet and work alongside other skilled game programmers who can give you a deeper insight into the gaming industry, to improve your prospects of developing further in your journey.
It is important to remember – the path towards your game programming career isn’t always direct. Others find their way through as a game tester, QA, etc.
When you have your foot in the door at a gaming studio, it’s a lot easier to find the right people to talk to about the field of programming as they have been through it.
For related jobs and opportunities in the gaming industry, in the programming sector, find some of our available jobs here or register your CV here with us to discuss your opportunities in the gaming industry.