The game development market is ever-expanding. According to the information on Glassdoor, the average salary for a game developer in the U.S. is $50,923 per year. But that’s just an average estimation. Highly advanced developers may reach yearly salaries above $100K, as stated by Jatapp. For those driven by earnings, it’s a productive career that offers limitless opportunities for growth.
But people aren’t attracted towards this career just for the money. They like it because it’s creative, fun, and challenging. Just when you think you mastered a certain concept, more advanced technology and techniques show up. The competition is fierce; there are brilliant minds in this sector, who come out with breathtaking releases.
The question is: how do you compete on such a steep market? You already know that you have to keep working on your skills. But a developer’s success has a lot to do with character, too. When multiple applicants compete for a single position, their qualifications are similar. In an employer’s eyes, it all boils down to passion, commitment, and creativity. When you want to stand out from the crowd, it’s important to develop such soft skills in game development.
5 Tips: How to Become a Better Game Developer
1. Step Outside the Box
Experimenting with different concepts is what moves you forward in this industry. You might come up with your own movement if you’re ready to step outside the box. Games based on stories are the focus of most professionals in this industry. But think about it: you can also develop gambling games like the ones featured on gamblizard.com. Slots, table games, jackpot progressives, and other cool concepts are very popular among gamblers. Gambling software companies are ready to pay great salaries to talented developers, who help them produce new titles.
The gaming industry is quite versatile, so you have to learn to grow. You don’t know if a particular concept is fun or boring unless you try it. That’s why you need to adopt the mindset of mature developers: try different things until you realize what you’re good at and what pays well.
Some of the most popular categories include:
- Gambling, and more
It’s okay to start with your favorite category. But from time to time, try something different and you may end up liking it!
2. Always Make Plans
Great releases are based on storytelling. This concept engages the player. It’s what keeps them playing for hours, days, and months. They aren’t willing to start a new game, since they want to find out what happens next in the one they are currently playing. That’s true even for casino games, even though they seem simplistic on first sight.
Successful storytelling requires one main thing: planning. Before you start developing any new project, you need to plan the entire process. What’s the idea about and how will the story grow? How will the characters interact with each other? What will the conflict be and how will it culminate? How will you bring everything to an end without disappointing the player?
Don’t avoid design documents; they are essential in the process of game development. Writing takes a bit of time, but an outline will give you the direction and clarity that leads to a perfect product.
3. Start the Development Process with a Prototype
Once you have an outline for the game’s storyline, you can start creating the prototype. This is the process when you create the game’s mechanics and plan how you’ll put everything together. Chances are, you’ll go through several versions of the product before you come to the perfect outcome.
This is the point when you’ll need to choose a tool for prototyping and placeholders. Fungus, ProBuilder, Twine, Construct 2, and Kenny are among the most popular ones.
A single tool might not meet all your needs for prototyping logic, level design, and narrative. However, once you get the basic skeleton done, you’ll be ready to progress onto the next stages of development.
4. Testing Is Part of the Process
You might think that the game is perfect, but what do the users think? The initial test stage will take place before you launch the game. You need to evaluate the user experience, so you’ll know if any changes are necessary. Once you see the game in real action, you’ll do more testing and adjustments.
Don’t be afraid of criticism. It’s good for the growth of the game. When you launch any type of product on the market, you can’t expect the comments to be limited to compliments. Players will want more from you, and you’ll keep trying to meet their needs.
Send out surveys to players, and use their answers to get more ideas. You can give them bonus points or extra features when they fill a survey. That’s how you’ll motivate feedback on a larger scale.
5. Promotion Is Part of the Process
Most developers choose to do their own marketing, at least at the beginning. Hiring an agency is a smart idea, but it’s an additional expense that not everyone can handle. If you plan to launch and promote the release yourself, you should be ready to learn foundational marketing techniques and devote some time to online promotion.
Your game will need a blog, social media profiles, great customer support system, and possibly a forum where its players can hang out and share tips. With game development, only half of your job is done. You have to think how you’ll get that game to the right audience.
Never Stop Growing!
Independent game developers can launch successful games. Beginner developers can get jobs in successful software companies. But they have to get really good at what they are doing, and they must keep growing.
This is a competitive industry that won’t take it easy on you. But if you’re passionate and devoted, you’ll make progress. In addition to technical skills, you need that extra factor that makes you noticed. Are you ready to start working on it?