What qualifications do you need to become a game developer? 

Virtual Reality

Redacción Tokio | 03/02/2023

Thinking of becoming a game programmer? Are you passionate about video games but don’t know exactly how to get started in the industry? In this article, we’re going to go through all requirements to be a video game programmer, a profession on the rise that is part of an industry experimenting constant growth.

Come with us and discover everything you need to know about this job position: functions, requirements, training and the final answer to the question ‘what qualifications do you need to become a game developer?’ Want to know more about our the Master’s Degree Unity game development with virtual reality ? Don’t miss a single detail!


What does a video game programmer do?

Here’s a very short explanation: a video game programmer is responsible for making players able to execute actions thought and designed within a game. It also falls within the job of a video game programmer to connect controls with actions available to the player, a process known as mapping.

In addition to this, programmers are also responsible for crafting the artificial intelligence that brings NPCs and enemies to life within games. They are thus in charge of programming all actions and give life to the document elaborated by video game designers.

One of the requirements to become a video game programmer is knowing how to work as part of a team. A programmer’s job is rarely developed in solitude, as his role is in part to provide support when more technical knowledge is needed to complete a project.

Within the video game industry, we can also find programmers who do not work on game development, but on the development of the proprietary tools used to build either the game itself or the network architecture supporting the game.

On the other hand, video game programmers do not write code alone or in isolation. Video games represent a team effort and, therefore, programmers must collaborate and work together with professionals from other disciplines such as artists, designers, producers, testers, sound designers, etc.


The duties of a game programmer

They may vary depending on the project, but the basic functions of the video game programmer include:

  • Translating the design document into code to create a perfectly playable game.
  • Building their own development engine or working with an established one, depending on the particular company and project they’re involved with.
  • Scheduling and determining the functions, events and interactions available for execution within the game
  • Designing and programming the artificial intelligence needed for NPCs and enemies.
  • Programming the physics of a video game.
  • Implementing the logic and mechanics of the game.
  • Using interface programming.
  • Writing specific code for keyboard, mouse, or external controllers.
  • Developing the multiplayer aspect of a game, if applicable.
  • Adapting the code to the different platforms on which each game is going to be released.
  • Identifying and correcting errors


What qualifications do you need to become a game developer? The requirements to become a game programmer

Typically, programmers are people who come from fields of knowledge such as:

  • Maths
  • Physics
  • Other scientific fields
  • Computer science

As such, one of the requirements to be a programmer is to have a degree related to one of these fields. However, this is not essential if you want to learn and find a specific, quality training in video game development.

At Tokyo School, we offer the best training options in the world of video game design and development.

In a changing and quickly-evolving context, another requirement to be a programmer involves being willing to learn and update your knowledge constantly. This includes the knowledge related to game engines and the most used codes in development depending on the size of the studio and the ambition of each game, etc.

In order to find a job as a programmer in the video game industry, you need to have appropriate training and acquire solid knowledge in the development of games in engines and using certain programming languages.


Game engines

One of the requirements to be a video game programmer is to become proficient at using the different development engines. Currently, the most used include:

  • Unity, a development system that allows programmers to create games for all types of platforms and that supports several programming languages.
  • Unreal, an engine that is currently on its fourth version while the 5th update has already been announced. This is one of the most important and most used development engines in triple A (except for those studios that have developed their own engines).


The requirements to be a video game programmer: languages and systems you should learn to use

Although C# and C++ are the main languages for video game development today, if you want to become a professional with a wide-reaching curriculum, you should be as versatile as possible and be able to work with other systems such as:

  • Pearl
  • Moon
  • Ruby
  • Python

Generally speaking, the most used programming language today is C++, although many projects also use C# or Java.

These are not usually employed for the complete development of games, except in very specific cases, but are useful for certain areas such as scripting, that is, so that the final code used in the game is scripted.


Qualities of a game programmer

In addition, to the technical knowledge that you can acquire by enrolling in a high-quality specialized training course, in order to become a video game programmer it is also ideal to develop a series of personal abilities and interpersonal and communication skills:

  • Programmers need to be able to find answers to their questions and solutions to the problems they face.
  • Game programmers must also know how to communicate effectively with others.
  • Patience and good disposition are also valuable
  • Proactivity
  • Creativity, imagination and originality.
  • Understand the market and target audience for video games
  • Enjoy playing video games.

As you can see, the answer to ‘what qualifications do you need to become a game developer’ has a lot of layers. Requirements to become a video game programmer are not limited to what you must learn at a course and the knowledge that you are going to develop during your training: it is also necessary that, above all, you have a lot of passion for this medium and a desire to grow on both a personal and professional level and surround yourself by people that are just as or more passionate than you.


Learn video game programming!

The requirements to become a video game programmer focus, above all, on the specialization you need. This involves specific training processes that prepare you to become a highly-valued professional by the development studios that are part of the video game industry.

Wondering how to acquire this knowledge? Our Master’s Degree in Video Game Programming and Virtual Reality with Unity 3D will allow you to get the training you need with the help of expert teachers and professionals that have an extensive knowledge about the industry. A training course designed to suit each student’s needs and is available as a full online course. 

Want to learn more? Ask us, we’re here to answer your questions! Fill in the form below and discover everything that Tokyo School can do for you. We can’t wait to meet you!

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