How to become a Games Developer

Games developers design, create and produce computer or video games. They work in games development teams with artists, programmers, producers and marketing staff. Games developers usually specialise in a particular game platform (PlayStation, Xbox or Nintendo, for example) and a particular aspect of game development, such as programming artificial intelligence or gameplay. Specialisation is common in the industry, although games developers sometimes perform a combination of roles.

Personal requirements of a Games Developer

  • Aptitude for computing
  • Creative and artistic flair
  • Commitment to understanding and using new technology
  • Good communication skills
  • Aptitude for drawing
  • Understanding of colour and form
  • Able to work as part of a team

Education & Training for a Games Developer

To become a games developer you usually have to complete a VET qualification in digital and interactive games or digital media technologies. As subjects and prerequisites can vary between institutions, you should contact your chosen institution for further information. You can also become a games developer through a traineeship. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require Year 10. Entry to this occupation may be improved if you have a degree with a major in games design, games development or games programming, digital media or multimedia. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education. Prerequisite subjects, or assumed knowledge, in one or more of English and mathematics are normally required. Applicants may also be required to submit a folio of work or attend an interview. A number of institutions in Australia offer degrees in these areas. Institutions have different prerequisites and some have flexible entry requirements or offer external study. Contact the institutions you are interested in for more information.

Additional Information

Membership of the Australian Computer Society is available to those who hold, or are working towards, suitable qualifications. There is a range of membership types available, allowing progression through the various levels as a member's career develops.

Duties & Tasks of a Games Developer

Games developers: • draw up detailed design documentation, including charts and diagrams that outline the various concepts and components involved • modify and document the program code to correct errors • test the game and make amendments to enhance its capabilities • prepare digital graphics, animations, sound, video, photographs and images for editing • combine structural, mechanical and artistic elements into the game's environment, such as buildings, vehicles and decorative finishes.

Employment Opportunities for a Games Developer

Games developers often work as part of a team, but can work individually or on a freelance basis. With experience and sufficient start-up money, there are opportunities for self-employment. Games development is a relatively new and dynamic growth industry that has developed out of a blending of creative and technical production. Competition for jobs is intense and interstate and/or overseas experience is often needed to improve employment opportunities.

Future growth:

Very strong

Employment by state:

ACT ACT 6.1%

NSW NSW 37.3%

NT NT 1%

QLD QLD 14.7%

SA SA 2.4%

TAS TAS 0.5%

VIC VIC 32.3%

WA WA 5.7%

Hours worked:

38.2

Unemployment:

Higher unemployment

Gender split:

Male 72.4%

Female 27.6%

Education level:

Not completed Year 12: 13.6%

Highest qualification is secondary school: 10.4%

Highest qualification is a Bachelor degree: 31.2%

Highest qualification is a Postgraduate Diploma or Graduate Certificate: 44.8%

Age brackets:

15-19 - 0%

20-24 - 8.4%

25-34 - 50.6%

35-44 - 27.7%

45-54 - 8.1%

55-59 - 0.3%

60-64 - 2.6%

65 and Over - 2.3%

*The data above is sourced from the Department of Employment’s Job Outlook website.

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