Computer games developer

Alternative titles for this job include Computer games designer, video games designer

Computer games developers make games for the internet, mobile phones, PCs and games consoles.

Average salary (a year)

£19,000 Starter

to

£70,000 Experienced

Typical hours (a week)

30 to 40 a week

You could work

evenings / weekends occasionally

How to become a computer games developer

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • a college course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role

University

You could do a foundation degree or degree in:

  • computer games technology
  • computer games development
  • computer science
  • interactive media
  • mathematics

Doing a degree with a work placement could give you an advantage when you look for work.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 1 A level for a foundation degree 
  • 2 to 3 A levels for a degree

More information

College

You can do a Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Creative Media Production or Games Development.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 1 or 2 A levels or a Level 3 Diploma

More information

Apprenticeship

You could do an advanced or higher apprenticeship in creative and digital media or software development, or a software developer or junior 2D artist higher apprenticeship.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), usually including English and maths, for an advanced apprenticeship
  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent qualifications, for a higher or a degree apprenticeship

More information

Work

You could start as a quality assurance (QA) tester if you have plenty of experience of game playing.

You'll usually need an IT qualification or work experience. Employers will be interested in your talent and creativity. You may also find it helps to have A levels or a diploma in relevant subjects like computing or media production.

More information

Career tips

You can create a portfolio of work or online demo to highlight your skills to potential employers.

Further information

You can get more advice about working in games development from ScreenSkills.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • maths knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • the ability to come up with new ways of doing things
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • persistence and determination
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

In this role you could be:

  • deciding what a game should look like and how it could be played
  • coming up with your own original ideas or working from an existing concept
  • creating the game's visual characters, objects and scenery
  • producing concept art and drawings (storyboards) at the planning stage
  • bringing the characters, objects and scenery to life with computer modelling and animation software
  • creating the code to make the game work

Working environment

You could work in a creative studio or in an office.

Career path and progression

With experience, you could progress to a senior developer, producer or technical director role.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

ATA Technical Support Apprentice J2916

  • Wage : £157.50 Weekly
  • Location: Gloucester GL2 2AT

MIS Apprentice Systems Developer

  • Wage : £17,174.92 Annually
  • Location: London SW4 9BL

Courses In England

L3 Diploma in Digital Games Design and Development

  • Provider: Ossett Academy and Sixth Form College
  • Start date: 01 September 2019
  • Location: Ossett

Digital Games Design and Development - Level 3 Diploma

  • Provider: CITY OF LIVERPOOL COLLEGE
  • Start date: 02 September 2019
  • Location: LIVERPOOL

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