Gaming occasionally offers people an escape from reality. It is also a lucrative industry that offers many opportunities for investors and people who are pursuing careers in the sector.
Gaming programmers are skilled in the areas of writing and coding software needed to build video games. As a gaming programmer, you will work in a team that includes game artists and designers.
The scope of your work as a gaming programmer will be coding, which is the backbone of gaming. You might also be involved in testing and reviewing the design of the game.
Other aspects where you will be working on will typically include production, gameplay, and the artistic concept. While there may be a huge demand for gaming programmers, there is intense competition to get the role.
So, whether you want to become a full-time gaming programmer or a hobbyist, these 5 steps are essential in guiding you on how to becoming a video game programmer.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Like in most careers, you need to do a lot of research about becoming a gaming programmer. This will allow you to know if you want to develop a career in the field or not.
As part of your research, you will become familiar with the gaming industry beyond the video game releases and consoles, and go further into the inner workings of the industry. Doing proper research will equip you with information about the industry and what you need to get started.
Step 2: Develop Your Math Skills
Math is the foundation on which computer programming is built, and by extension, you need a high level of math skill to become a programmer. You are going to be dealing with numbers and mathematical equations in coding, which are needed to direct the computer to perform certain tasks.
Solid math skill is recommended if you want to be a successful gaming programmer. Gaming programmers are expected to understand algebra and algorithms. If you do not have a strong mathematical background, you might need to take some math courses.
Step 3: Learn Programming
Once you have developed a solid math skill, the next step is to take programming lessons. Now, there are different ways to learn to program – you can enroll in an online course or as part of a degree course in computer science.
Some individuals consider themselves as “self-taught”, but we recommend taking a proper programming course. You need to learn programming languages such as C++, which is a popular language used in gaming.
For beginners, a course in DarkBasic might be helpful. Taking a course in Microsoft Visual Basic might also help learn to program for Windows platform.
Step 4: Build Your Portfolio
Now that you have developed your programming skills, the next thing to do is build your portfolio. Just like artists create art for their portfolios, programmers need to create games to be included in their portfolio.
A good portfolio should typically include games that can be put to test by playing them to completion. The portfolio should include detailed information about the games including source codes, installation software needed to run the game, screenshots of the important game scenes, and other important information.
Step 5: Become a Gaming Programmer Intern
This is an important step to becoming a professional gaming programmer. Because the gaming industry can be cutthroat and extremely competitive, you sometimes need to start from smaller roles and then climb up the ladder.
Starting as an intern will provide you with the experience you need to get a bigger role. This is where your portfolio comes in. experience is one of the most important factors needed to become a successful gaming programmer.