Learn Game Development: The Best Courses and Resources
Video game development has become a popular and profitable career. Existing gaming giants such as Activision Blizzard, Epic Games, and Electronic Arts, as well as newcomers, are constantly developing new games. To maintain growth and stay ahead of the competition, they are often seeking to hire talented employees.
Do you love playing games on your PC or game console? Are you impressed by what goes into making a video game, such as the computer-generated imagery and lifelike actions? A lot goes into creating a game, including characters, their weapons and outfits, and the overall storyline.
In this article, we’ll discuss the skills it takes to become a game developer, and the possible paths you can take to attain this expertise. If you’re interested in learning to develop your own games, then keep reading.
What Is Game Development?
Game development is the art of creating games, including game design and testing. There are several fundamental skills involved in the video game development process. The game mechanics, player engagement, and rewards created by a developer can make or break a game.
Video game developers can work in many areas, but they must have the right skills for their job. Let’s take a look at a few of the essential skills below.
What Skills Are Needed for Game Development?
Game development can be tackled by a team at a major gaming company, or by an individual at home. If you have the right skills, then you can create a game in any work environment.
At large companies, games are often created by teams of designers, programmers, content writers, and sound engineers. In recent years, the independent games industry has grown as well, and many aspiring developers are choosing to display their talent in this less-corporate arena.
If you’re looking to become a professional game developer, the following are a few skills you must have.
Python is one of the best programming languages for game development. It is versatile and can be used for multiple purposes, including developing games for Android and iOS.
You might want to try a beginner’s course in Python, then work your way up to a more advanced level.
- Game programming. Game programming is the process of bringing a video game to life. As a game programmer, you will write specific code for other departments such as the art and animation teams, which will help translate the team’s vision into a playable game.
- 3D modeling software. Developing and modifying 3D graphic renders on specific software is essential to any game development position. If you want to turn your hobby into a profession, you should study one of the industry-standard software used for modelings, such as the Unreal Engine or Unity 3D.
Proficiency in these graphic user interfaces will enable you to create attractive games.
- Sound effects. Without sound, video games would be boring. Sound adds excitement and interest to the gameplay.
So, sound engineers are a crucial part of a game development team. They are responsible for sound composition, effects, and timing. They often work with voice actors to record soundbites as well as foreground and background effects.
They may also organize pre-production elements of a game and work with composers to create the musical score for a game.
Steps to Become a Game Development Professional
Coding, programming, and development might seem like intimidating careers. But if you follow the right steps, you will be well on your way to becoming a video game developer. Whether you want to work as a full-time professional, or as a freelancer, the information below will be of help.
1. Master a Programming Language
This is a crucial step to landing a job in gaming development or at any tech organization. Learning how to program can be tricky. To make it easier, you should focus on only one language, such as the popular language Python. Becoming a Python developer can bring in a salary of up to $127,217 per year if you have some experience.
To learn, you can join a bootcamp or take an online course. Then, join a computer science internship to get hands-on experience.
2. Create a Portfolio
You should start creating a portfolio of your work while you’re still learning. This is the best way to show employers what you are capable of.
While you’re learning your programming, 3D designing, or coding, simply take screenshots of your project development process from start to finish, and insert it into your portfolio in a way that looks appealing.
Be sure to show the progression of your work over a few weeks or months so that hiring managers can see what you can do, rather than just hear about what you’ve studied. Your portfolio will reflect your personal brand, so work on it until it is perfect.
3. Apply for Jobs
Once you’ve spent enough time learning and you feel like you can handle a full-time project, you can start browsing game developer jobs online.
Many coding bootcamps offer job placement guarantees, such as Springboard, Flatiron School, and Thinkful. Another place to look at is on the Python developer job board, LinkedIn’s job board, or on job websites Indeed or Monster.
Best Game Development Courses and Bootcamps
Now that you know how you should go about landing a game development job, we can recommend a few courses to get you started.
If you want to learn to program for game engine Unity using C#, then this series of Coursera courses is for you. The four online classes will help you master C# in both theoretical and practical applications.
According to the provider, 67 percent of candidates started a new career after completing these lessons. It’s suggested that students commit eight hours per week for four months.
It is free to enroll, and you will receive a certificate of completion.
With this free Coursera class, you can become a Unity-certified 3D artist. It’s perfect for mid-level artists who have been using Unity for a minimum of two years. This course involves two main projects. It starts with a 3D science-fiction gaming layout and moves on to Kitchen configuration application.
Harvard University offers these courses via EdX to anyone interested in getting a professional certificate in computer science for game development.
The two classes are self-paced and will take approximately six months to complete with a commitment of six to 14 hours per week. In the lessons, you will everything from the principles of 2D graphics to 3D animation, sound, and C#.
This Coursera course is a quick two-hour split-screen video for intermediate students. In it, you will learn the basics of game development using Python using the PyGame modules. The concepts covered will include image display and transformation, writing game logic, event handling, and game loop.
One student review called this course “intense but very rewarding and life-changing.” This 11-week bootcamp can either be taken online or in-person in Amsterdam. It will prepare you to become a full-stack developer, starting with the very basics of software development.
In this eight-week bootcamp taught by Playcrafting, you will learn how to create three different types of games, from simple games to mystery horror. The course costs $2,000 and takes place over several class sessions throughout the year, starting on January 26.
This online ed2go course aims to help students launch a career in game development. It is divided into four categories: game asset creation, programming, mathematics, and modern game engines such as Unreal.
If you’re looking to design your own games for PC, then this comprehensive course is a great choice. It takes 500-course hours and 12 months to complete, at a price of $1,995.
This 40-hour Udemy course is composed of on-demand video tutorials geared toward helping students master the ins and outs of the Unreal gaming engine.
In it, you will learn all about the best practices of design, the C++ programming language, and object-oriented programming. In the last few lectures, you will learn how to build a first-person shooter and tank game.
Why Should You Learn Game Development?
If you love gaming and are a creative person, then getting into game development could be an excellent career move. From a logical perspective, if you study game development, you will learn essential programming languages and other fundamental tech skills.
It can also be a fun career with many possible pathways. You could choose to start your own game business to create and publish your own games or aim for a job at a leading gaming company.