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  • What Skills Do You Need To Become A Professional Game Developer?

    - Dan Reut
  • Everyone can go and buy a shovel, but not everyone is going to build a house.

    Big thanks to game engines like Unity, Unreal, Godot and etc. They showed us that good games aren't about technology, teams, or stories. It is all about a good game experience for players.

    A good game experience is a combination of every visual and non-visual element of a game that works together and delivers fun, memorable moments during a game's session.

    To become a professional game developer, I'm advocating that it is important to have an understanding of how each element works, and the best way is to master 7 major game development skills.

    1. Concept Art Skill

    As a creative person myself, I never struggle to come up with ideas. But the problem is to make sure that it is the right one. It is important to understand that you are making a game for others to play and enjoy, and this is why the idea of a game should be relevant to the player's need.

    A person is greeted by clothes and escorted by the mind. And this is true for any games.

    How your game visually looks plays an essential part in a player's mind to choose if he is going to play your game.

    This is the main reason why you have to know how to render your ideas to any physician format (paper or digital). For example, you can draw concept art of characters, environment, and even scenes from the game, share it, get feedback, and then you can judge if the reactions of art align with your expectation. If yes, move forward with that idea.

    Also, a basic understanding of colors and camera angles will never hurt.

    2. Game & Narrative Design

    A game design skill is the most important skill. It will help you better understand what elements should be in your game. It will also help you troubleshoot your game, see what parts of it are fun or not, and know how to replace those parts.

    Narrative design. We all love stories. I think this is the main reason why I am so in love with games. A good story can be one of the motivators to finish a game. Good examples of games are Alan Wake, Last of Us (Part 1), and Firewatch.

    But the game's narrative design is different from any other narrative in media because when adding interactivity to your story, it is becoming an unpredictable variable. You don't know how the player will be acting and interacting with a story.

    3. Coding & Learn Game's engine features

    Yes, I know that some of you were very excited about visual coding. But still, you have to understand how code flows inside your game.

    Sometimes you have to make the decision to change something about the game because of performance issues.

    It is important to know how to code and what the game's engine is capable of, so in the early stages, you can avoid extra developer's loops.


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