As a human being, we all need to rest, get rid of stress, diversify our daily routine, and overall enjoy life. Tastes of people vary. Everyone has his or her understanding of entertainment. Everyone is busy with different things. Someone is a cook in a restaurant. Another one is a video game programmer. Someone prefers to lay down on the sand at the seashore and enjoy the view of the sunset. Another person enjoys spending all night at a crowded nightclub dancing under high volume music. Others enjoy simply spending time hanging out with their friends in a pub or at home. Nevertheless, even though we are all different, there are some activities which we all love to do. We enjoy listening to music, enjoy watching movies or tv series and, of course, playing video games. 

If I ask you, how do you think the total sales of which one of the industries mentioned above are more, what is going to be your answer? Most probably you would say that the film and music industries are more profitable. A significant number of sales of Avengers Endgame, which recently reached 2.7 billion and became the world's best selling movie would make you thing like that. Concerts of rock and pop stars with many thousands of audience and billions of views on YouTube would also affect your choice. However, statistics would show you than numbers are quite competitive. Grand Theft Auto V video game sales beat 1 billion dollars in just three days. In the last two decades, the entertainment industry has significantly grown. It takes almost half of the US GDP, and that growth is mainly associated with the increase in the gaming industry. 

Growth of the Gaming Industry

video game programmer

Firstly, the gaming industry was consisting of gaming consoles. With the development of technology and the internet, the gaming industry shifted to new online level. Millions of boys and girls were playing online shooters with each other and enjoying the actions. Though it is not the end. In the last five years, the share of mobile gaming took more than 50% of the whole industry. High-speed smartphones enable you to enjoy high quality 3D online games in the old fashion, using your phone as a joystick. Market specialists expect than in the future five years revenue indicators of the gaming industry will dramatically move up. Which means that this industry is very profitable now and will be more profitable in the future. 

Thus, it sounds fascinating and prestigious to build your future career as a video game programmer. Considering the market size and competitiveness, you should be powerful to take your place. And here arises a question, how to be a good video game developer in 2019?

What does a video game programmer do?

     First of all, before talking about guidelines and advice of professional video game programmer, let's figure out what the video game programmer does. Video game building procedure is a complex process which requires the involvement of the coding part and game designing part. The storyline of the game should be very catchy to the game to be popular. The design and quality of the game are one more criterion which differentiates good games. In 2019 people have high-resolution phones and computers with powerful processors. Thus, they demand real high-quality games to enjoy virtual reality. As a result, designing part of the process becomes more challenging and requires more resources.

To be a good video game programmer, you should have excellent analytical and problem-solving skills. Building the code for the game is only an initial phase of the workflow. It requires sustainably to maintain the codes and fix bags to game perform well. You should have proper object-oriented and analytical thinking to be good at diagnosis and detection of the problem. And as a result, after the screening of a problem, you should have good problem skills to fix these bags without ruining other codes and damaging the game. 

Working with a team

As you might imagine, it is a sophisticated process which involves the participation of people with a different specialization such as different types of designers, front end developers, back end developers, engineers which works with network and other professionals. For this reason, video game creators are gathering together as a studio and support each other. Large studios are mainly developing more complicated 3D multiplayer online video games, as it requires more resources. However, it does not necessarily mean that professional game developers are working in studios. Many professionals are working as a freelance or in small teams and still are launching successful mobile games. So you decide to choose the path, but you should always consider that each track has its pros and cons.

For instance, by working alone or in small teams, your work will be very tough and risky. However, you will be paid more if your game will boom, in comparison with the job in game development studio where you will have a fixed salary with no risk and support from your colleagues.

Math is the key

math is the key

    Coding is an essential part of game development. Coding means giving tasks to the computer by writing commands in an algorithm. The computer can fluently perform the commands only if they are written in a proper algorithm. For example, if you to recollect weekly data in one file, you should follow the right order like writing a command to delete the previous week's data, paste new week's data and show it. If instead, you would first write a command to paste new week's data then delete all then show, you will have nothing. Thus the right order of commands - proper algorithm is very crucial in coding. Of course, my example was a straightforward video game programmer who uses much more sophisticated commands and algorithms.

They should have excellent math skills for that. Math is the core in programming because math shapes the way of critical thinking, building a chain of sequential activities in your head, which you will express in the form of the codes.

For example, the basic knowledge of Linear Algebra and Calculus is needed to build 3D characters in the game which will do some actions like jumping, shooting, etc. The speed and direction of the bullet or speed with what character jumps over the fence is a vector which is learned in Linear Algebra, and objects movements are basics of Calculus. More exciting games where the game itself can perform adapt and change to the preferences and strategy of player has some sort of Artificial Intelligence in itself. And video game developer should have good knowledge of Discrete Math to be able to construct a fluent Artificial Intelligence mechanism.  

A Degree in Computer Science

    Talking about math, we should not neglect the role of an overall degree in this industry. Most of the video game developers have at least a bachelor degree in Computer Science of Computer Engineering. The primary skill which all developers should have is coding skills. Video game programmer mainly works with such programming languages as C, C++, C#, Java, and other web languages as JavaScript, HTML, or PHP. And bachelor degree in Computer Science will help you to enhance your knowledge and skills in programming. Programming is core in this job but not everything. Knowledge of other subjects taught in this program will be helpful for you in video game development.

For example, knowledge of physics will help you to make the game more realistic objects will not fly and make chaotic movements. Fundamentals of networks will help you to maintain proper work of server in multiplayer mobile games. 2D and 3D animation are other critical subjects for game development, which is also taught in Computer Science degree. Having a degree in Computer Science and studying the relevant subject would help you to reach your dreams of becoming a professional video game programmer.

However, there are specialists in this industry who argues that degree in Computer Science is not a key for being a professional game developer in 2019. They claim that now having an internet under your hands, you can find a lot of online courses about everything in this industry. You can find courses about Game Physics, Game Production, and Development, Game Network, Computer Graphics Programming and study them on your own, and prove your knowledge by practicing and constructing games. The main focus in this industry is not in your knowledge of the subjects, but in the way how you can apply that knowledge is their main argument. 

Experience matters

video game programmer

    Video game programming requires theoretical knowledge, but it is a type of job which is skill-based. Your knowledge is valuable only if you can use this knowledge, apply it to your work. Therefore, studying is a big part of becoming a professional video game programmer, but you should also have a good experience. Many professionals suggest that to gain experience, young developers who wish to achieve success in the video gaming industry, should not necessarily start in the video gaming industry. You can start your career path as an intern in many corporations. While being an intern in IT companies, you will have a chance to get to know the industry overall, try yourself in different fields, and gain real-life knowledge about those fields.

Moreover, you can be an intern in software developing field and start working with codes for software developing. This opportunity will also enhance your knowledge, try to work with different systems like the Android system or iOS. Support and help of your colleagues will have a significant effect on your skill shaping.

For this reason, being an intern and practicing a lot in a pleasant environment is a very good chance. You can find many internship opportunities all around the world in many large international companies or small local companies. There are no big differences between large or small companies because the important thing is an experience which you will gain. 

Good portfolio 

    Chances to be known and show your skills and abilities have changed because of social media and other blogs. When you start your career path, you are chosen and hired due to your academic achievements or knowledge. As you get promoted, many of your colleagues and partners get to know you, your skills and potential, so you are becoming valuable due to your career achievements and abilities. Internet and social media helped to make the process faster now. There are plenty of video game developers who have their blog on YouTube and other social media platforms. They are building their portfolio of games and applications which they have developed and share their knowledge or process of development on these platforms. By doing this, they are gaining the audience, which might be their future employer or partner.

Furthermore, a large portion of them are working as freelance developers, so they are also attracting potential clients. This is excellent for showing your skills and working on yourself as a good video game programmer. 

Portfolio vs. Career Development

Someone might choose to gain an experience being an intern in a company, but others try to learn on their own. Having a portfolio of your project is a good idea for every developer. It is key for an employer to know with what kind of project you have worked and what skills you have. Specialists, who support the idea that a degree is not required for being a video game developer, usually supports the initiative to gain audience and clients via social media. They are right because nowadays information is very achievable, there are plenty of open-source courses in large universities, many online courses, many coding competitions, etc. 

Stallion Gaming as an opportunity

video game programmer

    As I mentioned earlier, there are game development studios who work with a large team on different kinds of projects. Stallion Gaming is one of them. It is a big game development company where many design specialist and video game programmers with headquarters in Los Angeles. They are constructing a different type of games and for a different type of platforms. Clients can offer them their idea for the game starting with the storyline and all the details, and designers and video game developers of Stallion Gaming are making a whole brand new video game based on the order of the client. They are developing video games as well and for different operating systems, for iOS and Android, for Windows, Mac, etc. 

Moreover, the range of the products made by them is also extensive. Stallion Gaming is developing video games starting from massive multiplayer real-time strategy games to gambling games in online platforms. And this might be an excellent opportunity for you. You can apply and join this team. Do not hesitate to follow your dreams. Remember that there are not any particular criteria which differentiate good developer or the bad developer, and there are not any specific guidelines for being a professional. You are the one who determines yourself and your future. If you want to become a successful video game developer, work on yourself, and follow your dreams. Even if you don't have a degree, or you don't have the experience, it is still not a problem. You can always start everything. The only important thing is your wish and will to become a good video game programmer.