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Game developer

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Summary of occupation

​Game developers are responsible for the design, creation and production of computer and video games. They work with a team of people including animators, 3D artists, software developers, digital video-sound editors and testers during the game development process. Game developers may specialise in a particular type of platform such as games for Nintendo, Xbox or Playstation, or games that can be played on PCs, tablets and mobile devices. In Western Australia, game developers mostly work in the Perth metropolitan area.

ANZSCO description: Designs and develops digital assets for video and computer games using multimedia software and programming languages.
Alternative names: Electronic game developer, Digital game developer
Specialisations: Author-based Programmer, Computer-based Graphic Designer, Digital Video-sound Editor, Instructional Designer
Job prospects: Limited
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Knowledge, skills and attributes

​A game developer needs:

  • to be passionate about using and developing computer gaming software programs and technologies
  • creative flair and strong designing abilities
  • an aptitude for solving complex technical problems
  • the ability to perform under pressure
  • good communication skills
  • to be able to work individually and as part of a team.
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Working conditions

​Game developers work in an office environment and generally work on game design projects with other team members. They usually work business hours, however, developing a video or computer game is a lengthy process and game developers may work overtime (evenings and on weekends) during a project to meet deadlines.

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Salary details

​On average, game developers, classified under multimedia specialists and web developers, can expect to earn between $1 000 and $1 249 per week ($52 000 and $64 999 per year), depending on the organisation they work for and their level of experience. As a game developer develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.

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Tools and technologies

Game developers use computers, specialist software programs, graphics, and audio and sound equipment in the process of developing video and computer games.

Your choice of software tools and programming languages will strongly depend on the platforms being developed for. Developers who produce code for browser-based games may use scripting and coding languages like JavaScript, Flash ActionScript, Java, HTML and CSS. Games that run on dedicated game consoles or smart phones will often have specific programming languages required for each platform. A variety of programming languages and developer environments can be used to produce games for desktop computers. There are also stand-alone game development suites which can compile games for a wide variety of platforms at once.

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Education and training/entrance requirements

To become a game developer you usually need to complete a qualification in game design, game development, interactive digital media or a related field.

The Diploma of Digital and Interactive Games, Diploma of Screen and Media [Animation and Games Design], Diploma of Interactive Digital Media, Diploma of Digital Media Technologies, Diploma of Software Development and the Advanced Diploma of Games Development are offered at TAFE Colleges and other registered training organisations throughout Western Australia.

You can also complete a degree majoring in game design, games software and production, games technology, digital design or a related field.

Most universities in Western Australia offer relevant courses. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.

Related courses

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Apprenticeships and traineeships

As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.

If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.

If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.

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Recognition of prior learning

If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.

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