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How to become a Game Developer?

Nicola
I'm a FrontEnd developer, specialized on Angular platform. I love design and music!
・2 min read

Hi folks!😍

Today I want to start a discussion about how to become a game developer.

But first a little bit of

premises ❗

I'm a full-stack web developer, I've worked on the web since 7 years ago, for different customers.

During this time I've worked a lot on Unity in my free time, because of the complexity and different skills to handle while working on a game, I've fallen in love with game development.

I'm a creative developer, I love to develop, but also to design, create music and storylines, but I work mainly with banks, insurances and pharma agencies. So my work is not as creative as I want.

After these years, I'm so sick and tired working on the web, and frontend development in general. That's because it seems than every day I do the same things, in an infinite loop.

I want to change.

The game development idea

So, what can fit my needs, to code and design at the same time?

Of course, game development!

Every time I work on a game idea, I spent a lot of hours per day, and I stop working on it only for physical needs (like, of course, sleeping 🤣).

The next day, I wake up with a lot of ideas in mind, I feel really happy to work on a personal game. And this changes completely my lifecycle.

So I've decided to become a game developer! 👨‍💻

Problems

There are 2 big problems I've found looking for a game developer job:

  1. I live in Italy, where there aren't a lot of possibilities in this industry.

  2. Experience, I've worked on Unity for a lot of time, but I'm still a junior dev, and here is hard to find a job as a junior unity developer (2 years of working experience at least needed).

So basically it's hard to find a job as unity developer here, and I have 2 solutions ahead:

1. Working abroad 🐱‍🏍

This is a big challenge, working abroad, starting a new career as a junior developer, could be an amazing challenge, but also stressy.

2. Create a game software house 🐱‍🐉

The other solution is to create a software house here in Italy. This is a great challenge but could be my real mission.
The pros of this choice are:

  1. Create something unique and personal
  2. Give others the possibility I didn't have in the future
  3. Be part of the rise of the gaming industry in Italy, and one of the pioneers in this sector.

I'm choosing what to do in the next year, which will be the most important in my career to choose my future life.

What do you think? Do you have any advice? Have you ever had a similar choice to do?

Let me know, I will be more than happy to hear tips from you all!

Cheers 🐱‍👤

Discussion (11)

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vikkio88 profile image
Vincenzo • Edited

Hey Nicola, I see that you are interested in game development and also that you are italian, as I am.

Recently with some random guys met on reddit and around the web we setup a small org to group together italian (or not) speaking people who wants to learn or do some game development: nientedidecente.github.io/en/
we have a discord server if you want to join us.

we also have an org here dev.to/nientedidecente

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nicolalc profile image
Nicola Author

Hi Vincenzo! Thanks for the advice! I'm in 🐱‍🏍

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rhymes profile image
rhymes

Hi Nicola, a community called "Let's Build" focused on game design and development was recently created using DEV's source code: letsbuild.gg/

It was founded by @rcarlson .

Check it out! :-)

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rcarlson profile image
Robert Carlson

We love to talk anything game dev and all are welcome <3 Cheers!

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yaeker profile image
João

Hey Nicola! I work for a Game Dev company and it was kind of luck how I ended up here. I come from Portugal and, as in Italy, Game-dev companies are almost non existent. So before you make any decisions, there are a few things you should ask yourself:

  • Are you willing to move to another country?
  • Do you want to work for a big company or for a smaller Indie company?
  • Do you want to program gameplay, engine, tools, build, dev ops, etc? (There are many positions in game dev)
  • Realize that game dev industry is underpaid compared to FronEnd development, for example, due to supply and demand (many people want to join).

For the big companies knowledge of C++ is a must for most positions. For Indie companies you can get by with Unity or even Javascript.

If you have many specific questions we can maybe talk on discord :)

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adelm__ profile image
Adel Miljković

You have to check out LiveOverflow's series on game development where he mostly speaks about his journey on learning Unity while building his first online multiplayer game which is really cool! youtu.be/LTlBElDPDDM

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nicolalc profile image
Nicola Author

Thanks that awesome! <3

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mjcapecci profile image
Michael Capecci

I think setting forth to create a studio is a really cool idea.

But, if you do apply for jobs in the industry, maybe your experience in Front End development will carry over, at least partially? I wonder if game companies consider a candidate's experience in other disciplines of development.

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nicolalc profile image
Nicola Author

Yes of course I'll lose something, but I think is more important to be happy with your work.

I think any side-skill will be considered as a great plus, as everything you have learned could be useful.

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vdedodev profile image
Vincent Dedo

Hello, fellow aspiring gamedev here. I've chosen the route to create my own studio/company with a friend. Given the power of the tools we have now and the number of successful solo-developed indie games, you can pull it off. That's the main reason for us wanting to try it, it's feasible.

It sounds like you want to create a big studio where you can get others to also follow their passion. I'm not sure how that would work as that's not my plan. My friend and I are planning on staying as a 2-man team for a while, with the focus being sustainability and being able to live off selling games, not growing a studio.

I hope that whatever you choose, it works out and it makes you happy!

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nicolalc profile image
Nicola Author

Hi Vincent! Thanks for your reply! I want to start with a little studio like yours, and if it goes well expand it giving others the possibility to become game devs in Italy. It's a big goal but at least I want to try!