By 2027, it is projected that there will be 3.1 billion users playing video games. Gaming has become a part of daily life as a form of entertainment, particularly for Millennials and the Gen Z target group.
An integral contributor to developing such games are Game Developers who help bring gaming ideas into reality. When businesses need to hire Game Developers, it requires a sound understanding of skills to assess, mistakes to avoid, and the best model for hiring.
This article provides a step-by-step guide to help you easily hire a Game Developer.
What Is a Game Developer?
Game Developers use programming languages and specialized software to turn concepts and designs into exciting games. They create game logic, design user interfaces, and craft visuals, actively participating in all phases of game development.
What Does a Game Developer Do? Roles & Responsibilities
Game Developers work in a cross-functional team coding game elements across multiple iterations to create high quality games. Key Game Developer’s roles and responsibilities include:
- Writing code based on requirements
- Creating 2D and 3D graphics for characters, game environments, and items
- Conducting testing and debugging any issues
- Recommending and updating game features
- Collaborating with artists, designers, analysts, and project lead
- Developing and iterating new gameplays
- Identifying and testing new technologies to increase users and player retention
Types of Game Developers
There are mainly 4 Game Developer types.
1. Game Developer
These are companies or studios who develop games exclusively for a single platform or console. For instance, Retro Studios developed Metroid Prime series which is exclusive for Nintendo platforms.
2. Second-party Developer
Second-party Developers build games exclusively for a console but they are not owned by the console or platform. Game Freak, which developed the Pokémon series, works exclusively with Nintendo but operates independently helping them maintain creative control.
3. Third-party Developer
Such Developers develop and publish their own games with independence for other game publishers. A case in point, Ubisoft who created Assassin’s Creed has provided the game for multiple consoles and platforms.
4. Indie Developer
Indie Developers are individuals or small groups who bootstrap game development. Among the types of game development, they have the most creative freedom.
Probably the best example of an Indie Developer is Eric Barone who single handedly developed the popular game Stardew Valley.
What Are the 7 Stages of Game Development?
Similar to Software Development Life Cycle for creating software, there are 7 stages of game development as a standard process to create quality games.
The idea of the game is laid out during planning. Some key decisions are finalized in this phase including target audience, platform, characters, key features, monetization strategy, estimated costs, and timeline.
During pre-production, the ideas are now converted into prototypes for the characters, environments, and in-game features. The initial ideas are tested for feasibility along with cross-functional team discussions to finalize key details of the game.
Among the game development stages, Production takes the highest effort and resources since this is when the game starts to get developed. Game Developers focus on coding to create a working game during this phase along with iterations working together with team members.
Moving on, testing includes assessing the quality of the game. This includes technical testing for bugs and glitches. Yet, there are also tests for player immersion fun factors and loopholes that users may exploit.
After the game is polished from testing, a Beta release occurs. During this phase, copies of the game are sent to key influencers and gaming media. The Developers are still busy sorting major bugs that come up now that real users are playing it.
The previous stages of game development have all built up for the launch of the game. Game Developers try to minimize any major bugs by this time. There is mass marketing now for exposure of the game.
By this phase, the game would ideally start to gain traction and commercial success. The Game Developers continue to work on bugs submitted by users and are now focused on its future roadmap including key features and updates to improve the game.
7 Best Programming Languages for Game Development
Here are the best languages for game development for your next project.
C++ is considered the best programming language for game development because of its high performance, vast resources for game development, and large online community.
As a result, some of the most popular games such as Minecraft and World of Warcraft are written in C++. Furthermore, the popular game engine Unreal engine is also written in C++.
C# is an object-oriented programming language based on the .NET framework of Microsoft. It has a large of libraries for game development along with a focus on simplicity and ease of use for Developers. The popular Unity Engine is written partly in C#.
For developing games which are exclusively for Apple devices, Swift is the best coding language for game development. It is created by Apple and is known for its speed and performance in the game development process.
On the other hand, Java is popular for developing Android games. Among its key specialties is socket programming which makes it convenient to build multiplayer games.
Among the programming languages for game development, Lua is a fast and lightweight language which is known for helping Developers modify game behavior without recompiling game code. Roblox is written in Lua.
There is an array of game development languages but for the sake of rapid game prototyping, Python is an ideal choice with its simple syntax and large libraries.
Key Skills to Look Out for When Hiring Game Developers
Before you hire Game Developers, it’s important to consider the following Game Developer skills.
1. Passion for Gaming
The ideal Game Developer is one who has been playing games since they were a kid as an avid gamer. Such people are likely to love the process of game development and go beyond what is expected in creating high quality games.
2. Technical Skills
Key technical skills to keep an eye on include:
- Competence in relevant programming languages (C++, C#, Java, etc.)
- Game engines expertise (Unreal, Unity Engine)
- Understanding of game design principles
- Experience with 2D/3D game assets creation (Blender, Photoshop)
- Proficiency in networking programming and multiplayer functionalities
- Grasp of audio programming and sound design
- Experience working with version control platforms like Git
3. Attention to Detail
A key difference between an average game and a great game is the level of attention to details in the game play which highly affects the depth of player immersion.
Developers with great attention to detail work to perfect even the smallest of details such as environmental glitches.
4. Strong Communication Skills
Game development skills are incomplete without communication skills since the different stages of development require a high degree of collaboration with other team members.
Furthermore, Game Developers need to have experience communicating their ideas with publishers and external partners.
5. Ability to Work Under Pressure
As game development has multiple stakeholders and high budgets, such projects tend to have hard deadlines. Select Developers who can maintain a focused attitude in such high stakes situations while producing quality results.
6. Problem-Solving Skills
Among the Game Developer required skills, problem solving is a high priority skill to assess. Challenges emerge frequently during the game development process that requires the ability to analyze problems, find their root causes, and come up with a feasible solution.
For example, in resource intensive games, Game Developers will need to constantly brainstorm solutions to optimize performance bottlenecks to maintain high speed and responsiveness of the game.
Experienced Game Developers have gone through game development cycle multiple times leading to high level of knowledge and skills.
Since they’ve already gone through a phase of trial and error, such Developers can play a key role in a game development project quickly once hired.
An adaptable Game Developer can adjust to the rapid changes occurring in the gaming industry. This includes being open to learning emerging technologies such as Virtual Reality and experimenting with approaches that can lead to better game development.
Common Mistakes to Avoid in Game Development
A Game Developer can maximize their value when the business has managed to avoid common pitfalls in game development. Some common mistakes to avoid include:
- Lacking a clear game vision
A lack of clarity on the vision of the game can lead to inconsistent gameplay and design. Moreover, it can confuse Game Developers on which features of the game they should prioritize.
- Underestimating time and resources
Ad hoc planning often leads to underestimating time and resources. The consequences are detrimental as it results in delays, cost overruns, and lower quality game release.
- Insufficient testing before release
Rushing to release the game might overlook extensive testing of the game. This prolongs game development even further as the team now needs to deal with constant complaints from users.
- Falling into feature creep
Feature Creep is the tendency to expand features without considering the impact on project timelines and budget. This is often the result of an insufficient product strategy without clear priorities.
How to Hire a Game Developer: Choosing the Perfect Candidate
The following steps will help to hire Game Developers who align with your needs.
1. Be clear on your requirements
Specific requirements will help to filter the right group of Game Developers who have the necessary competencies for your project.
These requirements include clarity on the tech stack, budget, platform, and game concept note.
For instance, a specific requirement could be building a game for Apple devices utilizing Swift for creating a multiplayer game. Clearly articulating these requirements when posting a job makes it more efficient to identify and select Developers who align with your project’s needs.
2. Prioritize Passionate Game Developers
Passionate Game Developers have an enthusiasm for playing games which gives them the added advantage of understanding what players want more intuitively.
When interviewing candidates, ask about their favorite games and their gaming experiences. Those who have dived deep into these games will be able to mention all the intricate details of such games.
3. Carefully Review their Portfolio and Skills
Only consider app Game Developers for hire once you are sure about their skills and abilities based on their past projects.
Their portfolio provides insights into the quality of the games that they can develop. Testing the game is equally important to understand how detailed and polished the end product is. Also, try to find a pattern in their expertise area and how relevant the skills will be for your project.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Game Developer?
The yearly cost to hire a Game Developer is $94,000 in Germany and $102,000 in the United States.
Moreover, developed Asian countries like Japan have annual salaries for Game Developers at $57,000 and $51,000 for South Korea.
The costs are lower in some European countries such as Poland at $36,000 and Ukraine at $24,000.
Best Models for Hiring Game Developers
Depending on the requirements and budget, there are three models to hire a Game Developer.
In-House Game Developers are full-time employees paid a monthly salary.
- Better Collaboration: Regular meetings and discussions creates an environment for efficient collaboration.
- Integrated Part of Team: They understand the company’s culture and vision which makes them part of the team rather than being perceived as an outsider.
- Control over Project’s Development: Project Managers can directly assert greater control over the project.
- Higher Costs: Monthly Salaries along with benefits and bonuses lead to increased costs.
- Longer Talent Acquistion Process: Getting the right talent can take up months.
- Limited Skill Diversity: They might lack skills outside their specialization which could take time to train.
Freelance Game Developers work as independent contractors on a project basis.
- More Flexibility: They can be hired for specific projects as per your needs.
- Lower Costs: As contracts are on a project basis for shorter term, there are cost savings.
- Access to New Skill Sets: Freelancers can be a good option for filling in on a project where your core team lacks expertise.
- Doubts on Reliability: Since they work on multiple projects, some freelancers may not be able to deliver promised quality in specified time.
- Project Management Issues: Communication challenges and a lack of immediate integration into the project can lead to missed deadlines
- Inconsistent Availability: Freelancers work on their own schedule which could lead to their unavailability when you most need them.
Outsourcing involves partnering with recruitment agencies to help in the talent acquisition process.
- Available Pool of Qualified Talent: They already have a large network of pre-screened talents.
- Time Savings: Lengthy recruitment processes such as sourcing and screening are taken care of with involvement needed only in the final stages of the interview.
- Focus on Core Business: Businesses can channel their attention on more important tasks.
- Communication Challenges: Depending on the Recruitment Agency, there can be misalignment in candidate requirements
- Confidentiality Concerns: There is a risk that proprietary information may be exposed.
- Potential Cultural Mismatch: Candidates recommended who don’t match the company’s values may lead to higher employee turnover.
Hire Offshore Game Developers
A growing alternative for companies is to hire a Game App Developer remotely from around the world.
After the pandemic, the rise of remote work has led to the opportunity of expanding the search for talents to all over the world.
Hiring tech talents today has the challenge of finding quality candidates at affordable costs. By hiring offshore Game Developers, businesses can thus hire high quality Game Developers at a reasonable cost.
Why Hire Game Developers from Poland/Ukraine?
Among offshore Game Developers, talents from Poland and Ukraine are widely sought after because of their quality, reliability, and affordable costs.
Poland has made a strong name in the global gaming industry with 470 game production studios in 2021 where around 15,000 Poles are employed. Furthermore, the strong STEM education ecosystem in Poland has enabled them to produce high quality Game Developers.
Similarly, Ukraine has high quality talent working in Game Development too. This is the reason why some of the most coveted gaming studios have opened studios here including Ubisoft, Playtech, and Gameloft.
Let RemoDevs Help You Hire Game Developers
RemoDevs specializes in hiring tech talents in Poland and Ukraine. We can help to hire Game Developers who are pre-screened and verified by us. By providing only matching profiles, we help to save time and increase the chance of hiring the right Game Developer.
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