Game Software Developer: Salary, Duties and Requirements

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a game software developer. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about job duties and salary information to find out if this is the career for you.

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Game software developers require a bachelor's degree with a specialization in a program such as game engineering or game design and development. A strong knowledge of various computer programming languages is also essential for success in the field.

Essential Information

Software developers design, create, and implement computer programs. Since software can be designed to perform a practically limitless number of functions, there are several specialties within the profession. Some developers design applications for specific computing tasks, while others develop the more general programs that can be found on most computers. Another such field is game design, which involves the creation of gaming software.

Required Education Bachelor's degree
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) 17%*
Median Salary (2016) $66,665**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale

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Duties of a Game Software Developer

While games have become visually diverse, most rely on similar versions of pre-built software, commonly referred to as 'engines.' No matter how innovative or creative a new game may be, it will never work without a proper engine, and that's where game software developers come in. These professionals are responsible for the technical side of game design. Whereas game designers deal more with the creative aspects of a game, software designers primarily work with programming languages (such as C/C++, for example), APIs (application programming interfaces), and scripting languages to ensure that the design team's ideas and concepts transition smoothly to the game itself.

Career and Education Requirements for a Game Software Developer

Knowledge of and experience with relevant software is essential, and game software developers are expected to stay up-to-date about new releases and innovations in the field. Developers should also have experience with programming languages and technical architectural design. To acquire these skills, aspiring developers can pursue a bachelor's degree in a field such as game design and development or game engineering, which are offered through a number of colleges and universities.

Game software developers are largely responsible for the technical aspects of game design, rather than the creative aspects. Proficiency with relevant software is essential, and developers must also maintain an up-to-date knowledge of innovations in the field.

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