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Games developers are involved in the creation and production of games for personal computers, games consoles, social/online games, arcade games, tablets, mobile phones and other hand held devices. Their work involves either design (including art and animation) or programming.
Games development is a fast-moving, multi-billion pound industry. The making of a game from concept to finished product can take up to three years and involve teams of up to 200 professionals.
There are many stages, including creating and designing a game's look and how it plays, animating characters and objects, creating audio, programming, localisation, testing and producing.
The games developer job title covers a broad area of work and there are many specialisms within the industry. These include:
- quality assurance tester;
- programmer, with various specialisms such as network, engine, toolchain and artificial intelligence;
- audio engineer;
- artist, including concept artist, animator and 3D modeller;
- special effects technician.
Typical work activities
Responsibilities vary depending on your specialist area but may include:
- developing designs and/or initial concept designs for games including game play;
- generating game scripts and storyboards;
- creating the visual aspects of the game at the concept stage;
- using 2D or 3D modelling and animation software, such as Maya, at the production stage;
- producing the audio features of the game, such as the character voices, music and sound effects;
- programming the game using programming languages such as C++;
- quality testing games in a systematic and thorough way to find problems or bugs and recording precisely where the problem was discovered;
- solving complex technical problems that occur within the game's production;
- disseminating knowledge to colleagues, clients, publishers and gamers;
- understanding complex written information, ideas and instructions;
- working closely with team members to meet the needs of a project;
- planning resources and managing both the team and the process;
- performing effectively under pressure and meeting deadlines to ensure the game is completed on time.