Job type

Computer games developer

£25k - £70k

Typical salary

30 – 40

Hours per week

Computer games developers make games for the internet, mobile phones, PCs and games consoles.

More info

  • This role requires creativity and imagination, a logical approach to problem-solving, and excellent IT skills
  • With experience, progress to a senior developer, producer or technical director role
  • You could be based in an office or a studio, depending on your role

Computer games developers work on computer games that may take several months or years to produce.

DAY-TO-DAY DUTIES

  • Deciding what a game should look like and how it should be played
  • Coming up with your own original ideas or working from an existing concept
  • Creating the game's visual characters, objects and scenery
  • Producing concept art and drawings (storyboards) at the planning stage
  • Bringing the characters, objects and scenery to life with computer modelling and animation software
  • Creating the code to make the game work

DAY-TO-DAY ENVIRONMENT

Your working hours can vary. In many jobs you'll work standard office hours, with some unsocial hours (such as evenings and weekends) and overtime to meet deadlines. You could be based in an office or a studio, depending on your role and you'll spend most of your time sitting at a computer. Many companies offer bonuses and share schemes for successfully completing projects. 

You'll report to a producer or project manager, who oversees the whole process and makes sure that the game is completed on time.

You'll need

This role is ideal for game lovers with creativity and imagination, a logical approach to problem-solving, and excellent IT skills.

You'll usually need a foundation degree or degree in computer games technology, computer games development, computer science, interactive media, or mathematics. A degree with a work placement could give you an advantage.

You could also do a college course, which may lead to more advanced qualifications or a higher apprenticeship. Courses include an A level in Computing, T level in Digital Production, Design and Development, and a Higher National Diploma in Creative Media Production or Games Development.

Another route you could take is an advanced or higher apprenticeship in creative and digital media or software development, or a software developer or junior 2D artist higher apprenticeship.

Employers will be interested in your knowledge of software and the computer games market and will want to see proof of your talent and creativity, as well as formal qualifications. You could create a portfolio of work or online demo to highlight your skills to potential employers.

You could start as a quality assurance (QA) tester if you have plenty of experience of game playing. You'll usually need an IT qualification or work experience. Employers will be interested in your talent and creativity. You may also find it helps to have A levels or a diploma in relevant subjects like computing or media production.

CAREER PROSPECTS

With experience, you could progress to a senior developer, producer or technical director role.