As game development continues to evolve into an industry generating billions of dollars in revenue, many people wonder how to break into the business or keep their programming skills sharp.
With the programming landscape in a constant state of movement, staying on top of trends and continuing to learn the latest tricks remains paramount. Luckily, a wealth of information and help is available to anyone who needs it.
Like a carpenter, a game developer needs a robust toolkit to stay fresh. These are five of game developers’ best tools to continue excelling in their industry.
Nothing takes a game or any software from good to great more than a testing service or QA team. Whether you hire a third-party company like XBOSoft or keep testing in-house, testing and debugging your code ensures quality stays at the forefront of your game’s development and deployment. No one likes a buggy game, so investing in quality testing services will save your development from embarrassing or game-breaking bugs.
A robust game engine or development suite
Game engine companies like Unreal and Unity exist to take the guesswork out of engine development. A solid engine behind your game lays the critical groundwork for a quality title. These companies also provide stellar customer service and leverage the experience of other developers to deliver a robust database of information and FAQs. So if you need help with Unity or Unreal, there is always someone to ask.
Get your credit card out because it’s time to sign up for Adobe Creative Suite if you haven’t already. The best developers in the world all rely on Adobe’s Creative Suite products, like PhotoShop or Illustrator, to create the art for their titles. If you’re going for that retro pixelated look, invest in quality art software. Don’t forget that brainstorming character or menu designs can be accomplished with the best pairing of artwork software suites.
3D animation software
While 3D animation changed the game (pun intended) for video game development in the 90s, it can still be intimidating for novice developers. Still, ensuring you’ve dipped your toes into something like Maya can help diversify your development skills. Of course, these software suites have gotten easier to understand over time, but at least you’re not on the cutting edge of 3D modeling like during the Nintendo 64 years.
Quality coding software
Video games will always require coding software. You should prepare to get and stay very acquainted with software like Visual Studio. If you’ve never coded, check out the many how-to guides online or take a few classes at your local community college or library. Many options exist to aid in your learning or continuing your education.
It is an exciting time to be a game developer. With indie game development teams becoming a large part of the industry thanks to lower headcounts and less pressure to develop the next big thing, anyone can learn to become a game developer. Whatever your passion for gaming, understand that diversifying your skillset is a fantastic way to stand out in the industry.