Game Developer Skills (With Responsibilities And Tips)

Updated 30 September 2022

A game developer creates video games using their proficiency in programming, game design and animation. They develop games for different platforms, like personal computers, gaming consoles, smartphones and handheld or portable gaming devices. If you are interested in becoming a game developer, it may be helpful to understand how to gain the necessary skills for this position. In this article, we describe what game developer skills are, explore the skills game developers typically have and examine some steps to improve them.

What Are Game Developer Skills?

Game developer skills help these professionals create robust, functional and exciting games. A developer of a great game focuses on intense gameplay, a seamless user interface, a fascinating story and interactive features. A game developer understands the importance of creating a game that entertains and challenges the end-user. By improving various skills like programming and problem-solving, a developer imagines a game and determines how it works. A proficient game developer possesses imagination, mathematical competence, aesthetic aptitude and passion for video games.

Related: How To Become A Game Developer

Important Game Developer Skills

Video game development is a long process that requires a developer to employ several skills to create engaging games. Here are some skills that may help you become a successful game developer:


Programming is one of the most important aspects of game development. Game programming builds the functionality of a game. A game developer focuses on learning technical concepts, like variables, loops and functions specific to a video game engine. With programming, a developer creates game mechanics and builds a game environment. Game developers use different programming languages to develop games for different platforms. For example, a developer may use C++ to write computer games and Java when coding games for smartphones.


Creativity plays a crucial role in game development. Creativity skills help developers create an interesting story or a theme for video games. Using imagination, a game developer builds interactive environments and storylines for games. The inventiveness of game developers allows them to create powerful characters. With creativity, the developer is more likely to engage players. For example, to make a game involving fantasy quests more artistic and adventurous, the developer may include unique mythical creatures or equipment for players to interact with throughout the game.


The development of video games relies on design and animation to a great extent. Smooth and vivid animations of a game create a splendid gaming experience for gamers. Knowledge of animation software helps a game developer create immersive and visually delightful games. Animations of a game support motions and movements of different game elements. For example, combat games include detailed animations to provide players with several options for moves to use. The developer writes code to make these movements realistic, improving the player's immersion experience.


Solving the glitches is a major part of a developer's job. To implement solutions, the developer periodically validates the code. They may edit sections of the code several times and implement different adjustments to ensure that the games function properly. Problem-solving skills help the game developer to remove bugs and create enjoyable and glitch-free games. For example, suppose a video game publisher has released a game update that causes the loading screen to freeze. After learning about this glitch, the developer can check the code and fix it to solve the problem.

Gaming experience

Developers who play video games often design better games given their extensive gaming experience. They typically have enhanced knowledge of the nuances of gaming and the factors that may persuade a gamer to play a certain game. When the developer has played a lot of games, they typically understand different game mechanics and gaming engines. For example, if a developer recalls playing classic video games, they can use this experience as inspiration to design a game that mixes modern and classic gaming that appeals to gamers of all ages.


Game development is a process that requires collaboration with several other professionals, like audio engineers, animators, art directors and testers. Working in a team offers developers the opportunity to learn new skills and broaden their perspectives with ideas shared by team members. An effective team structure involves diversity and communication. For example, a game developer works with visual artists and audio engineers to design a game character's appearance and voice. To check if the programming works efficiently, the developer communicates with game testers to improve the game before release.

Time management

Game publishers typically announce a game's release date before development is complete. With strict launch dates, it is crucial for game developers to finish their work within the deadlines. Efficient time management helps ensure developers can deliver high-quality work on schedule. For example, imagine a game publisher plans to release a game for kids just before the summer vacation. Launching the game on time helps the company sell more copies because the kids are not at school and have ample time to play.

Related: 12 Popular Animation Careers (With Job Duties And Salaries)

Game Developer Responsibilities

Here are a few common responsibilities that game developers have, regardless of their speciality:

  • Develop the layout of the game and make edits based on the feedback.

  • Provide technical solutions, innovate and enhance the quality of the gaming engine.

  • Debug and optimise the performance and usability of the editor for the game.

  • Update the existing gaming engine and tools according to the development pipeline.

  • Create new game features and services that offer comfort and performance to the gamers.

  • Improve the existing features of the game based on the design requests.

  • Test the functions of a game and publish game updates to keep it error-free.

  • Create measurable success, remain self-directed, and prioritise your workload.

Related: How To Become A Game Tester (With Skills And Salary)

Tips On Improving Game Development Skills

Here are a few tips that may help you improve your game development skills:

Play games

Playing games helps you learn about the different styles and features of video games. This exercise allows you to understand what makes a game exciting and introduces you to different programs. Consider exploring different genres, like sports, action, puzzle, simulation, shooter and strategy. Note down the specific features that appeal to you the most. This helps you to be creative and develop interesting games in the future. With online gaming, you meet players from around the world. These people may also help you to learn about their experiences and what makes a particular game interesting.

Meet game developers

Meeting other game developers allows you to learn from their experiences. Learning more about the industry from them helps you to decide if a career in game development is right for you. Game development professionals may help you understand the routine workload and schedule of the game developers. They may also advise on how to find jobs, share industry connections or help you develop your skill set. If you do not know anyone in the game development industry, consider joining online forums and social media groups for game developers. This is a great way to learn about the field.

Learn different programs

Learning how to use different programs is a great way to expand your software knowledge base. Different software applications help video game creators implement unique ideas. Knowing some of the most common applications that game developers use helps you find out which software is more suitable for your needs. To create a smooth gaming experience, consider learning to code in various languages, like C, C#, C++, Java, Python and Lua. You can benefit from keeping a dynamic approach to game design, coding and structures to manage the system updates.

Improve storytelling techniques

There are many games based on comics, books and films, but there may be opportunities to develop original game stories. Knowing about linear and non-linear storytelling and enhancing narrative techniques helps a game developer create engaging stories. In linear storytelling, the game is based on the actions of the players, but in non-linear storytelling, the events do not follow a chronological order and the story may have parallel plots. Concluding the story with a satisfying end adds to the gaming experience of the player.

Refine mathematics and physics skills

Advanced gaming engines offer developers physics, graphics and lighting features, making it easier for them to develop games. Sometimes, the developer uses their mathematics and physics skills to program the game, so you may further refine your mathematics and physics skills. Possessing an in-depth knowledge of linear algebra, basic algorithms, trigonometry and geometry helps the developer stay ahead of the competition. You may also focus on learning calculus, statistics, combinatorics, game theory and artificial intelligence algorithms.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.


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