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A day in the life of...

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What is it like to live a day as a game developer? I think it's a question many of us aspiring game developers would like answered. Below is a list of questions I have proposed for those of you, veterans and newbies alike, who are in the industry.

Feel free to answer as few or as many as you like, and/or to contribute your own questions and feedback.

1.) What are the responsibilities of a game developer?

2.) What possible opportunities for advancement are available to a game developer? What is the last rung on the promotion ladder?

3.) What advice could you provide to a novice entering into the field of game development?

4.) How do you handle a situation where you have one vision for a game and your manager has a different vision?

5.) Finally, what are the pros and cons of being a game developer?

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Much of this is already answered in the forum FAQ. But I'll bite.

1.) What are the responsibilities of a game developer?
Which job? Gameplay programmer? Engine programmer? Tools and pipeline programmer? Concept artist? Modeler? Animator? Pixel Artist? Designer? Producer? Tester? Build manager? Musician / Audio Engineer? Art/Development director? Team lead?

Choose your role, then look up the corresponding job in the various forum FAQs.

2.) What possible opportunities for advancement are available to a game developer? What is the last rung on the promotion ladder?[/quote]Opportunities are yours for the taking. This is almost entirely dependent on you: your background, your achievements, your work history, your people skills and ability to negotiate.

3.) What advice could you provide to a novice entering into the field of game development?[/quote]Read the FAQ.

4.) How do you handle a situation where you have one vision for a game and your manager has a different vision?[/quote]Open communication. Everyone needs to be making the same game; without a shared vision for the product the quality will suffer. If you have communicated your ideas and you still disagree, you need to remember that you are an employee at the company. If your vision is sufficiently different from theirs and you cannot reconcile it with your values, you can help everybody (yourself included) by changing to a different team or a different company that shares your vision.

5.) Finally, what are the pros and cons of being a game developer?[/quote]To each their own. Many people do not like the field.

I have always loved making games. As a child I created games, building them out of paper cutouts. I learned to program and wrote text based games and simple sprite games. If I were independently wealthy and spent the days enjoying my beach house, I would still spend hobby time making games. I would not spend as much time making games, but it would still happen. The fact that it is my real day job is a great thing; but it is still a job.


As for your poll, my answer is: None of those. My biggest frustration is that time marches on. Finding a healthy balance with just the few precious hours granted to me every day is quite difficult. Fortunately my employer does not demand overtime, the commute is tolerable, I have a job where I can provide for my family, I have time for hobbies and personal growth, I can spend time alone for contemplation and mental health, and I can enjoy time with family and friends. That balance is hard to maintain.

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1. It depends. Be more specific.

2. The last rung is CEO. Nobody promotes you to owner or founder (you do that yourself).

3. Ask good questions.

4. After you've expressed your view and had it shot down, do what your manager says.

5. Read the FAQs after you are clear which role in development you're asking about.

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