How To Become A Game Developer (Designer) In Australia?

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Students want to know how they can become game developers or designers in Australia.


Are you fascinated by computer games, animation and AI? If yes, becoming a game developer or designer is the best way to turn your passion into a career.


Game developers and designers develop original games to connect, entertain, and educate people. They work in game studios or as independent developers developing and promoting their games.


To make a game professional, you need to undertake a qualification in games design, games programming, animation, digital media and other related fields.


Read on to learn how to become a game developer or designer in Australia. Here we discuss the job profile, qualifications, game development courses, design courses, salary, prospects, and steps to help you pursue the profession.



1. Who Is A Game Designer/Developer?


Game designers and developers are among the best problem solvers in the tech industry. 


They are skilled computer professionals proficient in simulation, Artificial Intelligence, data visualization, and neural networking. A game designer can work as a game developer and vice versa.



Game Designer:


A game design implies the artistic creation of a computer/video game. It is the first step to creating a game. Game designers are mainly responsible for conceptualizing new aspects of games. They work closely with game developers, animators, and producers.


Their primary responsibilities are:


  • Come up with creative ideas for game creation 

  • Find what features and components a game must include

  • Determine the response of the game under different conditions



Game Developer:


Game developers in Australia, also called game programmers, translate the design into separate pieces of code and integrate them to develop a video game. They use logic, creativity, and technical expertise to invent, create, and produce video or computer games.


Game developers specialize in developing games for various platforms such as PC, Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo or mobile game development. They work in association with other game developers, artists, animators, producers, and marketing staff.



2. Why Should You Make A Career In Games In Australia?


Game design and development is among the highest-paid professions in Australia. More than pursuing your passion, there are plenty of other reasons to inspire you to choose this field as your future career.



Heavy Demand


The first and foremost reason to become a game designer/developer is that it is a high-demand industry and a hot spot for budding gaming professionals. Young or old, male or female, almost everyone is fond of games.


Besides games, people are also interested in gaming hardware such as gaming desks, gaming mice, gaming chairs, and more.


With over half of the world's population loving to play games, the industry will grow by leaps and bounds.



Variety of Game Development Options 


Another good reason to choose the game industry as an occupation is that it opens many paths to explore.


Aspiring gaming professionals can choose from the following:


  • Types of games include mobile games, social games, and casual games.

  • Consoles such as PlayStation, Xbox, or Nintendo,

  • Platforms such as Cocos2d-x, SIO2 Interactive, LoomSDK, Simple DirectMedia Layer, GameMaker, Construct2, libGDX, MonoGame, Citrus, OpenFL, HaxaFlixel, ShivaEngine, Oxygine, DeltaEngine 

  • Operating systems include Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS.  





The industry allows you to work in a significant or smaller game studio or as a self-employed or independent game designer/developer.



Ample Scope For Specialization


The gaming industry is a constantly evolving and high-growth sector that never bores you. Considering the diversity of tasks, you will always find new things to learn. 


There is ample scope to specialize and keep challenging your capabilities.


Experienced game designers/developers can specialize in the following areas such as:


  • Animator (Games Development)

  • Games Programmer

  • Digital Video-Sound Editor (Games Development)

  • Tester (Games Development)

  • Technical Artist or 3D Artist (Games Development)

  • Producer or Director (Games Development)



Work With Like-Minded People


While at work, you collaborate with people who are just like You: enthusiastic and passionate about games. Working with them for long hours makes it a comfortable and enjoyable experience.



Improves Quality of Life


Involvement in games helps reduce anxiety and stress in people. A few moments of playing games can effectively lessen depression and improve mental state.


Thus, a career in the gaming industry is not just financially rewarding but also emotionally fulfilling when you see your creations positively impact people's lives.



3. What Subjects Are Needed To Become A Game Developer?


Following are the subjects to study to pursue a game development career in Australia:


  • Knowledge of Computer Science Theory and Algorithms are essential to understand the working of computers and creating functional and practical games.

  • Learn Programming languages such as Java, JavaScript, HTML, and CSS with the PhoneGap platform to transform design ideas into a software program

  • Art, Design, and 3D Modelling to understand the design process 

  • Electronic game developers also need good knowledge of Mathematics to produce computer-aided designs and in 3D modelling and coding.

  • Knowledge of English is desirable as it will help them write compelling stories and convey their story ideas to the game design team.



4. Duties of A Games Developers In Australia


Game developers write software programs to convert ideas and imagination into games on mobile phones, computers, and console systems.


Here is an elaborate list of duties of a game developer in Australia:


  • Work in games development teams to plan gaming concepts, storylines, characters, user interfaces (menus and controls), levels, and scenarios of games, and gameplay

  • Use computer software and hardware to create original games and modify or enhance the functionality of existing games.

  • Prepare comprehensive design documentation (charts and diagrams), digital graphics, presentations, audio and video clips, animations, images, and Internet applications using animation software, interactive graphics, and programming languages.

  • Integrate mechanical, artistic, and structural elements into the gaming environment

  • Oversee the process of development of a computer/video game

  • Apply computer-generated design animation modelling and narrative imaging to game environments

  • Debug and fix bugs in specific game elements using methodical and logic testing processes and implement improvements

  • Specify, analyze, and develop web-based methodologies, and internet strategies

  • Design and develop Internet sites using creativity, scripting languages, and interfacing with working environments.



5. Desired Skills In A Games Developer


Game Developers/Designers should possess a strong knowledge of computer programming, 2D and 3D animation, and sound and visual design. 


In addition to solid computing and programming skills, employers look for candidates who possess the following personal requirements such as:


  • Resilient

  • Creative and artistic 

  • Good interpersonal skills 

  • Excellent communication skills

  • Aptitude for drawing

  • Like to learn and stay updated on new technologies, programming languages, and game engines

  • Good understanding of colour and structure

  • Able to work independently or in a team environment 

  • Good storytelling skills

  • Solid analytical abilities

  • Good problem-solving skills



6. What Qualifications Do You Need To Be A Game Developer or Designer?


Here is what qualifications are required to become a game developer in Australia:


  • Complete Year 10

  • Gain your Senior Secondary Certificate of Education in English and mathematics

  • Complete a VET qualification in digital media technologies or digital and interactive games

  • A bachelor's degree majoring in games design, games programming, games development, multimedia, and digital media can improve your chances of job success. 


Alternatively, you can become a games developer by attending a traineeship in Digital and Interactive Games, Digital Media Technologies, or Interactive Digital Media.



7. How To Become A Game Designer In Australia?


There are two common ways to become a video game designer in Australia. Let us see each of them one by one.



Method 1: Earn A Bachelor's Degree In Games


Earn a degree-level qualification to thoroughly understand the industry and study how to create interactive and challenging gaming apps, computer games, and video games.


Several Australian universities and training colleges offer the following degree courses to help students build a successful and long-term profession in the gaming industry.


  • Bachelor of Games Design

  • Bachelor of Games and Interactivity (Swinburne University)

  • Bachelor of Digital Design (Game Design) – TAFE Queensland



Method 2: Enrol In A Certificate IV or Diploma In Digital And Interactive Games


Those who have relevant industrial experience, and want to become game designers, can enrol in game design courses such as Certificate IV in Digital and Interactive Games. It will teach you the basic principles of game development, two-dimensional concept art, scripting, and animation.


A Diploma in Digital and Interactive Games will help you improvise your skills and increase your experience in the games and animation industry.


The course is an excellent way to obtain vital experience in industry programs, including Adobe Photoshop, Unreal Engine 4, Adobe After Effects, and Autodesk 3ds Max.



8. How To Become A Game Developer In Australia?


You don't need a formal education to work as a Game Developer in Australia. However, earning a qualification (with a focus on game development) will enhance your employability and make it quicker and easier to gain an entry-level role as a game developer.


Candidates can choose any of the two-game developer career paths:



Method 1: Complete Your Year 12 And Obtain a Bachelor's Degree In Game Development:




Method 2: This is the Path For Those Who Want To Become A Game Developer Without A Degree


Suppose you possess a general degree and industrial experience. In that case, you can qualify as a game developer by undertaking a certification/diploma course in game development and related fields.


A Certificate IV in Digital and Interactive Games, a Diploma of Digital and Interactive Games, and an Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development will prepare you for an entry-level game developer job.



Final Step: Apply For A Job


To get a job in game development, you should browse through different game studio websites and check if there is an open position. Alternatively, you can send your resume to the game studios' HR department so they can contact you in case of any vacancies.


Another place to find game developer jobs in Australia is to visit the job boards section of game industry websites.


Networking with industry professionals can also help you pursue a job. Build a strong portfolio of your games, upload it on your website, LinkedIn, and other job portals, and share it on social media. It will enhance the possibilities of studio executives/recruiters to find you and offer you a job.


Even after you get your dream job, keep refining your creative and software skills and continue working on new technologies to sustain yourself in this competitive industry.



9. How To Become A Game Developer From Scratch?


Computer games are created differently for different platforms and operating systems; however, they all have the same general concepts. Regardless of the type of game, you must have an in-depth understanding of at least one programming language to develop your game.


Here is the exact process to learn how to develop your game from scratch:



Conceptualize Your Game


The game development process starts by defining the type of game you plan to create. Next, consider the complex skills required and the features to include in the game.



Create A Brief Outline


Prepare a brief outline of how the game should appear and what is required to build it. It will include the following things:


  • The skills needed to develop the game

  • What programming language/s you will use to make it

  • How should it look or behave to the end-user?

  • How to include new releases or updates in the game in the future.

  • Once your design document is ready, you are ready to code.



Decide Your Software Requirements


Find out whether you need software to build a Game. Generally, simple mobile games do not need fancy software to develop them. You can easily do it with the help of a code editor and compiler.


However, advanced games need powerful software, including image editors, 3D modelling programs, and game engines.


In addition to the software, you will also need a computer with a fast processor and plenty of memory (RAM) to build and run complex games.



Program Your Design


Download the necessary software and start to code in your chosen programming language. Game development courses will train you on all the phases of game development, such as design creation, development, testing, and launch.



Test Your Game


Once you have developed your game, it is time to test it with different case scenarios to confirm it is working perfectly. If there are any inconsistencies, then you need to fix them.


After successful testing, you will have to market it well by publishing it on Google/Apple Play Store, etc., to increase its chances of a sale. Other ways to promote your game are:


  • Create your website and upload your games on it. Share the link to your website on social media and other places for people to notice and buy into your services.

  • Distribute hard copies of your game through different game retailers and stores.



10. Certifications To Qualify As A Game Designer/Developer


Game development courses in Australia equip a student with broad skills and familiarize them with roles in the development team. 


These courses give you a good understanding of the entire collective game development process, from pre-production and planning to the coding and testing phase.



  • Certificate IV in Digital and Interactive Games

  • Diploma of Digital and Interactive Games

  • Advanced Diploma of Professional Game Development



Bachelor of Game Design


Those new to the gaming industry should undertake a Bachelor of Game Design course. It will help them develop a solid foundation and broaden their skill set.


Students can choose electives to specialize further in a specific area. The following Australian universities offer this course:


Griffith UniversityUSCTorrens UniversityRMIT University, and Queensland TAFE.



Bachelor of Science In Games Development


The degree develops the necessary technical animation and game development knowledge and skills through practical and immersive training in a collaborative studio-based environment.


The degree course covers gameplay, game engine programming, game design, game engine programming, tools, and development.


The University of Wollongong, Australia and SAE Creative Media Institute offers this course.



11. What Can I Earn As A Game Designer/Developer In Australia?


Based on the past two years' data, Australia's average annual Game Designer salary ranges between $60k and $100k.


On the other hand, the annual game developer salary in Australia is between $70k and $100k per year. The average hourly wage in Australia is 38 AUD.



Average Annual Earnings Based on Experience


  • Less than two years of experience: 47,300 AUD

  • 2 to 5 years: 63,500 AUD (34% more than those with less than two years of experience)

  • 5 to 10 years: 82,400 AUD (30% more than those with 2 to 5 years of experience).

  • 10 to 15 years: 99,800 AUD (21% more than those with 5 to 10 years of experience).

  • 15 to 20 years: 109,000 AUD (9% more than those with 10 to 15 years of experience)

  • More than 20 years of professional expertise: 115,000 AUD (5% more than those with 15 to 20 years of experience).



Average Annual Game Developer Salary Based on Education


  • Certificate or Diploma holders: 56,200 AUD

  • A Bachelor's Degree holder: 85,300 AUD (52% more than those with a Certificate or Diploma degree)

  • A Master's Degree holder: 121,000 AUD (42% more than those with a Bachelor's Degree)



Average Annual Earnings Based on Gender


  • Male Game Developers in Australia earn 5% more than their female counterparts.



Salary increment


Game Developer employees generally observe a salary hike of around 11% every 18 months. 



City-Wise Comparison Of Game Developer Salary in Australia


  • Sydney: 94,600 AUD

  • Melbourne: 90,900 AUD

  • Adelaide: 88,800 AUD

  • Brisbane: 87,300 AUD

  • Gold Coast: 85,200 AUD 

  • Perth: 83,800 AUD 

  • Sunshine Coast: 81,000 AUD 

  • Newcastle: 80,000 AUD 

  • Canberra: 79,900 AUD

  • Gosford: 75,900 AUD

  • Wollongong: 73,300 AUD



12. Employment Opportunities For A Games Developer In Australia


Games development is a rapid and accelerating growth industry in Australia that involves combining creativity and technical production. The sector expects robust future growth with low unemployment and high retention among game designers and developers.


A qualified game developer plays a crucial role in infusing new ideas to life by taking on various game developer jobs in the game development team.




Besides game development jobs, a qualified game developer can also find positions within Artificial Intelligence, data visualization, simulation roles in medicine, science, and neural networking, or other areas such as marketing, architecture, and live production design.



13. Conclusion


The design and development of video/computer games is a creative's dream. A career in game development is full of fun and excitement. You get to mix art and design, storytelling with the technical expertise of developing new digital worlds.


You can quickly secure a position in this competitive industry with the proper professional development, teamwork capabilities, and networking skills.


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