What Is a Game Developer?

Video game developers work alone or in teams to write and program games for a variety of video game consoles. Read on to learn more about the many hats a game developer wears. Schools offering Game Production degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of Game Developer Careers

As the video game industry evolves, game developers keep up with the latest technology and trends. People who love playing video games are often drawn to working as game developers. The job functions falling under the umbrella term 'video game developer' include programming, creating art or sound and designing the game. As such, game developers can have a variety of job titles and duties.

Important Facts About Game Developers

Required Education Bachelor's degree typically required
Work Environment Office, team, or home
Median Salary (2019)* $70,431
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 8% growth (for all multimedia artists and animators)

Sources: *PayScale.com, **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Game Designer

The game designer is the writer who creates the main concepts, storyline and general feel or mood of the game. Designers devise obstacles to overcome, puzzles to solve and enemies to conquer. Video game designers must also remember the practical matters of the game, keeping it appropriate for the target age group and ultimately ensuring that it's marketable and unique.


Video game artists design the graphics for video games. They create the backgrounds, characters and objects in the game, integrating them into a cohesive animated world. A video game artist must craft proportions and shadows that are realistic enough to make the game believable to players. Artists need imagination, often creating fantastic creatures based on real-life animals.

Sound Designer

Games would lose a lot of their momentum and mood without soundtracks and sound effects. Background music enhances the eerie feel of a haunted forest or the sense of impending doom as a character rushes through a timed game activity. The sound designer must find creative methods of producing noise effects, like amplifying the sound of an orange being crushed to mimic a squashed character.


Programmers translate ideas into codes that computers can understand. They use different programming languages, tweaking graphics and sounds to make games run more smoothly. They create rules for the computer to make the environment and characters realistic.

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