Playing video games is no longer a mere hobby, it’s flourished into a profession. In gaming competitions, conferences, and conventions, people of all ages celebrate their accomplishments both in play and design.

With so much revolving around these digital pieces of art and entertainment, it’s no surprise that the field of video game development is booming. At iCodeschool, we offer a wide assortment of computer-inspired programs and courses, including those necessary for game development. Here we’ll take a closer look at the skills necessary to break into the game design industry, and how your child can achieve their developer dreams.

Codes and Programming Languages

If you’ve ever played a high-quality game, you’ve noticed the amount of detail involved. It’s more than just the graphics. It’s the way graphics seamlessly integrate, the way choices unfold during game play, and the transition between scenes within that game. When you put it all together, it’s an intricate puzzle of codes and programming languages.

That’s right, we said languages. Just as you’re reading this update in English, a computer game is read in its most basic form as a programming language. There are many programming languages to learn, including:

  • Java
  • C++
  • HTML
  • C
  • CSS
  • Ada
  • Pascal

At iCodeschool, our STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) programs include some of the more popular languages, such as HTML, CSS, and Java.

Game Developer Education

To work in the video game development field, companies require candidates to hold a university degree. Useful degrees include computer sciences, mathematics, computer information systems, and software engineering.

While it’s possible to teach yourself the programming required to develop a game, most video game companies prefer applicants with a technical education. Fortunately, your child can start learning early with extracurricular STEAM activities at school, summer camp, after school programs, and more.

Gaming education isn’t just about computer programming. There’s a lot of math involved in game design, especially with the rise of 3D technology. Everything from basic geometry used to deduce angles and distance to complex equations will arise. Bulking up on math, science, computer, and engineering courses will improve knowledge and skills for a future career in this industry.

This means as your child enters high school, enrolling them in advanced math courses like pre-calculus and calculus will bring them a step closer to the ultimate goal of game development.

Roles of a Video Game Developer

For gaming enthusiasts, the dream of developing video games as a career is a common one. So much goes into the design and creation of these products. Storylines, character personalities, and the mechanics of the player/character relationship must all be thoroughly planned. In this sense, video game design is more than just code, it’s art, drama, literature and technology wrapped up into one great product.

Working as a video game developer, your child could choose to work in any number of departments, such as:

  • Production
  • Design
  • Engineering
  • Graphics
  • Coding
  • Quality Control

There are also different platforms where games are played, and each platform has different design requirements. For example, your child may choose to design apps for iPhone or Android devices. This requires a separate form of coding and compilation than games designed for larger consoles like the xBox or PlayStation.

When deciding on a career in game development, it’s a good idea to invest some time in each of the departments and game styles mentioned above. In fact, many programming courses start game design with a basic mobile app before moving onto more complex design and application.

Learning Game Development with iCode

With so much to learn, it helps to provide a strong foundation for your young learner before they commit to a gaming education. Enrolling your child in an extracurricular STEAM program encourages them to be more active in science, technology, engineering, art, and math. At iCode, we offer a diverse selection of technology-based courses.

Each of these courses is paced for the level of the learner. We call these paces, “belts.” For example, a student beginning our White Belt Course, begins programming with Scratch, while our Yellow Belt Students begin HTML programming, and our orange belts learn HTML5 and CSS. As students progress, they also take courses on 2D and 3D Game Development and get the opportunity to design worlds within their favorite games like Minecraft and Roblox.

The world of video games, like all technology-based industries, is constantly evolving. Beginning to hone these skills young gives your child a better understanding of what’s to come, and an easier time transitioning into each new programming language. The added benefits of this journey is that students will develop the problem-solving and creative thinking skills that will help them throughout their academic life and in a future career.