Do you have a game idea and want to make it a reality? You need programmers to help you build the perfect game for your business. But hiring game developers can be an uphill task if you are a non-tech manager.
From determining the platform and technologies to use to setting a budget, forming a team, and hiring based on skills and experience, you must apply due diligence to get the right developer.
So, how do I hire a game developer? This post provides a comprehensive guide on how to find and engage the right game programmer.
- A game developer is an expert that uses technical and soft skills to develop video games.
- Game devs usually work in a team that consists of the coder, visual artist, sound engineer, tester, writer, etc., to make the video game.
- To hire the right game devs, you must determine the technology and team size based on the complexity of your project. Also, it would help if you choose the right hiring model that suits you.
- There are different ways to find game programmers. You can hire freelancers or employ in-house developers. The third and best hiring model is to hire game devs from a nearshore development company.
What Does a Game Developer Do?
A game developer is a programmer or software engineer that uses technical skills to build video games.
Game devs don't work alone; they must collaborate with other experts like 3D artists, audio engineers, composers, software testers, etc., to build all the game components.
The engineers must also apply the DevOps principle for continuous testing and improvement of the game.
Some of the responsibilities of a game developer are
- Design. The game coder or designer will develop new ideas or concepts, creating a storyline. The designer will also create the game logic, whether it is a puzzle, obstacles the players must overcome, or enemies to defeat.
- Coding. With the game logic already in place, the developers will translate it into code. Programmers can choose from several programming languages and platforms to build the game.
- Create assets. All the art components, including the game's look, feel, and sound, are assets. Game developers collaborate with other experts to create graphics, sound, etc.
- Testing and debugging. Before releasing the game, the programmer will test it to ensure that it works perfectly, fixing errors in the code.
What Are the Different Types of Game Developers?
Developing a game requires the services of more than one expert. Aside from hiring a developer, you will need a designer, artist, sound engineer, tester, and content creator. Let's examine their roles to make it easier for you to assemble a dev team to build your game.
- Software engineer. The software developer is responsible for writing all the lines of code that make the game functional. Also, the programmer will configure how users will interact with the game.
- Designer. The designer's work is to create the game logic, goals, storylines, rules, challenges, characters, etc.
- Artist. The artist will flesh out the look and feel of the game by drawing all the parts.
- Sound engineer. This expert is responsible for adding sound and effect to the game.
- Quality assurance. The tester will ensure the game works perfectly by playing it multiple times and reporting bugs to the team for a quick fix.
- Content creator. This expert creates the content for the various characters in the game.
What You Should Do Before Hiring a Game Developer
Before you start sourcing for game programmers, you should determine beforehand the kind of technology you want to use, the budget, the development platform, the genre, and the storyline. Doing those things will help you hire the right software developer to make your game.
Determine the Kind of Game You Want to Build
What type of game development do you want? While most businesses will go for action games, others will build role-playing or sports games. Do you want a simple puzzle game or a more complex action-adventure game that supports multi-layer?
Most games need an internet connection while offline. You should determine the kind of game to know the complexity of your project and how much to budget.
Choose the Right Game Technologies and Platforms
Before hiring game developers, choose the technology and platform you want to use. Coders use programming languages, libraries, frameworks, and other tools to build games before releasing them on a platform or multiple platforms.
Do you want to build a console game? Since mobile devices are common, most businesses will choose the Android or iOS platforms for their game, while others will hire game developers to build a cross-platform game.
If you are unfamiliar with game development, you must discuss your requirements with an expert programmer or game development firm if you want to choose the right technology.
Determine the Team Size
It is not easy for a single developer to build a game from start to finish. To make the task easier, you must determine the development team size. A game development team comprises professionals competent in coding, 3D modelling, audio, UI/UX, animation, and visual art.
The size of your dev team depends on your project complexity and technologies and can range, according to the Unreal Engine's forum survey, from 1 to 20 game developers.
Set a Budget
To set the right budget for your game development project, you must consider the kind of game, the technologies and platforms, and the team size. If the game you are trying to create is complex, you need to hire more than one game programmer to complete the task.
Also, if you use paid game engines, you must factor in the cost. Setting a budget lets you know how much you are ready to spend on your project. Also, you will know how many features you can afford to add to the game.
What Are the Skills of a Game Developer?
Game developers need a combination of technical and soft skills to build a game successfully. Here are some skills to watch out for
Proficiency with Gaming Engines
Programmers must be proficient with engines like Unity or Godot. A gaming engine is an environment used to build different kinds of games. It allows developers to design animation, implement the script, and code the game in one space. They must be proficient in game engines such as GameMaker, Unreal, Unity, Godot, etc.
Another skill to look for when building your game development team is scripting. Scripting is the ability to write the game's objective, plot, characters, and rules. You need to hire an expert that can develop an original story and define characters, rules, game levels, etc.
Animation and Graphics
The animator should be skilled in creating the game's design, characters, scenery, and rules. Also, animators must be skilled in creating 2D and 3D graphics using tools like Adobe Animate or Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator.
Communication is another game developer skill to look for if you want to collaborate and get tasks done quickly. Also, communication skills will make it easy for the various experts working on your game to work together, especially if they are working from remote locations.
Every software developer must have problem-solving skills to tackle issues arising during the development process. That is why you should hire game developers that can proactively solve problems that might pop up and provide solutions without affecting the speed of the project.
Time management skill is crucial to getting your game development project done more quickly. It is another skill of a game programmer that you should consider before you engage, especially if you hire remotely. The programmer must be able to complete each task before the deadline without delay.
Where Can I Find Game Developers?
There are different ways of getting experts to build your game. You can hire freelance game developers. Or, you can hire an in-house programmer who works from your workspace.
The third and most convenient way of hiring game devs is from a nearshore development company. Let's consider the benefits and setbacks of each model.
Hiring Freelance Game Developers
The pro of hiring freelancers to build your game is that you can save costs because they charge less for their services. Aside from that, if you don't have enough professionals in your location to develop your game, you can easily go to any of those freelancing platforms to hire one.
The setback of hiring freelance game programmers is that you may not get the best quality product. Since game development requires more than one expert, getting all the freelancers to work together in sync will be a problem and result in delays in completing the project.
Hire Game Developers from a Nearshore Development Company
Like freelancers, hiring nearshore developers will give access to devs that will work remotely. If you can't find game devs in your location, you can hire flexibly and scale any time you want.
Hiring nearshore developers is the best option because it makes it easy for you to build a dev team, which is perfect since you need more than one expert to make the game.
Aside from that, when you hire developers from a nearshore development company like Deazy, you don't get to direct the project yourself. This part is particularly important for non-tech managers who have no idea what it takes to make a game.
Deazy will assign a project manager to help oversee tasks from beginning to end and ensure that the game devs deliver the best product.
Hire In-house Game Programmers
In-house programmers will work from your workplace, making it easy for you to coordinate the development process. Aside from collaboration, in-house game coders will find it easy to get familiar with your business.
But this model requires that you set up more office space and buy all the resources the game coders will need. Also, it is not always easy to find and hire game devs faster, so you have to spend money on hiring and onboarding.
Tips for Hiring Game Developers
Let's go through the tips for hiring game devs.
Hire Programmers Based on the Technologies You Need
There is no gainsaying that different games require different technologies. So, when hiring, you should know the type of game you want and engage devs based on the technologies you need. If you settle for the Unity game engine, you should hire a dev that understands how to make games with that platform. The same applies to other game engines and programming languages too.
Make Sure the Developers Love Games
Another tip for hiring game developers is to ensure that they love games. The developers must "think and dream" games to build the love and sheer enthusiasm vital for successful game development. The reason is that making video games is hard work, and no one will like to work on it for a long time unless they love what they do. Devs that love games can tackle challenges easily while making something that nobody has seen before.
Choose a Hiring Model
At this stage, you must consider your budget and select an employment model based on how much you are ready to spend. For startups looking to build a team and scale flexibly, the best option is hiring nearshore developers from an agency like Deazy. You can hire a dedicated team, build a squad of devs across technologies or hire devs to work with your in-house team.
Check Portfolio, Skills, and Experience
The best way to evaluate devs is to check past projects. If the programmers have done a project similar to yours, you have no worries about employing them. Aside from that, it would be best to employ devs based on your needed skills. If your project is complex, you should hire senior game developers with enough experience to come up with ideas and tackle challenges that arise.
Interview the Game Coders
If you have shortlisted programmers, you should interview them. The interview process should be well-structured and must evaluate the technical and soft skills.
Common interview questions to ask are
- What coding languages are you proficient in using?
- Can you name some of the Android tools used to make games?
- How do you stay up to date with the latest game development technologies?
- How will you connect with your team and mitigate the crisis while working remotely?
- What are the stages of game development?
- What is a game loop?
- Do you have experience creating games for mobile devices?
- How would you test and fix coding errors in a game design?
When you are certain that you have gotten the right developers, you can proceed to seal the deal by offering an employment contract.
Hiring a game developer is easy, but engaging the best requires advanced preparation. Advanced preparation means you must determine the kind of game you want to build, choose the right technologies and team size, and set a budget.
Aside from that, you should know the skills you need and select the best hiring model that suits your business and budget. After that, you should check the dev portfolio, skills, and experience before you shortlist, interview, and sign contracts.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Do Game Developers Do?
Game coders are responsible for designing and developing phones, PCs, and Console games. They usually work as a team that consists of a visual artist, writer, sound engineer, quality analyst, designer, and coder.
How Do I Hire Game Developers?
Many game coders are out there, making it challenging to find the right ones. To hire game programmers, consider their experiences and skills and ensure they can use the tech stack you want. Also, you should check their portfolio for past projects and reviews and evaluate their soft skills like communication and time management.