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Technical skills

We break down the list of skills needed for four main job roles in games development; producer, programmer, artist and designer.
Artist draws games character on a computer screen

So, what are the main technical skills that recruiters often list for each role – programmer, artist, designer and producer?

Here is a non-exhaustive list. You don’t have to have all of them, but this is a good place to show skills that studios commonly request for each role. Later, we will advise you on how many of these skills you might need before you should consider applying.

Feel free to refer back to the glossary in Step 1.6 for any term you don’t quite understand.

Programmer

  • Programming languages such as C or C# or C++
  • Games engines such as Unreal Engine and Unity as well as associated tools
  • Graphics APIs such as console, DX10 or Vulkan
  • QA skills such as debugging and code reviews
  • Web development skills such as CSS, HTML and web sockets
  • Server skills such as 3rd party platforms and cloud development on AWS
  • Asset management/version control tools such as SVN and GIT
  • Platform-specific skills for mobile, console, PC such as Steam, MMOG or VR/AR
  • Games monetisation and analytics techniques for freemium games

Artist

  • Games art tools such as Zbrush or Maya
  • Games engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity as well as associated tools
  • Art tools such as Illustrator or Photoshop
  • Art pipeline experience
  • Asset management/version control tools such as SVN and GIT
  • Concept art or designing
  • Animation, motion graphics and rigging
  • 2D or 3D Modelling
  • Skinning (such as texture and lighting)
  • User interface / experience design
  • VFX such as After Effects
  • Platform-specific skills for mobile, console, PC, MMOG or VR/AR
  • Character design such as faces, anatomy or clothing

Designer

  • Games engine level editors such as Unreal Engine or Unity as well as associated tools
  • Games design
  • Gameplay balancing
  • Level design
  • Animation tools such as 3DSMax
  • Programming languages such as C or C# or C++
  • Art packages such as Photoshop, Flash, Sketch-up or PPT and or or drawing or storyboarding skills
  • Analytics packages that deliver data on player activity such as DeltaDNA
  • A/B or split testing (see glossary) in live environment
  • Player feedback or motivation experience
  • Platform-specific skills for mobile, console, PC, MMOG or VR/AR
  • Games monetisation techniques (such as virtual goods and currencies)

Producer

  • Scrum or Agile development methodology
  • Project planning tools such as Trello, Jira and Hansoft
  • General project management skills
  • Budget skills such as using Excel
  • Asset management/version control tools such as SVN and GIT
  • Communications tools (e.g. Slack / Discord)
  • Knowledge of games engines such as Unreal Engine or Unity
  • Knowledge of games art tools such as Zbrush or Maya
  • Platform-specific skills such as mobile or console or PC or MMOG or VR
  • Games monetisation techniques (such as virtual goods and currencies)
  • Analytics packages that deliver data on player activity such as DeltaDNA
  • Documentation experience (such as Games Design / Technical Design Documents)
  • Presentation writing with tools such as PowerPoint and Visio

Think about your technical skills now, and what you might need to plug any gaps.

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How To Start Your Career In Games Development

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