Computer games developers make games that can be played online, and on mobile phones, PCs and games consoles and computer games testers play computer games to check they work, and find and record problems or ‘bugs’.
Activities for Developer
- Work in a team with designers and artists
- Define what a game will look like and how it can be played
- Develop your own original ideas or work from an existing concept
- Create the game’s visual characters, objects and scenery
- Produce concept art and drawings or storyboards at the planning stage
- Create the code to programme the game
- Quality test and debug code
- Use computer modelling and animation software to produce the characters and scenes
- Add audio sound effects
Activities for Tester
- Test different levels and versions of a game
- Find the cause of faults and recommend improvements
- Enter each ‘bug report’ on a quality management system
- Compare the game against other games on the market
- Check for spelling mistakes in the game, manuals and packaging
- Report copyright issues like the use of logos
- Check a game’s accessibility options
- Work under pressure and to deadlines
Computer games testers and developers can be employed by games development studios and games publishers across the region.
Computer games testers and developers work in offices, studios, or at home.
Jobs are often short-term contracts, many work normal office hours.
Starting salaries around £24,000.
You’ll usually need 5 GCSEs at Grades 9 to 4 (A* to C), or equivalent, including English and Maths, for an advanced apprenticeship. You could start as a Quality Assurance (QA) Tester if you have plenty of experience of game playing. Many employers will require you to have an IT qualification or work experience. However, employers will also be interested in your talent and creativity. You could also contact games companies about part-time or short-term work experience opportunities. You’ll need good technical skills and an in-depth understanding of different game platforms and quality assurance processes.
College – Most college courses start at Level 3 such as Level 3 Creative Media courses or A level Computing.
You could also apply for an apprenticeship. If you have an EHCP you may be able to apply under the DfE exemption which allows the apprentice to use Entry Level 3 English and Maths qualifications. The apprentice would have to be competent enough to successfully achieve all other aspects of the apprenticeship requirements, become occupationally competent and achieve Entry Level 3 in English and Maths before the end of their apprenticeship.