Game Developer

Game Developer

Game developers design, code and test computer games based on their own or others’ ideas. Games may be developed for a range of platforms including mobile phones, social media or game consoles.

There are a number of different skill sets in the game development industry including programming, computer graphics, game design, and management and marketing.

Most game programmers started out as software developers/engineers with a tertiary qualification in Computer Science, Software Development or Engineering. You can generally take papers specialising in Computer Graphics or Interaction Design as part of these degrees, but there are also some specialist game programming qualifications.

Game artists have generally studied Computer Graphics, 3D Animation or another design subject, but will find some basic skills in programming to be a big advantage.

Game development companies in New Zealand are generally quite small – from one-person studios up to 50 people.

Key tertiary qualifications for game developers:

  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, with Computer Graphics and Game Design subjects
  • Bachelor of Engineering in Software Engineering
  • Diploma or degree in Multimedia Development, Game Programming or 3D Animation

Specialist courses offered by private training institutes may be significantly more expensive than those at universities and polytechnics. A qualification in Computer Science or Software Engineering will give you skills that are valued in a wider range of industries.

Recommended school subjects:

  • Digital Technologies
  • Maths, especially Algebra and Geometry (required for engineering and Computer Science pathways)
  • Physics (required for engineering pathways)
  • Design and Visual Communications
  • English

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Game Developer: People who work in this role

  • Matthew Gatland

    Game Developer, Matthew Gatland at work

    Tim Elder

    Game Designer and Metrics Analyst, Tim Elder at work

    Dan Kyles

    Game Developer/Programmer, Dan Kyles at work

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