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How To Hire A Game Developer: 12 Tips To Find Your Fit

Millions of gamers worldwide, the gaming industry has seen significant expansion in today’s fast-paced, technologically advanced world. Video games have dominated the industry, captivating audiences with immersive experiences.

Every successful game has a team of talented game designers that give virtual worlds life. Employing an experienced game developer is essential for realizing your gaming idea, regardless of whether you’re an established gaming firm or an aspiring independent developer. 

If you are eager to make your video idea a reality, this blog post will provide a practical understanding when planning to hire a game developer. It entails a detailed overview of the process, the benefits of working with a game developer, and how your game will benefit immensely from their skills.

Table of Contents

Who Is A Game Developer?

A game developer is a person or team (such as a business) who conceptualize, design, and produce interactive digital entertainment such as video games. Game developers utilize a variety of tools and technologies to create games for different platforms such as consoles, PCs, mobile devices, and virtual reality systems.

Hire a game developer

The main duties of game developers may include:

  • Develop game code using scripting languages like Lua or programming languages such as C++, C#, or Java, along with relevant frameworks and engines.
  • Implement and test gameplay mechanics, features, sounds and systems.
  • Collaborate with team members to integrate assets and ensure gameplay experiences.
  • Debug and troubleshoot technical issues to maintain game stability and functionality.
  • Incorporate feedback from playtesting to improve game design and mechanics.

Learn more: How AR and VR can transform the gaming industry?

The Required Skills Of A Game Developer

The required skill of a game developer for hire 

A combination of technical, creative, and collaborative expertise is necessary for game developers. Here are some essential skills to look for in a game developer:

  • Programming expertise: A game developer need to be proficient in programming languages like C++, C# or Java because it’s essential for the core functionality of games. Beside that, understanding algorithms, data structures, and object-oriented programming concepts is fundamental.
  • Mathematics and physics: A strong foundation in mathematics and physics is also important for implementing game mechanics such as physics simulations, collision detection, and AI algorithms.
  • Graphics and animation: Knowledge of graphics programming, animation techniques, 2D and 3D modeling is important for game developers to create visually appealing games.
  • Audio engineering: Sound effects and music play a crucial role in enhancing the player’s experience. Game developers must be able to understand how sound interacts with gameplay, to edit and mix sounds according to each scene in the game.
  • UI/UX and game design: A game development team typically have specialized roles such as designers but game developers should still have basic knowledge of UI/UX design as well as game design to implement the project without any misunderstandings in communication.
  • Knowledge of several platforms: Understanding the technical specifications of the target platforms (PC, consoles, mobile, and VR) guarantees that the game is optimized for each one.
  • Soft skills: Besides technical skills, game developers also need soft skills such as problem solving, communication, teamwork, time management skills to have an effective working process.
  • Continuous learning: The field of game development is constantly evolving, with new technologies and trends emerging regularly. Game developers should have a passion for learning and staying updated on the latest advancements in the industry.

Read more: What is User Interface (UI)? The Difference Between UX And UI

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Game Developer?

The cost range to hire game developers varies on several factors, like the game developer’s expertise, location, game complexity, and particular game requirements.

According to our research, this is the salary you need to pay an in-house game developer:

Experience level Salary range per year
Junior/Entry-level $40,000 – $70,000
Mid-level $120,000
Senior $150,000

For freelance game developers, the average hourly rate is around $100. The most expensive ones will charge you around $500 per hour if you work with real experts in making games.

How To Hire A Game Developer?

Finding the most suitable game developer for your team is not easy. Here are 7 steps to follow to choose the best candidate.

Step 1:Create An Assessment Matrix

Defining your needs in detail is a crucial first step when recruiting game developers. An assessment matrix with specific categories is what you need to evaluate candidates objectively.

Here are the 4 main categories that need to be present in the matrix:

  • Technical skills: This section should include proficiency game programming languages (like C++, C# or Java), familiarity with game engines (like Unity, Unreal Engine) as well as skills in development, artificial intelligence (AI), and physics simulations.
  • Experience: Specify the desired level of experience (junior, mid-level, or senior). Consider whether their past projects align with your upcoming project. For instance, if you’re aiming to develop mobile games, it’s crucial to engage a developer experienced in mobile gaming, as it differs significantly from computer or console game development.
  • Samples: Offer direction on the types of samples that should accompany the CV, such as a portfolio detailing the candidate’s involvement in various games, including their role in each project, acquired skills, and notable achievements such as download numbers and player quantities.
  • Soft skills: Set clear criteria for soft skills such as communication, time management, problem solving, planning and teamwork.

Insider tip: Don’t forget to state the ratio for each category in the matrix. This reflects the relative importance of each skill and helps you effectively evaluate each candidate. For instance, when assessing senior game developers, technical skills and experience may carry greater weight, whereas for junior applicants, soft skills and logical thinking might be prioritized.

Create an assessment matrix before hiring game developers

Step 2: Make A Thorough Job Description

To recruit high-qualified game developers for your project, crafting a detailed job description is essential. Here are some practical pointers to consider:

  • Specify the genre of your project: Different types of games will have different developers. Remember to mention the game genre and project genre to attract candidates with relevant experience.
  • Underscore development opportunities: Don’t forget to emphasize growth opportunities and learning in your team because it’s an important factor that can attract many skilled applicants.
  • Ensure a transparent application process: A clear guide on how candidates can apply for your job and what they should prepare for their application (such as samples, portfolio) is essential in hiring game developers.
  • Mention some key benefits: If your team offers remote working policy or flexible working hours, remember to showcase these key benefits to attract the best candidates.
  • Make it short and clear: No one wants to read a long and confusing job description. Use bullet points, clear headings, and avoid jargon.

Step 3: Recruit Candidates from Multiple Channels

Recruiting talent from multiple channels is what you need to do to have potential candidates. Here are some places you can hire top-tier game developers:

  • Freelancing platforms: Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Toptal allow you to post job listings and find freelance game developers for your project.
  • Online job boards: Websites such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn have job listings for various industries, including game development. You can post job listings or search for candidates directly.
  • Game development communities: Platforms like Unity Connect, GitHub, and Stack Overflow have active communities of game developers. Posting your job listing or searching for developers within these communities can yield good results.
  • Specialized recruitment agencies: There are recruitment agencies that specialize in hiring game developers. They often have access to a pool of talented developers and can help you find the right fit for your project.
  • Networking events and conferences: Attending game development conferences, meetups, and networking events can help you connect with talented developers who are actively looking for projects.
  • University and college: Contacting universities or colleges with developer majors can help you find game developers at entry-level or students looking for internships or part-time work.

Step 4: Screen Resume

Once you receive applications, that’s when you begin the screening process. Here are some aspects to highlight when screening resumes:

  • Keyword matching: Use keywords from your job description to identify candidates whose skills and experiences align.
  • Professional experience: Evaluate past projects to ensure the developer has relevant experience and in-depth expertise with game programming language like C++, C# or Java.
  • Measurable results: Seek out quantifiable accomplishments, including clear results or significant milestones, from an applicant’s previous work.
  • Clear presentation: Evaluate how well a game developer demonstrates their skills and experience in their resume, focusing on logical coherence and clarity of presentation.

Review game developers’ CVs and shortlist potential ones

Step 5: Conduct An Interview

Round 1: Phone interview

When you’ve chosen some candidates, conduct a short phone interview to evaluate their communication style and basic skills. Consider this guide:

  • Introduce yourself and offer a brief overview of your company.
  • Ask about their formation, background and experience in game development.
  • Assess their understanding of concepts and technologies by posing some fundamental technical questions.
  • Provide clear information about project expectations, timelines, and work style.
  • Ask about what motivates candidates to apply for your company
  • If possible, ask them why they left their previous company
  • Discuss the salary and benefits the candidate wants.

Round 2: In-person interview

During an in-person interview, you have the opportunity to assess the candidate’s technical proficiency as well as their soft skills. Those who should attend this interview comprise the technical lead/senior game developer, project manager and talent acquisition representative.

This structure can serve as a guide for conducting successful in-person interviews when recruiting game developers.

  • Technical challenge: Come up with a technical problem related to your project and observe how the candidate approaches and overcomes this challenge.. 
  • Behavioral questions: Aska some behavioral questions incorporating STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to delve into candidates’ experiences handling challenges within projects, thereby assessing their soft skills. Additionally, explore their involvement in past projects, examining them in detail where relevant.
  • Company culture fit: Discuss with the candidate their work approach, interactions within teams, and anticipated outcomes. This allows both you and the candidate to evaluate if there’s a good fit.

Step 6: Review Coding Skill (optional)

A coding test is necessary to evaluate a candidate’s skills and knowledge. You can create a simple test to assess their problem-solving skills, coding skills and communication by observing their coding style, syntax usage and explanation of the working process.

Step 7: Choose The Most Suitable Applicant

After a careful screening process, you will have some potential candidates. Complete the process with this instruction:

  • Reference checks: Verify candidates’ skills and work attitude by contacting representatives of their previous companies or references mentioned on their CV.
  • Negotiate the contract: Ensure clarity on compensation, project timeline, and expectations during discussion.
  • Make an official offer: Provide an official offer including the key terms of employment and mutually agreed-upon details.

Read more: Hire Game Designers: Unlocking the Gateway to Gaming Success

Conclusion

Hiring a game developer is a strategic investment that can substantially affect the success of your gaming business. They are a priceless asset to your team because of their knowledge, specialty, creativity, project management abilities, and dedication to quality control. 

Working with a game developer allows you to utilize their expertise and experience to create a game that enthralls players and exceeds their expectations. Therefore, hire a game developer to realize the full potential of your project if you want to make the next great success in the gaming business.

Image Description
Marketing Manager of Mageplaza. Summer is attracted by new things. She loves writing, travelling and photography. Perceives herself as a part-time gymmer and a full-time dream chaser.
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