How to become a casino game developer? Everything you need to know
What are The roles, responsibilities, required skills, knowledge, Prospects, and pay of a Casino game developer? There’s that old saying that ‘you’ll never work a day in your life if you love what you do for a living.
Introduction to casino game developer:
For many people, the dream would be to design and develop their own video games – and the good news is that it’s a possibility that is not as far-fetched as you might think.
Of course, you’ll have to be willing to travel or relocate entirely. It’s highly doubtful that you have a game development firm in your local town, and so a move to a big city that hosts a number of design operations – think London, San Francisco, Tokyo or Montreal – maybe your best course of action.
The problem with that is the expense and the upheaval of moving, and so in the short term; it might be easier to find work by spreading your wings into areas and niches that you may not have previously thought of.
Take online casino gaming, for example. These titles, which range from video slots to roulette, blackjack, poker, and more besides; feature mechanics and gameplay that are increasingly complex and technical – the perfect way for an aspiring developer to cut their teeth.
What’s more, this is a sector that is not going anywhere anytime soon. According to industry figures, the online gambling sector could be worth $93bn by the end of 2023 – almost double the $52bn it was valued at as recently as 2019. Don’t forget that this valuation is without the US, where online casino games remain largely prohibited. Just imagine how much the sector will be worth if/when America legalizes it!
So, online casino gaming could be an excellent route into a career as a video game developer for a major production house, and here’s a guide to how you can get started.
The roles and responsibilities of a game developer
It goes without saying that a game developer is the engine of the machine – bringing to life the ideas of the developer or artist that has created the game world.
The extent of your role in that process will be based upon the kind of firm that you work for. If it’s a major production house, you will be given responsibility for one or two aspects of the game. If you are working for an indie brand with a skeleton staff, you will likely take a bigger role in the overall production.
Some of the bigger casino software developers – think NetEnt and Microgaming – employ hundreds of people all around the world, which gives you a sense of the scale on which they are creating new games. You might even get a chance to specialize when working for a company like that; innovating new features for slot games, such as free spins, or devising brand-new variants of classic casino action.
You will play a part in seeing a game through its complete lifecycle, from concept to finished product. It’s incredibly satisfying to see your new games released into the market; and it’s recommended that you arm yourself with as many of the skills as possible – from ideation and design work to coding and engineering; – to ensure that you become the go-to guy or gal when a big new project is undertaken.
Required skills and knowledge
The truth is that the majority of casino game designers and developers have an educational background in a related subject.
There are specific games development courses available at colleges and universities these days; or you may find your route via a related endeavor – computer science, animation, programming, and so on.
This is not to say that those who are ‘self-taught’ cannot forge a successful career in games development though. However, if you are in this position, you will need to have a substantial portfolio of diverse; high-quality work to show employers that you are ready to hit the ground running.
From a technical standpoint, it may help if you are able to draw up storyboards and scripts – video slots feature characters, interactions, and side games – they’re a long way from the old ‘fruit machine’ games you would get at gas stations and in bars!
Familiarity with modern technology:
You will need to be familiar with 2D or, ideally, 3D modeling; while comfort in developing content using HTML5 – the current standard – is essential. It would certainly be advantageous to arm yourself with skills in ‘next-gen’ technologies; – think augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and the like. Live casino games, for example, overlay the game’s graphics on top of streamed video content; that shows dealers handing out cards, taking bets, and spinning the roulette wheel. AR is the tech that will take this niche into an exciting future.
You will also need to be comfortable in building in payment systems, with a demand for faster-paying casinos linked to the rewards mechanics built into individual titles.
So, you’ll need all of the technical skills to make games come to life; but a developer also needs some essential interpersonal qualities. You’ll need to be hard-working, diligent, and methodical in your work; – checking thousands of lines of code for errors requires the utmost accuracy and tenacity.
You’ll also need thick skin. Nobody particularly enjoys it when their creation is critiqued, but you will have to take feedback on board to ensure that the games you develop meet the standards of your paymasters.
There are several rounds of testing and re-testing before a casino game even makes it to market; and so an ability to take a deep breath and make minor adjustments to your code time and time again will also be helpful!
Prospects and pay
Game development isn’t your typical Monday to Friday, nine-to-five vocation. You may be asked to work long shifts when a title nears its deadline for completion; but there will be plenty of downtime in between to make up for it.
Your working week could be shared between the office and home; so you will need to be diligent when working without supervision – for easily distracted creatives; being isolated from the water-cooler chit chat can be no bad thing.
As for your pay, a junior developer might start at around the $25,000 mark; with increases up to $100,000 if you work hard and take on a senior creative position.
Last words on casino game developer:
However, doing a job you love is about more than just cold, hard cash – if you are serious about gaming; then becoming a designer/developer is simply the next logical step in your progression.