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How to start career as a mobile game developer?

by Amit Thakur on 04/01/19 03:26:00 pm

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


The mobile gaming industry makes up 51% of the entire revenue of the gaming industry and this percentage is expected to touch 59% in 2019. It is said that up to 62% of the smartphone users download one or more games within a week of getting their hands on a new set.

The success of Candy crush and Angry Birds is also admirable and impressive. Due to the gaining popularity of games on smartphones; more and more people are looking into initiating a career as a mobile game developer. A mobile game developer is someone who designs, builds and then maintains this mobile game app on iOS or Android. To become one, you need to acquire the following:

Basic training and skills

To be a mobile game developer you would preferably need to have Bachelors in computer sciences or Management Information Systems (MIS). If you are still in school and have the opportunity then also take up any relevant courses such as software development or mobile app development. You may contact some local training center or find an online course that teaches these skills.

However, if you have passed the stage in your career for a Bachelors program; there are still many boot camp courses that can train aspiring developers. You need basic knowledge of:

  • Understanding of a stable software design
  • Understanding of the software development process
  • Understanding of the development methodology such as Agile and Scrum.
  • Knowledge of at least two programming languages such as SQL, Java, Python, etc.

Choose your preferred program

Android and Apple are two major platforms with more than 90% share in the market. Hence, choosing one platform out of these two to start with would be a wise decision. There are other platforms such as Blueberry, Psion, etc but their market share is very low.

Choose the online development program

Apple offers the iOS Dev Centre and Android offers Android Developers Training. These programs help you in learning to code. However, there are many other free programs as well as edX and Coursera.

If you want to take things up a notch, you can opt for paid development platforms such as:

  • Accelerator
  • AppInstitute
  • AppMachine
  • Bizness Apps
  • Como
  • Dojo Mobile
  • Good Barber
  • Kony
  • Pega AMP
  • SAP
  • jQuery Mobile

There are many others as well that you can opt for.

Practice makes perfect

Everything takes time, effort and practice. So in the starting be patient and try to grasp all your concepts. Once you have a strong hold on the basic concepts, you can start applying for jobs in this industry in entry-level position. Updating your knowledge is key in the IT industry, so keep an eye out for any specialized courses that can help you build better, more synthesized games.

Build a portfolio

To catch potential employers’ attention faster, create games that you can share via your portfolio. A good portfolio includes several short games that can be quickly completed.

An effective portfolio should also offer links for the installation as well as some screenshots of important game scenes. Source code for all games must be included. Do not forget to mention anyone you collaborated with for the design, programming, and presentation of your game.

Try an internship

If you are unable to get an entry-level position as a games developer, then try to get your hands on an internship. This is an ideal way to get some real world experience and also makes landing a job easier.

Becoming a mobile game developer is not necessarily difficult. However, developing a game and developing a successful game are two separate things and it is the latter through which you can gain more financially! The gaming world now faces stiff competition. If you want to stay successful in this industry, continuous courses in high-level maths, programming, and coding are something that you cannot let go of.


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