This is the story of John, a Student and a Game Developer

John is not his real name. I am just using it as a proxy for a student I know.

John, was a member of a programming club. From the second year, he started practicing programming along with his peers. Initially it was a bit frustrating. Nothing really worked. He almost gave up. Then in one of the sessions, they built a simple game. John was mesmerized. Moving bodies, collisions, explosions, sound, music got him hooked. This is what I want to do with my programming skills, he thought. He started focusing more and more on building games.

At first, it was difficult. Game programming requires several skills besides coding. The ability to visualize scenarios. The challenge of keeping the game interesting for the users. Challenging the users without frustrating them. But the most difficult skill to acquire was visual story telling. Game development, if you are doing it alone is much more difficult than writing toy inventory or library management systems. Thee were the projects being offered in his institution.

John is one of those persistent objects. He never gave up. He scoured the web, found challenges and started working on them. He also sought out and learned tools for his trade. Physics engines, open source 3D editors. In a couple of semesters, he built a small portfolio of games written in PyGame, and JavaScript.

He found a few gigs with a gaming company. He tested games, fixed bugs in some of their existing games. But his greatest contribution was coming up with some ideas to do build games better and faster. Two semesters of deep work in game development not only gave him the knowledge but also the confidence. The story ends well. Now John has an internship he loves and the company that he works for have given him a lot of responsibility.

John is looking forward to more explorations. The field is fertile with opportunities and possibilities. AI, VR, AR will slowly start changing the role of games in our lives. They will impact learning, demystify complex topics and create a community of creators. Games will not be restricted to a few big companies. You will see them in lots of shapes in sizes in many areas and distributed in many channels.

You don’t have to believe me. Just do some searches on various app stores for the games category!