Successful Video Game Development Teams Leverage an Extensive Range of Hard Skills and Soft Skills


Scott M Graffius - Successful Video Game Development - visual - v July 6 2023 Blog

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Behind every great video game is a team of creative and technical wizards. Creators, storytellers, designers, artists, developers, testers, and others collaborate and leverage a diverse range of hard skills (also known as technical skills) and soft skills (also known as interpersonal skills) to craft an exceptional end-product.

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Here's a select listing of
hard skills for video game development teams:

  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML)
  • Animation (Maya, Blender, etc.)
  • Art (Photoshop, Illustrator, Maya, etc.)
  • Audio editing (Pro Tools, Logic Pro, etc.)
  • Augmented Reality (AR) development
  • Character and asset rigging
  • Character design
  • Cross-platform compatibility and porting
  • Cross-platform development
  • Data structures and algorithms
  • Database management
  • Environment design
  • Game analytics and data-driven design
  • Game design
  • Game engines (Unity, Unreal Engine, etc.)
  • Game optimization
  • Game physics
  • Game scripting languages (Blueprint in Unreal Engine, Python in Unity, etc.)
  • Integrated development environment (IDE) (Rider, PyCharm, etc.)
  • Level design (Unity, Unreal Engine, etc.)
  • Lighting and shading
  • Localization and internationalization
  • Monetization strategies
  • Motion capture
  • Multi-threading and parallel computing
  • Music composition
  • Network programming
  • Optimization for different platforms (consoles, PCs, mobile, AR, VR, smart TVs, streaming devices)
  • Player feedback management
  • Procedural content generation
  • Programming (C++, C#, Java, Python, etc.)
  • Prop design
  • Prototyping
  • Quality assurance (QA) testing
  • Rendering techniques
  • Rigging and animation systems
  • Scripting (Lua, JavaScript, etc.)
  • Shader programming
  • Software engineering
  • Sound design
  • Storyboarding
  • Texture mapping and material creation
  • User interface (UI)
  • User experience (UX)
  • Version control (Git, etc.)
  • Visual effects (VFX)
  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Web development for online games
  • and more

And here's a select listing of
soft skills for video game development teams:

  • Adaptability
  • Agility
  • Analytical thinking
  • Assertiveness
  • Business etiquette
  • Coaching
  • Collaboration
  • Communication (verbally and in writing)
  • Composure
  • Conflict management
  • Constructive criticism
  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking
  • Cultural awareness and sensitivity
  • Customer service
  • Decision making
  • Delegation
  • Dependability
  • Diplomacy
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Empathy
  • Ethical decision making
  • Feedback (receiving and incorporating feedback to enhance professional growth)
  • Flexibility
  • Humility
  • Initiative
  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Interviewing skills
  • Judgment
  • Leadership
  • Logical reasoning
  • Mentoring
  • Motivation
  • Negotiation
  • Networking (building connections and leveraging relationships for mutual benefit)
  • Nonverbal communication
  • Open-mindedness
  • Optimism
  • Organizational skills
  • Patience
  • Persistence
  • Persuasion
  • Positivity
  • Presentation skills
  • Problem-solving
  • Professionalism
  • Public speaking
  • Resilience (bouncing back from setbacks and coping with adversity)
  • Responsibility
  • Self-awareness
  • Self-management
  • Self-motivation
  • Service orientation
  • Stress management (coping with pressure and maintaining emotional well-being)
  • Systems thinking
  • Team development
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Training
  • Trustworthiness (being reliable and worthy of others’ confidence)
  • Visualization
  • and more

Of the many skills, one — a soft skill — is paramount. Activision Blizzard and other premiere developers and publishers of entertainment experiences identify
teamwork as critical for the successful development of video games.

Informed by Scott M. Graffius’s first-hand work with game development teams as well as research and coverage from Activision Blizzard, Gameloft, International Game Developers Association, Microsoft, Rockstar Games, Sony Interactive Entertainment, and others, Graffius delivers a deep-dive on the essential teamwork skill based on the science of high-performing teams to audiences at game development conferences and other events. The information can provide attendees, their teams, and their organization with a competitive advantage!

Invited by conferences, businesses, professional organizations, governments, and universities, Graffius delivers talks and workshops on Agile, project management, and technology leadership — inclusive of AI, GameDev, TeamDev, and more. To date, he's delivered 87 sessions across 25 countries. Visit
here for details on his upcoming and prior sessions.


How to Cite This Article

Graffius, Scott M. (2023, July 15). Successful Video Game Development Teams Leverage an Extensive Range of Hard Skills and Soft Skills. Available at: DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.31205.17124.


Permission Request Information

To request permission to use material from this article, email Scott M. Graffius.




About Scott M. Graffius

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Scott M. Graffius, PMP, SA, CSP-SM, CSP-PO, CSM, CSPO, SFE, ITIL, LSSGB is an agile project management practitioner, consultant, multi-award-winning author, and international keynote speaker. He is the Founder of Exceptional PPM and PMO Solutions™ and subsidiary Exceptional Agility™. He has generated over $1.9 billion of business value in aggregate for Global Fortune 500 businesses and other organizations he has served. Graffius and content from his books, talks, workshops, and more have been featured and used by businesses, professional associations, governments, and universities. Examples include Microsoft, Oracle, Broadcom, Cisco, Gartner, Project Management Institute, IEEE, Qantas, National Academy of Sciences, United States Department of Energy, New Zealand Ministry of Education, Yale University, Tufts University, and others. He has delighted audiences with dynamic and engaging talks and workshops on agile, project management, and technology (including AI, GameDev, and more) leadership at 87 conferences and other events across 25 countries.

His full bio is available

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