If you need a professional for game development, virtual reality, and virtual production, consider hiring an Unreal Engine developer. One of the most popular and advanced 3D creation tools, Epic Games' Unreal Engine lets developers bring real-time experiences to life. It boasts advanced tools, modules, resources, and a thriving community that encourages everyone to reach their goals.
Despite this, hiring an Unreal Engine developer can be an uphill battle. Thanks to sites like Fiverr and Freelancer.com, communicating with Unreal Engine devs is easier than ever. But only a select few have the experience and skills needed for your projects.
Luckily, there's a way to hire the best Unreal Engine dev for your team — by following this guide. Read on to learn what projects require an Unreal Engine developer, what you should look for in an Unreal Engine dev, and when you should hire Unreal Engine developers. We've also included tips for navigating the hiring process and questions to ask during interviews.
What Projects Require an Unreal Engine Developer?
Unreal Engine is usually used for game development, but it can also be used to create other real-time experiences, including virtual reality and virtual production.
Unreal Engine is one of the most advanced game development tools. Besides leading-edge modules and tools, Unreal Engine boasts millions of film-quality assets, including textures, art assets, 3D models, and scripts. It also offers:
- A large, supportive community of creators across industries
- Thorough documentation
- Hundreds of hours of free online learning content, including an extensive webinar library and options for instructor-led learning
- Educational tech demos like The Matrix Awakens
Unreal Engine also empowers developers to:
- Create Unreal games for many platforms: Unreal Engine is compatible with a wide range of platforms, including PC, Xbox, Android, iOS, PlayStation, and Nintendo Switch.
- Develop games without writing a single line of code: Unreal Engine Blueprint game developers can use the Blueprint Visual Scripting System to create games without a single snippet of code. However, that doesn't mean you should hire a dev who doesn't know how to code. Your dev needs to know how to write and edit complex C++ scripts and modules in Unreal Engine, especially if they're developing complex games.
- Use the program for free: Unlike many other game dev engines, Unreal Engine is totally free. The company will only charge a 5% royalty if you distribute a game with Unreal Engine code and your lifetime gross revenue from that game exceeds $1 million.
Unreal Engine 4 developers can also use Unreal Engine to create virtual reality (VR) apps and experiences. VR is an interactive experience that uses a wearable device — like Oculus Rift — to replace the user's real-world environment with a virtual environment. Most VR apps are games, but some are movies and documentaries.
Unreal Engine is a great pick for VR because it can render complex scenes at staggeringly high frame rates. Unlike many other engines, Unreal doesn't use shortcuts. It also offers platform support for the following:
- Oculus VR
- Microsoft HoloLens
- Leap Motion
- Valve Index
Last but not least, your hires can also use Unreal Engine for virtual production.
A broad term referring to a variety of computer-aided visualization and production filmmaking methods, virtual production combines VR with game-engine and CGI technologies to help production crews visualize their scenes on set. In other words, virtual production helps filmmakers visualize what the finalized product looks like during the pre-production process.
Unreal Engine also empowers filmmakers to:
- Eliminate waste by using the same assets throughout the film production lifecycle
- Create and use digital humans for stand-ins
- Spice up scenes with in-camera visual effects
What Should You Look for in an Unreal Engine Developer?
As you can see, Unreal Engine offers state-of-the-art tools for game devs, VR creators, and filmmakers alike. However, that doesn't mean every Unreal Engine dev is for you. Here's what you should look for in an Unreal Engine developer:
Previous Experience Working In Related Industries
First, you need to look at a prospective candidate's previous working experience. Ask yourself the following:
- How many years have they worked in related industries? The specifics of this question depend on what you're hiring for. For example, if you're hiring a dev for PC game development, how many years has your prospective hire worked in related industries? Have they worked in Xbox, Nintendo Switch, or Playstation development?
- Do they have any transferrable experiences and skills from these previous developer jobs? If the applicant has had previous experience working in related industries, can they apply their experiences and skills to your job? Why or why not? If the candidate can't transfer their skills and experience to your job, move on to the next.
Experience Working With Other Teams of Game Developers
Your hire should also have ample experience working with other game dev teams.
Like other information technology (IT) personnel, Unreal Engine programmers don't work in a vacuum. They need to know how to communicate and collaborate with other game dev teams, particularly if you're hiring them to augment a pre-existing team.
Familiarity With Unreal Engine Technology or Other Video Game Engines
You also need to determine how familiar your hire is with Unreal Engine and other video game engines.
Ask yourself the following as you look through your applicant's resume:
- How many years has the applicant used Unreal Engine?
- How many years have they used other video game engines?
- How many years have they used Unreal Engine for work? What are their areas of expertise?
- Do they use Unreal Engine for personal projects?
The ideal hire should be a senior or junior Unreal Engine developer, especially if you don't have the resources to train an entry-level developer. A senior developer has more than five years of experience while a junior Unreal dev has two to three years of experience using Unreal Engine in professional settings. Besides knowing how to create games from scratch, senior and junior devs also know how to kickstart, develop, and modify projects as needed.
Programming and Game Development Skills
Besides having solid development experience with Unreal Engine, the ideal hire should also have a deep understanding of programming and game development principles. Here are some skills to look for:
- C++ and C# programming languages: Developers need to know how to program to use and modify scripts and modules for projects.
- How to prepare documentation and user manuals: The ideal hire should also know how to create, write, and update documentation and user manuals for your game, VR app, or movie.
- Robust knowledge of game, VR, or movie development workflows and pipelines: Unless you have the time and money to hire entry-level devs and a large pre-existing team to mentor and train them, you should prioritize hiring Unreal devs with solid working knowledge and experience of project workflows and pipelines. That way, they can start working right away.
A Knack for Interactive Storytelling
The ideal Unreal Engine developer should have a knack for interactive storytelling.
Remember, you're hiring them to create something. So just knowing how to program and use modules won't cut it. Whether you're hiring them to create a game, VR experience, or film, your hire must know how to create coherent, appealing user interfaces (UIs) and user experiences (UX) for gamers. They also need to know how and when to show menus, dialogue, and scene transitions.
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When Should You Hire a Dedicated Unreal Engine Developer?
There are two main reasons for hiring a dedicated Unreal Engine developer:
You Need a Game Maker With Previous Experience in Unreal Technology
If you need to create an Unreal game, hire an Unreal Engine developer. Unlike other types of game devs, Unreal Engine programmers are experts in Unreal technology. As such, they know how to create games from scratch using Unreal. They also know how to code, use modules, and test games in Unreal.
Your Project Has a Tight Deadline and Requires a Larger Team
You should also hire a dedicated Unreal engine developer if your project has a tight deadline and requires a larger team. For example, let's say your project deadline is only a month away and you've only finished 25% of your project. Hiring dedicated Unreal devs will help you meet the deadline in time.
Keep in mind that you should only hire dedicated Unreal devs to augment an existing Unreal team that you might already have. If your current dev team doesn't use Unreal or knows very little about it, your new hires won't be able to help you.
Navigating the Hiring Process
Now that you know when you should hire a dedicated Unreal Engine developer, let's break down the hiring process.
1. Write a Compelling Job Description
Kickstart the hiring process by writing a clear and compelling job description for Unreal Engine programmers.
Here's what your Unreal Engine developer job description could look like:
Remote Unreal Engine Game Developer — Revelo
Revelo is looking for a fully remote Unreal Engine Game Developer to help us create an innovative sports game. Think "Rocket League" but with planes! Our hire will be joining an Agile team that prioritizes teamwork and collaboration.
This role is open to Unreal Engine Game Developers in the following time zones:
- Pacific Standard Time (PST)
- Central Standard Time (CST)
- Mountain Standard Time (MST)
- Eastern Standard Time (EST)
- Work with the game writers and directors to define our games
- Support game designers by designing epic features, including progression systems, weapon attributes, gameplay rules, artificial intelligence behaviors, and combat systems
- Respond and adapt to technical and production feedback and playtest results
- Review and discuss timelines and budgets with producers
- Stay up to date on market trends and share them with us
- Over five years of Unreal Engine game design experience
- Robust C++ and C# programming skills
- World-class critical thinking and problem-solving skills
- A solid understanding of the video games industry
- A passion for video games and other interactive experiences
- Competitive base salary of $130,000 to $140,000 per year, depending on experience
- Parental leave
- Paid career development courses
- Six weeks of paid vacation
- 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PST
- Monday to Friday
2. Create Interview Questions To Learn More About the Candidate
Next, create some interview questions. Although many companies ask highly academic questions such as "What is C++?" and "Tell me more about Unreal Engine's asset store," these questions don't say much about a candidate's work ethic, values, experience, or personality.
That's why you should ask personalized questions such as "What drew you to Unreal Engine development?" and "Tell me about the most challenging Unreal Engine development problem you've successfully solved in the last three years." Read the next section to see more questions you can ask during the interview process.
3. Sift Through Resumes
Once you've posted your job description and gathered a hundred or more resumes, start looking through them. Consider using resume keyword scanners to look for specific keywords and sort applicants into groups based on the results.
4. Interview the Best Candidates
The next step is to interview the best candidates for the job. These are the applicants who met all or most of your requirements and have special skills that can enrich your company. Reach out to these candidates and set up dates for interviews. Depending on your preferences, these interviews can be in-person or on Zoom.
5. Onboard Your Hires
Finally, it's time to onboard your hires.
If you're hiring internationally, you need to research local laws for hiring. Some countries, like Cuba and Venezuela, have strict laws for that you must follow when you want to hire their offshore talent.
If you don't follow these regulations, you may face criminal charges or fines. For example, former President Trump's Executive Order No. 13884 prohibits U.S. citizens from hiring Venezuelan developers who act indirectly or directly on the Venezuelan government's behalf. Violating this order may get your property blocked worldwide.
To ensure that you're on the right side of the law, consider hiring an experienced lawyer from the nation you're hiring to help with the process. Or better yet, hire a dedicated team of Unreal Engine devs through talent marketplaces. Many talent marketplaces have extensive knowledge and experience with international and domestic labor laws. Besides compliance, they'll also help you with immigration, onboarding, payroll, taxes, and more.
Questions to Ask During the Interview Process
As previously mentioned, you need to create a list of questions for the interview process. Here are some questions you could ask Unreal Engine game developers, VR creators, and filmmakers:
Unreal Engine Game Developers Interview Questions
- What drew you to game development?
- What other game development platforms have you used before? How did they compare to Unreal Engine?
- What do you like the most about developing games with Unreal Engine?
- How do you use C++ and C# in Unreal Engine?
- How do you organize and plan your work?
- What trends in game development are you interested in?
- What are the most challenging issues facing the video game industry?
- How can you reduce game lag in Unreal Engine?
- Do you know how to rig and texture 3D models?
- Tell me about some of your most recent side projects.
- What games have you worked on? Did any of them have a retail release?
Unreal Engine VR Creator Interview Questions
- What drew you to VR development?
- What sets VR development apart from traditional game and film development?
- What are your favorite VR platforms and why?
- How do you approach VR design?
- How can VR provide leading-edge experiences for games? How about for general audiences?
- Do you think VR is the future of storytelling? Why or why not?
Unreal Engine Virtual Production Interview Questions
- What inspired you to enter filmmaking and production?
- What keeps you motivated?
- How do you work with production teams? Tell us about how you stay on schedule and what kind of apps you use to keep in touch with the team.
- Do you have previous experience as a virtual production assistant?
- Have you produced any films on your own?
- Why do you enjoy virtual production?
- Do you have any experience in game development or VR? If so, do your experiences influence your approach to virtual production?
General Questions for All Candidates:
- What's your approach to conflict resolution?
- What is your ideal work environment?
- Do you have a preferred development or project management framework, such as DevSecOps, Agile, or Kanban?
- What do you enjoy the most about working on a multi-disciplinary team?
- What unique skills or experiences do you bring to our team?
- How do you spot and solve problems?
- Tell me about your work process.
- Walk me through your portfolio. Which projects are you the most proud of?
Where You Can Find a Developer That Fits Your Business Needs
Most startups hire Unreal Engine devs through job sites like Fiverr and Indeed. However, this can be a time-consuming and fruitless process, since you need to manually sift through thousands of resumes and interview hundreds of candidates before you can find the right hire.
That's why you should hire dedicated Unreal Engine devs through talent marketplaces like Revelo. Unlike traditional hiring models, dedicated services are efficient, budget-friendly, and tailored to your specific needs. We rigorously test and vet our talent pools for English proficiency, skills, and experience, so you can rest assured that you'll only get the best of the best.
Ensure Viral Video Game Success With a Dedicated Team of Developers
If you want to be the next viral video game success, consider partnering with Revelo. We'll help you source, hire, and onboard FAANG-caliber dedicated Unreal developers on one platform. We'll handpick the best devs for your project so that you can spend more time making your game pop. All of our talent has been pre-vetted for knowledge, English proficiency, and skills.
Contact us today to learn more.