Career Spotlight: Gameplay Programmers

Human Head
06 / 13 / 18
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The role of gameplay programmer is one of our most sought-after and inquired-about positions. Rune gameplay programmer Justin Terry is here to chat about the roles and responsibilities of his job in our latest Career Spotlight!

What does a gameplay programmer do?

Gameplay programmers write code that implements features requested by the game designers. They primarily focus on adding crucial features to the game like UI systems, inventory, quests, combat mechanics, and AI.

How can I become a gameplay programmer?

Make sure that you have good foundational programming skills and make your own games whenever you can. Making your own games proves that you have relevant experience and allows you to showcase your skills. While going to school to learn programming isn’t required, it’s very helpful and many studios require a relevant degree of some sort. There are a lot of great resources online (like Code Academy and Lynda) that make learning how to code more accessible than ever.

What skills are most important?

  • Strong programming knowledge
  • Great communication skills
  • A high-level knowledge of art, animation, and design pipelines
  • The ability to rapidly implement designer’s ideas (rapid prototyping)
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Flexibility and the willingness to learn new tools

What challenges do gameplay programmers face?

Gameplay programmers must be agile developers as the needs for a project change. They must also be able to develop compelling gameplay mechanics. As designers come up with new and creative ideas, it’s on the programmers to solve the technical issues that arise and make their ideas a reality. You also need to be willing to iterate continuously upon your own work and keep trying to find ways to make your features as polished as they can be.

What’s the best part of working as gameplay programmer for a games studio?

The best part of being a gameplay programmer is seeing how others react to the mechanics, features, or levels that you make. You have such a big part in creating these things, and it’s always exciting to see how others experience your work

Are you interested in learning about some of the other roles at the studio? Check out our Career Spotlights on Producers and Marketing Directors!