AI Programmer

AI Programmers make the brains for the automated characters in the game. 

When a player interacts with non-player characters (NPCs), it’s code that decides how the NPCs respond. That could mean whether they befriend or attack you, what their combat strategy is, and how they cooperate with others. 

As AI programmer you work with the designers to give characters distinctive and interesting behaviours, and make them fun and challenging to meet in the game.

You’ll love this role if you’re into:
  • Coding
  • Telling Stories
  • Maths
  • Designing things

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Most people working as an AI Programmer have a degree in engineering, games or computer science. Above all, you should be someone that loves maths, coding and enjoys creative problem-solving.

As a professional, you’ll be working closely with designers to code behaviours for non-player characters (NPCs). The most popular game creation engines use the coding languages, C++ (Unreal) or C# (Unity), but languages like Java and HTML5, are also used depending on the game type. Check out our guide to programming languages for more information.

Working in the games industry is highly competitive and you’ll need to make sure your portfolio (a collection of your best work) stands out to employers and course leaders. 

AI Programmer is a senior role and many begin their career in junior programmer roles to gain important work experience and work their way up. Your portfolio should showcase a range of features, systems and behaviours you’ve built, this will demonstrate your versatility. For more general ideas on developing your portfolio, see our top tips page.

Whatever role you are working in, it is essential that you understand the game making process. You can head to our build a game section for first steps; join a regular game jam to build up your skills & network; or start modding others games to gain experience. 

Education pathways

Where are you in your games journey?