Gameplay Programmer

The Gameplay Programmer writes code for the mechanics and logic that make a game fun to play. 

Different games have different goals and strategies, so the role can vary a lot depending on the project. In a combat game you might focus on how damage is inflicted or points scored. In a strategy game it could be the way a player interacts with a puzzle or a series of obstacles.

You work closely with the game designers and other programmers - adjusting the code to get the level of challenge right, responding to feedback from testers and fixing bugs.

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

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Most people working as Gameplay Programmers have a degree in engineering, games or computer science. Above all, you should be someone that loves coding, has an eye for detail and enjoys working with others.

As a professional, you’ll be working closely with the lead designer and other programmers to  maintain gameplay mechanics and bring the game to life. 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. 

As a Gameplay Programmer, your work 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?

I bring to life ideas, contribute to make the game a fun, engaging experience
Tiffany Wild - Gameplay Programmer, UbisoftRead the full story
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