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What does a Game Programmer do?

Learn all about Game Programmer duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Game Programmer.

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Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 3 min read

A game programmer is responsible for the programming of video games. They work with the game designers to create the code that makes the game function according to its design. A game programmer typically has a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.

Game Programmer job duties include:

  • Develop game code as per the game design document and within the given timeline
  • Work with the game designer and other team members to understand the game concept and feature requirements
  • Understand the technical constraints of the target platform and design the game accordingly
  • Optimize game code to ensure smooth gameplay and performance
  • Implement game features such as artificial intelligence, physics, animation, audio/video, etc.
  • Conduct unit testing of game code to identify and fix bugs
  • Integrate third-party libraries or middleware components as needed
  • Generate detailed technical documentation for all the game code
  • Provide support to other team members during the development process

Game Programmer Job Requirements

A game programmer is responsible for the development and maintenance of game software. They work with a team of other programmers, artists, and designers to create video games. A game programmer typically has a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field. They may also have experience in programming, software engineering, or another relevant field. Game programmers must be able to work well in a team environment and have strong problem-solving skills.

Game Programmer Skills

  • C++
  • Object-Oriented Programming
  • Multi-Threading
  • Graphics Programming (DirectX/OpenGL)
  • Physics Engine Integration
  • AI/Gameplay Programming
  • Tool Development (Maya/3ds Max Plug-ins)
  • Console Programming (Xbox 360/PS3)
  • Scripting (Lua/Python)
  • Networking (TCP/IP, UDP)
  • Database Design (MySQL, Oracle)

Related: Top Game Programmer Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Game Programmer

There are many ways to become a game programmer. The most common path is to get a degree in computer science, although it is not required. Other useful degrees include mathematics and engineering. Once you have a strong foundation in programming, you can start applying for jobs at game development studios.

The best way to learn programming is by doing it. There are many online resources and books that can teach you the basics of programming. Once you have learned the basics, you can start working on small projects of your own. This will give you the opportunity to practice your skills and learn new techniques.

As you gain experience, you can start applying for jobs at larger game development studios. To increase your chances of getting hired, it is important to have a strong portfolio that showcases your skills. You can create a portfolio by participating in game jams or working on personal projects.

If you are passionate about becoming a game programmer, there are many resources available to help you achieve your goal. With hard work and dedication, you can turn your passion into a successful career.

Related: Game Programmer Resume Example

Related: Game Programmer Interview Questions (With Example Answers)