Gameplay Programmer: How to earn up to R $ 9 thousand per month with this profession

Not sure which profession to choose? Or, if you are just another lover of games, did you know that it is possible to earn very well working with it? Read this post to the end to find out how to start your career in this fun and profitable game development area.

Gameplay programmer

A gameplay programmer is among the main players behind all the magic that makes your favorite games so addictive. In this post you will understand in more detail what this professional does, how much he earns and what it takes to become one.

The responsibilities of a gameplay programmer

First, the term gameplay, defined by author Josh Bycer in his article “The Importance of a Well Defined Core Gameplay Loop”As“ a set of mechanics ”, it is the main element of a game, that is, the objectives, the enemies, the stages, in short, the player's experience.

gameplay

They are rules or systems in a game. It is what differentiates a game from the others. In addition to the story, it is one of the things that people remember most after playing.

For author Ben Sim, in his article “10 Interesting Game Mechanics Every Game Developer Should Know" about the Mechanical

And why is it important to know this? these two terms are the foundation of a gameplay programmer's career, because this profession tries to develop all this interactive part, so that the game can actually exist.

There are designers, who have the cool ideas, and programmers, who make things work. I make things explode, cameras move and menus work properly

Charles, a gameplay programmer from Ubisoft London, said in an interview with the DigitalSchoolHouse channel.

Check out the full interview below:

Now that you have these basic concepts in mind, check out the main tasks performed by a gameplay programmer below.

Program mechanics

These are the professionals who are capable of turning crazy ideas into reality the game designer, because they know the technological limitations the studio plans to work with.

With the deep knowledge of both mechanics and programming, know exactly what these technologies do and what they don't, being able to say what is possible to be developed.

Colaboração

One of the main responsibilities of this professional is to cworking with other team members  as level designers to implement obstacles, with testers to ensure that the game works correctly, game designers to translate everything that is planned into a language that computers can understand, that is, the task here is program.

Optimization

Another extremely fundamental role that a gameplay programmer plays is optimization, using knowledge of hardware, operating systems and programming to make the game's performance the most  stable as possible, ensuring that the computer will use only the minimum resources to run your little game and also avoiding crashes and excessive loading screens. 

Fault correction

A bug fix is an important responsibility of the gameplay programmer, because these flaws hinder and a lot the experience of the player who may even lose the desire to play and return the product, thus causing many financial losses  to the studio.

Balancing

O balancing game difficulty, ensures that variables thought by the game designer are consistent with what is actually processed by the computer, so there is no bug. 

In addition, this balance is important for the player's experience, because if the game is too easy or too difficult, he may simply give up playing.

We can say, initially, that a gameplay programmer is responsible for all the basic functionalities of a game.

What it takes to start a career 

If you are interested in starting this career in a more formal way, know that the games companies ask for graduations like jdigital games, computer science ou analysis and systems development because they are courses where the focus is alprogramming logic. 

In addition, the skills most requested by recruiters are:

  • Good knowledge in engines like unreal and unity 
  • Programming in C ++, C # and python
  • Excellent notions of game mechanics
  • Good communication 
  • Documentation 

Mathematical reasoning and notions of physics can be a great differential when it comes to working with precision in mechanics. 

Remember that many vacancies require experience, that's why even if you've never worked for a game company is very important to build a good portfolio, with work done in courses, freelancers, game jams or even experiments done on their own. 

An indispensable competence if you want to work in a foreign company is the English language to communicate with a team composed of professionals from the most diverse nationalities.

You also need to be very familiar with several different platforms, but mainly console, because although they are not restricted to just this one, the main vacancies are currently focused on video games.

Professional Profile

There are many definitions of what a gameplay programmer really does in his daily life. Some companies will ask to program literally everything, such as audio, AI, in addition to the basic elements of gameplay, others will ask only tasks related to basic mechanics.

Therefore, it is very important to have a more generalist profile, being able to learn different things more quickly. In addition, because it is a career that requires a lot of focus, dedication and experience it is obviously necessary that you are passionate about games.

It is also worth remembering that since it is a programmer's career, analytical and problem-solving skills are indispensable. besides it is clear of a lot of curiosity and passion for challenges.

How much does a gameplay programmer earn

According to glassdoor, salaries in Brazilian studios vary between R $ 3 to R $ 9, according to the level of professional experience and skills.

LevelSalary
JuniorR $ 3 thousand - R $ 4 mil
FullR $ 6 thousand - R $ 7 thousand
SeniorR $ 8 thousand - R $ 9 thousand
Salaries of a gameplay programmer in Brazil

In foreign studios, the earnings are shown in the table below, with data from UK studios and the values ​​converted from sterling to real, proving how well this profession is valued in other countries.

LevelSalary (on average)
JuniorR$ 166,313
FullR$ 190,9631
SeniorR$ 296,570
Salaries of a gameplay programmer abroad

Were you impressed by these interesting salaries? so check out this link one super cool game development course offered by danki code at a super discount too!

In this course you will learn the skills I mentioned earlier and many other cool things, without leaving home, at your own pace, that is, it is an excellent first step to become a programmer of gameplay!

Game company environment

This career offers not only a nice salary but also an incredible environment. We brought then to inspire you even more, this video from the official Ubisoft channel, where it shows a little of the company's daily life.

Alternative way

If you are not interested in pursuing a career at a gaming company, ua good alternative is freelance. That may not have the same stability, but it certainly has good flexibility, because you will decide how much to charge and at what schedule to work.

To be able to attract clients to your work it is necessary to always maintain a good portfolio, with a profile in github always up to date and you can even set up a website to expose your work in a visual way.

To learn more

Did you find it interesting? take a look at this amazing video that tells a little more about what is it like to be a gameplay programmer at Ubisoft, one of the biggest game companies and responsible for the famous franchise Assassin's Creed.

Avatar of tayla tineu

Software engineer, 20 years old, graduated in Digital Games. She is passionate about game development on Unity, Linux and World of Warcraft.

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