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Despite the myriad of fields coming together in the creation of a video game, the game developer cliché is often one of the reclusive, nerdy programmer coding in a corner.
This isn’t not only a misrepresentation of how games are made, but also of how programmers work.
Programming is a creative field that requires technical knowledge and lots of interpersonal communication with other disciplines in order to pin down entire systems and mechanics, fix bugs, create rules, and just code an entire world to life.
“The job of a programmer is to understand a problem, figure out the best solution for that program given a set of constraints, and model that set of solutions as a series of well-engineered abstractions,” sums up Rodrigo Braz Monteiro, CTO at Chucklefish.
Monteiro has been a programmer in the games industry for 16 years, and climbing through the ranks at the Wargroove developer since 2016. We asked him and three other programmers with varying seniority levels how one can come to be in this role.
What education do I need to get a job as a games programmer?
Programming is a field that requires hard skills, meaning that a traditional educational path can be beneficial, for those who can afford it and who are receptive to that approach.
“I have a BSc in computer science and engineering, and an MSc in artificial intelligence,” says Duygu Cakmak, who has been a programmer for over a decade and is now project technical director at Creative Assembly. “I think my education was closely aligned with what I wanted to do, and I would recommend a similar path to people who would like to follow a similar formal route in education.”
Nikhil Ramburrun, gameplay programmer at Ubisoft Toronto, recommends looking into either a