Specification

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Specification

  1. 1. Technical Development Programmer/Lead Programmer This is the sample message I sent to different Games studios/companies. I did this to gatherany primary information necessary to help get an understanding of the job role. I sent this email toas many contacts I could within the time I had. Here are some other contacts which I sent emails toin order to gain information from people with experience.Most of these companies/studios are very successful and will probably take a while to get a replyfrom, however the most informative source of info would come from the internet (secondary info).
  2. 2. Technical Development Programmer/Lead ProgrammerApplying for JobsHow to get into programming or pathways into the jobmany start off by programming as a hobby, university courses have links with game developmentstudios and organise work placements, should be able to demonstrate knowledge of games and anunderstanding of what makes a game work, often by submitting samples of game programming theyhave developed themselves. Programmers usually start off in junior positions performing generalprogramming tasks, before specialising or moving into leadership roles. All Programmers start off being able to programme in C++. They then go on to develop other skills,depending on their chosen specialism. Key SkillsApplying for jobs within the games industry can usually be hard; this is because lots of other peoplewith sets of skills may have more experience. An easy way to apply for a job would be the company’swebsite. Some big companies may be hiring as well for example Infinity Ward. This company inparticular give you several categories to choose from. Also there Job search site (pictured below)gives you different locations of where they are located.After selecting your job the company will give you a specification or something’s they will expectfrom you. This can be from the skills, experience, personal qualities of a programmer toqualifications you need to get in the job.More about the jobA game programmer is a software engineer, programmer, or computer scientist who primarilydevelops codebase for video games or related software, such as game development tools. Gameprogramming has many specialized disciplines all of which fall under the umbrella term of "gameprogrammer". A game programmer should not be confused with a game designer, who works ongame design.
  3. 3. Technical Development Programmer/Lead ProgrammerThey design and write the computer code that runs and controls the game, incorporating andadapting any readymade code libraries and writing custom code as needed. They test the code andfix bugs, and they also develop customised tools for use by other members of the developmentteam. Different platforms (games consoles, PCs, handhelds, mobiles, etc.) have particularprogramming requirements and there are also various specialisms within programming.It’s an increasingly complex process and large teams of Programmers might be involved in creating agame, some in leadership roles, some working on just one aspect. Programmers are employed bydevelopment studios – publisher owned and independent - cross platform graphics rendering, gamephysics, sound management, AI, and other specialist tools.A programmer would have to learn different programming languages in order to programme. Javaor C# or C++ (OOP, and quite important to get a job these days) are the main types of languages youwould need to know.Types of programmingThere are different types of programmers within the games industry: Game engine programmer Physics engine programmer Artificial intelligence programmer Sound programmer Gameplay programmer Scripter UI programmer Input programmer Network programmer Game tools programmer Porting programmer Technology programmer Generalist Lead game programmerEach job requires different sets of skills for example an AI programmer develops the logic of thegame to simulate intelligence in enemies and opponents, whereas the lead programmer is ultimatelyin charge of all programming for the game. Together the game produced will be complete andprofessional as each programmer has to contribute to an area in the game.
  4. 4. Technical Development Programmer/Lead ProgrammerExperience neededNotably, there are many game programmers with no formal education in the subject, havingstarted out as hobbyists and doing a great deal of programming on their own, for fun, andeventually succeeding because of their aptitude and homegrown experience. However, mostjob solicitations for game programmers specify a bachelors degree (in mathematics, physics,computer science, "or equivalent experience").Increasingly, universities are starting to offer courses and degrees in game programming. Anysuch degrees should offer a well-rounded education that includes all the fundamentals ofsoftware engineeringRequired skillsTo become a programmer, employers will be looking for the following skills:• In depth knowledge in one or more programming languages (e.g. PHP, .NET, HTML, C++, etc.)• Ability to quickly learn about new IT packages and techniques• Enjoy problem solving• Good technical writing skills• Ability to explain complex information in a clear manner• Be able to work as an individual and as part of a team• Be able to work to tight deadlines• Work in a logical mannerEntry requirementsMost employers will be looking for you to have a degree or equivalent qualification to become aprogrammer. It’s also essential for you to have qualifications in one or more programminglanguages such as C++ or Visual Basic. The languages you can use will often define theprogramming role you can work in. However, a many languages are similar, it’s possible to updateyour knowledge, which will open up more employment possibilities.You can start in a more junior IT role, such as working on a helpdesk. From here, you can build upskills and experience to become a Programmer.To help build up your qualifications, there is a range of courses available to you, including BTECs inComputer Studies or IT, SQAs in IT, NVQs and SVQs and specialist IT, computer and programmingdegrees.

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