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Gameplay programmer

A player’s user experience will influence their interest in the game, its comfort, and its quality, which their interactions within the gameplay can define. This is why, during the design of the video game and its programming, the role of the gameplay programmer is fundamental.

Gameplay Programmer Job Description
Last update
Study level: bachelor’s degree
Recommended high school specialisation: Scientific
Employability: Very good
Beginner’s salary: € 3,200
Salary after experience: € 6,300
Mobility: Very good
ROME code: M1805
FAP code: M2790
"A gameplay programmer tests all the ideas that cross the minds of players like mechanics and movements. From then on, they refine those which are interesting to integrate them definitively into the game. I like the idea of ​​being at the origin of mechanics which please the players. The love to dissect ideas to find the way to make them feasible in a game", explains Valentin Birembaut, a developer for the Ohbibi studio.
ohbibi logo Valentin Birembaut
Valentin Birembaut
Developer for the Ohbibi studio

The responsibilities of a gameplay programmer

Teamwork, creativity, initiative, logic, work ethic, autonomy, sense of analysis, these are in a few words the qualities required to be a gameplay programmer (which can be learned by following a bachelor’s degree in video game development). Beyond their IT skills, a studio will also look for a person that can adapt to a team already in place.

A gameplay programmer works to implement the mechanics of a video game, which leads them to carry out a set of responsibilities,as Pierre-Olivier Marec, co-founder and CTO of Mobbles explains: "It can range from design to the maintenance of a machine to the whole software (graphics included). A gameplay developer is at the crossroads of a team's skills. "
mobile logo Photo Pierre Olivier Marec
Pierre-Olivier Marec
Co-founder and CTO of Mobbles

They are also required to:

  • Develop gameplay tools
  • Code existing or new systems
  • Understand game engines (Unreal Engine, Unity 3D)
  • Examine the computer needs of the game
  • Implement the rules defined by a game designer (integration of interfaces, sounds, music and sound effects)
  • Ensure that the program works
  • Correct any errors or problems
  • Improve the game engine

The skills of a gameplay programmer

It is a technical profession, so naturally, you have to apply tools and knowledge in IT development.  Their skills then come down to:

  • Programming languages ​​and design patterns (actor model, mvc, mvvm, etc.)
  • Development tools
  • HMI management
  • Project management and its constraints
  • The technical translation of a game designer’s needs

Below is an example of an engine interface that you will need to know if you become a gameplay programmer.

Interface Unity-3D
Unity 3D editor interface
Knowing javascript is fundamental.


They are numerous. You have to know how to work in a team and therefore demonstrate communication. In addition, the profession requires having:

  • A sense of creativity
  • Logic
  • A spirit of initiative
  • A good work ethic
  • A sense of autonomy
  • A spirit of analysis

Studies needed to become a gameplay programmer

A high school diploma with a scientific or mathematical speciality, or even a professional high school diploma in computer science, is essential to follow specialised education in video games. It will therefore be necessary to be comfortable with computers and mathematics. To make yourself more employable, leaving with a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree level is strongly recommended by choosing an appropriate video game developer training.

Gameplay programmer education

The ideal way to become a gameplay programmer is to do specialised education in video games in order to have all the technical skills in your pocket. For this, G. Tech offers a computer development bachelor’s degree with a video game specialisation. It lasts three years, and is accessible after a high school diploma or parallel admission in 3rd year. It teaches the basics of computer development, in particular those applied to video games. In addition, the pedagogy focuses on gaming culture and practice.

Then, our school allows you to continue in an MSc in Video game programming. It is a 2-year diploma that deepens development techniques with additional management courses and has a final year as an internship or work-study program.

"This job foisted itself more on me than the other way around," says Pierre-Olivier Marec. After a scientific high school diploma, two years of preparatory classes and three years of computer engineering school (INSA Lyon), and especially after having taught myself programming during my college / high school years, I created Mobbles. From then on, we took on all the roles of a video game studio. We learned on the job (.tar), studied existing architectures, and made our choices according to our technical constraints. "
mobile logo Photo Pierre Olivier Marec
Pierre-Olivier Marec
Co-founder and CTO of Mobbles


Internships are the first experiences that familiarise you with the world of programming and video games. With this in mind, we have chosen to offer periods of two to more than six months of internships during the five years of training. The last year of an MSc takes place via an alternating rhythm of fixed-term contracts and internships.

To find an internship, we regularly publish offers within the school. We also advise you to search for announcements published on specialised sites.

Their salary

The salary of a gameplay programmer starts at around 35,000 euros gross per year. But this can quickly increase over the years and depending on the company. It can reach 50,000 euros or even more than 60,000 euros. Abroad, the salary is at 63,000 dollars on average as in San Francisco. The same goes for Montreal.

Opportunities for the profession of gameplay programmer

A gameplay programmer can progress and acquire skills from year to year and from project to project that will make the difference for the rest of their career, even more so if they are interested in and master new technologies such as AI. Thus, it will be possible for them to progress towards jobs with more responsibilities such as a lead gameplay programmer. They can also become a specialised programmer or a game designer.

A gameplay programmer creates the user experience, here seen in the video game NeoGAF

Where can you work?

They are not necessarily present in all video game development studios. A gameplay programmer is found more in well-established companies such as Quantic Dream, Ubisoft, Eko Software, Midgar Studio.

Advantages and disadvantages

What are the pros and cons of working as a gameplay programmer? See here:


  • Attractive salary
  • Possess a range of sought-after skills
  • Freelance activity


  • Need to be constantly updated on technological innovations
  • Flexibility in terms of hours
  • Demonstrate availability

Devenir freelance = il manque la traduction en anglais

Il est tout à fait possible d’exercer ce métier de manière indépendante. Nombreux programmeurs gameplay ont fait ce choix. Généralement, ils optent pour ce statut après avoir été salariés d’un ou plusieurs studios. L’envie de liberté, de travailler de chez soi, de choisir ses projets, d’être son propre patron reviennent souvent en boucle. Toutefois, devenir freelance demande de s’assurer d’un minimum de rigueur, d’organisation et d’implication. Après avoir créé son entreprise, il faudra chercher ses premiers clients et l’aventure peut démarrer.

In summary

Summary gameplay programmer

How can you become a video game gameplay programmer?

Son influence se ressent directement sur la qualité et le confort du jeu que le joueur aura dans ses mains. Le programmeur gameplay est donc la personne en charge de concevoir l’expérience utilisateur. C’est pourquoi devenir programmeur gameplay jeu vidéo demande de posséder des compétences techniques fondamentales. Avoir une appétence pour l’informatique et les mathématiques est conseillé, ainsi qu’un sens développé de la créativité. De niveau Bac, le parcours passe par une formation en Bachelor Développeur informatique option jeu vidéo à l’école G. Tech. En trois ans, elle permet d’acquérir toutes les bases et connaissances dans le développement d’un jeu vidéo. Ensuite, il est possible d’intégrer le MSc en Programmation jeu vidéo.

Their influence is felt directly in the quality and comfort of the game that the player will have in their hands. The gameplay programmer is, therefore, the person in charge of designing the user experience. This is why becoming a video game gameplay programmer requires fundamental technical skills, and an appetite for computers and mathematics is recommended and a developed sense of creativity. After a high school diploma, you can do a bachelor’s degree in Computer Development with a video game specialisation at the G. Tech school. It allows you to acquire all the bases and knowledge in developing a video game in three years. Then, it is possible to join the MSc in Video Game Programming.

In video

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