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Gameplay Programmer - Job description

What is a Gameplay Programmer?

What is the role of a Gameplay Programmer?

The role of a Gameplay Programmer is to create and implement gameplay mechanisms.

This involves analyzing technical requirements, designing and implementing features such as character movement, environment interaction, game rules, progression and reward systems, and collision and physics mechanisms.

He also ensures the proper implementation of the game feel, which includes:

  • the UX, i.e. the user experience
  • the juiciness, which gathers all the effects allowing a game to be more attractive
  • polish, which represents all the finishing work that allows us to offer a game of the highest quality

The Gameplay Programmer participates in the production of multiplatform games by making the right technological choices.

What are the missions of a Gameplay Programmer?

The missions of a Gameplay Programmer include the design and programming of game features, such as game mechanics, player-environment interactions, Artificial Intelligence behaviors, physics systems, menu...

The Gameplay Programmer implements the interfaces, sounds, music and sound effects to create a consistent user experience.

The Gameplay Programmer works closely with the Game Designers to ensure that the features are balanced and fit well into the game.

The Gameplay Programmer is also responsible for optimizing the game's performance, fixing bugs and setting up tests to ensure the best quality of the game.

Finally, he/she writes and maintains detailed technical documentation.

Twin Cores

Twin Cores

Graduation project | Class 2022

Hide the Corpse

Hide the Corpse

Graduation project | Class 2022

What are the skills of the Gameplay Programmer?

The key job skills of a Gameplay Programmer include mastering object-oriented programming, data-driven programming, gameplay programming, prototyping, advanced programming, and programming languages such as C++ and C#.

The Gameplay Programmer has a thorough understanding of science and technology (math, physics).

Gameplay Developer positions also require:

  • good communication skills and the ability to work in a team, with other developers (lead gameplay programmer, artificial intelligence programmer, game designers, game artists, producer...)
  • curiosity and creativity to find solutions and propose improvements
  • a logical mind

What software does a Gameplay Programmer master?

A Gameplay Programmer must have a good knowledge of game engines, programming languages, development tools, version management systems and debugging tools, for the creation of video games for all platforms (browser, mobile, PC, console, virtual reality headset).

Depending on their specific role, their skills may vary.

  • Game engines:

Unity, Unreal Engine, CryEngine, GameMaker Studio, etc. The Gameplay Programmer must have a thorough knowledge of these game engines to create games with complex features.

  • Programming Languages:

Gameplay Programmers must be proficient in at least one programming language, such as C++, C#, Python, Lua, etc., to be able to create scripts for the various game engines.

  • Game Development Tools:

Gameplay Programmers often use specific tools for video games, such as level editors, shader editors, animation editors, etc.

  • Versioning Systems:

Gameplay programmers often use version control systems like Git, Subversion, Mercurial, etc. to manage the source code and various game assets.

  • Debugging tools:

Gameplay programmers need to be able to debug various issues that arise during the development of a game. They can use debugging tools like Visual Studio, GDB, LLDB, etc.



Game Programming Master's

Nicolas FONTES

Nicolas FONTES

Alumni | Game Programming



Alumni | Game Programming

How to become a Gameplay Programmer?

Questions to ask yourself before choosing to become a gameplay programmer?

A few questions can help you make your choice:

  • Are you passionate about video games, about coding?
  • Are you willing to constantly learn new technologies and follow the latest trends in video games?
  • Are you comfortable with math and science, which are often used in computer game development?
  • Are you drawn to problem solving?
  • Do you have a logical mind?
  • Are you able to work as part of a team and collaborate closely with game designers, artists and other developers?
  • Are you willing to work on projects that may take months or even years to complete?
  • Are you willing to incorporate tight deadlines into your job?

What post-baccalaureate training is required to become a Gameplay Programmer? 

It is important to choose an education that covers the key skills in gameplay programming such as object and data-oriented programming, applied mathematics, physical simulation, and learning the tools, programming languages and game engines such as Unity or Unreal Engine.

The Game Design & Programming Master's degree trains, in 5 years, complete profiles capable of designing and programming their game (from prototyping to the development of multiplatform 2D/3D games).

Thanks to the project-based teaching method, students carry out numerous concrete video game projects, alone or in teams. This teaching method allows students to put their know-how into practice, to work with a team and to discover other production professions. Students also develop a critical mind and their analytical skills.

The internship periods, which are mandatory during the curriculum, allow students to discover the professional world, to multiply their professional experiences in order to refine their career choices (in which environment do you want to work, what size of studio and team, independent or AAA game,).

It is also an opportunity to develop your professional network.

ISART enjoys the support of the industry and weaves privileged relationships with studios, which promote the professional integration of students (Ubisoft, Quantic dream, Asobo Studio, Don't Nod, Nintendo, Gameloft, Epic Games, Blizzard Entertainment...).

To apply to the Game Design & Programming program and become a video game developer in France or internationally, you must have a high school diploma and pass the admission tests, which consist of an interview and a written test. The portfolio is not mandatory but recommended.

Admission is in the first year of the Bachelor's program. The studies last 5 years.

The Game Design & Programming program leads to the RNCP level 7 title "Video Game Designer", subject to passing the assessment tests.

To learn more about the content of the tests, how to prepare for them, and the dates of the exams, go to the Admissions page.

Game Story

Game Story

Stéphane PONTADIT, Game Programmer on the game « Komrad »

Game Story

Game Story

Ilyes Ouhabi : Game Programmer on the game "Super Chicken Catchers"

Game Story

Game Story

Hugo Nadellec : Game Programmer on the game "Deprecated"


What are the career prospects for a Gameplay Programmer?

The Gameplay Programmer can evolve towards offers of specialized Programmer, Lead programmer.

Which companies recruit Gameplay Programmers?

The Gameplay Programmer works mainly for private companies specialized in video game development. These companies can vary in size, be independent or under the direction of a publisher.


"The school's intention is to train us for the video game industry. That's why we work in projects, with the same tools that video game studios use."

Cover_Avis Alumni Clément

"What I remember most from my years at ISART is the diversity of training within ISART itself [...].

This diversity allowed [...] to create video games as if we were a game studio. [...] it allowed me to communicate with other trades [...], something I wouldn't have done in an engineering school or in university."

Cover_Avis Pros Sloclap

Luis Cataldi | creator of FORTNITE | Epic Games


"The projects have a full game experience with a very high level of quality."

luis cataldi

Julien BILLARD | Studio Manager | GAMELOFT


"The students are getting a very good education that keeps up with the reality of the Industry."

Cover_Avis Pros Gameloft