On Being a Video Game Programmer – The Perks and Pitfalls

What is it like to work as a video game programmer? It is considered by many game-gambling children to be a dream activity. Is it as exact as it sounds? It genuinely is a thrilling lifestyle.

However, as with something else, operating as a video game programmer has both advantages and disadvantages. I have labored as a video game programmer at three development studios: Activision/Treyarch, Visual Concepts, and DiscoPixel. I even have posted titles for the Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo consoles. This article is a precis of some of the perks and pitfalls I have experienced through my paintings at these corporations.


Perk #1 – Make Games!

This is pretty obvious, but the largest perk of running at an online game studio is that you will make video games. You can help build the following outstanding recreation that doubtlessly tens of millions of people will play and experience. A super pleasure stems from knowing that you helped make something massive.

Perk #2 – Play Games!

In addition to trying out and enhancing your modern sport every day, you may additionally be gambling games made via other businesses. There are few jobs available where sitting down and playing a newly released console title is considered a study. Companies truly want you to live on the pinnacle of the latest games’ generation and capabilities, and the simplest way to do that is by playing plenty of video games. At the groups I’ve labored at, I’ve never seen everybody get reprimanded for playing video games at some point in the day.

Perk #3- Independence

A top-notch component of working as a video game programmer is the independence you’re given. It is uncommon that you’ll have manager respiration down your neck or double-check the entirety you do. To get employed right into an improvement studio, you need reality programming competencies to give you tthe freedom to make many selections yourself.

You may be assigned a widespread assignment to complete, but how that clearly ought to be achieved and how long it must take is frequently up to you. Provided that you can complete your work, the organizations I have worked for commonly regarded me as very willing to let my paintings on my terms. When I become worn out, bored, or lazy, I can play a sport or loosen up somewhere without anybody complaining. Happy employees with advanced morale make better video games.

Perk #4- Fun Office Environment

Everybody who works at an online game studio has one aspect that is not unusual: they love games. If they didn’t love playing video games, they could have been employed to make them by no means. Because of this, the office setting often has a laugh or quirky things anywhere you look. Many humans deliver unusual new objects to expose or play with at some stage in the day.


Most video game studios have plenty of video games and toys to keep their employees entertained. I have even encountered a few things at various studios: Arcades with loose coin-op video games, foosball tables, ping pong tables, razor scooters, board games, action figures, puzzles, daylight hours basketball video games, and giant-filled animals.

Coming to the office still means you will work, but there’s no reason why it cannot also be a laugh.

Perk #5 – Free Soda + Snacks

This perk is perhaps not important to absolutely everyone. However, it is best to understand that you may not pass hungry operating at an online game studio. I’ve never met a video game agency that hasn’t offered free soda and snacks as a part of the blessings of running there. I assume being loaded up on caffeine and sugar allows for boosted productivity. During long days in the workplace, businesses commonly provide free dinners as a thank-you for staying past due. One corporation I worked for served fully catered food from diverse restaurants each night for many weeks.

Pitfall #1 – Long Work Hours

Making video games is a lot of labor. The time required to complete the brand-new sport seems to grow exponentially. Development groups continue to get larger and larger every year; however, the amount of labor in keeping with an individual doesn’t appear to get any smaller. Games are very complicated. Also, video games’ nature is that they ought to be fun, which isn’t always so smooth to pencil right into a timetable appropriately. A lot of experimentation is wanted, in particular with new sports ideas.

The painting day might be very extreme before a milestone, particularly some months before a recreation is released. The paintings have a manner of in no time piling up. New features and vintage insects suck away all of your time. Working long nights or weekends isn’t uncommon. Fortunately, employees commonly care about the games that they’re making, and their ardor energizes them via those occasional long shifts.

The strain can get overwhelming, too. At one organization, I had a massive stack of Trojan horse reports awaiting me on my chair when I got her into the workplace. I would work all day, scrambling to restore insects as quickly as possible, working on complete blasts all day and night timd pass domestic for a pair of hours of sleep, but once I return to work, there could be a new, even larger stack of bug reports watching for me.

Typically, after an assignment has shipped, there can be downtime in which the employees can risk loosening up and getting better. The workload will abruptly and drastically reduce. One agency gave bonus holiday time after a project shipped, and another positioned personnel “on-call” for about a month, in which they only needed to come to the office if there were a few sorts of hassle. It’s exceptional to know that your long painting hours no longer pass, not noted.

Pitfall #2 -Choosing What to Work On


Working on your video games for your lost time is a lot amusing. You get to pick precisely what sport and tasks you must paint on, focusing handiest on the laughing stuff. Anything boring can be completely left out since you are the only target market. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for huge online game studios. Many obligations are to be completed, some of which aren’t glamorous.

Fixing console manufacturer requirements violations or building data tools isn’t always exciting. Still, it nonetheless wishes to be done by someone so that you can deliver the very last product. In addition to the possibility of working on less glamorous tasks, you could be assigned a project that you aren’t completely interested in. Typically, the corporation will permit you to paint initiatives that hobby you; however, this isn’t always viable. A specific venture could be falling not on time, and it wishes some extra personnel to repair some insects or add some new functions. Or, the assignment you are curious about already has sufficient workers.

I suppose the employees’ passion for running an online game studio is important to that recreation’s success. If you are not excited about what you are running on, it will appear in the sport you’re creating. To avoid misunderstandings or letdowns, earlier than identifying paintings at a selected enterprise, it is vital to find out what recreation you’ll be working on and what obligations you’ll be assigned. I’ve heard from some human beings that the pay for working as a video game programmer isn’t always as accurate as the pay operating in more traditional groups. Business database programmers, for example, can earn more money. This may be real. However, choosing your profession isn’t always just about the pay. You spend a huge percentage of your life at your job. Money is not the entirety. Choosing something that you experience is critical, too.

I think the pay on the corporations Ihave labored at is reasonable. There is also a large capability upside from royalty exams coming from a recreation that sells properly, which has occasionally turned great. You will simply not be residing as a pauper if you get a programmer task at a video game business enterprise.

Jeffery D. Silvers
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