Know Your Role – Game Development

It has been a lot of time since my last post! In the meanwhile a lot of things happened, but well, that’s not the point of this post.

Today I want to share a very basic knowledge of the common roles you can find in the Game Development field, just to help those people who still are not sure of what to do or what to study. Note that there is no general rule to define these roles, this is only how I see the organisation of a team in a Game Dev studio – just a pretty basic and very generic representation. We can find four main macro jobs:

Programmers

People who write code. They are generally responsible for all the software that the studio builds. There are quite a few typologies for a programmer which vary according to the goal the programmer has to cope. Just to list a couple of them: we have Engine Programmers taking care of the “system” that runs the game; Gameplay Programmers, specialised in one or more area, who implement the actual game and often interact with Game Designers; Tools Programmers, building off-line software that is used by other people in the team; Technical Directors, that follow the project on a more high-level, technical view.

Designers

Game Designers have just one major tough task and, as you may imagine, is to design the game. This typically means think about what the gameplay of the game will be. This involves game mechanics, player interaction, missions, story etc. Some designers can also be more technical, modifying game data, writing high-level code (such as scripts) and working closely with Gameplay Programmers.

Artists

An artist has to do with game assets: models, animations, cinematic, concepts, audio and so on. It is a fundamental role which includes very specific jobs and, in most of the cases, their work is what the player will notice as one of the first things – from the game trailer, to the first screenshots of the game. The main categories here are the Concept Artists, who transform designer vision into a drawing used for further development; 3D modelers, making the geometry that will be used in the game such as characters, props, weapons; Animators, providing the characters smooth movements and actions that will be used in game.

Producer

Usually a producer has to do with scheduling the game milestones and taking care of the general development. Often this job has more to do with the “business” part, since a producer should take care of delivering the project in time and with as less problems as possible. Sometimes a producer can also influence the evolution and the development of the game.

I hope I have listed the major roles in a clear way and clarified any doubts.

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