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On being a "Gameplay Programmer"
by Shay Pierce on 08/17/12 06:33:00 pm   Expert Blogs   Featured Blogs

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.


My profession is: "Gameplay Programmer."

However, some people may not understand exactly what that is. Allow me to expound on it for a moment.

My job is to take the abstract design ideas about what would make for a fun game, and create the lines of code and math formulae which turn those ideas into something you can actually play with.

My job is to engineer a system of moving parts. The trick is that my systems all have one special moving part: a human mind, experiencing joy.

My job is to take the dozens of decisions made by game designers about what will make for a fun game, then implement them... and make hundreds of tiny decisions about that fun which the designers never thought about.

My job is to read the minds of game designers and what they intended; and to read the mind of game players and what they'll expect. (It helps a lot that I am a game designer, and a game player.)

My job is to make the part of the game that people play.

My job is to create mathematical structures that evoke emotion.

My job is to create art that people can interact with.

My job is sculpting gameplay.

In summary: I have the best job ever.

Thanks for your time!

Shay Pierce is a game designer and programmer with 9 years of experience in the industry, and owner of Deep Plaid Games LLC. He designed and coded the iOS puzzle game Connectrode. He is happier that he doesn't work for Zynga with each passing day.
Follow his game development antics on Twitter: @IQpierce
This post was reposted from his blog at Deep Plaid Games:

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