Video games are everywhere, from home consoles and the Internet to mobile devices, cell phones, and more. With so many diverse outlets, and millions of consumers hungry for creative new content, the gaming industry offers a vast career field for college graduates that understand the industry and its specific needs.
Many jobs in the video game industry are in the heart of the game production pipeline, where different programming teams create the commands and functions that get the characters and objects up and running on screen. These artists work in a number of different capacities; there’s the Console Programmer, who designs and implements the game architecture and gameplay elements for console titles, and the AI Programmer, who programs the artificial intelligence systems and game logic that control the behavior of different characters within a game.
Strong programming skills are also needed for the more technical side of game production, including internal and external development and support. These positions include the Tools Programmer, who creates the in-house applications used by other programmers and artists to streamline their development processes on a game. Other technical support roles include the Client Systems Engineer, who designs and codes systems and tools used for governing the sound, music, user input, and interface.
Online gaming is also a major component of the industry, and many programmers are choosing to pursue a career building the architecture for online multiplayer engines. You’ll find positions like the Lead Server Programmer, who develops Internet server systems to suit the needs of different game genres, like online role-playing games and first person shooters. Then there’s the Network Multiplayer Programmer, who creates the code that lets multiple users connect online, and challenge each other to matches over a local network or Internet.
With the mobile game market a multi-billion dollar industry, there are also many opportunities in creating games and applications for the emerging platforms people take on the go. No matter how big or small the game, they all require characters, levels, and storylines to bring them to life.
Full Sail graduate Clayton Vaught is a software engineer at Blizzard Entertainment. Previously, he was a software engineer Electronic Arts, where he worked as on such titles as the survival horror epic Dead Space, implementing the game’s monsters, as well as the artificial intelligence for the boss battles.
Graduate James Farrand works as a Lead World Builder at N-Space, contributing his sharp eye for level design to such portable titles as Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare and Star Wars: The Force Unleashed for the Nintendo DS.