What Are The Differences Between a Programmer And Designer?

Game development is not a one man task. It is a job that requires multiple disciplines. A successful game is created from the combined efforts of each. Some of these disciplines are game programming, game designing, game testing or analysis, publishing, marketing, accounting, and others. They work is dependant on each other. Programmers are useless if there’s no designers to design the game storyline. There’s no use for character artists if there are no programmers to transform the characters into programming codes.

However, are there any differences between a game programmer and a game designer? Many people are confused with the use of these words. Though these two words sound similar, they are quite different. It’s just that the difference isn’t obvious.

A game designer is responsible for defining and designing the game. He comes up with the game ideas and the script. Game designers usually work together in group or as a team. The designing group is also subdivided into several area of specialisation. A designer can focus on one aspect or multiple aspects of design and can be assigned to come up with the idea, backgrounds, the script or work on the profile of the characters, their behaviour and the structures in the game, depending on the kind of game being developed.

Game designers do not necessarily need the knowledge of programming languages, unlike the programmers. It does not mean that acquiring program knowledge is a waste of effort, but it’s not compulsory. Game designers are normally educated on the theory of game, game behaviour, design theory, literature and other related courses. They are the one responsible for the designing of the goal, challenge, rules and prizes within the game.

Programmers are experts that make use of computer programming languages to create game codes based on the script they are given. The make use of programing languages such as C+, C++, and Java. What makes a good game programmer? It is very important you have formal education in computer science, game programming, and other related courses such as mathematics, physics, etc. You must be ready to work long hours.

Just like the game designers, there are also different categories of game programmers. There are some programmers who specialise in graphics programming, the translation of graphics to programming codes, some specialise on gameplay programming and some on networking.

Nearly all the disciplines in the game industry are competitive. In most game development companies, applicants with formal education are usually considered first before others. This shows the importance of formal education in any of the disciplines in game development. Formal education in your area of specialisation, either game programming or game designing, gives you the edge over your competitors.

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