1. Kinds of Programmers in Game Development
  2. Game designers in modern gamedev 
  3. Quality Assurance in gamedev 
  4. Art & animation specialists in game development
  5. Keeping it together - the role of Management in game development
  6. The conclusion 

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Despite some well-known exceptions, like Stardew Valley, developing games is a teamwork opportunity. 

Each member of the game development team brings a unique set of skills to the table, ensuring that every aspect of the game, from conceptualization to execution, combines into a high-quality made game.

In this article, we will highlight all the major roles required to bring a game to life in 2024. 

Kinds of Programmers in Game Development

In 2024, programmers play one of the basic roles in game development, turning creative visions into interactive experiences. They utilize powerful game engines such as Unity, Unreal Engine, Godot, and CryEngine to bring games to life. Here’s a breakdown of the key programming roles:

  1. Gameplay Programmers

Gameplay programmers are responsible for the game’s mechanics. They translate design documents into functional code, ensuring characters move correctly, interactions are intuitive, and objectives are achievable. Using engines like Unity or Unreal Engine, they work closely with designers to iterate on gameplay elements, making sure the game is fun and engaging.

  1. Render Developers

Render developers specialize in a game’s visual aspects. They work on the graphics pipeline, optimizing shaders and ensuring high frame rates while maintaining visual fidelity. Render developers need a deep understanding of how engines like Unreal Engine and CryEngine handle graphics processing. They are often experts in languages like C++ and HLSL/GLSL.

  1. Physics Programmers

Physics programmers create realistic movement and interaction within the game world. They implement complex physics systems that dictate how objects react to forces and collisions. Engines like Unity and Godot provide robust physics tools, but custom solutions are often necessary for unique gameplay mechanics.

  1. AI Programmers

AI programmers design the behavior of non-playable characters (NPCs). They develop systems that make NPCs react intelligently to the player’s actions. Whether it’s enemy tactics in a shooter or the economic strategies in a simulation game, AI programmers use algorithms and techniques to create believable behaviors.

  1. Network/Backend Developers

Network or backend developers are essential for multiplayer and online games. They handle the server-side logic, ensuring smooth communication between players’ devices and maintaining game state consistency. This role involves working with network protocols and often using cloud services to manage servers and databases, ensuring scalable and secure multiplayer experiences.

  1. Tools and Systems Programmers

These programmers develop the tools that other team members use. From level editors to performance profiling tools, they ensure the development process is efficient. They also work on the core systems of the game engine, ensuring it can handle the specific needs of the game being developed.

In sum, game programmers are the backbone of game development, utilizing a mix of creativity and technical prowess. Their work, powered by cutting-edge game engines, transforms ideas into the interactive worlds that players enjoy.


Game designers in modern gamedev 

Just like directors in movies, game designers are at the heart of the creative process, shaping the vision and experience of a game. They develop the overall concept of the game, as well as game mechanics. Most games have the following sub-roles for game designers: 

  1. Level Designers

Level designers craft the environments and stages of a game. They focus on creating engaging and balanced spaces that challenge and entertain players. Using tools like Unity’s ProBuilder or Unreal Engine’s Blueprints, they layout paths, place obstacles, and script events. Their work ensures that each level provides a cohesive and enjoyable experience.

An example of Level Design work we did for Insurgency: Sandstorm

  1. UI/UX Designers

UI/UX designers are responsible for the interface and overall user experience. They design menus, HUDs (heads-up displays), and in-game navigation to be intuitive and accessible. Tools like Adobe XD and Sketch are often used alongside engine-specific features such as Unity’s UI Toolkit or Unreal’s UMG (Unreal Motion Graphics). They ensure that players can easily interact with the game without frustration.

  1. Technical Designers

Technical designers bridge the gap between design and programming. They implement game mechanics and systems, often using visual scripting tools like Unreal Engine’s Blueprints or Unity’s Bolt. Their role involves tweaking gameplay elements, prototyping new ideas, and ensuring that design concepts are feasible within the game engine’s technical constraints.

  1. Systems Designers

Systems designers focus on the broader mechanics and rules of the game. They develop the underlying systems that drive gameplay, such as combat mechanics, progression systems, and economy models. They work closely with other designers and programmers to ensure these systems are balanced and engaging.

  1. Narrative Designers

Narrative designers craft a game’s story and dialogue. They create compelling narratives and character arcs that enhance the player’s experience. Tools like Twine for interactive storytelling or in-engine scripting systems are commonly used to implement their designs directly into the game.

  1. Sound Designers

Sound designers create the auditory experience of the game, including music, sound effects, and voiceovers. They use tools like FMOD or Wwise, which integrate seamlessly with engines like Unity and Unreal, to ensure that audio enhances the overall gameplay experience.

Quality Assurance in gamedev 

Quality Assurance (QA) specialists are essential to game development, ensuring that the final product is polished, functional, and enjoyable. In 2024, their roles have expanded with advancements in game engines like Unity, and Unreal Engine and the increasing complexity of games. Here’s an overview of the key roles within QA:

  1. QA Testers

QA testers are the frontline defense against bugs and glitches. They play the game from a user’s perspective, meticulously going through various scenarios to identify issues. Testers document their findings, providing detailed reports that help developers pinpoint and fix problems. Tools like Jira, TestRail, and the bug tracking systems integrated into Unity and Unreal Engine streamline this process.

Vladislav Kovtun – one of Pingle’s key QA specialists – at work

  1. Functional Testers

Functional testers focus specifically on the game’s mechanics and functionality. They ensure that every feature works as intended, from basic controls to complex systems. This involves regression testing to verify that new updates don’t break existing features. Functional testers use automated testing tools, alongside manual testing, to cover a broad range of test cases efficiently.

  1. Compatibility Testers

Compatibility testers ensure that the game runs smoothly across various devices, operating systems, and configurations. They test the game on different hardware setups, including consoles, PCs, and mobile devices, to identify performance issues or platform-specific bugs. This role is crucial for games aiming for multi-platform releases.

  1. Performance Testers

Performance testers monitor the game’s performance, focusing on frame rates, load times, and memory usage. They use profiling tools within engines like Unreal’s GPU Profiler or Unity’s Profiler to gather data and identify bottlenecks. Their goal is to ensure that the game runs smoothly and efficiently on target hardware.

  1. Usability Testers

Usability testers focus on the player experience, assessing the game’s interface and overall user-friendliness. They gather feedback from real players to identify areas of frustration or confusion. This role often involves creating user surveys, conducting playtests, and analyzing user behavior to improve the game’s design.

  1. Compliance Testers

Compliance testers ensure that the game meets all platform-specific requirements and standards. For console releases, this includes adherence to Sony’s TRC (Technical Requirements Checklist) or Microsoft’s TCR (Technical Certification Requirements). They also ensure that the game is ready for certification and avoid costly delays.

Art & animation specialists in game development

Art specialists are crucial in bringing the visual elements of a game to life. In 2024, their roles encompass a wide range of skills and expertise, utilizing advanced tools and technologies to create stunning and immersive visuals. Here’s a look at the key roles within the art department:

  1. 3D Artists

3D artists create the models and textures that form the backbone of a game’s visual world. Using software like Blender, Maya, or 3ds Max, they design everything from characters to environments. These assets are then integrated into game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine, where 3D artists ensure they look and perform optimally. Their work involves sculpting, texturing, and sometimes even lighting, to create realistic and captivating game worlds.

A piece of our 3D art portfolio

  1. 2D/Concept Artists

2D and concept artists are responsible for the initial visual direction of the game. They create concept art that defines the look and feel of characters, environments, and other elements. These artworks serve as a blueprint for 3D artists and other team members. Tools like Photoshop and Procreate are commonly used in this role. Concept artists help establish the game’s artistic vision and ensure consistency throughout development.

  1. Riggers

Riggers are specialized 3D artists who create the skeletons and control systems for character models. They set up the bones and joints that animators will use to bring characters to life. Rigging involves ensuring that characters move naturally and believably. Tools like Autodesk Maya and Blender are essential for rigging tasks. Riggers work closely with animators to ensure that the characters’ movements are fluid and realistic.

  1. Animators

Animators breathe life into characters and objects by creating their movements and actions. They work with the rigs provided by riggers to animate everything from simple gestures to complex action sequences. Using tools like Maya, Blender, and the animation systems within Unity and Unreal Engine, animators ensure that movements are smooth and engaging, contributing significantly to the game’s immersion.

  1. Marketing Artists

Marketing artists create promotional materials to attract and engage potential players. This includes cover art, promotional videos, and in-game screenshots. They use tools like Adobe Creative Suite to design eye-catching visuals that convey the game’s essence. Their work is crucial for generating interest and excitement about the game before and after its release.

Keeping it together – the role of Management in game development

Ensuring that projects stay on track, within budget, and aligned with the overall vision is one of the key elements of teh successful game release. In 2024, managing-related roles have evolved to address the increasing complexity of game projects and the need for effective coordination across diverse teams. Here’s a breakdown of the key management roles:

  1. Project Managers

Project managers oversee the entire game development process. They are responsible for planning, scheduling, and coordinating tasks among different departments. Using tools like Jira, Trello, and Asana, they track progress, manage timelines, and ensure that milestones are met. Project managers are the glue that holds the team together, addressing any issues that arise and keeping everyone focused on the project’s goals.


Producers play a critical role in both the creative and business aspects of game development. They are involved in budgeting, resource allocation, and ensuring that the game meets its financial and quality targets. Producers work closely with all departments, from design to marketing, ensuring that the game’s vision is realized while staying within budget and on schedule. They often use software like Microsoft Project and Shotgun to manage complex workflows.

3. Creative Directors

Creative directors guide the overall vision and direction of the game. They ensure that all aspects of the game, from story to art style, are cohesive and align with the intended player experience. Creative directors work closely with designers, writers, and artists, providing feedback and making high-level decisions that shape the game’s identity. Their leadership ensures that the creative vision is maintained throughout the development process.

4. Technical Directors

Technical directors oversee the technical aspects of game development. They ensure that the game’s architecture is sound and that the team is using the right tools and technologies. Technical directors solve complex technical challenges, optimize performance, and ensure that the game runs smoothly on all target platforms. They work closely with programmers and IT staff, ensuring that technical issues are addressed promptly.

5 Community Managers

Community managers handle the relationship between the game’s development team and its players. They manage social media, forums, and other platforms to gather feedback, provide updates, and foster a positive community atmosphere. Their work is crucial for maintaining player engagement and addressing any concerns that arise from the player base.

The conclusion 

Every role in the game development process, from programmers and designers to QA specialists, artists, and managers, brings unique expertise to the table. Programmers turn creative visions into interactive experiences, designers shape the game’s mechanics and narrative, QA specialists ensure the game is polished and functional, and artists create immersive visual and auditory elements. Managers oversee the entire process, ensuring everything stays on track. Together, these roles harmonize to create high-quality games that captivate and engage players, highlighting the importance of teamwork in game development.