Also known as: Audio developer, Audio engineer, Audio tools programmer, Game audio implementer
Audio programmers write the code that makes games sound awesome. The sound of a game, both the sound effects and music, are integral to the gameplay experience. Audio programmers write the script that determines functions like volume and makes it possible for effects like gunshot or footsteps to be triggered by the player’s actions.
They are also responsible for developing the software which integrates the audio files into the game. Having designed and created new audio tools, they support programmers and designers in using them. They are also responsible for testing and debugging the audio code.
Most audio programmers have at least two years’ experience in the games industry. This is not an entry level role. Having said that, you can impress employers by showing them what you are capable of making.
At school or college:
If you want to go to university:
Take any of the following A-levels, Highers or Level 3 BTECs:
If you want to go straight into a job or apprenticeship:
The following Level 3 vocational qualifications would be relevant:
Build a portfolio:
Create work that demonstrates your technical knowledge of the principles of sound and audio manipulation, and as well as your skills as a programmer. This is what will impress future employers. Go to build your sound portfolio and build your games portfolio to learn how.
Create levels of a game using software provided by the publishers.
Get a degree:
Most people in the games industry have degrees. An increasing number of programmers have master’s degrees too. Get a degree in physics, computer science, computer programming or maths. Or have a look at ScreenSkills’ list of recommended courses in games and select one in programming. We recognise courses with our ScreenSkills Select award where they offer training in the relevant software, dedicated time to building a portfolio and have strong links with the games industry.
Get to know people in the games industry by attending events, including games conferences and expos. Meet professionals and ask them questions about their work, while demonstrating interest and knowledge in the industry. Offer to provide them with your professional contact details and try to stay in touch with them. Go to how to network well to learn how to do this.
Take a course to supplement your programming skills:
A short course in audio engineering or music production is a useful addition.
Search for jobs:
If you already have experience as a games programmer or artist, use the UK Games Map to find out if there are games companies near you. Then go to their websites directly and check out their open roles.
Being a music composer or sound designer in the games industry. You might also be interested in being a sound mixer or music editor in the film and TV drama industries, or a sound designer or composer in the animation industry.
Covers genres ranging from period dramas to epic fantasies screened at the cinema, on TV or on streaming sites
Involves making sequences on a computer that can't be created on set, like enormous crowds and fire-breathing dragons
Creates the illusion of movement, includes computer-generated, stop-motion and hand-drawn animation