Seeking a Gameplay Programmer?
So you're looking for a gameplay programmer... 🧐
You have a Unity project. And your team needs some programming help.
Perhaps you're in preproduction: you're looking to prototype some game concepts before investing further time and money.
Or perhaps you're ramping up production, and you're looking for staff members to pitch in.
Either way, you want to hire someone sooner rather than later. Time is money, after all.
But you also want to hire the right person for the job:
- Someone who's available,
- Someone with the skills. And most importantly,
- Someone you can afford. Someone worth the investment.
Time is ticking. There's a lot of folks out there.
How do you decide?
The ideal candidate 💭
In an ideal world, your new staff member would tick all of the boxes:
- ✅ Shipped games. They've shipped games in the past, so you can sleep comfortably at night — knowing that your project is in capable hands.
- ✅ Expertise. They should know Unity, C#, and 3D math cold. They won't lose days figuring out rotation bugs; they can just figure out the quaternion math.
- ✅ Scoping and building. They can break any game design into modular gameplay systems, provide pinpoint-accurate time estimates on their completion, advise and cut scope if needed, then make it happen.
- ✅ Clean code. They avoid singletons like the plague, embrace dependency injection, and use version control. (This ain't the dark ages.)
- ✅ Sweating the last 10%. They understand that the last 10% of a project — the polish, the game juice, the optimization — really makes a game shine.
- ✅ Production workflows. They understand the cost-benefit analysis of when to optimize production pipelines, versus when something is good enough.
And most importantly, they'd be a joy to collaborate with. They'd multiply your team's output through process, mentorship, and positivity.
But how do you find someone like that?
You can post job ads. You can look for leads within your network. But that takes awhile.
Worse, how do verify that prospective candidates have all these skills — without spending ages doing so? Your team needs to get cracking!
Is there a solution?
The solution 🎁
You can work with me 🙂, and I can help bring your game design to life.
Whether in a freelance or full-time capacity, here's how I can help. 👇
1. Scope and build your game design 🚧️
I've shipped many game projects in Unity.
Pocket Pong AR
I designed, scoped, implemented, released, and marketed Pocket Pong AR — a mobile AR (Augmented Reality) game for iOS. See the corresponding writeup.
Give your kids the gift of an early music education with Prodigies Bells, an educational music app available on iOS and Android. As a sole freelancer, I worked with Prodigies Music to rehaul their iOS and Android apps (built in Unity), and boost their app ratings. See the corresponding writeup.
Platform: iOS, Android
A minimalist, match-3 game for web browsers. How many square matches can you find? This game is completely open source, and demonstrates many coding principles in Unity. View the repo here.
Untitled Egg Game
Making pixelated breakfast... in PICO-8. A personal, prototype project. See the tweet.
Platform: Web, Windows, Mac, Linux (PICO-8)
How to design a metroidvania
I created a YouTube video analyzing the game design of a metroidvania. It remains my most popular video at 14k+ views. See the video here.
How to make an Augmented Reality game in Unity
I created a YouTube series that steps through how to make an Augmented Reality game in Unity using AR Foundation. See the playlist here.
And as the bread and butter of any gameplay programmer, I can work with your team to:
- Review game designs,
- Suggest changes that reduce scope while keeping the desired player experience, and
- Translate your design into clear, prioritized deliverables (gameplay systems) with pinpoint-accurate time estimates.
Dialog • Audio • Importers • Networking
Or otherwise, I can execute any task or system implementation with utmost care and quality.
“Jason's one of those rare guys who exudes quiet brilliance — he has great practices and code quality, he finishes projects quickly and effectively, and he learns fast. He holds strong opinions about the right way to do things, and seems to relish the chance to dig into the subject matter and find the best solution to a given problem.
Overall, Jason's the kind of guy you want on your team. Not only will he get the job done, he'll make the whole team better while he does it.”
2. Provide technical leadership 🏭️
Technical leadership is all about standardizing technical and people processes to ensure consistent, quality results.
From your build machine, to your version control system, to your game's architecture and code quality, I can:
- map out your production workflow's pain points,
- author processes for accelerating your team's output, and
- document these processes in a clear and concise way for posterity.
As a Tools Engineer at Zynga, I designed and built full-stack web apps from scratch to operate Black Diamond Casino (a live-ops mobile casino game):
I've worked as a Tech Lead at Wonder, briefly leading the technical (full-stack) architecture for kitchen task management.
And I'm skilled at documenting processes and knowledge in written and video form. See:
- Shaders for Game Devs, my workbook for learning Unity shader programming.
- My blog about game and software development, which has 1000+ email list subscribers.
- My YouTube channel about game development, which has 380+ subscribers and 20,000+ views across all its content.
Trust that your game is in the hands of an authority, with the hard-won experience to keep the long-term interests of your business in mind.
3. Scale your team's output via mentorship 🌱
In my decade of professional experience, I've collaborated with countless product managers and UI/UX designers as a product-focused software engineer.
I can take the time to understand how your company operates, and work well within your team structure.
And as a technical authority, I'm skilled at explaining deeply technical topics in simple, relatable ways to newer teammates, and I can do the same for your company.
Here are some testimonials from past developers that I've mentored.
“Jason and I worked together as software developers on the IMS team (Inventory Management System) at Wonder. As a front-end expert, Jason proactively provided me mentorship and a series of training, which helped me a lot in improving my front-end skills and knowledge.
Jason is a very proactive individual who often comes up with innovative ideas and loves to try different solutions. He is willing to share knowledge and often hosts speeches, trying to pass on more interesting self-improvement experiences to other colleagues.
He is passionate about his work and is also very good at using document writing to record and pass on various knowledge.
Highly recommend Jason to any team looking for experienced and strong engineers.”
“I worked together with Jason at Wonder for a year. Jason is amazing at front-end development and has a great vision for his work. He focuses on his tasks not only to meet deadlines but also to high standards.
Above all, he is very open and helpful. He has never hesitated to provide support to new joiners and new people to work with.”
“In the last five months that I worked with Jason on Wonder's Inventory Management System team, he set aside time to give me weekly mentoring for frontend and career development even though he was not my direct manager. The weekly exercises that came out of these meetings helped me get a better grasp of frontend development and pointed me in a better direction going forward.
Aside from the weekly mentoring, Jason was also very meticulous and organized with his work and provided thoughtful and helpful feedback for the team. He took extra steps to improve our project and made sure that work of high is shipped for our backend, web app and mobile app. He held these same high standards for his teammates as well which I learned a lot from.
Any future team would be lucky to have Jason if they are looking for high quality work to be done.”
By multiplying your team's productivity, I can help realize your game design vision faster — without sacrificing quality.