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Get Paid for Designing Video Games: The Essentials of Video Game Programming Internships

by | Apr 12, 2021 | Internships

Are you a gamer? Are you studying in the science field? Combine these two interests and be a video game programming intern. 

What is a Video Game Programming Intern?

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Video game programming interns do research and development along with actually doing game design. Working as an intern benefits you and the video game company because you will build experience, and they will get fresh talent in the industry for a temporary period of time. 

Sometimes an internship will lead to a full-time job after completion and upon graduation. The programs can be full-time or part-time, depending on the company. Typically if an internship is full-time, it will be held as a summer internship, due to interns being students. 

As an intern, you work directly with a variety of people within the gaming industry such as software engineers, game testers, game developers, game designers, and a team of engineering professionals. 

Skills for Video Game Programming Internships

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What they are looking for:

  • Working towards or completed a bachelor’s degree in computer science, software engineering, game programming, game development, or a related field. 
  • Simulation and instructional design
  • Game and software design
  • C++ proficiency 
  • Programming languages like Python and Java
  • Unreal Engine 4
  • Rendering and graphics
  • Risk-taker
  • Written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to take direction from leadership

What skills to gain while doing an internship program:

  • Code developing
  • Team settings
  • Project management
  • Problem-solving, particularly identifying problems
  • Further software development experience

Companies That Hire Video Game Programmer Interns

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There are well-known technology companies that hire video game programming interns like Microsoft, Ubisoft, Nintendo, and Gameloft. These are internship programs with typically multiple interns hired at a time. Although, they are highly competitive. 

There are other mid-sized companies such as Epic Games and Riot Games that have great internship programs as well.  

To hear more about Riot game’s internship program and how the process to get the internship, listen to the podcast they did on The Internship Show!

Cities that have more game programming are Los Angeles, San Francisco, Atlanta, Irvine, New York City, Seattle, and Miami. But currently, these cities are hosting most of their programs with remote internships due to the pandemic.

Places to look for these internships are on LinkedIn and on Game Industry Career Guide‘s website. 

Game Programming Intern Job Resumes

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resume for a game programming internship should have your portfolio, website, or sample links right at the top to be visible. 

After that, offer an objective with the goals that you have while in the game development industry.

After the objective section, create an accomplishment section. This will list the projects that you worked on and what they are. Next, create a skills section. This will have the skills relevant to the internship. 

Then, have a section with your education and work history. The work history section should have clear bullet points listing what the job type was and what you did in each position. 

Interview Tips for Game Programing Internships

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When arriving at the interview, bring the samples of your work. Then while answering questions, share how you work in a team. These positions are highly teamwork-driven. Therefore, the interview should be a moment for you to share those teamwork examples. But, focus on your successes in the team and how you completed those. 

Every interview has a portion where you ask them questions. During this time, question their current projects. It shows you did research and truly want to know more about them.

If the interview went well, expect to have a test on your skills. These tests are typically done on your own time, at home. They are meant to test your skills, but not to intimidate you. The tests will ensure that you are the right candidate for the position.

Photo by Igor Karimov on Unsplash

If you are interested in video games and highly desire an internship, consider applying to a variety of positions. Other positions that are related to video game programming are software engineer intern and general programming intern. Also, look into other positions at game studios. They typically have multiple positions. It allows you to still build a network within the industry regardless of position.

About Scholars

Scholars helps companies build engaging candidate experiences at scale. Create personalized journeys for all of your candidates from application through onboarding.

About Scholars

Internships and early-career jobs are unlike any others. They are often accepted months, if not years, in advance of the start date leaving plenty of time for candidates to change their minds and decide to work elsewhere, costing your team time and money.

There are two ways that have been proven to decrease renege rates for any company: keeping candidates engaged by sharing personalized information and helping them make connections with their future teammates. Companies use Scholars to accomplish both of these at scale.