What does a build engineer do?
Games need to be continually updated, improved and kept free from errors. A build engineer's primary role is to make sure an up-to-date build of the game can be created when needed as quickly as possible.
This involves automating and optimising processes, maintaining software and hardware systems, creating tests and helpful tools, and communicating with every member of the game team.
The improvements go through various stages. This is known as the release schedule. Build engineers solve technical problems that might interfere with a release, so it goes smoothly for programmers and players alike.
The scope of the roles depends on the size of the games studio. In smaller studios, build engineers write the code themselves. In larger ones, they pass on the tasks to other programmers. They also look at how the build could be easier. They see if there are elements in the build and release that could be automated freeing up the programmers for other jobs.
What is a build engineer good at?
- Organisation: plan the release, manage the making of the new build while maintaining the old one
- Programming: develop code to improve the build
- Innovation: spot problems with the code and be able to find solutions
- Communication: be able to share thinking with designers, programmers, project managers and QA technicians - it’s important everyone agrees the build engineers’ plans
- Attention to detail: spot imperfections in code, write detailed documents about each release