Lead Gameplay Programmer

Atherstone, United Kingdom
Main Location
Redmond, WA, United States
Open jobs

Rare: we're not your typical developer. Our 30+ years in the game-making business have been dedicated to crafting one beloved title after another, constantly trying new things, and infusing the fun we have every day into the games we create. Check out the Rare Replay collection for three whirlwind decades of evidence! We strive to keep Rare a fantastic place to work, from its beautiful location and state-of-the-art facilities to a strong focus on work/life balance.


If you're a keen gamer, chances are you've already caught wind of our epic shared world pirate adventure Sea of Thieves, released in March 2018 and a journey we're committed to for the long haul even as we begin to think about what's out there beyond the horizon. With every day bringing new challenges and discoveries in equal measure, there's never been a more rewarding time to join our daredevil crew!

 Role Purpose 

At Rare, our goal is to create experiences where moment to moment gameplay encourages collaboration between our players.

Our highly systemic game generates a vast range of possibilities for fascinating emergent experiences.

As Lead Gameplay Programmer you’ll be building the heart and soul of our game and creating the moment to moment experience that our players will love. You and your team will work in tandem with our Design, Animation and Art teams to construct both the systems of our game world and their expression in the mechanics of the game. You’ll grant the player their agency and shape the feedback they feel.

The Lead Gameplay Programmer role is a fusion of creativity and implementation. You’ll bring your passion for building detailed, inspiring game worlds and will feed as much into design as into implementation. Day to day, you’ll facilitate constant experimentation, closely assisting Design as you explore possibilities and measure outcomes together.


  • Take an active role in the design of the game, working closely with our design team and bringing your own perspective to generate novel ideas and help solve design challenges.
  • Work on a full range of gameplay technology – such as game systems, game mechanics, character movement & animation, UI, tools, and multiplayer gameplay.
  • Marry the need to rapidly experiment and iterate towards fun with the development of our game as a service. You’ll care deeply that our game code is architected sustainably, and you’ll assist your team in managing risk around all the features they develop.
  • Imbue your team with concern for performance and memory, and build on Rare’s industry leading culture of test automation for gameplay code, to guarantee that we can deliver incremental improvements consistently as our game grows.
  • Make it your business to understand the outcomes of the gameplay experiments you run and to know how the features your team develop are being used by our players. Foster a culture of using data in ongoing decision making and prioritisation.
  • Take part in planning exercises, representing and coordinating your team, and making your own recommendations so that the project owners can make informed decisions for the overall direction of the project.
  • Coordinate and communicate with all other development efforts within Rare to best facilitate the progress of your team.
  • Build and train your world class team. Use your knowledge and experience to mentor team members ranging from graduate to senior levels.
  • Program gameplay code as required, take part in code reviews, and retain a hand in development.
  • Innovate, experiment, learn every day. Don’t be afraid to fail.
  • Experience leading software development teams.
  • Practical familiarity with standard approaches in game mechanics, network synchronisation, dedicated servers, MMO development, AI.
  • Deep knowledge and understanding of design patterns and architectures related to game development and a desire to pass on your expertise to raise the capabilities of our team.
  • Ability to communicate technical solutions to audiences with a variety of technical backgrounds.
  • Recent professional experience developing in C++.
  • Familiarity with Unreal Engine is desirable.
  • Formal qualifications in Computer Science are desirable.




Microsoft is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, ancestry, color, family or medical care leave, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, medical condition, national origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, protected veteran status, race, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by applicable laws, regulations and ordinances. 


Benefits/perks listed below may vary depending on the nature of your employment with Microsoft and the country where you work.

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