Gameplay Programmer

Frank Williams

People here are friendly and eager to help the team grow. Working on an MMO is a massive undertaking involving lots of people, yet it feels like you always have something important to contribute.

What is your role at ZOS?

I am a Gameplay Programmer. I code systems that run the game and work on features to help our gameplay designers build the game content. My time is usually split between maintaining what we already have, fixing bugs that we find, and working on exciting new additions to the game.

Have you always wanted to be part of the games industry and how did you come to ZOS?

I’ve enjoyed gaming my whole life and got into programming when I was in my early teens – so naturally I wanted to learn how I could become a part of this industry. After college, I spent a few years working on educational games and software, and in 2016 I got the opportunity to come work for ZOS. I’ve enjoyed playing MMOs ever since I first played Dark Age of Camelot, and now I get to help create them.

What is working at ZOS like?

ZOS is a very respectful place to work. People here are friendly and eager to help the team grow. Working on an MMO is a massive undertaking involving lots of people, yet it feels like you always have something important to contribute.

What do you find challenging about your current role?

There’s plenty of challenges, both long-term architecture of our game and short-term bugs that can be hard to pin down. For me personally, one of the biggest challenges is handling the scope of the game. A small change can have far reaching impact, so it’s important to understand how entire systems work together.

How have you moved around within the studio during your time here?

Not in terms of role, but I have moved around on which aspects of the game I work on. I’ve spent most of my time working on combat and player/monster abilities. On occasion, I also tackle tasks related to effects, synchronization, reward systems, and more. Recently I’ve been working on new animation features and AI improvements – so things can vary as a gameplay programmer.

What is it like living and working in Maryland?

Living in Maryland provides a lot of variety. If you enjoy the city, the Baltimore inner harbor is 20 minutes away. We’re close to the country, mountains to the west, near the ocean, near plenty of history, and it’s easy to have day trips to DC or Philadelphia. The best word I can use to describe my time in the greater Baltimore area is convenient.

What games do you most enjoy / are currently playing?

Usually I’m playing multiplayer games – MMOs, shooters, MOBAs, etc. I also enjoy great adventure / RPGs (usually ones that have good stories). Recently I’ve been playing lots of PUBG and DOTA 2.

How have you developed or improved your skills?

I usually read programming books and various sources online to refresh my knowledge and stay up to date. Ultimately, there’s no better way to improve than practice. Working on such a large game, there’s plenty of areas to work in that I haven’t had much experience with before.

Frank Williams's Department

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Programming

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ZENIMAX ONLINE STUDIOS is hiring for The Elder Scrolls® Online, Commander Keen, and future projects. We’re looking for talented, self-motivated people of varied experiences and backgrounds with the desire to make great games. Welcome to ZOS!

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