Render Programmer (Planet Franchise)

Frontier is an established, market leading independent developer and publisher of videogames for PC and consoles. Founded in 1994, we are based in the world-leading technology cluster and historic city of Cambridge, England. With a growing team of over 750 talented people, we are passionate about creating innovative genre-leading games and authentic worlds for our communities of players.  

We have achieved serial successes across a wide variety of titles including Elite DangerousPlanet CoasterJurassic World Evolution and Planet Zoo. We are continuing to grow our team to support our existing portfolio and an exciting and ambitious future roadmap, which includes the development of both own-IP titles and licensed-IP titles. Our IP-license partners include Universal (Jurassic World), Formula 1 and Games Workshop (Warhammer).We are also growing our team to continue the expansion of Frontier Foundry, our publishing label for games developed by carefully selected partner studios. 

We have a modern spacious studio located on the Cambridge Science Park in the heart of the Cambridge tech hub. For those who wish to relocate to the Cambridge area and work either entirely in the studio or flexibly between the studio and home, we can provide generous financial and practical support to facilitate your move. We are also able to offer remote working for those who would prefer to work almost exclusively from home or who are unable to relocate. We can discuss your preferences with you during the recruitment process.   

About the Planet Franchise:

In 2016, Frontier Developments launched a brand-new park management game in the form of Planet Coaster which drew inspiration from our extensive experience in the field to deliver a world-class continuation of a much-loved genre. Planet Zoo followed in 2019 and in 2020 Planet Coaster was brought to consoles. The Planet brand offers the player an extensive suite of tools and strategies to create and manage their very own theme parks and zoos in a charming, vibrant world for builders of all ages.  

Purpose of the Role:

We are looking for a highly skilled and creative render programmer to work on the continued support and expansion of our genre leading family of Planet games. The right candidate will be able to work not only with members of the render and wider programming team but also with artists and content creators to help deliver the artistic vision. In conjunction with this a good understanding of the render pipeline is essential as you’ll be spending time working with existing systems to integrate your work.  

Our Planet titles offer a sandbox experience to players allowing them almost limitless creativity to build whatever they can dream up. This player freedom means that our render programmers need to also be equally creative with their approaches to solving problems. Many established techniques don’t map or scale well to the sandbox nature of the games. You will be challenged to create techniques that both map and scale well, all with the splendour we expect from our Planet games. 

The Planet brand uses Frontier’s proprietary Cobra ™ engine which allows us to create whatever we can imagine and design. As such we’re looking for candidates who can innovate and use our existing technology to its fullest. We pride ourselves on the strength of our game visuals and the strength and depth of technical expertise within the team. In return we can offer you unique challenges not found elsewhere along the ability to shape our graphics technology and visuals in ways only proprietary engines can offer.  


  • Create and enhance graphical features to deliver the visual targets for the Planet IP.
  • Profile and optimise graphical features to deliver the performance targets for the Planet IP. 
  • Work within a multi-discipline team balancing the needs of differing stakeholders. 
  • Use your knowledge and expertise to contribute to the wider rendering team both on the Planet Series and throughout the studio. 

About You:

  • Essential 
  • Passion for creating beautiful games. 
  • Open to exploring new ideas and approaches. 
  • Comfortable programming in C++ and shader languages such as; HLSL. 
  • Knowledge of modern game rendering pipelines and techniques. 
  • Experience with profilers (PIX, Nsight, VTune, etc.). 
  • Strong 3D maths skills. 
  • An effective communicator who is able to tailor information and presentation towards different audiences. 

  • Desirable 
  • Experience in a similar role. 
  • An artistic eye is beneficial. 
  • Cross-platform development experience (e.g. PC, Xbox and PlayStation platforms). 

What we can offer you

We offer the chance to work with talented and passionate people, developing and publishing sophisticated and enduring games in a creative and collaborative environment. We love what we do, and we work hard to provide outstanding experiences for our player communities. Frontier rewards this passion and determination by sharing in the company’s success and by supporting our teams to keep doing what they love.

Well-being is a big focus at Frontier and we are continually evolving how we can support our staff. We encourage a healthy work/life balance and host a range of well-being activities, initiatives and sessions to support both mental and physical health.

We offer a competitive salary and benefits package, which includes a success-based annual bonus, share option schemes, pension, life assurance, private family healthcare, flexitime working hours, enhanced maternity/paternity package, in-house subsidised catering, support with relocation, a Cycle to Work scheme and free bike servicing, and social events.

We welcome and encourage applications from qualified candidates regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, religion or belief.

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Meet the team


Principal Programmer

Hi! I'm Katherine and I'm a Principal Programmer on Frontier's in-house engine. I work on various aspects of engine coding, focussing on supporting new console platforms, and on feature requests from our game teams. I also help mentor new programmers who are starting at Frontier.

I joined Frontier as a Graduate Programmer in 2009, and Kinectimals for Xbox 360 was the first shipped title I worked on. I have been involved in developing many titles including Zoo Tycoon, Tales From Deep Space, Planet Coaster and Jurassic World Evolution, and have enjoyed working with the teams on those projects. Since moving to the engine, I have been involved in porting the engine to the next generation consoles and supporting game teams with recent console releases.


Senior Gameplay Programmer

Hey, I’m James. I’m a Senior Gameplay Programmer and currently Lead on Planet Zoo. My day-to-day role involves managing and supporting all the game features on a project, and collaborating with every other department to make sure things work as expected! I help the Programming Team to implement and maintain features on games, I also interview and train new programmers on the project.

I started in 2012, and have worked on a bunch of great games, such as Kinect Sports: Rivals, Screamride, Planet Coaster and Planet Zoo. It’s always been great to work with such a talented team of creatives. It’s also been lovely to see our work generate such a huge amount of love and creativity from the community of players that we keep working with. The company has grown a lot in the time I've been here and myself along with it.