Job titles in the game industry certainly can be confusing. The game industry really lacks a strongly defined central lexicon for terminology. I’ve held many different titles over the course of my career - scripter, technical designer, system designer, combat designer, game designer, gameplay engineer/programmer, client engineer/programmer, and software engineer/programmer. All that said, I’ve been doing the same general thing no matter what kind of title I held - creating game systems and content. That’s what the hiring managers are really looking for when they ask me for an interview - they have a set of tasks they need somebody to do, and they’re looking to hire someone who wants to and is able to do those tasks.
As for whether an open role is an exact fit… well, it depends on the individual. A lot part of career and personal growth is leveling up in various ways. That can be specializing in one specific field or it can be learning to be proficient in multiple related fields, or both. I’m very much a generalist - I’ve got a working knowledge of a bunch of different fields of gameplay, so I can slot in just about any team as a strong utility player to help out wherever it’s needed. If that’s what they’re looking for, they’ll see it in my resume and give me a call back. If it isn’t, they’ll probably ghost me or politely decline if I apply.
Finding a job is a lot like dating - you should look a partner who is looking for what you have to offer and who can offer what you’re looking for in return. If I don’t feel like the role is a good fit based on the job description (e.g. they want a super specialist in something), I move on. If I don’t think that the company can meet my needs as an employee, I move on. Trying to get a job that isn’t a good fit for both sides is a waste of everyone’s time. If you feel confident in your ability to perform an open role’s responsibilities at a shippable level, I encourage you to apply.
Got a burning question you want answered?