How to Become a Video Game Designer

Game designers are the creative force behind getting new game projects underway. They come up with the initial concept for the game and outline how that idea will be brought to life for the player. Part of the designer’s job is to figure out the object of the game and the rules that the players will need to observe.

The game designer doesn’t go through this process alone; instead, the design phase is very much a collaborative effort. The team will likely include a lead designer who is responsible for the overall concept and helping to keep the project moving forward. The level designers are responsible for smaller portions of the game and work with the artists and programmers on projects within the overall game development.

Virtua Reality Video Game Developer Picture

Along with good communication skills, a computer or video game designer needs to be able to think logically and have artistic ability. Part of the job involves writing short stories, including scripts, and sketching them out on a storyboard. These initial ideas will be discussed and updated as the design process continues.

Being able to tell a good linear story is not all there is to working as a designer in the computer and video game industry. The player is the person who determines what kind of adventure he or she is going to have within the world created for the game; the designer needs to offer a number of possibilities for the player and all of them need to make logical sense. If the player chooses Path "A", then "B" and "C" will happen, but the plot of the game can also change depending on other elements that are brought into the game, such as its different playing levels, shortcuts, and special features.

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When working up a concept for characters and an interesting plot, the designer must also make sure that the game is entertaining and challenging for the player. The game must be neither too slow or too fast, since the designer wants to avoid creating something the player will get bored or frustrated with. The person who buys the product must be able to engage with the game and want to play it time and again.

In Focus: Launching a Game Design Career

The role of the designer is to bring a team of people together to work up a concept for a new game. In doing so, they need to be prepared to wear a number of hats, including mediator, coach and manager. The designer must listen to the team members’ ideas and find the ones that will work best with the concept for the game being developed.

Along with these skills, the designer must have the experience to understand how all the elements of putting together a video game work. This is a skill that comes with spending time working on other projects in a more junior role and gaining the experience necessary to be able to run a project independently.

Learn More: Computer Game Animation Jobs