- Video Game Designer
Who is a Video Game Designer?
Gamers can feel when developers are passionate about their games ~ Scott Rogers
When we think of the famous video game designers, we think of names like Tim Shafer, Suda51 or Hideo Ko Jima. Wondering what these people have in common? Well they are all game designers. It is video game designers like these who have shaped the industry and made the gaming culture as we know it today. Therefore, it makes a lot easier to understand why so many people desire to become a video game designer. A game designer plays a pivotal role in the overall direction of the game. Everything starts with a game designer in the gaming industry. Even before a single line of code is written a game designer is busy planning for all the pre-production work which involves working on several game design documents.
Video Game Designer in a Nutshell
The career as a video game designer is filled with excitement as well as responsibilities. A video game designer is someone who is involved in the process of creating a game from day one. He or she is responsible for fulfilling duties like designing the character of the game, the several levels involved, plot, art and similar other elements. A video game designer may also write the codes for the game using different programming languages. Depending on one’s job responsibilities and experience he or she may also have to lead a team and do the early testing of the game in order to suggest changes and find loopholes.
Quick Facts for Video Game Designer
Average Salary in India
In order to make a career as video game designer an individual belonging to any section or gender of the society can do so. It doesn’t matter which gender he or she belongs to when it comes to taking up video game designer as a full-time career option. Being a video game designer in India can be of several advantages due to the vast career opportunities available in this field where an individual’s gender is insignificant. Besides designing a video game is about having the skills and creativity to do so and gender doesn’t play any significant role.
Any special needs
When it comes to taking up video game designer jobs it is better to be physically fit for a better and efficient way of working. But, differently-abled people can also be a part of video game designer jobs as it is more of mind and creative work than physical work. If an individual can carry out all the duties without the efficiency of the work being affected then he or she can become a video game designer.
Table of Contents for Video Game Designer
What is the role of Video Game Designer?
The video game starts with a concept. In the career as video game designer, one takes care of it. He or she works with a team and the game producers, who look at key details such as target audience, needs, deadlines, and budgets. Video game designers bring the concept of gameplay and structure to life, often by exploring themes and genres, as well as developments in existing games. All of this is created using computer software where the video game designer enters computer text, which is then processed by the software to produce commands, events, objects and characters that players interact with.
The first step for a video game designer is about writing the whole plot and idea of the game. One needs to pen down every single detail about the game’s setting, environment, goals, number of characters, twists, puzzles, so on and so forth. This needs to be done and approved before any production work is started for the video game.
Once the plot of the video game is made and approved by the producers, the video game designer begins working on the characters that are going to be the part of the video game. The character sketch involves every detail including gender, height, built, role, dialogues, clothing, voice, looks and several other aspects.
In order to help the video game design to function properly one must set the rules. Setting rules involve various steps a player will have to take in order to complete a particular game task or to cross every stage that is involved in the game. It defines the penalties involved while playing the game as well.
Explaining the work
In order to make an entire video game, whole team is required. It is not a one man job and a video game designer cannot do it all alone. Therefore, a clear form of communication must take place in order to avoid any ambiguity or errors to take place. Briefing the entire team about the work that is expected out of them is a critical step. Each team member must be assigned responsibilities along with it’s deadlines.
A video game designer is supposed to either test the game himself or he could also assign someone from the team to do so. It is essential that the game’s final output is in accordance with the game plot that was written and a video game designer makes sure of it. One makes the required changes after the testing of the game has been done and the loopholes have been found.
Types of a Video Game Designer
Scripting Designer: A scripting designer is the one who writes several code scripts that will enable the game to automate certain tasks involved in it. He or she is typically responsible for using scripting languages and build a connecting bridge between the design and engineering aspects of the video game.
Gameplay Designer: A gameplay designer is the one who has experience of a few years as well as an understanding of how a video game is created. A gameplay designer has deep knowledge of the game’s mechanics and controls. He or she works closely with the coders who write the codes for the gameplay.
Level Designer: A level designer as the name suggests are involved in designing the levels of a video game. He or she is required to work on video games that have an episodic format like shooters, racing or several other adventure games. A level designer is good at developing fun and challenging levels and works closely with environment modelers and animators involved in the team.
UX Designer: A UX designer is the one who makes sure that the game is user friendly and is suitable for the target audience to play even if they are not a gaming champion. A UX designer is responsible for designing the feel of the video game. He or she has the knowledge of building a UI screen or HUDs. A UX designer works closely with the 2D artists, UI engineers as well as the animators in the team.
What is the workplace/work environment of Video Game Designer like?
In the career as a video game designer, one spends most of his or her time in the office environment itself. As a result, working hours are mostly between 9 to 5. The individual may sometimes stretch depending on the task in hand. It is a desk job and the individual generally works in an office on a desk and in a clean environment. One does not have to do any kind of physical work.
Does Video Game Designer require travelling?
It is definitely a job for those who do not like to travel much during their work hours and sit and work peacefully. In the career as video game designer, one does not require to travel.
The employment shift of a video game designer is full-time in nature. The duration is generally ranging between 40-45 hours a week. It may stretch depending on the workload on the individual.
In the career as video game designer, one works in a 9 to 5 job on weekdays. One may have to work Saturdays depending on the workload. The job is mostly permanent in nature but these days there are several freelancers who work on a contractual basis.
The nature of employment in the career as video game designer can be both permanent as well as contractual in nature. For example, he or she can be employed by a public or private organisation as a video game designer on a full-time basis or one could be a freelancer or work with a firm which provides the demanding company for a video game designer for a specific task and then they won’t need him or her. It is contractual in nature.
Presence in Geographical Area
In the career as video game designer, one mostly functions in an urban or semi-urban location. These companies do not operate in rural environments.
There can be time pressure involved in a video game designer’s job especially when the deadline is near for the project delivery. Although the work pressure is not frequent in nature.
In the career as a video game designer, one may have to work overtime in order to meet the desired target or deadline. It is not a daily affair but depending on the deadline given by the investors of the game a video game designer may have to work overtime.
Weekly Hours of Work
Min 40 Hours
In the career as a video game designer one has to work a minimum of eight hours on a daily basis. Which means 40 hours a week. The work hours can stretch depending on the project an individual is working for.
How to become a Video Game Designer?
What are the skills and qualities required to become a/an Video Game Designer?
Domain knowledge: One needs to know the industry internally and get acquainted with all the key players and topics in the career as video game designer. Playing games is the best way to build an eye for detail and good structure. One needs to vary the type and designs of games he or she plays to ensure a wide range of comprehension.
Technical skills: Whether a video game designer is creating graphics, coding or doing process management, he or she needs good technical skills. In the career as a video game designer, one should be familiar with the latest programming languages and graphic skills. Improving skills in these areas will help build a video game designer’s portfolio by creating graphics and game demos that one can add to his or her portfolio.
Drawing skills: Artists and individuals who have an artistic side are very much sought for in the gaming industry. Whether one works in graphics or not, one must have some artistic knowledge in order to add up to the quality of the video game. It is essential in the career as video game designer.
Teamwork: The gaming companies include groups of people, working together, achieving the same ultimate goal of building a video game. In the career as a video game designer, one has to be a good communicator, he or she should be good at interacting with people and meeting several deadlines, working well under pressure if necessary. An individual’s writing and oral communication skills should be good. These skills can be honored by giving presentations about the video game.
Which certifications and internships can be helpful in becoming Video Game Designer?
We have mentioned below certifications that individuals may opt for who want to establish a career as Video Game Designer.
Internships are considered as the best possible way for gaining experience in an individual's career choice. Since the field of video game designing is about creating an entertaining atmosphere for the user, it can be learned in a better way by doing it practically. The internships provide the candidate with real-world experience. It is a way of knowing the career field before professionally joining it. Internships provide an aspiring candidate the opportunity to apply the theoretical knowledge and put it in use. Not only that, internships also enable the candidate to make connections in the field for future use. If he or she performs well during the internship several companies or organisations could also hire the candidate on a full-time basis.
Career Path Progression for Video Game Designer
2D Game Designer: A 2D game designer, as the name suggests works on the 2D games. It is his or her job to design the various game characters, environment and the storyboard which can influence the entire feel of the video game. One needs to draw as well as add texture to the several elements of the game.
3D Game Designer: A 3D game designer does the same job like that of a 2D game designer like designing the game characters, levels, environment as well as the storyboard. The only difference is that a 3D game designer works on games which have a 3D format. In the field of video gaming, 3D game designers are in more demand as compared to the 2D game designers.
System Designer: A system designer is the one who is supposed to architect complex systems like the progression or metagame features. He or she needs to do a lot of work in a spreadsheet. A system designer works closely with system engineers in the team.
Mobile Designer: In a free-to-play mobile space there are a lot of specialised designers that focus on developing retention and monetisation design. A mobile designer is generally the one who heavily uses analytics and is constantly reviewing data in order to optimise the game altogether.
Video Game Designer Jobs and Salaries
2D Game Designer
- Average Salary 22000
- Junior Level Salary 20000
- Senior Level Salary 30000
A 2D video game designer is considered as the easiest job in the field of video game designing. An individual can begin his or her work from this job position. It does not involve the candidate to go into the technological details and therefore he or she can begin to gain some essential knowledge at a beginner’s level.
The salary of a 2D video game designer majorly depends on which sector he or she is working for as in the genre of the game. An individual is paid comparatively more if one is working for the adventurous game sector than in any other gaming genre.
3D Game Designer
- Average Salary 28000
- Junior Level Salary 23500
- Senior Level Salary 32000
The job of a 3D game designer is a lot similar to that of a 2D game designer like designing the characters, environment, sketching everything out but it is done for a three-dimensional game.
The salary of a 3D game designer majorly depends on which organisation the individual is working for. The salary increases as the years of work experience increases. On the other hand one can also be promoted to a higher designation if he or she performs well.
Mobile Game Designer
- Average Salary 33000
- Junior Level Salary 30000
- Senior Level Salary 45000
A mobile designer is the one who designs games for mobile phones. He or she studies and analyses the needs of the audience in order to make better and user-friendly games.
In the field of video game designing, the rank of a mobile designer is constantly increasing as there is a huge population who owns a cellphone which can support mobile games. Therefore, it is a huge market to cater as well as the salary offered is also decent.
What is the job outlook for Video Game Designer?
Candidates who wish to make a career as a video game designers experience quite a significant job growth. As and when the students gain knowledge and experience he or she steps up the ladder of designation in the field of video game designing. Since the field is vast and it continues to grow, there are plenty of growth opportunities. Depending on the individual’s track record of designing video games as well as handling the team, play an important role in an individual’s job growth. Although, there are a few Indian firms that pay well for video game designers, there are some high-profile international enterprises operating in the country that hire people who want high-quality video game designers.
The world continues to evolve on a daily basis and so does the technology. With so much advancement in technology, an increasing number of changes and developments are entering the gaming market which have in turn increased the growth in demand for a video game designer. Not just big multinational companies need a video game designer but even smaller game designing companies are hiring more and more video game designers in order to grow their profit share in the market by designing video games catering a larger target audience.
Frequently Asked Questions for Video Game Designer
Que. What can I do after 12th to become a game designer?Ans.
There are several bachelor level programmes that an individual can get enrolled in order to become a video game designer. Some of them are:
Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Graphics, Animation & Gaming.
Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Digital Filmmaking & Animation.
Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) Computer Science and Game Development.
Bachelor of Science in Animation Game Design and Development.
Que. Is being a video game designer difficult?Ans.
Being a video game designer can be tough because, at one point in this career, the individual will have to deliver outputs for a project despite encountering several problems and issues and that makes being a video game designer a tough job and it can get stressful at times due to various deadlines.
Que. Are video game designers well paid?Ans.
The job of a video game designer can get stressful at times but he or she is paid quite well. An individual goes through a lot of hard work in order to reach that position and he or she gets the remuneration accordingly.
Que. Can you get a video game designer job with no experience?Ans.
It is not necessary to have job experience before becoming a video game designer. But, one must have completed a degree course in order to become a video game designer. It makes finding a job a lot easier.
Que. Name some of the best colleges to pursue a video game designer degree.Ans.
Some of the best colleges to pursue a video game designer degree are:
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