Becoming a Video Game Designer: Job Description & Requirements

Jul 01, 2019

Creating characters, backgrounds, and layouts for video games could be the main focus for a game designer job description. A game designer usually needs a bachelor's degree and experience to build their portfolio and advance in the field.

What is a Game Designer?

A game designer works to create the visual effects and images used in game design. Some of these designers may be computer game designers or other video game designers who create video games for gaming systems, social networks, or mobile gaming. They typically use computer programs to create their artwork and then are responsible for editing their work according to the request of directors or other animators. Other aspects of video game designers' job description may include:

  • Researching subjects for projects
  • Collaborating with directors and other game designers
  • Creating characters
  • Developing the layout of video game levels

How to Start a Game Designer Career

Video game designers usually need some formal education and experience to build their portfolio and begin a career in the field. Find out more video game designers info, below, where we discuss the steps necessary for becoming a video game designer.

Step 1: Education

There are a number of video game developer degree programs available at the undergraduate level. Most video game designers need at least a bachelor's degree. These bachelor's degrees are available as Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees and are often specifically in game design.

Schools that offer game design programs at the undergraduate and even graduate levels are available throughout the country. These programs usually require a number of hands-on projects to learn various techniques and methods in design. Students in game design programs may also take courses that discuss topics in:

  • Game design
  • Level design
  • Game production
  • Scripting languages
  • User research
  • Design process

Step 2: Experience

Most video game designers can increase their experience and further develop their skills through self-study and practice. Internship opportunities in the field are also available for hands-on training and experience. Designers must continue building their artistic portfolio to accurately portray the range of their skills and abilities. Portfolios are typically a large part of what employers look at to determine if a designer is right for a job.

Step 3: Advancement

As video game designers continue to work on various projects, those who show excellent time management skills and have the ability to work well on diverse teams may be asked to move into supervisory positions. This would require them to oversee teams of designers and help them meet project goals and deadlines.

Usually after at least 5 years of work experience, some video game designers may also decide to move into directorial positions. They may work as an art director to oversee the visual style of a game or as a director who oversees the entire creative process of a game.

Video Game Designer Salary

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that multimedia artists and animators working in the motion picture and video industries made an average annual salary of $86,080. According to the average annual salary specifically for video game designers was $63,346, as of June 2019. This average for video game designers did increase with experience, as the website reported that designers with 10 to 19 years of experience made an average of $89,414 for the same year.

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