Video game designers create the rich, exciting worlds that allow us to indulge our imaginations and immerse ourselves in an alternate reality. If you play video games, you’ve probably thought about turning it into a career, but know there are many dimensions to this occupation. Video game designers start with a list of concepts, narrowed down by a large team of developers to the best one. Teamwork is essential in this field, as designers collaborate on role-play mechanics, story lines, character development, graphics, and everything in between. They are likely to need expertise in programming languages and game design computer software as well. They usually work in office settings, with typical office hours expanding to overtime as project deadlines approach. A single project usually lasts about two years, and ‘crunch’ time can last months - but through it all, these designers still report high levels of job satisfaction. To enter the field, some will create a portfolio of video game designs and concepts that will help them get noticed and hired. Others start out as quality assurance testers and work their way up. A bachelor’s degree in computer science isn’t usually required, but can be helpful if you lack other experience. These professionals aren’t just making games – they’re designing the future of gameplay experience.
What they do:
Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, story lines, and character biographies. Create and maintain design documentation. Guide and collaborate with production staff to produce games as designed.
On the job, you would:
Balance and adjust gameplay experiences to ensure the critical and commercial success of the product.
Devise missions, challenges, or puzzles to be encountered in game play.
Create core game features, including storylines, role-play mechanics, and character biographies for a new video game or game franchise.
Engineering and Technology
computers and electronics
Math and Science
arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, or statistics
Arts and Humanities
listening to others, not interrupting, and asking good questions
reading work related information
noticing a problem and figuring out the best way to solve it
People and Technology Systems
thinking about the pros and cons of different options and picking the best one
figuring out how a system should work and how changes in the future will affect it
read and understand what is written
communicate by writing
Ideas and Logic
come up with lots of ideas
create new and original ideas
pay attention to something without being distracted
People interested in this work like activities that include creating, designing, and making your own rules.
They do well at jobs that need:
Attention to Detail
You might use software like this on the job:
Development environment software
Microsoft Visual Studio
Data base user interface and query software
Microsoft SQL Server
Object or component oriented development software
bachelor's degree or high school diploma/GED usually needed
Get started on your career:
New job opportunities are very likely in the future.