Helping students gather information to pursue a creative career

Game Design

Do you have a passion for video games? Ever wondered how a video game is made? Today, you can learn how to create video and computer games yourself through numerous game design degree programs. But, it’s not all fun and games. Video game developers must have serious skills too. These masterminds write the blueprint of the game and they decide on the theme, mission and rules. Their main mission is to make the game entertaining and keep you coming back for more. The steps to finishing a polished, successful game are meticulous and lengthy. It begins with brainstorming ideas, collaborating with artists and other designers and revising through testing. They test their ideas by writing short scripts, narratives and sketching rough storyboards. As the ideas solidify, designers oversee the production of the game. The game evolves over time as the designers continually edit and add to the overall game.

According to a quarterly report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, game developers suggest that students start preparing for their careers in video game development early. In order to do so, students should get a well-rounded education with an emphasis on math to hone their reasoning and problem solving skills, as well as studying writing and liberal arts to nurture their creativity. While in school, you will learn the intricacies of art and animation techniques of games and interactive software industry. Some programs may emphasize traditional 2D artistry, 3D modeling and animation. Aside from necessary schooling, game designers need to have certain skills to guide others and the development of games. Communication is one of the most important skills a designer can have because they are always talking with others, collaborating ideas and giving feedback. They also need to be good managers for leading the development team and making sure it incorporates the game concept. Game designer must exhibit technical skills in computer programming and software design as well. The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not have exact earnings for game designers, but industry sources say their salaries vary. Writers and designers typically earned about $35,000 to $75,000 annually in 1998 and 1999. When you graduate, you may embark on an entry-level career, such as a 3D character modeler, lead artist, quality assurance game tester or a graphic designer.

Here are some other possible careerpaths for game design graduates:

  • A 3D character modeler creates 3D characters and creature assets for games, helps the lead character artist evaluate tools and processes, as well managing and reviewing externally-created assets. They also work with designers, programmers and others to develop products and participate in some testing of games.
  • Lead designers collaborate with the studio head and art directors to layout the smaller sections of the game by establishing visual content and artwork for each project. They work on art content during each stage of production, as well as take an active role in planning projects, authoring style guides and coming up with concept illustrations.
  • If getting to play video games for a profession sounds good to you, then you should look into becoming a game tester. These testers analyze games and note any software defects for quality control purposes.
  • Writer designers produce the game text and dialogue, and some also write manuals and hint books.