10 Careers In Game Design To Consider

5 min read

Education & Career Trends: February 26
Curated by the Knowledge Team of ICS Career GPS

Game design incorporates several elements, including audio engineering, artistry and writing.

  • Excerpts are taken from an article published on forbes.com.

Game design blends artistry and games, allowing professionals to apply multiple creative and technical skills daily. From drumming up engaging storylines to creating beautiful visual effects, game enthusiasts can find reward and fulfilment through a game design career.

Essentially, game designers create an immersive world that takes players on a journey and keeps them entertained.

Game design incorporates several elements, including audio engineering, artistry and writing. Large game development teams may consist of several game designers who specialise in each separate element, while smaller teams may have just one game designer spearheading artistic production.

Responsibilities of a game designer may include:

  • Presenting ideas for new games to decision-makers
  • Creating storyboards for a level or game
  • Drawing characters and creating their stories
  • Designing or improving game graphics
  • Producing music or sound for a game
  • Meeting with the development team to discuss progress
  • Working with the development team to test the final product

An exciting and dynamic field, game design can also come with its share of challenges, like ensuring that a game appeals to its fanbase for years to come and incorporating feedback from players. Game designers must also keep their skills fresh by learning new techniques and tools as graphics, processes and technology evolve.

Game Design vs. Game Development

Although game design and game development often overlap, they are separate disciplines. Game design is the creative aspect of game development, focusing on the artistry, sound and story behind a game. Game development includes more technical aspects, such as writing the code that turns a designer’s work into a playable game and managing the overall development process from start to finish.

A degree for a game designing career often includes at least one or two courses in game development and programming, and game programming degrees often touch on artistry and design. Therefore, game designers may also take on a game development role and vice versa.

Careers in Game Design

Professionals in the gaming industry can pursue various career paths, including the roles listed below.

1. Game Designer

  • These professionals oversee a game’s rules, storylines, gameplay, world-building and other functions.
  • Video game designers apply creative skills to produce engaging games that are both fun and playable.
  • They should be comfortable with game programming and visual communication.

2. Game Developer

  • Game developers write code to create video games for various platforms including computers, gaming systems and mobile devices.
  • As a game developer, you might also test games to find and eradicate faults.
  • Game developers should have skills in coding and system design, and they should work well in team settings.

3. Mobile App Designer

  • Mobile app designers create the stories and visual elements for mobile apps and games.
  • Some app developers freelance for multiple clients, while others work for large technology corporations.
  • Although mobile app designers can sometimes enter the field after completing a coding or game design boot camp, many employers prefer candidates with game design degrees.

4. Special Effects Artist

  • Video game special effects artists incorporate effects and graphics into video games to make them appear more realistic and immersive.
  • They work closely with other members of design and development teams, including storyboard artists and testers, to ensure that their artistry adheres to a game’s overall aesthetic, theme and goals.

5. Game Tester

  • Game testers look for errors and vulnerabilities in video games.
  • They also provide feedback to developers and designers regarding a game’s playability and entertainment value.
  • People with extensive gaming experience can become game testers with a high school diploma.
  • However, pursuing an associate or bachelor’s degree in game design or development may make candidates more competitive in the job market.

6. Character Designer

  • Character designers work with digital gaming and media production companies to create and animate characters for games, television and film.
  • Although this career does not require a specific degree, character designers usually have several years of experience designing characters or video games.

7. Level Designer

  • Level designers coordinate the setting, characters, storyline and animations of video game levels.
  • They work with game developers and designers to enhance the granular details of each level.
  • Employers typically prioritise experience over education for level design positions.

8. Game Writer

  • Video game writers create the stories and dialogue that bring a game to life.
  • A game design background or education can help these professionals understand how effective dialogue, storytelling and immersive graphics affect game flow.

9. Game Audio Engineer

  • Audio engineers use sound equipment to create new sounds and music to add to games to enhance storylines, set scenes and create emotion.
  • These professionals work directly with game designers and developers to fine-tune how audio elements interact with a game.
  • A high school education is sometimes the minimum requirement, employers often prefer higher-level degrees in game design, audio engineering or a similar field.

10. Multimedia Specialist

  • Multimedia specialists are usually familiar with multiple areas of multimedia, including graphic design, audio and writing.
  • They might oversee large game design teams as they complete project projects, or work collaboratively with small teams, participating in several steps of the game design process.

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(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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