Ah! Game designing! Many people are dreaming of becoming a game developer or a game designer. Game designers are an integral part of the creative team behind every successful video game. In a nutshell, these individuals are those who come up with the main concept of the game, the story, the setting, the characters, and the gameplay itself. The game designers are in charge of the story of each game and they work closely together with the game programmers in order to create the scripting language to make the game work.
If the game designer is in charge of the overall artistic vision of a particular game, then it is expected to be a lucrative career. According to the salary report released by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics back in 2015, game designers, animators, and multimedia artists earn an average salary of $70,000 every year. It is also considered one of the highest paying jobs for the past 6 years. So, you may be wondering now – how can you exactly become a game designer? Read on and learn the requirements and the suggested steps on becoming a game designer.
A Quick Look at the Basic Requirements
The basic requirements are different from one company to another. In reality, a high school diploma should suffice as a minimum requirement. However, blue-chip design companies typically require a bachelor’s degree in computer science or video game design obtained from some of the top art colleges. The ability to knit together a game story creatively is also one of the most important requirements. In addition, being able to understand and work with software programs, 3D modeling software, and programming languages are expected of an aspiring game designer.
Steps on Becoming a Good Game Designer
Step 1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
This step is crucial if you intend to work at the biggest game development companies. While game designing courses are not always available at all universities, obtaining a degree in other computing-related fields would immensely help. Software engineering, computer science, and computer engineering are some of the examples. You may also want to check supplemental coursework in order to consolidate your knowledge on the tools needed in designing a game. Go ahead and check any short courses or certificate programs on storyboard rendering, modeling, animation, and interface design.
Step 2. Understanding the Path You Intend to Take
Even if you desire to become a game designer, remember that such a specialization may also lead you to another related path. Do you want to become a content designer? Is your goal to eventually become the lead game designer? Are you more interested in the programming language than in designing itself? Your career goal will provide you more information on what kind of preparation you need to become a full-fledged game designer.
Step 3. Gain As Much Relevant Experience As You Can
Landing a job in a game studio and cultivating a long-term career in it may prove to be difficult if you are a novice. Engaging in internship programs and other co-op positions can provide you the upper hand you need. On the other hand, if you intend to build a career in a startup game development company, then you may have greater chances to work there even sans experience. However, expect a multitude of responsibilities. Either way, you can eventually gain relevant experience that could usher you toward a mid-level position.
Step 4. Start Developing a Game
This is where the real fun begins. Whether you intend to be part of a corporate practice or to become a freelance game designer, designing your own games can give you a bigger career platform. Many students or aspiring designers tend to use free programs to create their finest set of games. Others invest in inexpensive programs to build games that are a bit more complex. Developing your own games can help you build a better and more credible portfolio.
As with any career, acknowledging the struggles of becoming an excellent game designer is a must. Being resourceful and abreast with technology is also a big plus in cultivating a career in this field. Most importantly, honing your problem-solving skills, analytical skills, and developing a keen sense of teamwork are likewise important.
Featured photo credit: gigagamers.com via gigagamers.com