Many gamers look at the games they play and dream of creating their own. Perhaps with a pet idea for a game that hasn’t been done yet. Maybe you think a particular game is brilliant, but the plot is so thin, surely a better writer could have pulled so much more out of the experience. If you find yourself thinking like this, maybe a video game design job is for you. Let’s take a look at what positions are available.
Lead designers write and program and organize. It is the responsibility of the lead designer to make sure the universe of the game is a place players will find interesting. The lead designer needs to keep track of the pulse of the gaming world, to know what is hot, what is cold and what gamers will expect in a new game. The lead designer tries to find the best compromise between the resources and time available and the needs of the project to create the best possible game, knowing where to cut corners and where to focus attention.
Another of the tasks is to ensure that everyone in the project understands and works towards the themes of the game. What seems like a minor change can cost weeks of work and waste thousands of dollars. The lead designer has to determine when it is worth those changes, and to plan well enough that changes aren’t needed more than a tiny amount of the time.
Game designers take the notes given to them by the others and turn them into virtual reality. Game designers are given parts of the game and are told to make each module work, and work together with the modules the other designers are managing. Game designers have to be good analysts and outgoing people who will seek out the other members of the team to make every piece work correctly together and leverage every skill and asset available to better the game.
They have to be able to figure out what is working, what isn’t working and what needs to be done to correct those problems. They also need to be good writers who can produce clear and concise reports and emails to communicate this with others.
Artists turn those short notes that say a dozen women in chain mail bikinis riding dinosaurs and carrying crossbows will then attack the party into a vision. In a very real sense, an artist did anything you see in the game.
There are artists specializing in character design, some who do the background images, others who create the equipment and even animals. Artists must understand how the images will be rendered, so they can create the best appearances while using the least possible amount of system resources.