For those that don’t want to be stuck in the basic coding of a video game, never witnessing the visual interpretation of your work, the role of game designer might be a better fit for you.
While, programmers are directly attached to basic code and game engines and artists are in charge of bringing all visual aspects to life, the game designer is a mash-up of everything and one of the most important roles in the video game industry.
Your job as a video game designer will be to craft the basic concepts of the game. Often, you will need to have a degree in writing or a similar field and a great deal of experience in doing so. A lot of game designers graduated with English degrees and worked in journalism, magazine, or fiction before turning to video games. However in the video game industry, versatility is key. If you can also have experience in programming and visual design, you’ll be a lock for a great job in game design.
The job itself involves mapping out the course of the game. A game designer will often work on the basic concepts, writing up how a game will operate, how it will work, and what will happen over the course of a game. One of the most famous game designers of all time is Shigeru Miyamoto, the creator of Mario and Zelda. His schooling was in the arts and most of his job involved creating characters and game concepts, detailing intricately how he wanted his game to work.
Those details are then passed on to the programmers and artists who will start to create the engines to do what the game designer envisions and the characters to do it. A game designer is something akin to a director of a major film. Your job could include almost anything on that set, and you’d better be capable of doing it, because you are the most important person involved.
The job is probably the most fun you can have in the video game industry though. As a game designer you get the chance to pitch, develop, and write your game concepts into reality, turning those amazing ideas you had on the basement couch with your buddies into the next great video game. Your job duties are immensely varied, with everything from writing to programming to visual design and you’ll be involved in most aspects of the game’s design.
Strong leadership skills and the ability to keep track of multiple tasks will do you well in this role, and a creative streak of gold. The video game industry is always looking for the next great game designer and it could very well be you.
But if you’re looking for a position that isn’t at the top of the ladder, or that doesn’t involve so many duties there are many more to choose from. You might be a born math whiz and find programming as your niche, or a born artist, only interested in helping create the characters for video games. There are many different aspects of the video game industry for you to look into.