Today, video game design is a very competitive career. And for you to become a top video game designer, you will need to prove yourself to many people.
However, even though it might look like a hard field, it is one of the most enjoyable careers.
What it means to become a video game designer
Being a video game designer means you will be part of a team that creates video games. Part of your job is coming up with the characters, stories, concepts, setting, and gameplay.
As a video game designer, you must work with programmers and the artists to create a good digital game.
Video game design vs. Video game development
Even though video game design and video game development are different, they are very much related.
Game design includes the creation of mechanics, new-game concepts, and the storylines.
But with game development, it involves designing video games from the animation to the whole programming process.
However, both designers and developers need each other to develop a great game. Without each other, developing a digital game is almost impossible.
What are the career requirements for a video game designer?
Though most employers need a bachelors degree in the video game or computer science field, employers are also looking for talent.
For instance, you need a high school diploma, and working experience in computer science, programming or art.
Also, you need to demonstrate that you are creative. Apart from being creative, you will need to have some abilities to tell a story and work as a team.
The other requirements are the ability to understand important programming languages, 3D modeling programs, and software programs.
You are also required to spend several hours seated in front of a computer.
Here’s a short list of requirements for becoming a video game designer
1. Get a Bachelor’s Degree
If you are planning to become a video game designer, the first step is obtaining a bachelor’s degree.
This is compulsory, particularly if you would like to work in a large firm.
Even though there are some institutions that offer a degree in video game design, ambitious digital game designers get all the required training from computer related programs.
Degree subjects include 2D and 3D animation and modeling, drawing, interface design, scripting, and storyboard rendering.
Apart from getting a degree, it is essential to be a video game player. Understanding video games, the trends and the advancement in the field can help a lot.
Being a video game player can help you learn how a video game is structured and help you think of improvements when designing your own game.
Also, when learning the design program, it is important to join a video game design club.
Here you will be able to develop and discuss game design matters outside the classroom.
Most of these clubs cover the aspects of the program that might not be taught in a classroom but are useful for future designing programs.
2. Determine your career path
Even if you know you want to become a video game designer, it is important to determine your career path.
This is because there are many types of designers. Some of them include content designer, lead designer, and level designer.
Also, digital game designers have a wide range of responsibilities that might be obvious.
Being able to adapt to any game designing job is the key. Focusing on one path is OK but be prepared to become a multitasker.
Hence, as a person aspiring to be a video game designer, it is important for you to determine and shape the path you would like to follow.
Apart from joining a design club at school, it is essential to create a network. Start by attending meet-ups that focus on video game designs.
Also, if you browse online, you will find several blogs, forums, and websites that offer information on how to find local game designers and developers in your area.
Moreover, there are online forums you can participate.
If you search for video game designer forums online, you will find many that are helpful and can provide all the information you may require.
Here you will discuss ideas, development, design, mechanics and whatever interests you in video game design.
4. Advance your experience
Even with the required training and education qualifications, it might be hard to get a job without experience.
It is therefore essential to gain some experience before you start searching for a job.
Whether you want to become a lead designer or at mid-level, it is important to acquire some experience.
Happily, there are many ways you can gain experience that include volunteering in a busy video game studio.
Other larger companies provide internships for aspiring video game designers.
Apart from searching for employment from large companies, there are numerous small companies that hire inexperienced designers or artists.
This can help you gain good experience so that later you can apply for higher positions.
5. Develop a video game
With training and experience, another great way to be at the top is developing your own video game.
Fortunately, there are many free programs that can help you develop a digital game. Start with a simple project before moving to the complex ones.
You should also develop video games with friends and other students to learn from each other.
The practice experiments will become your portfolio, and it will help you land a good job or become a great video game designer.
What are the opportunities in video game design?
Even though entertainment is the focus of video game design, designers can work in many other fields. Some of them include:
• Medicine – the medical sector is using video games to train doctors to perform surgeries, especially the most complicated ones.
Also, video games are being used to show patients how the medical treatments are performed, and for research purposes.
• Government – Nowadays most governments use video games to train pilots and soldiers.
They also use digital games to inform residents about several issues affecting them such as traffic or road hazards.
• Education – today, many school and institutions are using video games to teach various subjects and programs.
• Sports – e-Sports have become very common all over the world, and it is even becoming an official sport.
Some governments have started e-Sports as a professional sport.
• Independent – apart from the institutions, there are people who would like a name for themselves.
You can also create a video game designing business such as décor, furniture, and motor companies.
Video game design can be described as a rewarding career path. However, you need to work hard and have a lot of passion in the gaming field.
Game designers need to familiarize themselves with all parts of the designing process so that they understand how all the pieces fit together to develop a game.
The more flexible you are in terms of knowledge and experience developing games, the easier it is to land a successful career in the video game industry.