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How to Become a Video Game Designer

Ever wonder how to become an video game designer? This article describes the types of game design jobs, education and experience requirements, jobs and salary information for becoming a video game designer.

Video Game Designer Roadmap

Types of Video Game Designers

There are several career paths for Video Game Designer. Typically, an Video Game Designer will specialize in a certain area. These include:

  • Lead Designers
  • Level Designers
  • Content Designers
  • Game Writers
  • System Designers
  • Technical Designers
  • UI Designers / Usability Experts
  • Design Director / Creative Director

Video Game Designer Job Description

As an Video Game Designer, you'll participate in all aspects of game design. This includes

  • Working on the code base
  • Investigating bugs
  • Code testing
  • Working with animation, camera, AI and physics
  • Developing game characters
  • Creating backstory
  • Writing dialogue
  • Developing game mechanics
  • Designing quests

 

Video Game Designer Requirements

Education Requirements

Most Video Game Designer jobs require a bachelors degree. However, many employers will take experience in lieu of a degree. A video game diploma can help get you in the door as a junior designer. With some experience, you may be eligible for promotion to higher positions. For example, a senior designer position may require 3+ years of experience. Senior producer positions may require 5+ years of experience in the game industry, plus experience as a video game designer.

Additional Skills Needed

Video Game Designers need a variety of skills in addition to the technical skills and experience needed. These may include:

  • Working with multi-disciplinary development teams
  • Knowledge of game design
  • Understanding of the video game marketplace
  • Ablity to manage deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent team work skills
  • Strong Math skills

 

Experience Requirements

Junior level designer positions generally do not require any experience. However, lead designers and senior designers may require 3+ years of experience. Producer positions require 5+ years of experience, with some experience as a game designer.

Video Game Designer Companies

Canadian video game companies include:

Video Game Designer Jobs

Video game designers work in a variety of genres. These may include:

  • Strategy games
  • First person shooters (FPS)
  • Roleplaying games (PRG)
  • Action games
  • Adventure games
  • Simulation games

 

Within each of these genres, there are various jobs. These include:

  • Game Designer
  • Design Director
  • Senior Producer
  • Junior Producer
  • Graphics Engineer
  • Multimedia Graphics Technician
  • Layout Artist
  • Software Engineer
  • Lead Designer
  • Level Designer
  • Content Designer
  • Game Writer
  • System Designer
  • Technical Designer
  • UI Designer
  • Usability Expert
  • Design Director
  • Creative Director
  • Senior Developer
  • Junior Developer
  • Independent Game Developer

Take a look at these video game designer jobs on WowJobs.

Video Game Designer Salary

One of the common questions people ask is: "How much money will I make as an Video Game Designer?" According to Payscale, video game designers make an average annual salary between C$32,230 - C$67,989. Video game producers make between C$38,800 - C$104,828. As with all careers, your salary will greatly depend on the area you live in, the size of the company you work for, your level of experience, and your level of education.

In addition to your salary, you may receive a benefits package which includes healthcare plans, dental plans, paid time off program, sick leave, matching 401(k) retirement, and education assistance.