Video Game Designers

Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, story lines, and character biographies. Create and maintain design documentation. Guide and collaborate with production staff to produce games as designed.

Median Annual Wage: $83,410

Education: Bachelor's degree (57%); Associate's degree (19%); Some college, no degree (10%)

Projected Growth: Slower than average (3% to 7%)

Related Job Titles: Design Director; Designer/Writer; Game Designer; Game Designer/Creative Director; Lead Designer; Lead Game Designer; Lead Level Designer; Mid Level Game Designer; Senior Game Designer; World Designer

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Source: O*NET OnLine information for Video Game Designers.

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  • Provide feedback to designers and other colleagues regarding game design features.
  • Create core game features including storylines, role-play mechanics, and character biographies for a new video game or game franchise.
  • Devise missions, challenges, or puzzles to be encountered in game play.
  • Develop and maintain design level documentation, including mechanics, guidelines, and mission outlines.
  • Guide design discussions between development teams.
  • Create and manage documentation, production schedules, prototyping goals, and communication plans in collaboration with production staff.
  • Present new game design concepts to management and technical colleagues, including artists, animators, and programmers.
  • Conduct regular design reviews throughout the game development process.
  • Solicit, obtain, and integrate feedback from design and technical staff into original game design.
  • Document all aspects of formal game design, using mock-up screenshots, sample menu layouts, gameplay flowcharts, and other graphical devices.
  • Provide feedback to production staff regarding technical game qualities or adherence to original design.
  • Prepare two-dimensional concept layouts or three-dimensional mock-ups.
  • Consult with multiple stakeholders to define requirements and implement online features.
  • Oversee gameplay testing to ensure intended gaming experience and game adherence to original vision.
  • Keep abreast of game design technology and techniques, industry trends, or audience interests, reactions, and needs by reviewing current literature, talking with colleagues, participating in educational programs, attending meetings or workshops, or participating in professional organizations or conferences.
  • Create gameplay prototypes for presentation to creative and technical staff and management.
  • Collaborate with artists to achieve appropriate visual style.
  • Write or supervise the writing of game text and dialogue.
  • Determine supplementary virtual features, such as currency, item catalog, menu design, and audio direction.
  • Review or evaluate competitive products, film, music, television, and other art forms to generate new game design ideas.
  • Prepare and revise initial game sketches using two- and three-dimensional graphical design software.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Video Game Designers.

  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.

Source: O*NET OnLine information for Video Game Designers.

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