Video Game Designer

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Job Outlook:
Faster than average
Education: Bachelor's degree
Work From Home
Salary
High: $166,180.00
Average: $101,740.00
Hourly
Average: $48.91

What they do:

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.

On the job, you would:

  • Balance and adjust gameplay experiences to ensure the critical and commercial success of the product.
  • Devise missions, challenges, or puzzles to be encountered in game play.
  • Create core game features, including storylines, role-play mechanics, and character biographies for a new video game or game franchise.

Personality

A3 Your Strengths Importance

Characteristics of this Career

88% Adaptability/Flexibility  -  Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
86% Cooperation  -  Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
85% Attention to Detail  -  Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
84% Initiative  -  Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
83% Achievement/Effort  -  Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
83% Persistence  -  Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
81% Innovation  -  Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
79% Stress Tolerance  -  Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.
79% Analytical Thinking  -  Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
77% Dependability  -  Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Strengths

83% Artistic  -  Work involves creating original visual artwork, performances, written works, food, or music for a variety of media, or applying artistic principles to the design of various objects and materials. Artistic occupations are often associated with visual arts, applied arts and design, performing arts, music, creative writing, media, or culinary art.
61% Enterprising  -  Work involves managing, negotiating, marketing, or selling, typically in a business setting, or leading or advising people in political and legal situations. Enterprising occupations are often associated with business initiatives, sales, marketing/advertising, finance, management/administration, professional advising, public speaking, politics, or law.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Values of the Work Environment

83% Achievement  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
83% Independence  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
70% Working Conditions  -  Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Aptitude

A3 Your Strengths Importance

Abilities | Cognitive, Physical, Personality

78% Fluency of Ideas  -  The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
75% Written Comprehension  -  The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
75% Near Vision  -  The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
75% Originality  -  The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
72% Oral Comprehension  -  The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
72% Information Ordering  -  The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
72% Written Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
69% Inductive Reasoning  -  The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
69% Deductive Reasoning  -  The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
69% Problem Sensitivity  -  The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing that there is a problem.
69% Oral Expression  -  The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.

Job Details

Responsibilities
Analyze market or customer related data.
Communicate project information to others.
Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
Develop testing routines or procedures.
Communicate project information to others.
Design video game features or details.
Design video game features or details.
Supervise information technology personnel.
Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
Communicate project information to others.
Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information.
Communicate project information to others.
Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information.
Test software performance.
Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
Design video game features or details.
Design video game features or details.
Document design or development procedures.
Design video game features or details.
Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information.
Manage information technology projects or system activities.
Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy.
Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
Test software performance.
Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
Document design or development procedures.
Design video game features or details.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Attributes & Percentage of Time Spent

100% Electronic Mail  -  How often do you use electronic mail in this job?
96% Spend Time Sitting  -  How much does this job require sitting?
94% Work With Work Group or Team  -  How important is it to work with others in a group or team in this job?
94% Indoors, Environmentally Controlled  -  How often does this job require working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions?
93% Face-to-Face Discussions  -  How often do you have to have face-to-face discussions with individuals or teams in this job?
84% Level of Competition  -  To what extent does this job require the worker to compete or to be aware of competitive pressures?
76% Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions  -  How much does this job require making repetitive motions?
76% Structured versus Unstructured Work  -  To what extent is this job structured for the worker, rather than allowing the worker to determine tasks, priorities, and goals?
76% Time Pressure  -  How often does this job require the worker to meet strict deadlines?
76% Contact With Others  -  How much does this job require the worker to be in contact with others (face-to-face, by telephone, or otherwise) in order to perform it?
74% Freedom to Make Decisions  -  How much decision making freedom, without supervision, does the job offer?
71% Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls  -  How much does this job require using your hands to handle, control, or feel objects, tools or controls?
71% Coordinate or Lead Others  -  How important is it to coordinate or lead others in accomplishing work activities in this job?
100% Duration of Typical Work Week  -  Number of hours typically worked in one week.
A3 Your Strengths Importance

Tasks & Values

98% Thinking Creatively  -  Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
96% Working with Computers  -  Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
93% Making Decisions and Solving Problems  -  Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
83% Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates  -  Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
76% Getting Information  -  Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
74% Processing Information  -  Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.
70% Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships  -  Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
69% Analyzing Data or Information  -  Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.
68% Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge  -  Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
66% Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events  -  Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.
65% Developing Objectives and Strategies  -  Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.
65% Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work  -  Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.
65% Documenting/Recording Information  -  Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

What do video game designers do?

Video Game Designer image

Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, storylines, and character biographies.

Create and maintain design documentation. Guide and collaborate with production staff to produce games as designed.

  • Balance and adjust gameplay experiences to ensure the critical and commercial success of the product.
  • Devise missions, challenges, or puzzles to be encountered in gameplay.
  • Create core game features, including storylines, role-play mechanics, and character biographies for a new video game or game franchise.

Getting Started

Education:
55%
Bachelor's Degree
15%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED)

How to Become One

As the video game industry grows, more universities are creating curricula to support careers in video game design. These courses are usually offered within the computer science or media departments. Video game designers typically have a bachelor's degree in game design, computer engineering, or computer science which takes four to five years to complete. Courses in a game design degree program may include project management, integrated video design and technology, game prototyping and level design.

Education:

While the education requirements for a game designer may vary slightly by positions and specific job duties, such as the requirements for a game artist versus the requirements for a game writer, in general, most multimedia artists and animators need at least a bachelor's degree. Associate's degree programs in game design are available, but bachelor's degree programs in the field of game design are even more common.

These bachelor degree programs are usually offered as Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees and some may be available in online formats. Common coursework for these degree programs include hands-on workshops and courses in topics like:

  • 2D and 3D design
  • Game prototype
  • Character design
  • Game publishing
  • Scripting

It is also important for multimedia artists and animators to continue honing their skills through practice, self-study, and/or additional coursework to learn new techniques and/or technologies in the field. After working for a few years and demonstrating good teamwork and time management skills, some of these professionals may move into supervisory positions.

Check out one of the best video game design schools: Full Sail University

Information provided by CareerFitter, LLC and other sources.

Sections of this page includes information from the O*NET 27.3 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license.

CareerFitter, LLC has modified all or some of this information. USDOL/ETA has not approved, endorsed, or tested these modifications.