Video Game Designers

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ABOUT VIDEO GAME DESIGNER CAREERS
Video transcript

Video game designers create the rich, exciting worlds that allow us to indulge our imaginations and immerse ourselves in an alternate reality. If you play video games, you've probably thought about turning it into a career, but know there are many dimensions to this occupation. Video game designers start with a list of concepts, narrowed down by a large team of developers to the best one. Teamwork is essential in this field, as designers collaborate on role-play mechanics, story lines, character development, graphics, and everything in between. They are likely to need expertise in programming languages and game design computer software as well. They usually work in office settings, with typical office hours expanding to overtime as project deadlines approach. A single project usually lasts about two years, and ‘crunch' time can last months - but through it all, these designers still report high levels of job satisfaction. To enter the field, some will create a portfolio of video game designs and concepts that will help them get noticed and hired. Others start out as quality assurance testers and work their way up. A bachelor's degree in computer science isn't usually required, but can be helpful if you lack other experience. These professionals aren't just making games - they're designing the future of gameplay experience.

SNAPSHOT
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.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
LOW
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
LOW
Dealing and handling conflict
LOW
Competition for this position
HIGH
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Create gameplay prototypes for presentation to creative and technical staff and management.

Present new game design concepts to management and technical colleagues, including artists, animators, and programmers.

Prepare and revise initial game sketches using two- and three-dimensional graphical design software.

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.

Guide design discussions between development teams.

Prepare two-dimensional concept layouts or three-dimensional mock-ups.

Balance and adjust gameplay experiences to ensure the critical and commercial success of the product.

Conduct regular design reviews throughout the game development process.

Determine supplementary virtual features, such as currency, item catalog, menu design, and audio direction.

Oversee gameplay testing to ensure intended gaming experience and game adherence to original vision.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
Thinking Creatively Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
Design Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
Communications and Media Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Mathematics Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
Engineering and Technology Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
Fine Arts Knowledge of the theory and techniques required to compose, produce, and perform works of music, dance, visual arts, drama, and sculpture.
TOP SKILLS
Programming Writing computer programs for various purposes.
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.
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.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Active Learning Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
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.