How to Become a Video Game Designer

What is a video game designer?
A game designer is a professional whose career and goal is to design and create video games. They will work and collaborate with a team and production staff to produce the games they design. As a video game designer, not only are you in charge of creating the game, you may also be responsible for testing the gameplay as well.
What are the educational requirements to become a video game designer?
If you are a high school student who is interested in becoming a video game designer, then you should focus on making sure your college education focuses on optimizing your education for it. You should look for the college or university that has a specialization in game design and apply to those. While in college it is a good idea to focus on certain courses such as animation, art, computer design, and sculpture. Employers will generally require their potential employees have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as interactive media or game design.
What work experience will I need to become a video game designer?
Like with most art professions, it’s important to have a portfolio. It can be hard to have a substantial portfolio in the beginning of your career but it’s important to make sure that you document any of your work in a portfolio. Also during your college education, you may be able to intern for a college credit to earn some field experience. Another benefit to interning is the chance to earn a permanent position with the company you’ve intern for if you display the skills and qualities they want to have in an employee.
What will the work atmosphere be like for a video game designer?
Your work environment will depend whether or not your work for a company or are self-employed. Some video game designers have the luxury of working at home. Those who work for a company can work from home on certain days but will usually work in an office setting with peers.
When it comes to their work schedule, most video game designers will work a full-time schedule. There will be some times where they may work overtime to meet certain deadlines. Sometimes weekends and week nights are also required as well.
What skills should I have as a video game designer?
Besides excellent computer skills, being creative is a great skill to have. Also being able to tell a compelling narrative is another important component when it comes to designing a video game. Being able to handle stress and thinking out of the box is also extremely important as well. There are times when things will not go as planned and being able to adjust to fix the situation can help alleviate any discord. Also it is extremely important to have verbal and written communication skills. In order to express your visions and goals for the game at hand you will need to be able to communicate it with your peers and superiors.
Sources:
1. http://creativeskillset.org/job_roles_and_stories/job_roles/331_game_designer
2. http://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/15-1199.11?redir=15-1099.13
3. http://www.bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm#tab-3

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