3 Jobs in Video Game Development and Design

Below you’ll find detailed descriptions of three common jobs in video game development and design, and how to get your foot in the door with each.

Concept Artist

As a concept artist, it’s your job to flesh out your developer’s ideas about their game with pictures, paintings, or sculptures.

For example, someone will give you an idea to play with, such as “He’s a big, ugly, half-man, half-lizard, and we’d like him to be carrying a club of some kind”. From there, you’ll sketch out your first ideas of what the character will look like (or weapon, vehicle, building, etc.), and show them to your artistic director. From there, you’ll receive instructions to change this or make that bigger, and you’ll redraw the sketch. After your sketch has been approved, you’ll most likely create a full artistic representation of the character, complete with color and details. After that comes a 3D computer model, or possibly a sculpture, to show your character from all sides.

The best way to get into this field is to have a strong artistic background, education, and training in specific video game production art concepts. There are a number of schools that have these programs, and can give you the necessary skills to be a concept artist.

Level Designers

One of the most sought-after video game designing jobs, the level designer quite literally has control over what the game will look like, and how the game will flow throughout the course of a level.

These people dictate what twists and turns the game will take, what enemies they’ll run into, what environmental hazards there will be, etc. They are primarily responsible for the overall tone of the game, the environmental mood, and what is known as the “feel” of a game.

For this job, an immersive background in modeling software, programming languages and video game level design is a must. The ideal candidate would have a logical mind capable of handling complex computer and design concepts, but also be imaginative enough to enjoy designing levels. Remember, video games are an artistic medium!

Sound and Audio

What will that weapon being fired sound like? What will that monster’s roar remind the player of? How powerful should the engine of that vehicle sound?

As a sound and audio designer, you are quite literally the voice of the video game. Every weapon, every spaceship, every creature and squeaky door and tolling bell and screeching tire is your responsibility to match up to the feel of the game, and make sure it all fits.

The other responsibility you have is to choose and record voice actors to give your characters life. A bad voice actor will sink a game more surely than any graphic or game play issue ever will.

For this career, a comprehensive background in recording and sound design is absolutely essential. This is a field where there are quite a few openings, due to the limited number of qualified sound designers. The right education could open the door to a lucrative and fulfilling career!

Good luck!