How to Become a Video Game Designer

Which job you get when you become a video game designer depends entirely on your particular set of skills. Below, you’ll find a list of 4 video game designer jobs and the skills you’ll need to be a success in each.

Concept Artist

If you are an artistic person with a strong talent for visuals, then this job is for you.

A concept artist is responsible for the artistic look of the characters, weapons, vehicles, buildings and every other aspect of the game’s appearance. Whether it’s a 3D computer model, a watercolor painting, or a full-scale reproduction, it’s your job to give form and color to the game developer’s creations.

An academic background in art is essential, with a strong focus on modeling and design. After that, build up a portfolio of work and submit it to game developers until one of them hires you.

Character Animators

Working with the concept artist, a character animator is responsible for creating the motions of every moving thing in the game. Vehicles and characters all have to have convincing, realistic motions that conform not only to their unique designs but that also fit into the environment of the game itself.

This job is especially challenging (and thus more rewarding) when the game involves fictional creatures, such as aliens or non-humanoid monsters. The character animator has to decide how these creatures would move, duck, run, jump, etc.

Become proficient in modeling software and designing through any of several colleges offering game design courses, and game companies will be eager to use your skills!

Audio Designer

As an audio designer, your job is to create the sounds that will bring the game to life. Be creative when designing, and your game will have a unique style that no one else can boast. Each weapon, creature, vehicle and door mechanism has to be recorded, and it’s up to you to make them all fit together, sound like part of the same universe, and immerse the player in a realistic environment.

An education in sound design and recording is essential for this job, but you’re in luck; there is currently a shortage of qualified, talented sound designers, so the market is fairly open. Make yourself valuable, and you’ll probably land a good job.

Programmer

The nuts and bolts of a game, the stuff that makes characters move and the game work like it should, is all down to the programmers. If you are C++ certified, game companies would love to hire you, but be warned: This is by far the most tedious and least-exciting aspect of video game design. You do get the satisfaction of seeing the game when it is finished, and the pride of knowing that your coding helped create it, but the actual process involves hours and hours of typing strings of letters and numbers onto a computer screen.

A logical mind and an education in programming languages, especially C++, are essential for a programmer. If you don’t mind repetitive, logic-based work, then programmer might be right up your alley.

Good luck!