How to Become a Video Game Designer
The answer to this in a nutshell is to get a degree in video game design. You might not want to hear that answer but in today's world it is absolutely necessary, unless you are some kind of a driven genius :)
There are a lot of reasons for this. First off you are going to be looking for a job with a company and they will need to see that you have some skills and abilities and a college degree goes a long way in proving that. Not only in the particular aspects of game design but also in the fact that you have the ability to complete a project (namely getting a degree!)
But, further than that let me say a few other things about the need for a degree if you want to be a game designer.
The Game Industry is very big and it makes a lot of money (duh) and it has the ability to pick and choose who it employs and this means you have to stand out from the crowd in some way. So, unless you really are the creative genius driven game designer you should get a degree to help you stand out from the crowd.
Because there is a lot of money in the industry there are lots of oppportunities to get an education in the field and I have a whole page with lots of great information about colleges that offer degrees. These colleges offer both brick and mortar and online degrees. ( My page on this is here: Video game design Colleges)
How to get Started before enrolling in a college
But if you aren't ready to make that commitment (or not old enough) there are lots of other things that you can do to get yourself prepared for college and to even see if game design is right for you. You might want to start out with my article on the basics of game design. This article gives you an overview of the process and what is involved. And if you are still interested you may consider starting the series of tutorials I have that take you through the process of making a video game. It is totally free and I have everything you need including downloads of the software. The Video Game Design School
Another way to dip your toes in the game designer pond
I highy recommend you get some books on game design. It is a wonderful way to get started with a good basic understanding of game design, how it is done and how you can do it too.
Hot Jobs In Video Games (Young Adult book)
Every kid knows playing video games is fun, but making them is serious business! Cool Careers for Gamers offers readers an introduction to the world of game development by profiling professionals with jobs kids can relate and aspire to. How about making sure golf superstar Tiger Woods looks as lifelike as possible, or picking out songs for a new iteration of Guitar Hero? Someone has to do it! This book shows that the challenge of creating games can be just as much fun as playing them.
Whether you are a professional game developer working in an established studio or a creative thinker interested in trying your hand at game design, "Video Game Design Revealed" will show you the steps and processes involved in bringing a video game from concept to completion. Beginning with an overview of the history of video games and an examination of the elements of successful games, the book breaks down the video game design process into its simplest elements and builds from there. You'll learn how to take an idea and tweak it into a viable game based on the genre, market, game style, and subject matter, moving on to creating and organizing a timeline for the production of the game. Once you've mapped out your game production plan and gathered all the information you need, you'll learn how to choose the development platform and other technologies that best suit the game you've designed, add sound and graphics, and apply game mechanics such as whether the game will be single-player or multiplayer and what levels and objects to add to your game to make it challenging and interesting. "Video Game Design Revealed" concludes with guidelines on how to compose a proposal to be used to present your idea to the game industry as well as tips and information on how to find and contact game studios, publishers, and investors to help you make your game design a reality.
Game Development Essentials: An Introduction Game Development Essentials: An Introduction, 2nd Edition offers a thorough and insightful introduction to the game development industry, with industry updates that will keep readers current and well-prepared for a career in the field. The book begins with a highly informative chapter on the evolution of game development, providing a historical context for later chapters, and moves on to examine content creation and the concepts behind the development of story, character, environment, level design, user interface, and sound. With the same engaging writing style and examples that made the first edition so popular, this new edition features expanded coverage of today's hottest topics - such as next-generation platforms (Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii), level design, interface design, project management, serious games, game accessibility, and online social networks. New game-related technology, development techniques, and the latest research in the field make this an invaluable resource for anyone entering the exciting, competitive, ever-changing world of game development.
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A look at video game design - This shows you the process of how a game is designed and I take you from idea to game.
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