What is a Video Game Designer?
The role of a video game designer has changed significanltly over the past 20 years. This article describes what they used to be, how the role has changed and what an official game designer does today. If you are considering a career in this field I have also included some of the official and unofficial earning statistics for this job title. This article is closely related to my article on video game design. If you want an overview of game design you can check out that article here: What is Video Game Design?
A Video Game Designer today
We often think of a video game designer as a guy who locks himself up in his basement or garage for weeks at a time pounding away at a keyboard creating long lines of computer code. This was true twenty years ago but just isn't true anymore. As a matter of fact many game designers don't do any computer programming at all! Video game designers often focus on what a game is all about. In other words how is the game designed? What is the look and feel? What is the environment and the story? Who are the main characters? What is the story? What are the goals and tasks? What are the interactive elements of the game?
How does the game designer do all of this?
The predominant tool of the game designer is called the Game Design Document (GDD). This is the document that lays out all the various aspects of a game. I have a lot more information about the GDD here: The Game Design Document . I recommend you read that web page. It will shed a lot of light on what a designer does. In a nutshell a video game designer lays out all the plans for the other members of a game making team to bring it into reality. This covers a wide range of professions from artists to programmers and writers.
Various Aspects of Game Design
Maybe you want to create the characters in a game or maybe the environment in a game. Perhaps the art work is what you really want to pursue. These are also design components of a game. There are designers that do models, 3d models, game worlds, even music and stories. I have an article that covers these various aspect designs. A look at video game design
So, How do you become a video game designer?
It is not something that you do overnight but it is something that you can start working on today! First off you should start creating a game, and you don't need any software or game programming experience to do this. You can start working on a game design document. This is the first step of any new video game. I have an article about what a game design document is and how you can make one here: The Game Design Document . In effect, you get yourself a notebook and start writing out everything about your game. Write, draw, make sketches, create the characters and describe everything about your game.
Start looking into video game design schools and programs. Here is a list of some colleges that offer degree programs in the various aspects of developing a game. I have a lot more information on this page: Video game design schools
Resources and more information
Free Game making programs - to help you make games without spending money.
Writing quests for video games. Tips, ideas and techniques
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.
What is the most important thing you need to make a video game? It isn't what you think
Who do you contact if you want to get a job in the game industry? I have advice and more.
Video Game Design - What is it and how is it done?
Kids Make Video Games: A Guide for kids of all ages in game making.
A look at Assassin's Creed II - From a game makers perspective. This game is remarkable and there are some great lessons to be learned from it when it comes to making video games
Into the Looking Glass: A History of video games including a video. How did it all start?
A look at the various Game Design Software Packages - Help finding the one that's right for you
Free Resources for making video games. If your budget is Zero these resources are for you!
Three New Lessons in the Milkshape 3d Animation Tutorial: Animate, Link skeleton to skin, and animate both
So You have a great idea for a video game! What do you do now? - Some solid advice on turning an idea into reality
AMD New Chipset and Processor breaks the barrier in gaming realism - games that look as good as movies are coming
How to write a video game players guide - Writing a guide is an easy way to start learning about how games are made.