What Does It Take to Be a Video Game Designer?


Quick Answer

A video game designer must have a passion for video games, know the tools of the trade and have a keen eye for details. Job vacancies in the field do not always ask for academic degrees.

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Above all, a video game designer must be a video game enthusiast himself. Playing games regularly allows the designer to follow the latest trends in the industry, analyze the competition and identify what makes a game fun. As the rules and gameplay methods change drastically from one platform to another, video game designers must play games on the gaming platform they make games for. For instance, players can aim with greater accuracy on computers than on consoles. As such, a console game designer must keep this in mind when building levels or adjusting the difficulty of AI enemies.

It is absolutely crucial that a game designer is fluent in the main tools used to make video games and has a basic understanding of the tools used by other team members. For instance, a level designer must be proficient in game engine editors such as Unity 5 and Unreal Engine 4. On the other hand, he must also know the basics of 3-D modelling to better communicate with the modelling team. In comparison, in addition to having professional proficiency in a modelling application, a 3-D artist must know how a game engine handles his models to optimize his work.

Video games tend to get extremely complicated very quickly. As such, a game designer must be able to pay attention to details to both prevent unnecessary complications and solve them should they hinder the development process. For instance, a simple adjustment in the placement of a prop can also affect the way AI enemies find their way and where the player can take cover during combat.

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