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Game Testing Paradise :: Basic Requirements of a Video Game Designer

Video Game Designer Requirements

Many have an unrealistic view of what is required of video game designers and how much money they can make. Fortunately for you, you're about to get an explanation as to what video game designer requirements are expected by employers, as well as how much money designers can expect to earn as in the video game development industry.

What Is Game Design - What is a Game Designer

First, let's define the terms game designer, and game design. Game design is a subset of game development; it refers to the design of a game as well as the documentation that describes that design.

The game designer is the guy (or gal) who determines game play, while developing the rules and structure of a game. Game designers determine how the game runs, the specific rules of combat, how characters interact, and so on. He can describe some game concepts, but he does not make them happen.

In the movie industry, the equivalent of the game designer is the scriptwriter. He creates the concept, characters and plot, but he does not hire the actors or decide how the story will be told. There are several qualities that game companies will be looking for when hiring someone into their fold. Let's go ahead and list and briefly describe several of the top game designer requirements....

Possess Tenacity and Problem Solving Skills

Game companies are looking for people with problem solving skills. There are countless difficulties that need to be resolved when designing a game. Developers are looking to hire individuals who are willing to solve any problem, no matter what it takes.

Knowledge about such things as computer animation, graphic design and game development is required. This can be obtained by taking specific, college level training and gaining hands-on experience. Designing a video game in your spare time while preparing for or seeking employment with a game development company would be a wise investment of time and resources.

A Video Game Designer Education

To become a game designer, you must possess technical, artistic, and writing skills, and you will need a broad education. Taking college courses in just about anything that relates to computers or entertainment will prepare you to fulfill even the most unforgiving video game designer requirements.

In many cases, you don’t actually need to go to a school that offers a game design program. Just get a well rounded education. Take classes in advanced math/physics, computers, history, mythology, psychology, music appreciation, drawing/painting/graphic art, literature/writing, acting, screenwriting, public speaking, marketing and leadership to cover all the bases and prepare you to meet most game designer requirements.

Get Some On The Job Experience

One way to get started on a career in game design is to obtain a job as a game tester, especially if you don‘t have a college degree. You can obtain a position testing games with a game publisher, game developer, independent testing lab, or you may even be able to test at home!

Most testing jobs are with game publishing companies. These are may or may not be full time positions. Also, these are more specialized, and they may lead to a position as a video game producer or designer.

Game development firms typically don't offer full-time testing positions, but are great employers for college students. A part-time video game tester typically performs multiple job functions, which helps to develop most of the skills they will need to fulfill many video game designer requirements.

Working at an independent quality assurance lab -- or even at home -- is not as good for building a career in the game industry. You won't often interact with the developers and producers; and without that level of exposure to game development, it will be more difficult to climb up the corporate game development ladder. Of course, being involved at ANY level is far better than being involved at NO level.

How Much Do Video Game Designers Make

Finally, a few words about money and the typicaly video game designer salary. Video game production companies offer competitive wages at all levels of expertise, but you won't be getting rich overnight.

You will find that the more proficient you become as a game designer, the more money you will make. The salary for a game designer minus three years experience starts out at around $46,000 per year. With three to six years experience your income might increase to somewhere between $55,600 - $70,000 annually.

More experienced game designers may earn as much as $81,000 per year, and the highest game designer salary ever reported for a lead designer was $180,000 a year.

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