Requirements on how to become a game designer

Written by jared lewis
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Requirements on how to become a game designer
Game designers create games for all demographics. (Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

A career in video or computer game design can be rewarding -- in terms of job satisfaction and financial reward. Game designers oversee the process of putting a video game together from conceptualisation to production. Becoming a game designer requires formal education and a technical expertise. According to PayScale, this training can pay off. Game designers made a salary range of £27,280 to £45,631 as of November 2010.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Apply to colleges and obtain your bachelor's degree. Contrary to popular opinion, you do not necessarily need a computer science degree to break into the video game design field. A computer science degree is one of the three most popular degrees for gaining entry into the video game design field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The other two, English and art, show that creativity and effective communication can also be essential to a game design career.

  2. 2

    Gain hands-on experience. You can do this in college if you are pursuing a degree in computer science or have the technical know-how to tinker with programming languages. Otherwise, try to gain entry-level employment with a game design company. Your journey is not over at that point. Instead, game designers are professionals who participate in all aspects of game design and often manage specific projects. Graphic designers and programmers are typically members of the game design team, but the game designer manages the project. You will need experience in all aspects of the design process to manage large-scale projects.

  3. 3

    Diversify your portfolio. In other words, work on many different aspects of different types of games. To become a game designer, be familiar with all aspects of the game design process. Most of this can only be obtained through hands-on experience. The idea of an entry-level game designer is a bit of a misnomer. There are entry-level graphic artists, programmers and even game musicians, but designers work as each one of these during their career.

  4. 4

    Gain recognition in the industry. This can be accomplished, not only by building your portfolio, but also by networking with other professionals in the industry. Network with these designers by attending conferences and other large-scale events in the video game industry.

  5. 5

    Seek positions as a senior designer with major video game developers in the industry. Some of these include BioWare, Break Media, Digital Extremes, Gameloft, Infinity Ward, Relic Entertainment, Rockstar North, Sony, THQ, Ubisoft, EA Sports and Activision.

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