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Video Game Designer

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What is a Video Game Designer?

Position Description Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, story lines, and character biographies. Create and maintain design documentation. Guide and collaborate with production staff to produce games as designed.

A Day in the Life of a Video Game Designer

  • Create core game features including storylines, role-play mechanics, and character biographies for a new video game or game franchise.
  • Devise missions, challenges, or puzzles to be encountered in game play.
  • Present new game design concepts to management and technical colleagues, including artists, animators, and programmers.
  • Collaborate with artists to achieve appropriate visual style.
  • Write or supervise the writing of game text and dialogue.
  • Consult with multiple stakeholders to define requirements and implement online features.

What Every Video Game Designer Should Know

Below is a list of the skills most Video Game Designers say are important on the job.

Programming: Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Types of Video Game Designer

  • Designer/Writer
  • Video Game Developer
  • Lead Level Designer
  • Mid Level Game Designer
  • Interactive Multimedia Designer

Are There Job Opportunities for Video Game Designers?

There were about 287,200 jobs for Video Game Designer in 2016 (in the United States). New jobs are being produced at a rate of 9.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 26,600 new jobs for Video Game Designer by 2026. Due to new job openings and attrition, there will be an average of 22,400 job openings in this field each year.

Forecasted Number of Jobs for Video Game Designers in U.S.

The states with the most job growth for Video Game Designer are Washington, Utah, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maryland, or Mississippi. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Salary for a Video Game Designer

The typical yearly salary for Video Game Designers is somewhere between $47,350 and $144,820.

Salary Ranges for Video Game Designers

Video Game Designers who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or New Hampshire, make the highest salaries.

How much do Video Game Designers make in each U.S. state?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $87,060
Alaska $98,830
Arizona $85,010
Arkansas $73,670
California $103,270
Colorado $102,470
Connecticut $100,340
District of Columbia $117,540
Florida $78,900
Georgia $90,140
Hawaii $89,960
Idaho $80,610
Indiana $79,310
Iowa $78,810
Kansas $79,300
Kentucky $79,420
Louisiana $66,600
Maine $79,790
Maryland $113,330
Massachusetts $92,110
Michigan $76,400
Minnesota $81,650
Mississippi $81,280
Missouri $82,610
Montana $68,430
Nebraska $86,230
Nevada $72,610
New Hampshire $112,440
New Jersey $99,210
New Mexico $79,540
New York $90,750
North Carolina $88,650
North Dakota $70,730
Ohio $82,440
Oklahoma $78,490
Oregon $79,610
Pennsylvania $87,040
Rhode Island $81,290
South Carolina $92,100
South Dakota $81,250
Tennessee $74,000
Texas $90,290
Utah $76,890
Vermont $72,220
Virginia $105,270
Washington $91,620
West Virginia $83,660
Wisconsin $74,600
Wyoming $75,780

What Tools & Technology do Video Game Designers Use?

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Video Game Designers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • MySQL
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Linux
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
  • C
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Blackboard

How to Become a Video Game Designer

What education or degrees do I need to become a Video Game Designer?

Video Game Designer Degree Level

How Long Does it Take to Become a Video Game Designer?

Video Game Designer Work Experience

Who Employs Video Game Designers?

Video Game Designer Sectors

The table below shows the approximate number of Video Game Designers employed by various industries.

Video Game Designer Industries

References:

Image Credit: Intel Free Press via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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