In a world that is ever-changing, it is difficult to find any industry that has shown growth consistently, but gaming industry sticks out like an iceberg in the ocean. With the market worth expected to be $90 billion by the year 2020, game design industry refrains from slowing down!

Moreover, did you know that more than 2.5 billion people worldwide play video games!

It’s now time to convert that adrenaline rush of playing a video game to a fantastic career path! With the right guidance and ample creativity, the sky is the limit in game design.

Not only does a career in this industry break the shackles of a 9 to 5 office job, but it also gives a platform to express your passion. Continue reading this career guide to find out everything you need to know before starting your career as a game designer.

"Gamers can feel when developers are passionate about their games. They can smell it like a dog smells fear. Don't be afraid to hold onto your unique vision: just be aware that it may not turn out exactly how you envisioned."
- Scott Rogers

What is game design?

The term game design refers to the entire idea of creating a game – applying design and aesthetic for entertainment, education, exercise, and experiments. In big games that have fantasy realms, it relates to the central theme, plot, and the characters' histories. In smaller games that have no significant characters or plot, it refers to how the gamer plays the game. How do you win the game? What will the player be able to do with his character? How does the level of difficulty change as the game proceeds?

What is the difference between a game designer and a game developer?

Although the terms game design and game development are used interchangeably, they are two different concepts. Game designers deal with the conceptual side of things. They come up with the initial vision for a game. The core concepts, aesthetics, characters, levels, and narratives of a game are the responsibility of a designer.

Whereas, game developers are responsible for the technical part of it – they bring these concepts to life. They take games from the conceptual phase and work them into reality. The development side of games usually involves programming, coding, rendering, engineering, and testing.

What are the skills required for a career in game design?

"Our approach to making games is to find the fun first and then use the technology to enhance the fun."
- Sid Meier
  • Conceptualizing Projects

    All video games are born from a concept. If you choose to work as a self-employed designer, you should be able to develop your own concepts. If you work at a studio, you'll be working with a team of other designers. The idea of a game is more than just a vague story idea; it includes gameplay, layout, storylines, characters, scenarios, maps, difficulty levels, and many other details.

    A game designer needs to have an eye for detail to conceptualize and incorporate the intricacy that games demand. For example, designers will have to decide small details like how fast characters can move and how high they can jump as well as make complex decisions like how powerful a character can be.

  • Bringing Concepts to Life

    A competent designer can express his/her concepts and communicate those with others involved in bringing the game to life. The characters, maps, and layout need to be communicated clearly to the rest of the team. This is done with computerized drawings, created by using both 2D and 3D graphic design software.

    After the designer has thoroughly set up the concept with drawings, other members of the team can do their part. The game artists create images that will appear in the finished game, and the programmers bring these ideas on-screen with their code.

    A common stereotype about game designers is that they are entirely creative and not at all analytical, which couldn't be further from the truth.

    Game designers need to use math and logic to figure out how different parts of the game can be brought out most appealingly. Although they might not need quite as much math as a programmer, they frequently call upon algebraic formulas when deciding how different parts of a game should work.

  • What are the skills you will develop as you go deeper into game design?

    Learning on the job is a part of every career. After you have all the prerequisites of becoming a game designer, you will learn many valuable lessons with each experience.

    • Teamwork: A game has many facets, and it doesn't attain perfection unless different people lend a hand. If you want your concept to come out as its best version, you will need to be able to work with a team.
    • Creativity: As you become a more experienced designer, you will gain in-depth knowledge of the industry and will be able to think in a unique way that gives you an edge over others.
    • Effective Communication: The need to communicate your concept in the most effective way will help you improve your communication skills and help you express yourself more tangibly.

The scope of Game Design

The gaming industry eclipses both music and cinema industries combined. It touches billions of lives globally. In the American market, the year 2017 recorded a turnover of 211 billion. In Italy, according to the recent AESVI report, the association that represents the sector, the turnover was 1.5 billion euros.

The future for game design is bright, to say the least, the demand for trained designers is at its peak. It is becoming an increasingly popular profession because game formats are being employed in sectors that transcend mere entertainment.

  • Game Design in India -

    Currently, the Indian gaming industry is ranked 18th worldwide, and according to Nasscom, revenues will cross the 1 billion mark in the next few years. This clearly shows that there are countless opportunities for animators and game designers in this field.

Career Opportunities

We absolutely need diversity in game designers. And not just diversity of gender, but diversity of cultures, of ethnicity, of sexuality. If we want to reach beyond the audience, we have to bring in more players, and to bring in more players we've got to bring in people who might be able to reach those players.
-Brenda Romero

Building a video game from scratch requires a lot of skillsets. Many people are involved in the process, and this creates diverse career opportunities. A standard game design team consists of the following members:

  • Junior game designer – Works with artists, programmers, and other designers to construct vision of the game. A junior game designer partners with senior game designers to create new games. They even help establish initial mock-ups and sketches for the graphic’s team.
  • Level designer – They are responsible for developing the total environment of a game level, along with the assets and characters that inhabit it. In the conceptual stage, the level designer envisions a chapter in the overall storyline of the game.
  • Lead designer – Takes the central role in the delivery of projects. They are responsible for the quality, creativity and delivery of the projects they are overseeing, along with revenue generated, client, and team satisfaction.
  • Content designer – Designs characters, levels, puzzles, art, and animation. They may also write code using various computer programming languages depending on the
  • requirement.
  • Creative Director – Responsible for the overall vision of the product, including gameplay, visual style, story, audio assets, cinematics, and marketing materials.
  • User interface designer – Understands how digital and physical experiences blend. A user interface designer evolves rough ideas into polished user flows and pixel-perfect interfaces.
  • Writer - Creates characters and builds the game narrative. Video game designers and programmers rely on the writer’s script and storyline to give structure to the game.

Fees and Curriculum of a Course in Game Design

Depending on the region, course duration, certification, and other factors, the total cost of a course in game design can vary from 2 lakhs to 15 lakhs.

Source : www.shiksha.com/design/communication-design/colleges/game-design-colleges-india

Graduate Level courses in Game Art and Design include –

Curriculum

The curriculum varies depending on the institute you choose, but mostly it’ll include –

  • 3D Prop Modeling
  • 2D Art (Concept Art and 2D Assets Creation)
  • Floral Designing / Mosaic
  • Game Logic and Engine
  • Design Principles
  • Mathematics
  • Media laws and ethics
  • Character Modeling
  • Game Engine and Prototyping
  • Lighting and Rendering
  • Camera, Lighting and Optimization in Engine
  • Project Management

Salary of a Game Designer

Salaries vary depending on the person's experience, talent, and other intangibles. The national average salary of a game designer in India is ₹614,151/yr.

Source:www.glassdoor.co.in/Salaries/india-game-designer-salary-SRCH_IL.0,5_IN115_KO6,19.htm?countryRedirect=true

This is just a rough estimate, and it is bound to rise within a few years. With the right amount of work and the right guidance, you can earn the money you've always dreamt of while doing something you relish.

How can you ensure a successful career in game design?

"I think it's fair to say most video games let players experience only eight emotions: anger, panic, dread, surprise, wonder, satisfaction, joy and disappointment. And some games only disappoint."
- Scott Rogers
  • Time management: It can be tough to limit your project and determine when it has reached its creative limit. It is always tempting to keep adding new features, but it is essential to keep deadlines in mind. Time allocation or rather the lack of it is one of the main reasons for project delays.
  • Making the right choice: Selecting the best game features and deleting the unwanted ones can be a problematic process. For example, if a new idea is not working – should you keep trying, or should you move on to the next phase? Such situations need to be tactfully handled – so keep an eye on the industry trends and the preferences of your target audience.
  • Promotion and advertising: Advertising your concept to the world is crucial for your success as a game designer. New games are released frequently, so it gets essential for your game to stand out and get noticed by the right audience at the right time.
  • The unwanted technical glitches: Polishing your game before it is finally released is crucial to avoid poorly executed features, weird anomalies, and bugs. So, ensure that your game is free from technical glitches to avoid production and launch delays.
  • Customer understanding : Being able to communicate with the customers and figuring out what they expect from their gaming experience is vital. Don’t get discouraged because of a few bad reviews, keep working on your game till you feel you’ve reached its maximum potential.

Tips to Sharpen your Game Design Skills

The journey doesn't end after getting into a game design school; it's only the beginning of a long road that will allow you to learn and develop! Game design school is just a place for you to truly understand and learn about the nuances of your passion. Look out for these abilities to stay ahead of the game –

  • Identify your style: Identify your strengths and find out what interests you – choose a specialization that allows you to bring these out in the best way possible.
  • Look at the bigger picture: The next tip is to develop multiple angles - while working as a designer, you will have to gain several perspectives. For example, identifying trends among gamers and producing content which attracts the largest audience, all while maintaining your personal creative touch. Each one of your projects must have a bit of you for creating your own identity as an individual.
  • Play all the games: Want to be involved in all the class discussions? Play every game, analyze it from every angle, understand the tiniest details that went into making the game. Not only does it broaden your thought process, but it also allows you to wonder how you would do it differently. The more games you play, the more you know about what ticks a gamer.
  • Think out of the box: No idea is too small, every detail matters! The most crucial part of being a game designer will be your attention to detail. No one will want to play your games if they are mainstream and don't have anything distinctive about them. In the end, even the most customary experiences can serve as inspiration. It all depends on how you look at it.
  • Read success stories: Learn from mistakes, even if they are not yours. They are called success stories for a reason, giving them a read will help you in the long run. Not only will you know about the road to fame, but you'll also know the difficulties the industry faces.
  • Attend gaming festivals : By doing this, you'll have a better understanding of what gamers look for in a game. Understanding the current trends and basing your games off them will give you an advantage over others.

Factors to Consider While Choosing a Game Design School

  • The course duration: What are your plans for the future? Do you want to hone your skills and gain a complete professional education or enter the industry as soon as possible? According to your preference, you should opt for a course which lets you meet your goals in the long run as well as allows you to gain as much knowledge as you need.
  • Institute's reputation : If you wish to pursue a degree with high industry standards, look for the institute's accreditation status and certifications. Check student reviews, ask the graduates about their learning experience and the culture on campus. Ensure that the school provides hands-on training rather than just theory. There is no point in having all the bookish knowledge in the world if you cannot apply the same in real-life situations.
  • The teaching staff : Often on an institute's website, you can find a section called faculty – check their experience, their contributions in the game design industry, and read about their work. This will help you gain an in-depth insight into what the school has to offer and whether it is the right fit for you.
  • Location and facilities: Check for colleges that provide state-of-the-art facilities and if you're planning to move to another city. Make sure they provide accommodation or help you find a place where you can stay – it’s often recommended to live in the institute's vicinity as it will help save time, money and energy.

If you're looking for a game design school to pave the way for your journey as a game designer, you can opt for Seamedu. The institute was founded to bridge the gap between the industry and academia. Our experienced faculty, state-of-the-art technology, and meticulously programmed courses will help you pursue a promising game design career!

Disclaimer :

While the information listed here is research-based with the best attempts to keep it accurate and reliable, the actuals may vary according to the course curriculum, facility-location, and an individual’s specialization, experience, current industry scenario, economic conditions, and several other factors. We do not recommend or endorse any views expressed within the third-party information contained here. Employment opportunities or any included salary figures are not guaranteed.