What Does a Career in Game Design Entail?
Video Game Design is nothing if not a multi-disciplinary pursuit. Game designers can be involved in computer game design and development, game production, fine art, computer graphics, art and animation, visual storytelling and visual effects, virtual environment creation, real-time interactive simulation, voice casting, programming or other support roles, and video direction, to name a few disciplines; not to mention that they must stay up to date with top game design and interactive design improvements. In effect, creating a video game is not unlike producing a film or television show. The key difference is that you need to create an experience that provides challenges for the player through interactive media design. This may be done by building a user interface, the mechanics to play the game, content to view and explore, or even developing a featured structure for social interaction on games or applications.
This can take a great deal of expertise, and there are state of the art computer game design and development degree programs offered to students by schools and colleges across the US. These are available as undergraduate and graduate programs, as a minor in game design or as a general certificate, two-year program, bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and more from a state university, department of computer science, college of arts or media studies, or a specific computer game design program that offers a focus on interactive design and game development. Another great fact about these programs is that many of them offer online or distance learning for online-only students. Some only offer online courses and students must complete a hybrid program (online and on-campus learning) in order to complete their degree, but others offer 100% online options for students from around the country.
Like film production, a career in game design entails long hours devoted to conceptualizing, planning, and scripting before the actual production begins. Then, your job will involve working with your human models and voice actors, writing code, drawing and painting the scenes and sets, and more. Some game developers work with a whole interactive design and game development team and others do all the art and design work themselves. Some will spend their off time creating online gaming experiences that sometimes become sensational hits. Game design is a field that is richly rewarding for creative types and can be financially rewarding if your game becomes a success.