What Does A Game Designer Do?

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Game designers, often also called game developers, work at the interface between creative ideas and their technical implementation. They invent characters, create plots, design virtual worlds and program the gameplay of mobile, video and computer games. What does a game designer do?

Job Profile

Game designers develop games for consoles, computers, mobile phones, apps or internet games. They design captivating game worlds and come up with characters, tasks, gameplay, goals and rules for the games they make. 

Role Overview - Game Designer
Role Overview – Game Designer

A game designer is responsible for much more than just the graphic and technical implementation of games. In addition to finding ideas and designing the games, they are primarily responsible for the creative elements. They design game worlds and characters in 2D and 3D and bring them to life by animating them.

Is a game designer the same as a game programmer? A game designer is not the same as a game programmer! A programmer works on the more technical side of the game and is responsible for bringing the game to life using code whereas a designer works on the more creative side of things and is responsible for the overall creative vision. 

Are game designers in demand? The demand for game designers is ever- expanding.   According to recruiter.com, the number of jobs is expected to grow to up to 32,090 by 2029.  

Recruiter.com - Game Designer Job Growth
Recruiter.com – Game Designer Job Growth

Responsibilities

A game designer is primarily responsible for developing game concepts. They think about gameplay, game rules and tasks that the gamer should solve and keep a detailed record of the storyline.

They also design characters and landscapes, work out story texts like dialogues and stories, and merge game scenes into a flowing gameplay. 

Responsibilities Of A Game Designer
Responsibilities Of A Game Designer

Designers are also responsible for integrating music and sound effects and testing and optimising games that they are in charge of.

They create game manuals, prototype new games and pitch game ideas to executives and clients and are also in charge of organising teamwork and providing quality control.

What are the responsibilities of a game designer? 

  • Develop game concepts
  • Keep detailed record of storyline
  • Design characters and landscapes
  • Work out story texts
  • Merge game scenes into flowing gameplay
  • Integrate music and sound effects
  • Test and optimise games
  • Create game manuals
  • Prototype new games
  • Pitch game ideas to management and clients
  • Organise teamwork
  • Provide quality control

Find expert game designers here

Skills

A game designer has a passion and an interest in shared world game design and possesses an appreciation of the opportunities and the challenges it poses. 

They also have a passion for supporting lore and world building through engaging playable experiences and for creating compelling mechanics and systems design, along with an understanding of what makes these elements effective.

Skills Of A Game Designer
Skills Of A Game Designer

In terms of software and tools, game designers have a solid understanding of 3D animation, illustration and programming languages. They are especially well-versed in Unreal Engine and possess a strong portfolio of games showcasing their experience in Unity.

Game designers have excellent organisational skills and have the ability to work well with other team designers and engineers.

What are the skills of a game designer? 

  • Passion and interest in shared world game design
  • Experience creating compelling mechanic and systems design
  • Passion for supporting lore and world building
  • Solid understanding of 3D animation and illustration
  • Knowledge of programming languages
  • Practical, hands-on experience of working in Unreal Engine
  • Experience working with Unity
  • The ability to work closely with the design team to create design briefs
  • Excellent organisational skills


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Background

How do I become a game designer? A Bachelor’s degree (in game design, computer science or computer engineering) is generally needed to work as a game designer though it is not strictly necessary. You can also find employment by having a strong portfolio of games that you’ve created. 

You can enhance your portfolio by obtaining certifications and getting better at game design. Check out options for courses down below: 

Salary 

Does game design pay well? The answer to this question can vary depending on the designer and what their skills are but generally, game design does tend to pay well. A junior designer can earn around $41,000 whereas a senior designer can earn around $103,000 per year. The average salary for a designer is $67,700 per year.

In Germany, the salary range for a designer is €24,000-€52,000 whereas in the UK, the range is £21,000-£42,000.

How much do game designers earn?

US$41,000 – $67,700
Germany €24,000 – €52,000
UK £21,000 – £42,000

How much does a freelance game designer earn?

According to the freelancermap rate index, freelance game designers earn around $54 per hour. Considering an 8-hour work day, designers can earn around $432 per day. 

Average Hourly Rate Of Freelance Game Designers
Average Hourly Rate Of Freelance Game Designers
Natalia Campana

Natalia is part of the international team at freelancermap. She loves the digital world, social media and meeting different cultures. Before she moved to Germany and joined the freelancermap team she worked in the US, UK and her home country Spain. Now she focuses on helping freelancers and IT professionals to find jobs and clients worldwide at www.freelancermap.com

By Natalia Campana

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