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How to become a Game Designer

Game Designer
avg. starting salary

Looking to fulfil your Call of Duty? You should become a Game Designer… Game Designers use their creativity to design games for a variety of devices and platforms, including PCs, games consoles, mobile phones, and the internet. Their role is focused on coming up with imaginative story ideas, characters, and gameplay, which they then pitch to the rest of the development team. If the idea is workable, collaborative development will then be carried out on the game’s animation, programming, sound, quality control, and visual design. Typical duties for a Game Designer could include:
  • Coming up with concepts for new and existing games
  • Designing everything from the game’s setting, structure, and characters, to objects, rules, and storyline
  • Carrying out market research to understand audiences
  • Writing game scripts and designing storyboards
  • Communicating ideas effectively to the development team
  • Working with artists and programmers to build prototypes
  • Teaching QA testers about expected gameplay

First and foremost, a Game Designer will need to have a strong interest in, and experience playing, a wide range of video games. Not only will you need to recognise the various types of gameplay, stories, and characters, you’ll also need to understand how and why they work. This knowledge, combined with a creative and logical mind, will allow you to come up with imaginative and original game concepts. Those who can’t stop playing Angry Birds need not apply. Key skills for a Game Designer include:
  • Able to draw, and produce, basic 3D designs
  • Good story-telling abilities
  • The ability to take any criticism on board
  • Excellent communication and teamwork skills
  • The ability to solve problems and work under pressure
  • Knowledge of core programming languages
  • Wanting to be the very best, like no one ever was (and other video game references)


Game Designer

Up to £35,000

Game Developer

Up to £50,000

Technical Director

Up to £70,000

"I always knew I wanted to work in game design, ever since I played Donkey Kong country (obviously the best of the series). So I studied game design at university, and got a job as a Game Designer after a yearlong internship in the industry. It’s pretty much my dream job, and I love that I can use my imagination to come up with ideas that will actually become real games. Thinking of interesting (and original) characters and storylines can be a challenge sometimes, but it’s the best feeling ever when your concept is taken through to development. And let’s face it, what other career can say that their on-the-job research involves playing Xbox?"

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