A game designer is at the center of every video game development team. The Game Designer plans the gameplay, creates the narrative, and ensures that the game itself is fun to play. In this video we’ll take a look at this position and how Game Designers craft fun, interactive entertainment for their players.
- [Voiceover] The game design role has become the most well known of the game development team titles. A designer that creates numerous blockbuster titles will become a superstar in the industry. In some cases, the designer's name appears before the title of the game. The game designer's role can be a tricky one to define because every company is a little different. In general, a game designer decides how the player will play the game, what the game consists of, and plans the elements of the game. That last part is where the confusion lies with the game designer title, as some designers may not have any input to story elements, or art, or programming, or maybe all of those.
Usually, the game designer is at the center of communication with the team regarding art and computer code that will produce a game that meets expectations. At the center of the development team is at least one game designer. A game must be planned and thought out before production can begin. A designer is the person that does these initial tasks. While their responsibilities may vary from company to company, from that point forward, you can be sure that a game designer is behind the scenes trying their best to ensure the game is fun to play.
All that sounds pretty omnipresent, and it can be. The game designer's influence on the game can rival that of an art director, program lead, or even producer, as designers tend to have their hand in all facets of the game. That's not to say that game designers need to be excellent in all skills needed to make a game. I've worked on teams where the game designers worked directly with the game engine, building levels, we might call these level designers by definition, or on another team, the owner of the company was the game designer and producer.
I can honestly say that I've not worked at any two companies where the role of the game designer looked the same. On large teams, there will be many designers, each with separate responsibilities. For instance, a game systems designer designs and manages the game's mechanics or rules, while a level designer is the person responsible for creating the game environments and missions. At most studios, the game designer position isn't an entry-level position, because a lot of experience is needed to pull a game together.
Game designers can come from any background, but they have to have a firm understanding of art, programming, game theory, and what makes a game fun to play.
- A brief history of video games
- The phases of game development
- Roles in game development
- Essential programming, art, design, and audio skills
- Choosing a game engine
- Funding options outside the game studio system