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Video Game Designer

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Life As a Video Game Designer

Occupation Description Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, story lines, and character biographies. Create and maintain design documentation. Guide and collaborate with production staff to produce games as designed.

Video Game Designer Responsibilities

  • Provide feedback to designers and other colleagues regarding game design features.
  • Prepare and revise initial game sketches using two- and three-dimensional graphical design software.
  • Develop and maintain design level documentation, including mechanics, guidelines, and mission outlines.
  • Review or evaluate competitive products, film, music, television, and other art forms to generate new game design ideas.
  • Collaborate with artists to achieve appropriate visual style.
  • Keep abreast of game design technology and techniques, industry trends, or audience interests, reactions, and needs by reviewing current literature, talking with colleagues, participating in educational programs, attending meetings or workshops, or participating in professional organizations or conferences.

Video Game Designer Required Skills

These are the skills Video Game Designers say are the most useful in their careers:

Programming: Writing computer programs for various purposes.

Active Listening: Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.

Complex Problem Solving: Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.

Critical Thinking: Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.

Reading Comprehension: Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.

Active Learning: Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Types of Video Game Designer Jobs

  • Mid Level Game Designer
  • Game Designer/Creative Director
  • Senior Gamemaster
  • World Designer
  • Design Director

Job Demand for Video Game Designers

In 2016, there was an estimated number of 287,200 jobs in the United States for Video Game Designer. New jobs are being produced at a rate of 9.3% which is above the national average. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts 26,600 new jobs for Video Game Designer by 2026. There will be an estimated 22,400 positions for Video Game Designer per year.

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The states with the most job growth for Video Game Designer are Washington, Utah, and Nevada. Watch out if you plan on working in Alaska, Maryland, or Mississippi. These states have the worst job growth for this type of profession.

Video Game Designer Average Salary

The average yearly salary of a Video Game Designer ranges between $47,350 and $144,820.

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Video Game Designers who work in District of Columbia, Maryland, or New Hampshire, make the highest salaries.

How much do Video Game Designers make in different U.S. states?

State Annual Mean Salary
Alabama $87,060
Alaska $98,830
Arizona $85,010
Arkansas $73,670
California $103,270
Colorado $102,470
Connecticut $100,340
District of Columbia $117,540
Florida $78,900
Georgia $90,140
Hawaii $89,960
Idaho $80,610
Indiana $79,310
Iowa $78,810
Kansas $79,300
Kentucky $79,420
Louisiana $66,600
Maine $79,790
Maryland $113,330
Massachusetts $92,110
Michigan $76,400
Minnesota $81,650
Mississippi $81,280
Missouri $82,610
Montana $68,430
Nebraska $86,230
Nevada $72,610
New Hampshire $112,440
New Jersey $99,210
New Mexico $79,540
New York $90,750
North Carolina $88,650
North Dakota $70,730
Ohio $82,440
Oklahoma $78,490
Oregon $79,610
Pennsylvania $87,040
Rhode Island $81,290
South Carolina $92,100
South Dakota $81,250
Tennessee $74,000
Texas $90,290
Utah $76,890
Vermont $72,220
Virginia $105,270
Washington $91,620
West Virginia $83,660
Wisconsin $74,600
Wyoming $75,780

Tools & Technologies Used by Video Game Designers

Although they’re not necessarily needed for all jobs, the following technologies are used by many Video Game Designers:

  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Office
  • Hypertext markup language HTML
  • JavaScript
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Python
  • MySQL
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Linux
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
  • C
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Blackboard

Becoming a Video Game Designer

Education needed to be a Video Game Designer:

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How many years of work experience do I need?

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Where Video Game Designers Work

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The table below shows some of the most common industries where those employed in this career field work.

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References:

Image Credit: Intel Free Press via Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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