Video Game Designers

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$83,240 Median Wage (2022)
10,700 Projected job openings (2022-2032)
15.20% Projected growth (2022-2032)

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.

Experience Requirements Overview

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed
  • A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.
  • Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

Education, Training and Experience

Required Level of Education: Bachelor's Degree

Related Work Experience: Over 2 years, up to and including 4 years

On-Site or In-Plant Training: N.A.

On-the-Job Training: Over 1 month, up to and including 3 months

Detailed Work Activities

  • Analyze market or customer related data.
  • Communicate project information to others.
  • Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
  • Develop testing routines or procedures.
  • Design video game features or details.

Work Values

Achievement

Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.

Working Conditions

Recognition

Relationships

Support

Independence

Tasks

  • Balance and adjust gameplay experiences to ensure the critical and commercial success of the product.
  • Devise missions, challenges, or puzzles to be encountered in game play.
  • Create core game features, including storylines, role-play mechanics, and character biographies for a new video game or game franchise.
  • Solicit, obtain, and integrate feedback from design and technical staff into original game design.
  • Conduct regular design reviews throughout the game development process.
  • Develop and maintain design level documentation, including mechanics, guidelines, and mission outlines.
  • Document all aspects of formal game design, using mock-up screenshots, sample menu layouts, gameplay flowcharts, and other graphical devices.
  • Provide feedback to designers and other colleagues regarding game design features.
  • Create and manage documentation, production schedules, prototyping goals, and communication plans in collaboration with production staff.
  • Provide feedback to production staff regarding technical game qualities or adherence to original design.
  • Create gameplay prototypes for presentation to creative and technical staff and management.
  • Guide design discussions between development teams.
  • Oversee gameplay testing to ensure intended gaming experience and game adherence to original vision.
  • Present new game design concepts to management and technical colleagues, including artists, animators, and programmers.
  • Prepare two-dimensional concept layouts or three-dimensional mock-ups.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Write or supervise the writing of game text and dialogue.
  • Consult with multiple stakeholders to define requirements and implement online features.
  • Determine supplementary virtual features, such as currency, item catalog, menu design, and audio direction.
  • Prepare and revise initial game sketches using two- and three-dimensional graphical design software.
  • Create gameplay test plans for internal and external test groups.
  • Provide test specifications to quality assurance staff.

Work Styles

Achievement/Effort

Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.

Persistence

Initiative

Leadership

Cooperation

Concern for Others

Social Orientation

Self-Control

Stress Tolerance

Adaptability/Flexibility

Dependability

Attention to Detail

Integrity

Independence

Innovation

Analytical Thinking

Data Source: This page includes information from the O*NET 28.0 Database by the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA). Used under the CC BY 4.0 license. O*NET® is a trademark of USDOL/ETA. This page includes Employment Projections program, Occupational Employment and Wage Statistics program, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.