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.
  • Supervise information technology personnel.
  • Collaborate with others to determine design specifications or details.
  • Prepare graphics or other visual representations of information.
  • Test software performance.
  • Document design or development procedures.
  • Manage information technology projects or system activities.
  • Manage documentation to ensure organization or accuracy.

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

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Recognition

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer advancement, potential for leadership, and are often considered prestigious. Corresponding needs are Advancement, Authority, Recognition and Social Status.

Relationships

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to provide service to others and work with co-workers in a friendly non-competitive environment. Corresponding needs are Co-workers, Moral Values and Social Service.

Support

Occupations that satisfy this work value offer supportive management that stands behind employees. Corresponding needs are Company Policies, Supervision: Human Relations and Supervision: Technical.

Independence

Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.

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

Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.

Initiative

Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.

Leadership

Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.

Cooperation

Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.

Concern for Others

Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.

Social Orientation

Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.

Self-Control

Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.

Stress Tolerance

Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high-stress situations.

Adaptability/Flexibility

Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.

Dependability

Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.

Attention to Detail

Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.

Integrity

Job requires being honest and ethical.

Independence

Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.

Innovation

Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.

Analytical Thinking

Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.

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.