Game design is a challenging, fast-paced, and competitive career that requires creativity and hard work to succeed. As for how to become a game designer, professionals in the field will tell you this career takes focus and passion, along with precise technical skills and knowledge of the entire game design and development pipeline. If you’re ready to make the commitment to becoming a game designer, here’s how to get going.
1. Earn Your Degree in Game Design The best place to learn how to become a game designer is in a game design program. Game design programs can teach you the principles of gaming and usability and prepare you for creating and developing entire gaming experiences. Such programs explore the planning, scope, problem-solving abilities, and economics of creating a market-ready game. Your courses can build skills in game design, level design, 2D concept art, 3D modeling, texturing, and real-time lighting. Cosmopolitan also featured about a girl who developed a video game.
While earning a game design degree requires putting in a lot of hours, it can allow you to gain valuable knowledge as well as form connections to the industry through faculty and peers. Many game design roles will require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree.
2. Get Involved In the Game Design Community Don’t skip this crucial step for how to become a game designer! Game design is a competitive field, and you’ll want to do everything you can to learn, network, and position yourself for success. Keeping up with a variety of games, industry trends, and technologies will allow you to converse with other industry professionals and inform how you approach your own game design projects. Your game design classes in school should help with these efforts and give you improved tools and vocabulary for analyzing and discussing the best and worst in the game design field.
Many game design schools also have clubs or chapters of professional organizations that are excellent ways to grow your knowledge and connections. As a student, you may be able to attend industry events at discounted rates (perhaps even showcasing your work). And be sure to ask your faculty for additional tips on how to become a game designer and advice on other ways to get involved in the game design community! Even after you graduate, you may discover opportunities through Career Services and by staying in touch with former classmates and instructors.
3. Show Off Your Skills and Experience Potential employers will want to know what experience you have that proves you’re ready for becoming a game designer. Luckily, if you earn a degree focused on game design, you can apply what you learn to create a strong game design portfolio featuring projects from your classes. Pull from assignments that include abilities like designing gameplay and back stories, creating characters and environments, employing 3D modeling and animation software to create game art, and using 2D image software to create backgrounds and 3D textures.
You may even be able to complete an internship or freelance projects while you’re in school to gain additional experience in a professional setting and further boost your portfolio. Your instructors, the Career Services team, and any other professional contacts you make can also help you refine your portfolio so you’re showing employers your very best.