10.4. DesignersΒΆ


This stage is an edited excerpt from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics Career Outlook report for Video Game Development.

We have already learned much about exactly what designers work on and what skills they need to have. They are not just idea people - instead they are people with a wide range of skills who understand how code, art and gameplay all work together.

To develop a game, teams of designers are responsible for writing detailed descriptions of the game, including plot, characters, and mechanics. While a game is in production, designers work closely with programmers and artists to ensure that the designs are being realized and to refine the designs to work around problems.

Designers frequently use scripting languages, a type of programming language that controls applications, to view their ideas within the prototype game. Scripting languages do not require extensive coding and allow designers to test various concepts as they arise in gameplay. Then, designers choose the concept they like best.

The different design teams focus on different parts of the game, under the direction of a lead designer. Some designers craft engrossing plots and characters. Other designers work on the mechanics of the game. Common roles include:


There are no educational requirements for video game designers, but a college degree in game design, game development, or computer science is helpful. Experience in other roles in video game development is also beneficial. For example, some workers become designers after being promoted from other teams, such as quality assurance, programming, or art. Game designers also need some background in programming and knowledge of scripting languages, especially Lua and Python. In addition, designers might need to be experts in other computer software. Level designers, for example, frequently use 3D modeling programs.


Optional: Here is some specific advice from working designers at Hi-Rez Studios about how to get into the field: