Is one of the most popular, highly desired, though misunderstood jobs in this industry. Game designers are becoming more specialized As the industry expands and video games become more complex and diverse. Brainstorming and birthing new game ideas makes only a small portion of Game design. There are a lot of specialized designers and titles across this industry that manage and work on certain parts of a game, but I will only touch on the core tenets and elements of video game designer jobs and descriptions
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keep in mind that this industry’s job titles and responsibilities can vary considerably from company to company, publishers to publishers etc.
If a project is big enough to have a lead designer appointed then he would be responsible for managing the other game designers working on the current project and coordinates the development with the other leads in their departments to achieve the projects overall goals and vision. If the current project isn’t movie title adaptation or defined by the publisher, a lead designer might have been the one who “invented” the games idea.
A lead designer responsibilities can include how the current project is documented, implement the rules of a game, levels and other large scale ideas that will shape the game, or they can simply assign these task to a group or a single designer to implement. In conclusion the lead will have the decision making power to the overall design, that is if the publisher or producer don’t step in and a conflict of ideas will slow the games development.
Fiction Writer or Scriptwriter
If you ever enjoyed a good back story or lore of a game then you have fiction Writers or scriptwriters to thank. Although there isn’t “designer” in their name, Game writers “design” or create the scrip of the game, which can include the voice overs, dialogue, and scenes for intros or cut-scenes, This of course depends and what type of game they are working on. scriptwriters work very close with designers throughout the project because the scope and style vary from game to game and maintaining proper pacing and balance throughout any potential game path is crucial. Most game writers are contracted for each new project.
If you ever experimented around with Neverwinter Nights design modules, then you have first hand experience of what a level designer does. They create the terrain, script the enemy’s behavior, and skills utilizing the elements and mechanics the designers have created using the games editor to build, arrange, and balance that segment of the game.
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There are different types of level designers that specialize in different game genres. Each type requires in-dept knowledge within those games play-style.
Anyone remember Lair for the PS3? That is a perfect example of complete and utter UI Design failure. Shortly after released they quickly made a patch available for download to include joystick support. No matter how fascinating a game concept, high production values and audio are, if the UI or User Interface is unresponsive and badly designed, you can bet that game will fail. UI designers make the connection between the player and the game world. To make it as natural and smooth as possible to use. To be truly immersed in the game world and not be bothered by unresponsive and cumbersome feedback.
Junior designers usually work close with experienced designers or senior designers. Senior designers on the other hand can have the same responsibilities as a lead designer and are usually synonymous in most companies.
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Depending on the the company, size and type of project, there may only be one game designer to a few involved working on the project.
We all love to play games but do you know how much effort it takes to make one? Check out our other articles on video game design, game programming and video game tester.