How to become a graphic designer for computer games

Anyone sitting alone in front of the screen quickly forgets how many different people have put countless hours of work into this experience. From browser-games to all kinds of open fantasy worlds – everything is possible in the digital games industry, where there are numerous lateral entrants.

Maybe working with computer games is something for you too? 

Graphic designer, game designer, graphic artist or game developer. Is there a difference between these professions? The transitions are usually fluid. Here I show you what tasks there are in video game creation and how to find a job in the games industry.

As a graphic designer and grafiker, I have worked in various roles on computer game projects in the past. Usualy a game designer specializes in one of the following fields.

  • Producer: His task is to organize and finance the project. From this perspective they influence the development of the game. 
  • Programmers use method and programming languages to realize the basic game mechanics.
  • Graphic artists take care of the visual design.
  • Motion designers do animation and motion tracking.
  • Sound designers: Their area of responsibility is the sound recording of the game. 
  • Authors: Are responsible for the drama, plot and story.
  • Testers search for errors and bugs in the game, so that players later have the best possible gaming experience.

Depending on the size of the development team, there will maybe a single designer for each area, or even a whole designteam that is dedicated to a specific task. Smaller projects often have multiple tasks performed by a single person

The boundaries between game design and game development are usually fluid. One field of work affects the other. Only if many individual steps are solved in a coordinated way, a video game will be  created that has the potential to inspire the players and succeed on the market. 

What a game-designer does

A game-designer develops the basic concept for the computer game. This includes the definition of the game goal, story, main characters and player tasks, visuals and the game world. All decisions must be based on age group and ethical principles. After the basic concept is designed, it is graphically sketched and tested as a prototype. There are several game designer courses of study which can prepare you for your later work. But it is also not unusual to become a game designer as a newcomer. Appropriate talent, industry experience and software knowledge are required.

How do you become a game designer?

There is the possibility to obtain certificates from private institutions (e.g. academies) in this field. You usually have to pay for these courses and do not receive a training salary. However, there are more and more courses of study that offer courses such as “Game Engineering”, “Game Development” or “Game Design” at different locations. Most of the time, practical exercises are already the focus during these studies. This seems to be the ideal preparation for the future work as a game designer. 

Often game designers are also lateral entrants whose studies or training had little or nothing to do with gaming. There are numerous computer scientists, application developers, multimedia specialists and graphic designers who have specialized in the computer game world.  Requirements for this job are on the one hand creativity, interest in the genre, communication skills, teamwork and the ability to put oneself in the players’ shoes. Often game designers also specialize in certain game genres or end devices (e.g. console, smartphones, PCs, strategy, action, etc.)

Previous articleTop 20+ Best Adventure PS4 Games That Worth Playing
Next articleOverwatch Features and Gameplay