Game Designer: Career Outlook for the Game Design Professions

Published Sep 03, 2009

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Game Designers create video or computer games. Game Designers determine the plot, characters, settings, difficulty and skill level for their video or computer game.

Game Designer Overview

Most video game development is lead by a Game Designer who is essentially the main architect of the game. The Game Designer determines the goals and difficulty of the game and skills needed to play it. He or she may work with level designers who take over different portions of the game and writer-designers who write text, dialogue and manuals.

A Game Designer starts by creating the game for a particular platform, such as XBox, audience and genre. He or she will develop a design document, which contains all the information regarding the game and its present status. The design document is the source for information about the game, including the story, interfaces and characters. As the development of the program progresses, the Game Designer plays the game and gathers data from other independent testers in an effort to improve the game. As a Game Designer, one must know what is going on in the industry by researching competitive products.

Game Designer Career Outlook

ESA (Entertainment Software Association), www.theesa.com, states that sales in video and computer software increased 22.9% in 2008 to a record $11.7 billion in the U.S. In the United States, approximately 68% of households play video or computer games. ESA published a report in 2007 by Economists Incorporated regarding the video gaming industry. The report found that the industry of entertainment software grew my more than 17% each year from 2003-2006. In the period 2002-2006, employment in the industry grew by 4.4% yearly. Additionally, ESA published a report by NPD Group that found the video and computer game industry sold about 300 million units in 2008.

Job prospects for Game Designers are good but highly competitive. Jobs are concentrated in California, Washington, Illinois, Maryland, Texas and Massachusetts. Positions for Game Designers grew rapidly in the '90s, and although it has slowed, growth is still expected to increase by over 30% in the next ten years (2006-2016), according to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), www.bls.gov.

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