This article was written for those who want to become a part of game design but don’t know where to start and what is generally needed for this.
Game design is a relatively new profession, and therefore, to start a career in this field, you don’t need to spend years studying. There are various examples of how people from different spheres of activity and without higher education became successful game designers. This article is for those who have no experience at all.
1. Hard work
First of all, game design is hard routine work, and only partly creative. So if you think you will have fun playing cool games and doing great things all day long, forget it right away.
2. Gaming experience
If you have no experience in game design, then you need significant experience in gaming. You should select at least ten games of each genre and play them to familiarize yourself, even if you are not interested in those genres.
You should be familiar with the best projects on all major platforms: PC, mobile, consoles, social media, even VR platforms.
3. Good taste
You need it to write a game plot, creating characters, and global creative ideas. Play only high-quality games, watch quality movies and series, read good books. You should learn to understand why one product or artwork is of high quality and interest while another is boring and mediocre.
As a game designer, you will have to write lots of text — various documentation, task descriptions, and explanations for programmers and other specialists. Examples of ready-made documentation can be found on the Internet, in the portfolios of already experienced game designers.
The more succinct and precise you can write, the better. To do this, you need to be able to analyze what has been written and structure it. Moreover, sometimes, it’s preferable to use diagrams, comparison tables, screenshots — any visual explanations instead of words. And of course, don’t forget about spelling and grammar.
5. Ability to express thoughts
The work of a game designer is directly related to constant close communication in the team and the creation of tasks and comments, so communication skills are indispensable. You can find numerous educational lessons on this topic online. If you have problems with communication, you just need to start solving them, and everything will work out.
6. Continuous development
Read as many articles on game design as possible on English and foreign portals. It will be very useful for a general understanding of the work and for improving your knowledge level.
7. Follow the news
Always follow the gaming industry news in order to be aware of the general situation on the market, and be in the trend. For instance, if you don’t know who Markus Persson is, it’s better not to go to interviews yet.
8. Complementary skills
If you have any additional skills such as programming, or the ability to use Photoshop and other editing software, these will be a huge plus.
Therefore, you can better understand fellow developers. Or if you have a talent for a graphic designer, but your soul asks to become a game designer, then why not use this skill in game design? It will only make you better. Your employer won’t have to puzzle over how to outsource graphic designers.
9. Data analysis
Almost any company analyzes the work of competitors and suggests how to improve the product they have. This is an obligatory part of the work.
Practice is essential here. The main thing is that if you have chosen this profession, then be sure to carefully analyze all your favorite games and understand why you like them so much. Try to fix and note all your ideas.
Game design is often monotonous and painstaking work, for which you need to be mentally prepared as well. And if this doesn’t scare you, and you have all of the above skills (or are ready to improve them), perhaps you are exactly the one the gaming industry needs.
It’s not so difficult to become a part of this industry. If you love games, maybe it’s time to take the chance?