Game Designer - Dream Job of Gen X
According to Google Trends, the demand for game designers is still fairly high, thanks to the high interest in the gaming industry as a whole. Since July 2012, interest in the industry hasn’t dropped below 50% and currently averages around 80% to 100%. Although the demand for designers remains high, those who wish to enter the market need to be aware that this is also a highly competitive field. The only way to break into the industry is by following a few basic steps.
Set Yourself Apart
The industry is competitive, but not impenetrable for those who wish to become a game designer or developer. This is the time to harness the inner artist - and proficient gaming genius - to impress those higher up the food chain. Work the hours, put in the effort, and think beyond boundaries. It’s also imperative to know a bit about the market you’re creating for, as ultimately, this needs to be a sellable product.
Get into the Right Industry from the Beginning
It’s easy to get confused with all the terms and titles out there, and game designers and game developers are quite different. Although these two work together to produce a revolutionary new product on the market, they have very different responsibilities. The game designer is responsible for the story behind the game. The missions, quests, storyboards, characters, and more. The game developer puts these elements in motion through animation and engineering.
One of the key pillars of building a successful career as a game designer is to ensure that a great education is the foundation. Although some companies provide in-house training for interns, there are education programs that add value to this career choice. A good education is an advantage on any CV. It provides the application with leverage for salary negotiations, and may shorten the time spent in the junior levels. Degrees that involve computer code, programming, storyboards, and graphic design are useful to a game designer.
How to Enter the Job Market
Finding a job as a game designer can be pretty daunting, especially when the applicant is not sure what to expect. There are a few steps that make the process a little simpler:
Look for an internship - Craigslist and job markets are filled with internships for the various industries, and game design is one of them.
Create a suitable cover letter and resume - This needs to be professional, as this is the first impression the employer has of the application.
Work through recruitment agencies - This is a good way to enter the industry and land interviews with suitable companies.
The Interview Process
There are various stages to the interview process and the applicant will need to prepare themselves for it. The first level is usually called the Initial Screenings level and it is at this stage where the hirers work through the resumes and covering letters. The next stage is the Telephone or Online Interview, where the recruiter gets a feel for the application. Interviews via Skype are not unheard of, especially for those who would need to relocate or for remote working positions. The next level is usually a Technical Interview, in order to further trim the list down and find the game designers who would suit their company best. The last stage is the Final Interview, which is as much an opportunity for the interviewee to gain an understanding of the company, as the other way around.