A Tech Career Guide: How to Become a Successful Game Designer

Game design is an incredibly competitive field that offers a plethora of varied, exciting, and lucrative career pathways. This is the perfect vocation for people who have a passion for game-playing, understand modern graphic design practices, and are interested in the intricacies of computer coding.

Interest piqued? If you’re intrigued by the idea of becoming a professional game designer, you’ve most certainly come to the right place. Below, you will find comprehensive advice and guidance on what you must do to embark on a successful career in this sector.

What are we waiting for? Let’s get straight to it! Here are four things you can do to succeed as a game designer:

Obtain necessary qualifications

Talent, passion, and hard work won’t be enough to help you land your dream role in the game design industry. In order to break into this field and then enjoy sustained success within it, you’re going to need to obtain a number of necessary qualifications.

At the very least, in this instance, you’re going to need to earn yourself a high school diploma (or any equivalent qualification) in either computer coding or graphic design. This qualification will prove that you understand the basic backend demands of game design. In turn, this will showcase the fact that you have a solid foundation from which to grow, develop, and scale your design expertise going forward.

Your high school diploma may help you to get your foot in the door of the game design sector, but it won’t necessarily help you to step over the threshold. If you’re to stand a chance at solidifying your position as an industry-leading game designer, enrolling in a higher education course is recommended. And no, this doesn’t just mean obtaining a bachelor’s degree. Once you graduate from an online masters computer science course, you will provide prospective employers with a reason to give precedence to your job applications. This is down to the simple fact that you will be able to showcase a thorough understanding of modern technology, and, more importantly, you will have showcased true dedication to your craft.

Get experience

As touched upon earlier, the modern game design landscape is highly competitive and incredibly cut-throat. If you’re to stand a chance at succeeding in this niche tech sector, going above and beyond to stand out from the crowd is highly recommended. This will help your voice to be heard above the noise, and it will aid you in your attempt to establish an authoritative reputation for yourself going forward.

There are a number of things that you can and should be doing to rise above your rivals in the game design industry, one of the most simple yet effective being to get yourself some experience. Nobody is going to choose to align themselves with you over your competitors if you haven’t got a proven track record, which is why you are advised to get out there and garner some real-world know-how.

If this means operating on a voluntary basis for the time being, so be it. You might not get paid for your efforts, but taking on the challenge of being a volunteer will help you to unearth a whole host of industry-specific insights. What’s more, working alongside other game designers will actively help you to take new approaches and, in turn, push your boundaries.

For a deeper insight into volunteering and its plethora of somewhat surprising benefits, be sure to check out this article.

Build your portfolio

Once you’ve obtained your qualifications and garnered some experience, it’s time for you to spread the word about your capabilities. The best way to do this is to build your portfolio. This should be a collection of your best game designs, your end goal being to present a body of work that will be sure to attract attention from the leading employers in your field.

When building your portfolio, it’s important that you remain organized and adhere to a strict pattern. This will help potential employers to pinpoint the exact information they require, which subsequently will speed up the process of you being considered for lucrative game design roles.

As stated at TheBalanceCareers.com, including information about the companies that you have previously worked alongside within your portfolio is advised. Amongst a slew of other benefits, this will prove that you have real-world experience in your niche game design sector.

Start your own game design company

Do you have an entrepreneurial streak coursing through your veins? If so, why not combine your passion for game design with your business mentality by starting your own gaming company? Taking this route in your career will not only allow you to do what you love on a day-to-day basis, but it will also afford you the opportunity to retain complete control over your career trajectory. And who knows, if you work hard enough, your company may even find itself rubbing shoulders with gaming giants such as Sony and Nintendo at some point in the future.

In order to scale these lofty heights as the owner of a game design company, you’re going to need to lay solid foundations for your startup organization. To achieve this feat in an efficient and effective fashion, be sure to ask yourself the following critical questions:

  1. What demographic are you targeting? Who is your game design service geared towards?
  2. What genre of game will you be producing? What type of games are you going to want to design on a consistent basis?
  3. How much will you charge for your game and/or game design service?

Answering these questions in a thorough, thoughtful, and transparent manner will help you to create a coherent business strategy. This strategy can then be utilized to plan the ongoing growth and scalability of your fledgling game design organization.

The game design industry is growing more popular and profitable by the year. If you want to forge a successful career within this burgeoning field, be sure to heed the advice laid out above.