Do you play high-definition computer games? Are you very creative too? Do you often make suggestions to improve the games you play (but only to friends!)? Would you like to make those suggestions professionally to gaming companies? Would you be interested in learning computer languages too for making new games? You may like to be a Game Designer or a Developer. Explore to find out what Game Designers and Developers do, how they do it and how to become one.
Game Designers conceptualize, design, build and develop video games for traditional commercial PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and gaming consoles with or without the financial aid of a game publisher. Game publishers are companies like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Gameloft, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft Studios etc. who fund the entire game development process involving internal and/or external game development teams.
Why become a game designer & developer?
As a Game Designer, you will be conceptualizing, designing, building and developing video games for traditional commercial PCs, laptops, tablets, mobile phones and gaming consoles with or without the financial aid of a game publisher. Game publishers are companies like Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, Gameloft, Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft Studios etc. who fund the entire game development process involving internal and/or external game development teams.
In recent times, we are witnessing a tremendous surge in the number of Android and iOS games that are increasingly being developed independently (with or without a game publisher). These independent games are called indie games.
You may be controlling the core elements within a game (structure of the game) – how a game should work and how it will be played including the motto, objective, journey, characters, storyline, dialogue, narrative, and commentary. You may also be responsible for programming video games and writing codes for related software (game development tools).
You may design various levels, missions, challenges and transitions involved in a game. You may work on special or visual effects essentially visual tricks or illusions. You may be involved in designing various web and digital interfaces for various gadgets like phones, laptops, etc. You can also be a game tester and responsible for quality assurance and control by analyzing a game’s software for defects.
Game designing brings together domains like computer science and programming, psychology, creative writing and multimedia / graphic design. As a Game Designer, you will be involved in the process of bringing video game experiences to life. You will be a key member in the team orchestrating the design, story, narration, levels, characters, puzzles, animation and art of a video game.
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Popular specialization in this career
- Game Designer: Game Designers control the core elements within a game (structure of the game) – how a game should work and how it will be played including the motto, objective, journey, characters, storyline, dialogue, narrative, and commentary. They may also be writers employed part-time.
- Game Developer/Programmer: Software engineers primarily responsible for programming video games and writing codes for related software (game development tools) are Game Developers or Programmers. The development of a game’s codebase is managed by the programmers,
- Game Animator: Animators create sequences of images called ‘frames’. A frame gives every viewer illusions of movement when they are shown ata rapid pace. These illusions are called ‘animations’.
- SFX/VFX Artist (Gaming): Artists who work on special or visual effects are called SFX or VFX artists. Special effects are essentially visual tricks or illusions that are used in video games. Visual effects involve digital effects to create realistic environments. These environments are otherwise very expensive and dangerous to shoot directly on film.
- Game Artist: Game Artists design, create and build the visual elements of a game (video game art) overseen by an art lead or art director, like concept art, terrain images, surface texture, scenery, objects and characters. An artist may specialize in 2D or 3D.
- UI/UX Designer (Gaming): User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) designers design various web and digital interfaces for various gadgets like phones, laptops, etc. Their main goal is to make their designs most simple and more efficient.
- Level Designer: People who use a specified set of programs to design various levels, missions, challenges and transitions involved in a game are called ‘Level Designers’. Developers are responsible for providing Level Designers with a specified set of programs like scripted editors and design tools so that the game’s codebase need not be accessed or modified.
- Game Tester: People responsible for quality assurance and control by analyzing a game’s software for defects are Game Testers. Certification in software testing and experience in the same field is an essential requirement to be a Game Tester. They are usually professionally certified software testers with qualifications like CSTP-A, CSTP-P, CSTP-M, CASTP-P, CASTP-P, CASTP-M, CTM-P, CSTL, CTM-M, CMSTP, CSQM etc.
What does a Game Designer & Developer?
As a Game Designer, you will be engaged with one or more of the following roles and responsibilities: –
- You will be creating core features of a game including role-play mechanics, storylines, and character biographies, transition levels, and challenges framework.
- You will be planning, visualizing, designing and building illustrative content as per the scripts and discussions or clients’ requirements.
- You will be analyzing and selecting factors like size, type, color palette, style, aesthetics, art arrangement to determine layout designs.
- You will be creating 2D or 3D imagery illustrating a process or depicting objects (which may or may not be in motion), using modeling programs or related computer software.
- You will be devising challenges, missions, or puzzles to be faced in gameplay.
- You may be writing codes for game development tools following discussions with team members.
- You will be preparing mock-up screenshots, gameplay flowcharts, and sample menu layouts.
- You will be participating in design discussions between development teams.
- You will be presenting concepts of new game design to the management and technical colleagues, including animators, artists, and programmers.
- You will be keeping abreast of game design techniques and technology, audience interests, industry trends, user needs and reactions, by reviewing current literature, participating in educational programs, talking with colleagues, participating in professional organizations or conferences or attending meetings or workshops.
How to Become a Game Designer & Developer – Eligibility Criteria
After Class 10, you have the following options:
- Certificate / Diploma courses.
- ITI courses.
- MES courses.
- CTS courses.
- NSQF courses.
- B. Voc courses.
- Class 11-12 with any subject as per the scheme of studies.
- Class 11-12 Mathematics along with any subject as per the scheme of studies
- Class 11-12 Commerce and Mathematics along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
- Class 11-12 Commerce, Computer and Mathematics along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
- Class 11-12 Commerce and Computer along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
- Class 11-12 Science along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
- Class 11-12 Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
- Class 11-12 Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Computer along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies.
- Class 11-12 Science and Mathematics along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
- Class 11-12 Arts/Humanities and Computer along with any other subject as per the scheme of studies
After Class 11-12, you can go for:
- Diploma / Career Diploma / Certificate courses.
- Bachelor degree (B. E., B. Sc., B. Tech., BCA, B. Voc, BBA, BFA etc.) or Associate level programs.
After your graduation (Bachelor degree) you can go for Master level program, Post Graduate Diploma, Advanced Diploma Program, or Industry Program to specialize in any related discipline.
Various private/public colleges and universities across India various courses in the following fields:
- Game Design & Development (Computer Science)
- Computer Graphics, Augmented & Virtual Reality
- Special Effects & Visual Effects Design
- Animation Design
- Multimedia Design
- Animation Film Design
- Multimedia, Animation & Special Effects
- Computer Applications
- Computer Science
- Information and Computer Technology
- Computer Science & Engineering
You will get job opportunities as these or similar:
- Game Designer
- Game Artist
- Creative Artist
- Game Technologist
- Game Developer
- Mechanism Design – Intern
- Game Programmer
- Game Animation
- Designer – Visual Reality
- 2D Artist (Gaming)
- UI/UX Designer
- Layout Artist
- Digital Prototyping Specialist
- CAD Specialist
- Art Development Trainee
- Environment Artist 3D
- Product or Industrial Designer
- Visual Effects Specialist
- Multimedia Artist
- Animator 2D/3D
You will find work in:
- Multimedia/ Graphic design and development companies
- Game-developing firms, animation and gaming companies
- Software development companies, e-Learning companies
- Media and Entertainment industry
- Mobile app development companies
- IT-Software / Software Services industry
You may also work as a freelancer or set up your own gaming design and development agency building independent games in the form of mobile applications which are portable on Android, iOS etc. Many startups are focused in this sector of the IT industry and becoming extremely popular.
Salary of Game Designer & Developer
In entry-level game designing jobs, you can expect a monthly salary package of around Rs. 20,000 – 28,000 or more.
As you gain about 6-10 years of experience and move on to mid-level roles in the field, your average monthly salary will be anywhere around Rs. 30,000 – 60,000, or more depending upon your job title and position.
For senior-level job positions (with 12-20 years of experience), the salary package is much higher and ranges anywhere between Rs. 40,000 – 1, 80, 000 per month or more.
The salaries of Game Designers also depend on the companies they’re working for. For instance, the salary package of a Game Designer at EA ranges between Rs. 10,45,000 – 49,00,000 LPA; at Gameloft, it usually ranges between Rs. 9,00,000 – 43,00,000 LPA, and at Activision, the average salary package is around Rs. 12,60,000 – 50,15,000.
Career Progression in this Profession
At the beginning of your career, you can bag entry-level roles such as Trainee Game Designer, Assistant Game Developer, Junior Game Artist, Associate Level Designer, etc. After you’ve gained nearly 7-10 years of experience, you can get promoted to roles like Senior Game Designer, Senior Game Developer, Game Art Director, Lead Game Artist, Senior Level Designer, etc. In about 12-15 years’ time, you can upgrade to senior-level management/administrative roles such as Development Team Lead, Design Manager, Director, Vice President, Chief Technology Officer, and so on.
What does industry trends say – future prospects
The road ahead for this pathway looks sunny and uphill. These numbers tell the story! India has over 55% population of gamers. The Gaming Industry is soaring in technology, with AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality), social gaming (inviting friends to play virtually and earn their review points), and wearable devices. The Indian Online Gaming industry worth Rs 2,000 crores in 2013-14 grew more than twice its size to reach Rs 4,400 crores in 2017-18. Several leading multi-national development companies like Microsoft, Sony, Disney, etc. have already invested in India. Various Indian gaming companies like Octro, 99Games, and Apar Games have become popular around the world. The industry revenue is predicted to grow at a rate of 22% compounded annually between 2018 and 2023 to touch the mark of Rs 11,900 crores. The Gaming industry in India is currently worth more than 300 million US Dollars with estimated revenue of 890 million US Dollars and is expected to become a global leading market in the gaming sector. The online gamer base in India is predicted to grow almost 3 times to 310 million from the current 120 million by 2021. In India, the Applied Gaming market is currently at an expanding phase and is predicted to grow at a rate of 14-16% compounded annually to reach 66-69 million US Dollars by 2020. India is the biggest outsourcing destination for major IT companies throughout the world. Employment in this segment of the IT-ITeS (Information Technology Enabled Services) sector is expected to grow 27 percent between 2014 and 2024, much more than the average for all other occupations. This industry has contributed around 7.9% to the country’s GDP in 2018. It is expected to generate more than 100,000 jobs in 2019. Many startups are being born in India focused on this sector. It is estimated that the size of this industry will increase to 350 billion US Dollars by 2025. The export revenue coming from this industry is predicted to grow by 7-9% CAGR to touch the 135 billion US Dollars mark in 2019 itself.
- Career in Multimedia Technologist
- Web Designing Courses
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- Career as an Animation
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