Game Designer - Job description
Missions, activities, skills, training
What is a Game Designer?
Within the framework of a video game production, the Game Designer's mission is to imagine and formalize a game concept. He designs the game situations or gameplay bricks taking into account the chosen universe, the controlled entities and their interaction capacities in order to allow their prototyping; as well as the technical constraints.
Creating game mechanics, the game designer structures the game progression (progression, difficulties, diversification of situations), in order to offer a satisfactory experience.
He/she creates prototypes of situations or game mechanics for research or demonstration purposes. He/she designs and integrates "level design" game levels.
Finally, he/she carries out a quality control process for the video game in order to produce a marketable version.
What are the skills of a game designer?
- To imagine and present a video game concept in order to formalize the game concept document
- To design a prototype in block-design to focus on the right combination(s) to find between the camera viewpoint offered to the player and the enhancement of their ability
- To design the game situations or gameplay bricks, the controlled entities and their interaction capabilities in order to allow their prototyping
- To design access interfaces to the video game, menus useful for game settings and use of features supporting the player's progress in order to realize them
- To create a narrative thread in a game universe by writing a scenario and dialogues to structure the player's progression
- To conceive the development of a game involving a progression of difficulty and diversification of game situations in order to offer a satisfactory experience for the player (level design)
- To conduct a quality control process for the video game in order to produce a marketable version
- To design the visual elements, images and videos, useful for the launch of a promotional campaign for a video game (in collaboration with the marketing department)
- Tp manage a game design project by coordinating an internal team or subcontractors and interfacing with other trades involved in the development of the game so that the project is completed according to the client's expectations and within the defined schedule
What are the qualities of a game designer?
he job of game designer requires the use of various qualities such as :
- Friendliness and openness to others
- Effective oral and written communication
- The ability to organize
- Ability to work in a team
- A great interest in technological developments, trends and the latest innovations
Where does the Game Designer work?
The game designer mainly works for private companies developing video games. These companies are of varying sizes, independent or under the leadership of a publisher.
The Game Designer works in different sectors: video games, serious games, virtual reality, training...
How to become a game designer?
Questions to ask yourself before becoming a game designer?
If you are interested in becoming a game designer, it may be worth asking yourself certain questions to determine if this is the right path for you:
- Do you have a good understanding of the role and missions of the game designer in the creation of a video game?
- What attracts you to game design? If it's the creation of game mechanics, the analysis of gameplay, the narrative structure of a game, then game design is for you?
- Are you interested in the latest trends, developments, innovations, technologies in video games?
- Do you want to work in a fast-paced and ever-changing environment?
- Are you able to work as part of a team and foster effective communication with the production team (game programming, artist, producers, music & sound designer...)?
- Are you willing to evolve your creative proposals based on feedback and constructive criticism?
Which school to become a Game Designer?
For more than 20 years, ISART Digital, the video game school, has been training young talents to become game designers.
Based in Paris, Nice (Fance) and Montreal (Canada), its expertise is recognized worldwide: ISART is ranked as the number one video game school in Europe and the second best school in the world by the American ranking GAMEducation.
This reputation is consolidated by a prestigious list of 6 consecutive selections at the UNITY Awards in Seattle, two awards at the Pegasus and a nomination at The Game Awards in Los Angeles.
Students benefit from a pedagogical framework composed of experts from the industry.
With more than 500 partner companies, professional experience is at the heart of the program.
The alternating rhythm of the program allows students to work in video game studios during their studies and to gain real professional experience during their studies.
What kind of high school diploma is required to become a game designer?
To enter the Game Design program at ISART (first year Bachelor's degree), all high school diplomas are accepted.
The diversity of profiles and backgrounds of Game Design students enriches creativity and teamwork. Each student brings a different perspective, experience, and opinion to the creation of a video game.
To enter the first year of the Game Design Bachelor's program, you need to have a high school diploma and pass the admission tests, which consist of an interview and a written test.
To learn more about the content of the tests, how to prepare for them, and the dates of the exams, go to the Admissions page.
What is the most effective pedagogy for becoming a game designer?
For 20 years, ISART has applied a project-based pedagogy that offers an interactive and engaging approach to learning.
By working alone or in teams with students from other video game programs, through concrete projects, students develop:
- An active learning mode
Students are more involved in their own learning and develop technical skills through problem solving.
- Cross-disciplinary skills
Projects can mobilize collaboration, communication, problem solving and decision making skills, allowing students to experience teamwork, conflict management, meeting deadlines...
- Their ability to understand and memorize through the application of their knowledge in a concrete context.
What studies to become a Game Designer?
Throughout the 5 years of study in Game Design, ISART supports its students in mastering the creative process, developing their skills in game design and integrating them into the industry. They also deepen their knowledge of the video game world and the business world.
Students are involved, alone or in teams, in the realization of numerous projects that allow them to present and implement game ideas and mechanisms. This helps them improve their writing and project management skills.
They have the opportunity to develop projects with all of the video game professions (management, image, sound, programming, business), just like what is done in the industry.
The program is offered at ISART Paris and ISART Montreal and prepares students for the professions of Game Designer, Game Designer, Lead Game Designer, and Level Designer.
At the end of the five-year program, students are awarded the RNCP level 7 title of Video Game Designer.
What career path is possible for a Game Designer?
The Game Designer can naturally evolve towards the position of Lead Game Designer.
He/she puts together a team of game design specialists, assigns and plans tasks, and monitors the work of his/her team and their progress in relation to the schedule and budget.
He or she presents and justifies interactive choices, and adapts the project in conjunction with the other project functions.
Le Game Designer peut naturellement évoluer vers un poste de Lead Game Designer.
Il constitue une équipe de spécialistes de design de jeu, affecte et planifie les tâches, et contrôle les travaux de son équipe et leur avancement au regard du planning et du budget.
Opinions of the graduates
"My first internship was at Nexter Training, which develops training using virtual and augmented reality technologies, for Dassault Aviation, SNCF... I was doing software ergonomics. It's very interesting because you can see that ISART doesn't just train us to create video games."
"My first years at ISART gave me the theoretical knowledge useful to any Game Designer, as well as a sharp sense of analysis of game systems. The last year - focused on Final Year Projects - allowed me to push my practical and technical knowledge. This allowed me to be directly hired at DONTNOD. Thanks to the compulsory internships throughout the curriculum, professional integration was seamless."
Amandine DOBROWOLSKI | Performance & Compensation Specialist | UBISOFT
"The strengths of ISART students are the training, the corporate experience and the projects!"
Luis CATALDI | Lead Evangelist Quixel | Epic Games
"I really appreciated that the student projects had a full game experience with a very high level of quality."