How to Be a Successful Game Designer
Most designers enter their chosen field hoping - maybe even expecting - to be successful. As with all career options, there are certain things you have to learn and certain talents you must possess to succeed. The field of game design is always changing and game designers must stay current and aware of the needs and desires of gaming consumers. There are some basic principles and traits that all successful game designers have in common and developing these traits are crucial if not already possessed.
Education is the Foundation
Nothing replaces a thorough education when it comes to standing out in the field of game design. In addition to the required course work, successful game designers can and should take classes outside of their field. Courses in fields such as marketing, public speaking, and math are all important, while basic art and art history courses are critical. These classes help the graphic designer become well rounded and able to handle all aspects of the gaming career.
Learning also comes from outside of the classroom. Successful game designers will study movies and books, taking cues from society and its portrayal through all media. Designers should look for game ideas in the stories passed onto them from friends and family. Besides learning from others' experiences, research is a good way to gain knowledge. Game designers need to learn to study games that are on the market and ask themselves questions about them. Comparing what is out there with the competition and with the aspiring game designer's ideas will generate many opportunities to learn.
Ability to Evolve with Technology
Successful game designers are able to change, grow, expand, and evolve. Designers are no longer designing for the technology of the 1980s, but for the technology of the future. Game designers that will excel don't let their learning of current trends stagnate once they leave the school setting. They continue to push the limits of technology and test the latest tools and gaming trends. By remaining open to new trends, new programming languages, and new applications of design, game designers will keep themselves on the forefront of the gaming world. Electronic technology is evolving fast, and game designers will need to quickly adapt.
Ability to Generate New Ideas
Ideas are a commodity in the world of game design; fresh unheard of design ideas will virtually guarantee success. All game designers must have a storehouse of new ideas they can work on so they can remain competitive in the field. A large three-ring notebook is good for making notes of design ideas and sketches. Having well thought out, executable, and marketable ideas that push the limits of current technology keep a game designer on the cutting edge of the industry.
Enthusiasm, Motivation, and Inspiration
Most importantly, successful game designers must believe in themselves so that they never lose faith in their projects. Without enthusiasm, motivation, and inspiration, a game designer will not get very far. Designers need to have the tenacity it takes to convince others to look at their work, and the heart to accept constructive comments. Successful game designers are enthusiastic about their work and have the motivation and self-assurance to stand behind their ideas, projects, and final products.
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