What Skills Will I Learn as a Game Designer?

Individuals considering a career in game design should have a general overview of the skills they must learn to be a successful game designer. Game design is a high-tech field that involves mastering many talents - not just the imagination needed to envision the next top game. Most of the necessary computer and design skills will be taught by experienced designers while you are working toward your degree. However, most of these skills require extensive experience in order to excel, and a designer's talent will continue to build upon itself within the first few years of being a game designer.

Here are some of the skills most critical to a game designer's career and success:

Computer Science

Games designers must be skilled in computer science. Most, if not all of the work that is done in the gaming business is done digitally. Game designers must know their way around computers—and how to use and manipulate computers to meet their needs. This includes more than knowing how to check email and perform other basic computer tasks. Computer science encompasses a computer's function and theory, and includes topics such as programming, algorithms, chip architecture, and the history of the computer's use.

Digital Media and Software

Also important for game designers to have is current knowledge and experience with digital media and software. Game design involves working with storyboards, audio, graphics, animation, and more. Designers must know how to utilize many forms of digital media and software to create their products - and be able to adapt to new technologies as they arise. While investing in the industry-standard software may break a new designer's budget, it is essential to having the right skills to put on one's resume.

Design Concepts

Game designers must be skilled at putting their concepts into comprehensive designs. This is the foundation of game design and it brings all the pieces together. Most concepts start out as storyboards, featuring either basic sketches or comic book-quality drawings and captions. Design concepts can include interactive website design, computer generated learning, artificial intelligence, troubleshooting, and problem solving. All of these facets must be addressed before a game can be produced.


Designers in all fields need to learn at least basic animation, but for game designers, animation skills are crucial. Animation is one the foundations of a successful game design. Game designers will need to learn all there is to know about animation - and they'll continually have to adapt to incorporate new animation technologies and innovations into their repertoire. As with other digital media, keeping up with new trends is important for game designers, despite their budget.

Script Writing and Storytelling

Gaming is not all about the picture but also about the story behind the game, and designers must be adept at script writing. Gamers know the best games are long stories. Epic games are becoming increasingly popular - as are games that tell a story but allow the player to make their own destiny. Designers must know how to craft the story and decide whether the game allows the players to choose their own destinies - within limits of course - or follow a more rigid and defined path.

Schools Offering Training Programs in Game Design

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            Game Development (Bachelor)

            50 Years of Excellence In Education

            Coleman University is a private non-profit teaching university founded in 1963 and located in San Diego, California. Its undergraduate and graduate programs prepare individuals for technology-focused careers and leadership. As San Diego’s oldest school dedicated to information technology, Coleman University has historically educated a large number of the region’s business-technology professionals.


            Game Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
            • Full Sail University offers online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment, media, arts, and technology. Full Sail's approach is centered on real-world industry experience and creative problem solving.
            • Full Sail uses the experience and knowledge gained from more than three decades of educational innovation to create an unparalleled online education experience that challenges and inspires our students.
            • Learning at Full Sail has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas, and our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy with the aim of being the most people-focused education experience on the web.
            • Through Full Sail’s multitude of online program offerings, students get: One-click access to instructors, Powerful collaborative tools, Interactive learning environments and Innovative curriculum.
            • Full Sail's newest program is the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. Developed in collaboration with sportscasting veteran Dan Patrick, the goal is to provide students with real world experience both behind and in fornt of the camera.
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            Bachelor of Science, Animation & VFX
            • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
            • Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
            • Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
            • Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
            • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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            Master of Fine Arts: Graphic Design
            • Liberty University's online programs ranked in the top 5 of more than 2,100 online colleges and universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility*
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level**
            • No standardized testing if you meet admission requirements
            • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program
            • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned
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            Latest Game Design Articles & News

            Detroit holds first annual design festival
            Detroit will be hosting its first-ever design festival in order to promote designers in all fields in the area, according to The Detroit News.

            National Design Award ceremony takes place next Tuesday
            The finalists and winners of this year's National Design Awards will be having their annual ceremony a little late this year.

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