What Skills Will I Learn as a Game Designer?

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.

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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