Starting video game designers make approximately $50,000 a year. That isn't bad when you consider that they probably love their profession. So much of it involves creativity and personal input. And they can see the connection between their effort and a purpose--entertaining millions of bored, stressed out people. Video game designers script and debug game code. They also contribute to the game's storyline or plot. Additionally, they determine the attributes and functions of in-game objects (i.e., a barrel explodes when it is shot).
Writing Game Content
A typical game designer will contribute his own input into the game's actual script. After all, he's the one programming it. For example, a designer might decide what a character in a game will say in different story lines.
Drafting In-Game Specifications
A game designer needs to declare how an in-game element behaves. For example, the new weapon that is supposed to come out next week needs level requirements and damage ratings. Because the designer knows so much about the game she creates, she is the most qualified person for choosing these attributes.
Debugging and Fixing Issues
Game elements break all the time, and they need to be fixed. Perhaps there was a bug that a player recently exploited, or a new update created a hole in the script. Designers and programmers can spend days collaborating to create a patch for a bug. In any case, someone needs to fix it, and that's partly the designer's responsibility.
Game design teams must meet with other teams, like programmers and producers. They need to update each other on work progress and any recent issues.
A video game designer's office tends to be more informal than a typical corporate cubicle. For example, a common setup seems to be rows of computers where co-workers sit next to each other. This facilitates teamwork and openness, allowing ideas to spread easily within the office. Game designers rarely work regimented hours, as projects differ in their demands. The nature of the profession is much more relaxed and creative than a typical job, as the goal is to create something original and entertaining. Even the act of testing and troubleshooting, which is normally an annoyance, is truly just playing a video game.
- Photo Credit playing video games image by Lisa Turay from Fotolia.com