If you love playing video games, you might have wondered about what it would take to become a designer. This is an interesting, exciting and competitive career, so you want to be as prepared as you can be for success. The tips below can help you gain the qualifications you need to stand out in this field.
Get a Degree
It’s not impossible to break into video game design without a bachelor’s degree, but it’s a lot more difficult if your education stopped after high school. Rather than hoping for a lucky break, your best bet is to get the education that you need. More and more schools are offering degrees in game design, but if the school you plan to attend does not, you may want to look into a degree in subjects like animation or graphic design. It may be helpful to also take courses in computer science, math and logic. You should also find out if your college has a game design club, and if so, you should join it. You can make college more affordable by taking out loans from a private lender. These often offer low interest rates and manageable repayment plans.
Consider Your Focus
There are plenty of moving parts involved in designing a video game. If you start thinking about what you want to specialize in while you are still in school, you can focus on that career path. Do you want to be a writer, a system designer or an audio designer? Do you hope to eventually go into management as a lead designer? If so, you might want to take some business and management classes.
There are a number of useful skills you should develop to succeed as a video game designer. One of the most important is being able to work well with others as part of a team. You should have a good storytelling sense and be on top of trends in the world of gaming. Good analytical skills and creativity are also important.
Design Your Own Game
Designing a game on your own time is a great way to get some experience and learn. As a student, you probably have access to cheap or free resources. You can start simply and work toward making increasingly complicated products, and you can put your work in your portfolio.
Play Like a Pro
Whether you are already in school studying to become a designer or college is years away, this is something you can do right now. Start playing like a professional—not a professional player but a professional designer. Write down what you like and what you dislike, and think about how you would improve it. Get outside of your comfort zone and play games that you wouldn’t normally so that you get experience in a wide variety of genres. Talk to your friends about what they play and what they do and don’t like. Think about why designers may have made the choices they did in each game that you play.
Andrea Bell is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. You can find her on Twitter:@IM_AndreaBell