Video Game Designer

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What is a Video Game Designer

Video game developers are involved in the complex process of creating entertaining and interactive video games. This means developing a story, designing the layout, writing the computer code, optimizing the artificial intelligence, and creating music, graphics, and 3D animation sequences.

The Types of Games

There are many kinds of video games: action-adventure, role-playing, multiplayer online, strategy, simulation, sports, and electronic board and card games, for example. There are also educational games, designed to teach things like reading, math, and geography. Whatever the genre, a video game should have an intriguing title, an introduction, music and sound effects, help screens, engaging graphics, a plot, different skill levels, and a demo mode. Video game developers may work exclusively in one area, such as programming or graphics, or they may work as freelancers and create entire games on their own.

The Different Types of Developers

Programmers are at the heart of the operation. They need an extensive knowledge of computers, and it is their work that enables the games to actually function. For example, they work out the mathematical equations that instruct the computer to act like a human while you’re playing the game.

Programmers also ensure that the on-screen action corresponds to the keyboard, mouse, or other game controller. When a player pushes the jump button on the controller, the appropriate character has to jump. This is done using a code that ties the animation sequences into the game’s engine and control system.

Graphic artists or animators create the visual look of a video game. Up to 75% of a game’s budget may be spent on graphics, as they are a important part of the finished product. This includes the background layout, the design and animation of the characters, and moving special effects such as ocean waves or laser beams. One area of animator's expertise is making sure the character's movements are believable. How do their muscles move when they run? Can they crouch or crawl? Do their facial expressions change?

Musicians or sound designers take care of the music during the introduction and throughout the game. They also create sound effects, such as fighting noises and scary voices. Their role is often overlooked, but is quite important. Without sound effects, the game environment will not seem realistic.

Writers develop the story for the video game and write the on-screen text, dialogue, and voiceovers. Sometimes they write the script based on a plot that is given to them by the video game developer.

Producers or project managers oversee the entire operation (see the project manager profile for more information on this role).

So everything ties together with the different developers working on one section and put it together for the final piece.