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Video Game Designers
SOC Code: 15-1199.11

Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, story lines, and character biographies. Create and maintain design documentation. Guide and collaborate with production staff to produce games as designed.

Sample of reported job titles: Design Director, Designer/Writer, Game Designer, Game Designer/Creative Director, Lead Designer, Lead Game Designer, Lead Level Designer, Mid Level Game Designer, Senior Game Designer, World Designer

Tasks

  • Balance and adjust gameplay experiences to ensure the critical and commercial success of the product.
  • Provide feedback to designers and other colleagues regarding game design features.
  • Create core game features including storylines, role-play mechanics, and character biographies for a new video game or game franchise.
  • Devise missions, challenges, or puzzles to be encountered in game play.
  • Guide design discussions between development teams.
  • Develop and maintain design level documentation, including mechanics, guidelines, and mission outlines.
  • Create and manage documentation, production schedules, prototyping goals, and communication plans in collaboration with production staff.
  • Present new game design concepts to management and technical colleagues, including artists, animators, and programmers.
  • Conduct regular design reviews throughout the game development process.
  • Solicit, obtain, and integrate feedback from design and technical staff into original game design.
  • Document all aspects of formal game design, using mock-up screenshots, sample menu layouts, gameplay flowcharts, and other graphical devices.
  • Provide feedback to production staff regarding technical game qualities or adherence to original design.
  • Prepare two-dimensional concept layouts or three-dimensional mock-ups.
  • Consult with multiple stakeholders to define requirements and implement online features.
  • Oversee gameplay testing to ensure intended gaming experience and game adherence to original vision.
  • Keep abreast of game design technology and techniques, industry trends, or audience interests, reactions, and needs by reviewing current literature, talking with colleagues, participating in educational programs, attending meetings or workshops, or participating in professional organizations or conferences.
  • Create gameplay prototypes for presentation to creative and technical staff and management.
  • Write or supervise the writing of game text and dialogue.
  • Collaborate with artists to achieve appropriate visual style.
  • Determine supplementary virtual features, such as currency, item catalog, menu design, and audio direction.
  • Review or evaluate competitive products, film, music, television, and other art forms to generate new game design ideas.
  • Prepare and revise initial game sketches using two- and three-dimensional graphical design software.

Technology Skills

  • Analytical or scientific software - Virtual Battlespace 2 VBS2
  • Configuration management software - Perforce Helix software
  • Data base management system software - MySQL
  • Data base user interface and query software - Blackboard ; Structured query language SQL
  • Development environment software - Adobe Systems Adobe ActionScript; C ; Simple DirectMedia Layer SDL; Unity Technologies Unity (see all 10 examples)
  • Device drivers or system software - Microsoft DirectX
  • Electronic mail software - Microsoft Outlook
  • Enterprise application integration software - Extensible markup language XML
  • Graphical user interface development software - Graphical user interfaces GUI; Microsoft Expression Blend
  • Graphics or photo imaging software - Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop ; Balsamiq Studios Balsamiq Mockups; Microsoft Visio ; OpenGL (see all 8 examples)
  • Metadata management software - Perforce software
  • Object or component oriented development software - C++ ; Microsoft Visual C#; Practical extraction and reporting language Perl ; Python (see all 8 examples)
  • Office suite software - Microsoft Office
  • Operating system software - Job control language JCL ; Linux
  • Presentation software - Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Project management software - Atlassian JIRA ; Microsoft Project
  • Spreadsheet software - Microsoft Excel
  • Video creation and editing software - Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects; Adobe Systems Adobe AfterEffects ; Autodesk 3ds Max; Sound development software
  • Web platform development software - Hypertext markup language HTML ; JavaScript ; PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor ; Ruby on Rails
  • Word processing software - Microsoft Word

Tools Used

  • Audioconferencing systems
  • Desktop computers
  • Fixed computer gaming console - Video gaming equipment
  • Mobile phones - Smart phones
  • Notebook computers - Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Scanners - Computer data input scanners
  • Tablet computers

Knowledge

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.

Skills

  • Programming - Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Time Management - Managing one's own time and the time of others.
  • Coordination - Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Systems Analysis - Determining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Systems Evaluation - Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Persuasion - Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.
  • Social Perceptiveness - Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
  • Learning Strategies - Selecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
  • Operations Analysis - Analyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.

Abilities

  • Originality - The ability to come up with unusual or clever ideas about a given topic or situation, or to develop creative ways to solve a problem.
  • Fluency of Ideas - The ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic (the number of ideas is important, not their quality, correctness, or creativity).
  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Oral Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in speaking so others will understand.
  • Problem Sensitivity - The ability to tell when something is wrong or is likely to go wrong. It does not involve solving the problem, only recognizing there is a problem.
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Deductive Reasoning - The ability to apply general rules to specific problems to produce answers that make sense.
  • Inductive Reasoning - The ability to combine pieces of information to form general rules or conclusions (includes finding a relationship among seemingly unrelated events).
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Selective Attention - The ability to concentrate on a task over a period of time without being distracted.
  • Written Expression - The ability to communicate information and ideas in writing so others will understand.
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.
  • Speech Recognition - The ability to identify and understand the speech of another person.
  • Speech Clarity - The ability to speak clearly so others can understand you.
  • Category Flexibility - The ability to generate or use different sets of rules for combining or grouping things in different ways.
  • Finger Dexterity - The ability to make precisely coordinated movements of the fingers of one or both hands to grasp, manipulate, or assemble very small objects.
  • Visual Color Discrimination - The ability to match or detect differences between colors, including shades of color and brightness.

Interests

  • Interest code: AE
    • Artistic - Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.
    • Enterprising - Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Work Context

  • Electronic Mail - 95% responded “Every day.”
  • Indoors, Environmentally Controlled - 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Duration of Typical Work Week - 90% responded “More than 40 hours.”
  • Face-to-Face Discussions - 90% responded “Every day.”
  • Work With Work Group or Team - 76% responded “Extremely important.”
  • Spend Time Sitting - 71% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Contact With Others - 57% responded “Constant contact with others.”
  • Level of Competition - 48% responded “Highly competitive.”
  • Freedom to Make Decisions - 48% responded “A lot of freedom.”
  • Structured versus Unstructured Work - 75% responded “Some freedom.”
  • Coordinate or Lead Others - 55% responded “Very important.”
  • Time Pressure - 52% responded “Once a month or more but not every week.”
  • Responsibility for Outcomes and Results - 43% responded “High responsibility.”
  • Telephone - 38% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Frequency of Conflict Situations - 57% responded “Once a week or more but not every day.”
  • Importance of Being Exact or Accurate - 29% responded “Very important.”
  • Spend Time Using Your Hands to Handle, Control, or Feel Objects, Tools, or Controls - 30% responded “Continually or almost continually.”
  • Impact of Decisions on Co-workers or Company Results - 52% responded “Important results.”
  • Physical Proximity - 70% responded “Slightly close (e.g., shared office).”
  • Spend Time Making Repetitive Motions - 29% responded “More than half the time.”

Education

Percentage of RespondentsEducation Level Required
57%Bachelor's degree
19%Associate's degree
10%Some college, no degree

Work Styles

  • Innovation - Job requires creativity and alternative thinking to develop new ideas for and answers to work-related problems.
  • Attention to Detail - Job requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Initiative - Job requires a willingness to take on responsibilities and challenges.
  • Analytical Thinking - Job requires analyzing information and using logic to address work-related issues and problems.
  • Cooperation - Job requires being pleasant with others on the job and displaying a good-natured, cooperative attitude.
  • Adaptability/Flexibility - Job requires being open to change (positive or negative) and to considerable variety in the workplace.
  • Persistence - Job requires persistence in the face of obstacles.
  • Achievement/Effort - Job requires establishing and maintaining personally challenging achievement goals and exerting effort toward mastering tasks.
  • Leadership - Job requires a willingness to lead, take charge, and offer opinions and direction.
  • Stress Tolerance - Job requires accepting criticism and dealing calmly and effectively with high stress situations.
  • Dependability - Job requires being reliable, responsible, and dependable, and fulfilling obligations.
  • Self Control - Job requires maintaining composure, keeping emotions in check, controlling anger, and avoiding aggressive behavior, even in very difficult situations.
  • Social Orientation - Job requires preferring to work with others rather than alone, and being personally connected with others on the job.
  • Independence - Job requires developing one's own ways of doing things, guiding oneself with little or no supervision, and depending on oneself to get things done.
  • Concern for Others - Job requires being sensitive to others' needs and feelings and being understanding and helpful on the job.
  • Integrity - Job requires being honest and ethical.

Work Values

  • Independence - Occupations that satisfy this work value allow employees to work on their own and make decisions. Corresponding needs are Creativity, Responsibility and Autonomy.
  • Achievement - Occupations that satisfy this work value are results oriented and allow employees to use their strongest abilities, giving them a feeling of accomplishment. Corresponding needs are Ability Utilization and Achievement.
  • Working Conditions - Occupations that satisfy this work value offer job security and good working conditions. Corresponding needs are Activity, Compensation, Independence, Security, Variety and Working Conditions.

Wages & Trends

  • Median wages (2017)
    • $42.56 hourly, $88,510 annual
  • Employment (2016)
    • 287,000 employees
  • Projected growth (2016-2026)
    • Average (5% to 9%)
  • Projected job openings (2016-2026)
    • 22,400

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