What Does a Game Designer Do?
A game designer uses computer programming languages to write code for new games. They create the rules, settings, stories, and characters for their games while following industry trends and managing project teams. Game designers are also responsible for ensuring the features and mechanics of their games work together cohesively to keep players engaged.
While working for video game production companies, game designers will work long hours to build concepts intended to either educate or entertain players. A successful game designer should have excellent communication and collaboration skills, as well as a love for creativity and the game design process. Exceptional coding skills and knowledge of computer systems and languages are also required.
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National Average Salary
Game designer salaries vary by experience, industry, organization size, and geography. To explore salary ranges by local market, please visit our sister site zengig.com.
The average U.S. salary for a Game Designer is:
Game Designer Job Descriptions
Crafting the perfect job description may be the key to finding an exceptional game designer. To help you with your recruiting search, our team has put together some examples from past openings.
As Lead Designer, you have experience with all elements of mobile game development, from pre-production through live ops. You have experience with all areas of design, including gameplay, systems, and economy. You have an acute awareness of free to play mobile games and understand how design can maximize results while ensuring a focus on the player experience. You are someone who excels in a creative environment and someone who enjoys working with accomplished people on outstanding products. Experience working with distributed or remote teams is a major benefit.
- You will work with franchise leadership to help form the vision and direction of live operations within the game, and ensure that designs follow that vision
- You will coordinate with external development teams to maximize player engagement with all game features and time-limited content
- You will lead other designers to help them maximize their potential and performance in the creation of live game experiences
- You will inspire and motivate the team to achieve high-quality work within the set constraints
- You will take feedback from external groups and break it down to understand the underlying motivations, and then bring solutions to problems and opportunities
- You will Take a holistic approach to quality and delivery to ensure that our experiences and corresponding execution creates the best possible game for our global audience
- You will investigate and analyze to validate ideas and opportunities
- You will advocate for design decisions and act as the design advocate to franchise leadership and executive partners
- You show understanding, admitting mistakes and role modeling a commitment to learn
- You foster an inclusive environment and create a culture where everyone can grow
- 5+ years leading design teams with experience delivering high-quality experiences on mobile
- Outstanding written, and oral
- Experience with mobile game development, free-to-play business model, and how design and the business model work together
- Experience developing or improving features and content for a game in live service
- You are motivated, and able to oversee design areas from initial creation through to implementation
- Comfortable mentoring other designers and providing insightful feedback on all aspects of design and live ops
- You are engaging in healthy design discussion
- You understand why an idea will or won’t work, and how to design to hit specific goals
- You can work closely with a large team through all phases of development
- Must love creating fun, compelling and engaging user experiences
- Experience managing and/or deep understanding of Sports games or character collector games
The challenge ahead
This Game Designer position will work directly on XYZ content. Reporting to the team Producer and Development Director, the Designer will maintain and balance the core and meta-game while creating and implementing live service ideas and features to entertain our players.
What a designer does at ABC Company
- Support the game vision as set by the Creative Director and Product Owner.
- Maintain all design aspects of a game-as-service through the entire project life cycle.
- Create engaging designs and prototypes while maintaining ABC Company’s high standard of quality.
- Balance game with consideration to fun gameplay, player acquisition, monetization, and engagement.
- Retain original IP’s core brand values and game experience in the service.
- Inspire game team through progressive, creative design.
- Provide and receive critique in a constructive manner with suggestions and solutions for improvement.
- Remain current on industry trends including new game genres, new game design methods, and latest platforms
The next great designer needs
- 2+ year’s industry experience specifically in game design or quality assurance.
- Knowledge of the NFL. Its players and teams will be your playground.
- Experience creating and implementing game concepts using different tools.
- Knowledge of and enthusiasm for sports gaming
- Experience troubleshooting problems and discovering solutions either individually or with a team
- Experience with Live Service mechanics, theories, and implementation.
- Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent considered
ABC Company, a global leader in the video games and entertainment software industry, is currently seeking a Lead Game Designer. We are looking for a highly talented, motivated, and experienced person for a new multi-platform project based in our (city) studio.
As Lead Game Designer you will act in a project leadership capacity to solve problems that affect production’s objectives with regards to Game Design. You are responsible for building design teams, co-dev connections and collaboration.
What you’ll do
- As Lead Game Designer you will plan, detail, and supervise directly the work of Game Designers within your purview, with the goal of developing and delivering a new IP of exceptional quality
- You will actively participate in the creation and the development of the Game Design, working closely with the Game Director & Creative Director
- Your role has a major emphasis on people management, creativity, communication, problem solving and mitigation
- Understand the player’s needs and ensure the items developed by the team contribute to an engaging player experience
- Analyze Game Design workload vs production capacity, and work with the senior production team to establish a work schedule and priorities for the Game Design team that is in keeping with the project goals and timeline
- Review Design distribution and work performance of the Game Design team
- Communicate to the Game Design team the objectives, strategies, and high-level information related to the project. Offer full visibility on the progress and development of the game and others job families to the Design Team, and communicate Game Design progress and decision-making widely across the production to ensure full visibility & strong alignment between job families
- Actively participate in the decision-making process with project management and directorship, and oversee the necessary adjustments to ensure the Game Design team can deliver on expectations in a manner that will failsafe team health and player experience
- Supervise and provide clear and structured documents to the project, that clarifies the game design and gameplay, and allows the team to work on productive tasks (game systems, game mode, behavior, AI, +)
- Provide performance appraisals for your Game Design reports, and feedback on all members of the Game Design team
- Manage conflicts that arise within your team members
- Actively participate in recruitment of future team members
- Create a positive work environment that will impact team motivation and performance
What you’ll bring
- Excellent knowledge in Game Design and Production. Exposure to Project Management is a great plus
- Large experience working on AAA titles, current and next-generation console
- Prior experience in leading a team will be advantageous
- Experience in multiplayer design for PC or console games
- Methodology and problem solving ability and with a focus on multiplayer systems
- Highly organized, analytical, with good management and planning skills
- Team player, with good flexibility.
Sample Interview Questions
- How did you get started in the field of video game design?
- How does your design process work, from concept to implementation?
- Can you tell me about the tools and techniques you use to create engaging gameplay experiences?
- Can you tell me about some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a video game designer, and how you overcame them?
- What is your approach to balancing gameplay mechanics, such as difficulty, player progression, and rewards? How did you solve a balancing issue in one of your projects?
- In what ways do you ensure that your game design aligns with the goals of the development team?
- What methods do you use to collaborate with the other members of your team, such as programmers, artists, and producers?
- What are some of the ways you stay on top of industry trends and emerging technologies? What recent developments have influenced your design process?
- Could you describe a particularly successful project you worked on, and what made it so successful? In contrast, can you describe a project that did not perform well, and what you learn from it?
- How do you believe your game design approach differs from others? In what ways do you bring a unique perspective and creative flair to the projects you work on?
- Do you incorporate user feedback into your design process as you conduct user testing? Have you ever made a major design decision based on user feedback?