How Do I Become a Video Game Designer?

Video Game DesignerGame design is quickly becoming one of the world’s largest entertainment media businesses, and many creative young people want to become video game designer experts. The game design industry, which uses leading edge digital graphics technology, contributes to both the entertainment industry as well as the education and training market. For example, instructors are aware that many students have visual learning styles, and they often use video games to reinforce certain learning objectives or concepts. Whether a skilled game designer seeks to entertain or teach, the field of game design presents them with many opportunities. While admittedly the game design career field is a highly competitive one, the good news is that there are alternative paths to take to become a game designer. Here are some common ways that game designers launch their careers in this exciting, high tech field.

Gain Exposure To Foundational Design and Development Tools

Today’s youths begin playing video games at an early age, but they need to know the elements of game design and coding techniques to become great video game designers. Early immersion in graphical user interface development and fundamental programming protocols and techniques is a great start for most people who want to learn the basics of video game design. Some programming languages that help beginners establish a firm foundation in software development and consequently game design are C++, Pascal, Python, and Java. Experts also recommend that would be game designers familiarize themselves with model editors like Blender 3D.

Build Portfolio of Work Early

After learning programming basics, one should start actually creating games. This is not necessarily an easy task, because it takes more than mere technical skills. Designing games takes imagination and the ability to tell a compelling story. Storytelling, excellent digital graphics presentation and programmed gaming interactions are the elements of video game design. Building a portfolio of rudimentary video games serves to provide much needed practice for novice designers. The ongoing portfolio of video games also becomes useful when applying to college and university game design degree programs.

Assess Interests and Skills

Building a portfolio of video games gives aspiring video designers the opportunity to assess their own particular skills, abilities and interests. This is important because there are many specializations within the video game design industry and most people are not ultra talented in each one of them, according to the Discovery Channel website, How Stuff Works. The video game design career field is extremely competitive, and only the best are chosen for desirable positions at the big firms. Consequently, one needs to find out which element of game design is most enjoyable and hone skills in that area.

Related Resource: Types of Software Careers

Enroll in a Game Design Degree Program

After gaining some experience as an amateur video game designer, one should consider attending one of the many university game design degree programs. During these programs, instructors teach students the finer points of programming, modeling, animation and character development. Students learn the technical terms for all phases of game design and development which prepares them for team projects in professional work settings.


Game design seems to be the future of digital entertainment and interactive training. While some employers do not require a degree in game design, a degree does help candidates stand out from the ever-growing crowd of people wanting to become video game designer professionals.