A game designer is the person responsible for creating the rules and content of a video game. He or she is basically the inventor, the one who must come up with the initial concept of the game. Back when video games were not so complex, they could be produced by one person - the game designer, and this individual did everything from the graphics to the programming. Computer technology developed and new features arose that could be included in video games. Games as well as their production became more complicated and necessarily had to involve more people assigned with specific areas of the development of the game. Thus the position of lead game designer was born. Creative vision, the plan to implement it, and overall supervision of the development were the lead game designer's tasks. Specific aspects such as programming and graphics were handled by the game programmer and game animator.
1. Have a good understanding of gameplay.
Gameplay refers to how the player interacts with the video game. This is defined by the rules or mechanics of the game. Coming up with mechanics that can quickly attract and hook a player into spending hours playing the game takes both creativity and logic. The game designer must be imaginative enough to build a system of rules that will be interesting to the average player and unique from other video games. But imagination must also be tempered with practical reasoning so that the game concept is something that can be actually materialized within the given constraints of time, budget and technology. When thinking about gameplay, the game designer must have an intuitive grasp of the player's mind - what challenges will excite, what activities will entertain, etc.
2. Have a good understanding of the various aspects of video game production.
Although specific areas of production are relegated, a game designer must still be knowledgeable in these areas. It hardly ever happens that someone fresh out of school gets put in the lead game designer position. Those who become so usually rise through the ranks, starting out as a game programmer, game animator, sound designer or a writer. A game designer's skill set is therefore multidimensional. He or she must be a bit of a programmer, a storyteller and a visual artist. To be able to develop such skills, a game designer must therefore have accumulated the necessary experience. Coming up with great ideas for a video game is the essential role of a game designer but unless he has intimate knowledge of how a video game is produced, he won't be able to draw up an actionable implementation plan and his ideas, no matter how brilliant they are, will never be realized.
There are now educational institutions that offer to teach game design, some even as a full-blown certificate program or degree. One aspiring to be a game designer can begin by enrolling in such courses and programs. As with any career, a diploma will not guarantee a high position or salary, but it’s an important first step. Success as a game designer ultimately depends on being able to produce a video game that will make a significant impact in the market and the game industry.
If you would prefer to practice your game design abilities from the comfort of your home, art and design colleges are available online for your convenience. This way, you can hone your skills in a comfortable environment. Not to mention that the lack of travel time will give you more time to stay updated on current games!