How to become a video games designer
Games design: From summer work experience at games companies to game design creativity exercise to joining forums, getting games desing degrees – and, of course, playing games – we offer 10 steps to becoming a video game designer.
1. First off, join game and design websites such as:
- www.gamasutra.com (An excellent site for gaming news)
- www.edge-online.com (Hunt around for gaming jobs and publish your CV here)
- www.deviantart.com (Publish your artwork here)
2. Enroll at a university that offers game design/art degrees. A degree is not always essential if your artwork is amazing or your 3D modeling skills are brilliant but it will be very valuable when it comes to getting employment from larger companies. Here are just a few UK universities that offer game courses: Teesside University, Thames Valley University, Norwich School of Art and Design and Bournemouth University
3. Start making a portfolio. Original concept art, costume design, human figure drawing, facial features – all this will help at interviews. Being able to draw humans realistically is one of the most sought-after skills in the industry. Start looking at anatomy and proportion. Try to draw every day to be the best artist you can be.
4. Think up your own game stories, design levels, characters. It’s a hell of a lot of fun and will help with your creativity.
5. Try out some 3D modeling with a free program like Blender.The games industry uses expensive programs like 3DS Max, Maya and ZBrush to model video game characters, but don’t worry, you will learn how to use these if you enroll into a game design degree course.
6. Scout out local game companies. You will be surprised at how many companies are based around you in the UK or indeed anywhere.
7. You will work as a team being a game designer, so work on your communication skills – both verbal and written.
8. See if you can blag yourself some temp work at a small game company over the summer, even if it’s just making the tea. It will give you a real feel for how things work at a studio.
9. Learn the history of games. Go back, waaay back. Past the NES, past Pong, back to when table top games were invented; after all, they were where video gaming came from. Get inspiration from older games and see that they are still fun today.
10. And last but not least, play many, many games! Hey, it’s all research, right?
Read more Mookychick tips on becoming a games artist from the perspective a gal gamer artist inside the games industry…