How are computer games made
Job description: Game Designer (game designer)
A contribution from the editors
The job description of the game designer is almost as indescribable as the entire new multi-media area is due to its diverse application possibilities and techniques. With the changes at the technical level, certain activities of game designers usually change at the same time. Ever newer, more specialized software developments expand the field of activity enormously. Presenting a clearly defined job description of the game designer is therefore not the aim of these explanations, but only a small insight and incentive to be given.
The area of game development, like almost all areas of the IT industry, requires highly qualified employees with an academic, interdisciplinary education who work in a market, customer and problem-oriented manner due to the development in this market. And, despite the increasing interest in the development of multimedia games, these are unfortunately "in short supply" at the moment.
Institutes for advanced and advanced training have therefore recently increasingly offered courses on game designers.
Areas of activity of game designers
Game designers are the key designers during game development. The game designer develops and plans a game, the game story and the possibilities for interaction. A game designer has more tasks than the name "design" suggests. The work essentially consists of writing synopsis and concepts as well as supervising the concepts during the implementation phase.
With an exposé, a game idea is comprehensively described and presented convincingly on a few pages. On the basis of an exposé, the design of a game begins several months before the start of production with the development of a concept. The concept includes the content, playful and formal components of the game in a form that can be used for production. The accompanying materials such as manuals, inserts, etc. are derived from this in a later phase.
The game designer is significantly involved in the implementation of the project. The person usually works independently, but receives constant feedback from other members of the concept and production teams who carry out the implementation.
The game designer often also takes on the role of producer. Or, depending on your ability, you can also work as a programmer or graphic artist. On the other hand, there is also the special field of activity of the level designer, which probably comes closest to that of the game designer. Of course, these are all just possibilities that are available depending on the company and project. Only one thing is clear: there is no monotony.
The main activities of game designers at a glance:
- Developing synopsis of different game genres in collaboration with the other members of the concept department
- Creation of rough and detailed concepts for changing subject and genre areas
- Supervision of your own concepts during the development and cooperation with the project management and the other team members; Contact person for all questions relating to the fun of the game
- Accompaniment of the level design, possibly own level design
- Evaluation of customer suggestions, contact with the players
- Analysis and evaluation of the programs of competitors, introduction of your own ideas and criticism of the concepts of other game designers.
Paths to work
Community designer in and of itself is not a specific profession. A lot of gaming experience, a strong interest in computer and video games, creativity, imagination, computer expertise (especially 3D software), mathematical understanding, very good media and industry knowledge and years of dealing with the topic are prerequisites for successfully starting your own project To develop game designers. Very good command of the German language, spoken and written, should be a matter of course.
Since a lot of teamwork is involved in implementing the concept, the ability to work in a team is also essential. Basic knowledge of the technical feasibility is required to develop concepts, even if they are not directly applied. The designer should also have a very good organizational talent and should be able to handle the usual means of presentation, after all, he should write a sensible game concept and design document.
Completion of a graphic or artistic training course is cheap, but not necessary.
Training situation for game designers in Germany
The computer game industry is one of the largest entertainment and edutainment production industries in the world. However, while American or Japanese companies can take courses at in-house academies or public universities in the field of game design, European companies are still largely dependent on lateral entrants. If the graphic designers and programmers are primarily recruited from the study or training courses of the same name, the game designers in this country often come from the fields of art, literature, media or architecture without being able to fall back on specific training.
Education and training opportunities
There are private providers such as the Games Academy (http://www.games-academy.de) and the Institute for New Media (http://www.l-4.de) and the Silicon-Studio (http: / /www.siliconstudio.de), all of which are based in Berlin. Outside of Berlin, for example, the it-academy ostwestfalen (http://www.it-akademie.org) offers a qualification course to become a game designer. In close cooperation with the Association of Entertainment Software Germany (VUD e.V.) and the software industry, the necessary content is conveyed in order to be able to develop computer games as a game designer in the entertainment software industry.
Most of the providers worldwide are probably in America. Those who spare no effort and expense can, for example, get a training at Fullsail (http://www.fullsail.com) in Florida or at Digipen (http://www.digipen.edu) in Canada.
It is now also possible to train at a university: The University of Teesside (http://www.tees.ac.uk) in England, which likes to call itself "A University for the Millennium", offers the two new courses in Computer Games Design (design, graphics and animation) and Interactive Computer Entertainment (programming of games).
Computer games are made and students have to deal theoretically with computer games and their history. Both courses last four years, with the provision that students will be offered a one-year internship at a company. Future graduates are promised that with their education they will have all the skills they need to be successful in a booming economic sector.
However, it is advisable to carefully check all offers beforehand, as the quality can vary greatly. In particular, you should find out about the scope, educational content and technical equipment of private providers
In addition, some chambers of industry and commerce also offer initiatives which, however, are more geared towards multimedia professions in general, but unfortunately offer little specific information about the game designer. For example, the IHK Munich (http://www.muenchen.ihk.de) founded the International Learning Technology Center (ILTEC), which also provides information on further training measures for academics, among other things.
Future opportunities and further information
The predominant induction measures in the often young, small companies is "learning by doing". Companies are currently still looking for highly qualified personnel primarily through personal contacts. Not only now, but also in the years to come, there will be a great need for qualified multimedia specialists. Even if no vacancy is advertised, there is often enough need - and if it is only for a short time for a few weeks, and maybe even only as a beta tester. Such a position definitely has advantages - after all, it means that you have already participated in the game, in whatever form. Since the demand is greater than the supply, there should be interesting career prospects for specialists with the qualifications outlined above.
As shown, the tasks and work areas of the game designer are very diverse. That is why you should not focus on a certain area, such as 3D game / level design, but gain experience and specialist knowledge in all areas. There are very interesting projects in the 2D area, especially handheld consoles (Gameboy Color).
Further information and sources
Further information can be found on the pages of
- i! Tech Online: http://www.hitech.at/archiv/4_99/cover1.htm
- RPG.net: http://www.rpg.net/252/news/13/gygax/dt.html
- Matrix: http://matrix.orf.at/bkframe/970622_1.htm
- Freeservers: http://tuehp.freeservers.com/miyamotogdc.htm< i="">
- German Multimedia Association DMMV: http://www.dmmv.de
- Entertainment software forum: http://www.usf.de
- Games Academy: http://www.games-academy.de
- Heise Online: http://www.heise.de/tp/deutsch/special/game/6424/1.html
Of course, you can also contact the companies that develop computer games directly. As a rule, they are happy to provide information.
Read the next tip: »Job description: Engineer for clothing technology
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