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What are the Different Game Design Careers?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 12 August 2018
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    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are a number of different game design careers that a person can pursue to work in the video game industry. There are testers and programmers, various art careers, music and sound design, level design and story writers, and positions such as producers, directors, and publicists. These game design careers can be artistic or financial; they can be involved in the earliest phases of a game’s design or come in when the game is nearly completed. While most people may think of game design as all fun and games, it is just like any other professional field and typically demands a great deal from those working in the industry.

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Being a game tester is one typical way to break into the career of video game design, but it is not as glamorous a position as the name might suggest. Among game design careers, testers are typically the least paid and the position involves playing a single area or part of a game multiple times trying to find any flaws in the graphics or coding of the game. The testers usually have to play a game in ways that are not enjoyable, sometimes trying to recreate a game issue dozens or hundreds of times to document how the game can be exploited or broken by a player. Though being a game tester is usually a good way to get a foot in the door at a studio, it is not a career to be taken by a person just looking to get paid to play video games all day.

The various artistic areas of game design careers can be both visual and auditory. There are concept artists who work on two-dimensional (2-D) images to help create the look and feel of the game world and characters. Modelers then create three-dimensional (3-D) models or 2-D images of those characters and environments that will appear in the finished game. There are also artists who create textures for 3-D objects, animators who take the 3-D models and make them move and come to life on the screen, as well as numerous other 3-D artists who work on lighting, cameras and many other aspects of the finished visual product.

Sound design is also a vital part of video games and an important aspect of game design — from the artists whose voices are recorded for characters to the designers who create sound effects and noises within the games and the technicians who record it all and create the final product. There are also game design careers available for writers who wish to provide narrative and dialog for rich, story-driven video games. Producers and directors also work in the games industry very much as they work in the film industry, organizing the efforts of various departments to ensure the final product is cohesive and completed on a preset budget and time line.

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