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What Is the Job Outlook for Video Game Designers?

The job outlook for video game designers is positive and may be due in part to the growing demand in the entertainment industry. Here we explore a video game designer job description, including salary and education.

Video Game Designer Job Outlook

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) groups video game designers in the category of multimedia artists and animators. The BLS reported that the job outlook for multimedia artists and animators was 4% from 2018 to 2028. This job growth is as fast as the national average and may be attributed to the growing need for design, animation, and visual effects in entertainment.

The BLS also broke down the job outlook for multimedia artists and animators by industry. With this breakdown, the BLS reported a job outlook of almost 6% for multimedia artists and animators in the arts, entertainment, and recreation industry from 2018 to 2028.

Video Game Designers' Job Description

Video games utilize multimedia design, which integrates various forms of media, and video game designers are the professionals who oversee this design process. They get to dream big as they come up with ideas for the video game and help make it come to life. Here we explore different aspects of a career as a video game designer in more detail.

Video Game Designer Job Duties

There are several different types of video game designers that all work together to complete a project. For example, there are level designers who focus on the design and feel of different levels in the video game, and there are lead designers who organize all the ideas for a game and oversee the design staff. While each kind of designer may have some specific job duties, in general, video game designers may be responsible for:

  • Writing and developing ideas
  • Working with artists and programmers to create designs
  • Creating scripting language
  • Testing concepts and coding
  • Editing designs
  • Conducting research for projects

Work Environment

Video game designers are likely to work in an office setting, usually full-time. Some designers may be allowed to work from home. These designers can typically keep normal business hours but may need to increase or adjust hours as a deadline approaches.

Education

Although there are some associate's degree programs available in game design, video game designers typically need to have at least a bachelor's degree. Programs in animation, computer graphics, and game design are available at the bachelor's level.

Bachelor's degree programs in game design are available as Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree programs. Some of these degree programs are available in online or hybrid formats, but many are on-campus due to the hands-on nature of the field and need for hands-on training in workshop courses. Coursework in game design may include topics in:

  • Game scripting
  • Game testing
  • Game design
  • Game development
  • Game production
  • Game art and sound

Besides formal education, it is also important for video game designers to continue to grow and improve in their creative and artistic abilities. These designers should try and work on as many projects as possible to increase in experience and add to their professional portfolios.

Video Game Designers vs. Multimedia Artists and Animators Salary

According to PayScale.com, the median annual salary specifically for video game designers was $63,666, as of November 2019. This was slightly less than the median salary of $72,520 that the BLS reported for multimedia artists and animators as a whole for 2018.