|Education level :||Bachelor’s degree|
|Recommended baccalaureate :||Artistic|
|Beginner salary :||€ 1,800|
|Experienced salaryé :||€ 3,500|
|ROME code :||E1104|
|FAP code :||U1Z82|
A game designer translates the written project into images, keeping in mind the need to create the best possible playability and consistency.
The responsibilities of the game designer
They are many and varied. The game designer takes care of:
- Analysis and creation of the concept of the game
- The creation of mechanics and rules
- Drafting of specifications
- Management of ergonomics and interactivity
- Development of game structures
- Ensuring the coherence and graphic and artistic harmony of the game
- Testing and identifying errors and malfunctions in the game
« With each addition of functionality, a game designer must scan all pre-existing functionalities to assess the impact of the new one. The work is therefore very meticulous because it anticipates the behaviour of thousands of players. A game designer must also take into account the potential technical constraints, but also what the players want to see in the game », adds Lucas Odion.
The skills of a game designer
Being a game designer means being able to master a series of technical skills. According to Paul-Etienne Bardot, « they are the people who must structure ideas and make the best use of them to set up gameplay and mechanics that are pleasant for the player while taking into account the various constraints imposed by the rest of the production. They must therefore demonstrate a sharp analytical mind and capacity for formalisation ».
In detail, they can handle :
- The tools (Unreal, Unity…)
- The ergonomics of multimedia systems
- Level design
- 3D and animation software (3DS Max …)
- Modelling in behavioural diagrams and game situations
- Programming software (HTML…)
- The culture of image and video games
The game designer must know how to use several tools and software such as 3DS Max or HTML :
The qualities of a game designer
A game designer requires several qualities such as:
- A sense of analysis and synthesis
« You have to invest as much as possible in your work and open your mind to other areas to nourish your thinking and creativity, » adds Paul-Etienne Bardot.
Studies to become a game designer
A bachelor’s degree is necessary to become a game designer, from any high school diploma. The best thing to do is follow a game designer course in higher education, specialising in video games, and come out with a recognised diploma.
From a professional bachelor’s degree to a general bachelor’s degree, there are many courses available. You will graduate with the knowledge and skills to enter the world of video games.
Also, we advise you to pursue an MBA specialising in Game Design for two years to improve your skills. Note that it is estimated that around 4,000 students are training to become game designers.
« As far as I’m concerned, » says Cédric Delacroix, « it’s the logical continuation of a player’s journey. I started as a FIFA esports tournament organiser until I was 16, but then found what I was looking for by going to the League of Legends champion suggestion forum. This is where I discovered the first part of game design: propose, iterate, suggest, share, and invent. I kept going until a friend came up and gave me The Art of Game Design by Jesse Schell. Although old-fashioned at heart, it was this book that made me want to dive into studying to do this job. »
For the bachelor’s degree, the program focuses on learning several subjects, namely:
- Level design
- 2D and 3D software
- Dynamic drawing
- Motion design
- Game engines
- Video game culture
- The economics of video games
- Employment law
In MBA, you will be able to deepen your knowledge of game design with courses in:
- 2D and 3D computer graphics software (Maya or 3DS Max)
- Graphic production optimisation techniques
- Mastery of lighting, materials and motion design software
- Game Engines
- Management and communication
Another vital part of the programs: internships. They take place all throughout the five years of the course.
Our G. Art school offers education for the career with the 2D / 3D Computer Graphics – Game Art Bachelor. The course is accessible after a bachelor’s degree or via admission on merit. In the program: gaming culture, digital and technological culture (learning game design), communication and management tools. All complemented by internships. A three-year degree can then lead to one of our two MBAs, namely: MBA Game artist or MBA Technical artist.
These courses are at the pinnacle of education in this field (recognised innovative diplomas of the year 2020 by the rating agency EEA Eduniversal and our MBAs are certified under the RNCP Title, level 7) and take place over two years and allow you to either see the creation of cohesive and immersive graphic universes or acquire skills in game development and game art. Both of the courses specialise the students in game design. Internships and work-study programs are added to this.
Also, working in an international environment, a large part of our courses are taught in English. This is enough to give you the basics to work abroad, for example.
Apply for a course
Note that it is unnecessary to go through the Parcoursup selection procedures to enter our bachelor’s degree. Our school is not part of Parcoursup. It would be best if you simply had a technical or general high school diploma. And a bachelor’s degree to be admitted to an MBA.
Firstly you need to complete a dossier (to be completed here) to verify the prerequisites, your professional plans and your academic background. Then individual interviews will take place before your admission is accepted or declined.
All our courses focus on carrying out concrete projects and on professional immersion. During each year of study, students must do internships. For the bachelor’s degree, the internships last two months in the 1st and 2nd year and three months last. As for the MBA, the internship is six months in the first year, and the final year is organised at an alternating pace of fixed-term contracts and internships.
Advantages and disadvantages of the job
There are both positives and negatives in this career. Here they are :
- Good employability
- Salary can evolve quickly
- Technical as well as creative skills
- Possibility of freelance work
- Various projects
- Strong involvement
- Salary may be low at the start
- You must stay up to date in your skills
A game designer will start their career (after a Bachelor in Game Design, for example) with a salary of between 25,000 euros and 33,000 euros gross annually. After a few years, it can reach nearly 50,000 euros. And on the other side of the Atlantic, what are the salaries? A game designer will earn an average of $ 55,000. On the West Coast of the United States, the average is $ 65,000.
Where should you work ?
All companies that develop video games have one or more game designers. Without them, the game cannot exist.
You will be able to work in companies such as:
- Video game studios (Arkane studios, Nintendo, Vertical, Ubisoft, Osome Studio or Gameloft …)
- Video game studios for mobile games (NAT Games, CCCP, etc.)
- Serious games studios (Succubus, DOWiNo …)
You can find all internships and job offers by going to websites specialising in video games or even more general ones such as :
- Gaming job
- Welcome to the jungle
Opportunities for the game design careers
If the game designer feels like taking on more responsibility, a lead game designer position would suit them. The responsibilities would be: managing and coordinating game designers. They can also choose to move into production to manage a video game development project.
How do you become a freelance game designer ? You need to start with solid studies and professional experience. This is unavoidable. A client will look for references. So after graduation, it might be good to work for a studio. Then, after a few years, after taking the time to get to know the universe well and master the techniques and software, it will be possible to start freelancing. Be careful, however: though becoming a freelancer is a guarantee of freedom, the fact remains that it requires more rigour and organisation.
Famous game designers
Many are known on the international scene. Here is a non-exhaustive list : Frédérick Raynal (Alone in the Dark), Michel Ancel (Rayman), Shigeru Miyamoto (Donkey Kong), John Romero (Doom).
How to become a game designer ?
A game designer is at the heart of the creation of the gameplay, of the gaming experience. With a creative sensibility, they imagine the universes, actions and behaviours which a player will face. It is a profile that studios seek out, so becoming a game designer requires a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. G. Art offers the possibility of acquiring the necessary skills in video games with the digital graphic designer bachelor. And this leads to the MBA Game artist or Technical artist course, which teaches the specialisation within two years.