You’ve finished your bootcamp and you’re keen to become a game designer. There are many excellent reasons to embark on this career path, from excellent salaries to the opportunity to do something really artistic and creative. This piece will look at why game design is a great career path, and also why it’s ideally suited for bootcamp graduates.
Let’s start with what game designers actually do.
Game Design: What Can I Expect?
Game designers are responsible for developing storylines, puzzles, challenges and level divisions in games. They may well need to collaborate with content developers, artists, programmers and other technical staff. However, the central figure is the designer who comes up with the overall concept of the game. The designer is responsible for setting the rules of the games and creating a particular atmosphere for the players.
Besides the stimulating work, game design is a great career path because it offers excellent salaries. The following table looks at salaries, dependent on experience, for both game designers and lead game designers. Those salaries look pretty good!
Image Source: https://www.gamedesigning.org/career/job-market/
As far as job demand goes, this seems to be on the up. Although there had been a 5.39% percent decline since 2004, this has actually reversed. The demand for game designers is now on an upward trajectory, with an annual increase of 11,59% over the next few years.
Game Design: What Kind Of Skills Do You Need?
According to Learn.Org, Game designers need a wide range of skills including the following:
- Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment
- Excellent problem-solving skills
- Ability to strategise on the job – e.g. exploring potential moves in a game
- Vivid imagination – good games need fascinating plots, settings and characters
- Ability to collaborate in teams
- Coding skills
You certainly don’t need to go to university to pick up game design skills. A lot of companies are willing to hire a developer who shows that he or she is capable of actually making games rather than showing off their university degree. Alternatively, you can ‘fast track’ your way into the industry via a coding bootcamp.
There are definite advantages to an online bootcamp including flexibility (you can fit your learning commitments around your other obligations), time spent learning vital skills (compare a six-month bootcamp with a three-year computer programming degree), and personalised mentorship. HyperionDev pairs you with your own one-to-one mentor so that you can easily get support whenever you get stuck.
But besides the skills, any game designing company will tell you that they want to see a portfolio. Game studios are careful about whom they hire and they will want to see what you can actually do – i.e. your portfolio. The portfolio will ideally include level design and modding, which refers to an alteration to a video game. You can also include links or downloads so prospective employers can actually play your video games.
Steve Bowler, the lead game designer at Phosphor Games, a studio in Chicago says on Lifehacker: ‘I would take a new entry level designer with no degree or “equivalent experience” who showed their work in creating their own game over someone with a degree who couldn’t show their work in a heart-beat.’
In closing, Bowler is honest about game design work. He says: ‘It’s one of the most mentally stimulating and rewarding fields I’ve ever worked in. It’s also caused me the most anxiety and stress. We work very, very hard making the stuff you love.’ If you’re keen to work every day on something you feel passionate about and love, game design is a great career path. And if its coding skills you lack, think about signing up for one of HyperionDev’s six month, online coding bootcamps in Full Stack Web Development, Mobile Development and Software Engineering. Your ideal career is out there waiting for you.