What Makes a Good Video Game Designer?

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Good Video Game Designer

Video game designers need to walk a find line. They balance technical skills like programming for physics and AI with artistic sensibilities when creating backgrounds and realistic characters. As a mix of elements, they are also called upon to embody a wide array of qualities. Different video game designers will display these qualities in different amounts, but everyone needs at least a little bit (plus a whole lot of other skills, talents, and traits).

Creativity

This probably goes without saying. As a video game designer, you are bringing to life a rich, full, interactive world for gamers to enter and ultimately lose themselves in. You need the creativity to merge your hard skills with the vision that the game creators have in mind. If you are an artist, you need to use your sensibilities to nail down the concepts outlined for you in an internally consistent way.

You also need to use your creative powers when something goes wrong in the development process. Like a hero in a game overcoming an obstacle, you need to use your wits and skills to figure out how to surmount it.

Quality Control

Bad video games get churned out all the time for people to make a fast buck. Let’s not make any more, okay? Every member of the development team has an important role to play. They can choose to make their work the best it can be, or just “phone it in.” When someone’s not giving it their all, it really shows, and can just ruin the gameplay experience, dropping the gamer right out of the world.

Quality control in the world of video game programming means doing your part to craft a world that brings to life the story and characters to life. It also means watching out for your team mates: letting them know when something doesn’t seem quite right, or when some code didn’t compile right (onetonline.org). Preventing problems before they even start is the best way to ensure a great game and an efficient team.

Teamwork

With the advent of “app games” and lighter, more dynamic types of gaming experiences, it’s becoming easier and easier for one or two people to produce a working game. However, when it comes to big-name titles, you will still need to work with a team in order to make something happen.

There’s a background team, character team, the AI people, the voice director, writers, physics programmers. Have you ever watched the credits at the end of a game? They go on forever! If you can’t work as part of a team, then you’re going to have trouble making it far in this business.

Be prepared to compromise, to pitch in with people you might not necessarily like, and do things that aren’t necessarily in your job description, all in the name of making something great.

Being part of a team can also be fun! Video game programmer offices are often full of gamers and other fun-loving people who socialize and party when not on the clock (remember LAN parties?!).

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