What skills are needed to be a game designer?
When my friend Paul offered me to create a game I saw game design process in a very limited way. I thought that game design it is just coding and maybe a little bit design work. But now I can say with certainty that it is much more than that.
Game design is like writing a book, creating business, conducting scientific work and drawing a picture at the same time. You have to be multitasking, you have to comprehend a lot of skills, you have to be a very hard worker and let’s be honest, you have to be a very lucky person. As you can see, it is rather challenging. But also it is very exiting, fascinating and super fun.
That is why game design attracts people to try their hands at it. This is not for dweebs. It is for those who aren’t afraid of problems, for those who enjoy difficulties, who have something to say. These people are breaking walls of narrow-mindedness, they are creating new worlds and universes. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Let’s see what abilities you should have to become a game designer.
First of all you have to be able to distinguish quality work from mediocre one. There are a lot of bad-quality things in the world. And believe me the world doesn’t need one more thing that will sink in the swamp of mediocrity. When you are creating a game it is very important to stop for a moment and ask yourself if your work is good enough.
Let’s imagine that you have a brilliant idea of a groundbreaking game. You told you friend about it and he liked it so much that decided to join you. So now you are a leader, a heart of your team. Now you have to lead your team forward, motivate them, inspire them. You have to be able to spread the word about how good your game is. You have to be ready to take every punch. You are a captain, you are at the head of revolution called game design. So be ready.
When you are creating a game you should know basics of programming. Even if you have programmers in a team, it will be helpful to speak with them in their language. It will take much less time to explain what you want him to do. So let’s add this skill to our list.
The next one is design. Design is a very important one too because people don’t just like gameplay of your game but also they are looking for experience that it conducts. So if you have a chance to know more about this field of knowledge you should use that opportunity.
You have to deal with finances as without that knowledge you are f#cked. No money no honey, man. So if you want your life to be engaged with game industry, you have to understand the accounting. Even if you are a small indie developer, you are to register a company to receive money from your publisher.
It isn’t an exhaustive list but I believe that these are the most important skills that any game designer should have. Is it necessary to have all these skills? Of course not, it is possible to be a great game designer if you don’t have some of them. But it is not an excuse not to gain more skills. If you have an oppotunity to learn something, you should take it because the most important asset is you and your skills.