Video Game Designer – Job Outlook & Career Prospects

June 18, 2020

When it comes to revenue, the game industry makes more than both Hollywood and the music industry! We all remember when Steven Moffat, the author of Doctor Who and Sherlock, took the stage during the 2014 BAFTA awards and said, “it’s extraordinarily rare to be around when a new art-form is being born.”

He added, “Video games are going to own the future. I am here chiefly to crawl to my new bosses.” As it turns out, he was right. With annual revenue growth of 15.4% in 2020, the video game market in the U.S. reached revenues of nearly 34.5 billion dollars in 2021, up from 27.6 billion dollars in 2019.

The video game industry will likely be worth a staggering $583.69 billion by 2030! One such significant area of the gaming business that is growing and attracting the interest of young people is video game design.
video games designer working in studio

There are currently 3,084 video game software developer businesses in the United States. The demand for video game designers will increase, with 32,090 new jobs expected to fill up by 2029.If you play video games, you’ve probably considered making it your career. However, you should be aware that this field has several facets. If you want to pursue a career in this field, read this article, which highlights the best career opportunities and various other exciting information!

Best Countries Across the Globe for Video Game Designing

For many, gaming is a lifestyle fueled by passion and mastered with unwavering resolve. In 2022, the industry raised $154.6 billion in global revenue. If you’re planning to go international after graduating from a good video game designing institute, here are the top 5 countries for game design that you should know about:

According to a survey, 459 million people in China play mobile games, which is more than the populations of the U.S. and Japan combined and provides a strong argument for why China alone accounts for 25% of the worldwide gaming business.

video game developer team brainstorming

The number of gamers in the United States of America is a staggering 191.2 million, or 60% of the nation’s whole population. The gaming industry has developed and grown to include a diverse demographic audience.

With 75.1 million gamers, Japan has the third-largest gaming population in the world. Japanese game developers produce over 50% of the games sold worldwide and $22.09 billion yearly revenue.

The gaming business in Germany generates $5.87 billion in total income, with in-game purchases accounting for the majority of these high-value revenue streams. With a growing community of approximately 33.1 million gamers and a gaming industry that contributes $7.55 billion to the country’s GDP, South Korea is likely to dominate e-sports globally.

Best U.S. States for Great Growth Opportunities in Game Design

North America makes up more than a quarter of the world’s market for video games, which have become a common form of leisure activity.

Game Designer Jobs in Newspaper. Job Search Concept

According to Zippia, based on the average annual salary, the highest-paying states for video game designers in the U.S. are:

  • Washington – $106,982
  • Rhode Island – $109,261
  • District of Columbia – $111,386
  • Nevada – $119,434
  • Wisconsin – $101,229

Pro tips:

Video Game Designer – Salary

According to Salaryexplorer.com, a video game designer in the U.S. makes $81,500 annually. Salaries range from $40,800 to $126,000 annually.

This figure may reduce or increase, depending on the value you deliver to the industry. Your salary as a video game designer may vary according to the years of work experience, employer, job title, and location.

Salary by ExperienceAverage Salary by Education
0-2 years – $48,900Certificate or Diploma – $64,700
2-5 years – $64,700Associate Degree – $70,000
5-10 years – $86,600Bachelor’s degree – $88,000
10-15 years – $103,000Master’s Degree – $114,000
15-20 years – $111,000

Career Outlook for Video Game Designers

Video game designers contribute both creatively and technically to video game development. Your educational background will also influence your career opportunities in game design. They also depend on your experience, passion, and, most importantly, how consistently you develop your game-designing skills.

VR headset wearing young man

In terms of education, you can pursue either an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in game design. Each of these opens up opportunities for entry-level positions and intermediate-level careers in game design, animation, and visualization. You can even find job opportunities in digital media production environments.

An associate degree in video game design from this institute can help you become a junior game designer, quality assurance engineer, or junior programmer.

A video game design bachelor’s degree from the New England Institute of Technology can help you proceed as an entry-level to intermediate-level position video game designer, character artist, environmental artist, video game artist, technical artist, level designer, or visual effects animator.

Video Game Designer – Job Outlook & Career Opportunities

  • Video Game Designers:

Also known as game designers, video game designers can craft games for various formats, including consoles, wireless applications, the internet, and mobile phones. They are the decision-makers for the game’s entire design, purpose, and objective.

Sometimes, a video game designer may specialize in specific game art and design areas such as the storyline, characters, layout, and other areas of game design. A video game designer’s role may further include: developing gameplay ideas, maps, scenarios, different levels of difficulty, user interface (menus and controls) concepts, improving concepts, and current games.

  • Junior Video Game Designer:

After you graduate, you can start as a junior video game designer and then make your way up to the senior positions. The work would generally include collaborating with artists, programmers, and other designers to develop a vision for the game.

Together with senior game designers, the role would also entail developing fresh ideas, adjustments, and characters. They might even assist the graphic team in creating the first mock-ups and sketches.

  • Senior Game Designer:
Multiethnic women game designer looking at computer with dual displays working together at project in studio office

As you climb up the video game designing career ladder and gain experience, your role would grow to include reviewing current games, setting up game design quality standards, and mentoring junior members of the team. This even includes collaborating with other senior game designers to tune, implement, as well as balance the gaming experience.

A senior game designer further helps the team analyze live game data, remain well-informed about the new industry trends, game genres, and designs. Other tasks apart from these significant responsibilities include developing and maintaining design documentation like mechanics, story, and guidelines.

  • Character Artists:

Modern gamers aren’t satisfied with just a good story and entertaining game functions – they want to see some impressive visuals! For this, game studios typically lean on character artists to develop quality visuals for the video game. This includes specializing in creating realistic human characters or fictional characters from a whole new universe.

Art directors and lead character artists mentor character artists to develop and create character assets for video games. They even transform the ideas of concept artists into initial 2D illustrations. These designs go to the art & design teams for revision and feedback.

Following this, the character artists model a 3D computer image, adding definition, color, and weight. Other tasks might include shading, texturing, and additional game development work.

  • Game Environment Artists:
Animator designer Development designing drawing sketching development creating graphic pose characters sci-fi robot Cartoon illustration animation video game film production

Game environment artists create the entire world within the game. They create these engaging environments with gaming software like Unity, Unreal Engine, etc. Artists should be familiar with modeling packages like 3ds Max, Modo, or Maya and other software like Photoshop.

Creating a game environment is time-consuming and requires video game design aspirants to start by developing smaller props like vehicles, cars, weapons, and more. As you get deeper into this role, you’ll likely create and develop the entire game environment in just a few years.

A game environment artist must also showcase excellent composition, texturing, level beautification colors, lighting, and other technical and artistic skills.

  • Game Testers/Video Game Quality Assurance:

A game testers’ role is to identify any potential bugs in the game. This role includes identifying any code that doesn’t work. By thinking a little outside of the box, a video game tester can interact with the gaming world in a way that game developers wouldn’t expect or anticipate. This is especially crucial in games like Skyrim, in which there are millions of combinations of player actions.

As you might know, in this game, there’s no limit to how players interact with objects, characters, and the environment. As  a game quality assurance tester, you’ll identify bugs to make the game more seamless and enjoyable for players! On an average, a video game tester can make $55,030 a year.

  • Level Designer:

By working under the supervision of a senior-level designer, a level designer helps create the entire game-level environment. This even includes making the video game assets and characters that inhabit it.

A level designer’s skills span areas of imagination and storytelling – they create the chapters in a game that excite the players to move ahead and progress in a particular video game.

Level designers must continually be in touch with level artists, character artists, programmers, and other team members to integrate the best ideas and concepts into the game. A significant responsibility of a level designer is to create design documents that outline and detail the list of required assets along with objectives and environment layouts.

The Future of the Video Game Industry

For years, video games have steadily grown in popularity. And, as people sought new ways to socialize and entertain themselves during the pandemic, the trend has only accelerated. Gaming has surpassed the combined industries of movies and sports.

Man creating video game and developing graphics for movie

So, what comes next? Gaming will continue to become more popular culturally. But what technological advancements are shaping the future of video games, and how will they impact the gaming experience?

Virtual Reality (VR)

Although VR has yet to live up to expectations, tech companies are hard at work trying to progress the field by spending a lot of money on creating VR devices and games.

Augmented Reality (AR)

Using augmented reality (AR), you can enter a world where real and virtual objects coexist. It allows you to interact with your environment rather than just utilizing a controller by bringing virtual objects into the actual world. The potential of games increases with AR.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

The long-term goal of AI research is to develop technology that can perform any task that a human can. Using this technology, we can create games with hyper-realistic graphics and characters that respond in ways that make them appear almost human.

Cloud Gaming

Cloud gaming is one of the most exciting recent innovations. Playing games on any device that usually requires a high-powered, expensive gaming PC is appealing. Instead of downloading or installing anything, you connect to the game via a server and stream it directly to your device.

The Metaverse

The metaverse is a blend of virtual worlds that provides a unique gaming experience with platform-agnostic social experiences and a more open environment.

The metaverse will be a part of the future of gaming because it uses new technologies such as VR, AR, and mobile apps – a world where gaming takes place across platforms rather than on a single console or computer.

The Importance of Having a Game Design Degree from a Reputed Institute

Careers and job opportunities in game design necessitate adept skills and industry knowledge. You can obtain this through a good game design degree – an associate degree that will allow you to enroll in a bachelor’s program. The New England Institute of Technology provides both of these with cutting-edge coursework and has:

Princeton review recognized New England Tech among the top 15 colleges for video game design. If you want h to build a promising career in video game designing, enroll today!

FAQs

Does Game Design Require Coding?

While it would help you to know it, video game design does not demand coding knowledge. Learning to code can advance your video game designer career and provide opportunities you would not have had otherwise.

How Many Years Does It Take to Become a Game Designer?

For entry into the field, video game designers frequently need a bachelor’s degree, which requires four years of full-time study. Employers might favor candidates with coding expertise. Sometimes, aspiring designers will choose a degree over the coding abilities they obtained in a Bootcamp.

 

Apply to video game design and graduate in less than 2 years.