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Games designer

Games designer
The Irish games industry is growing rapidly and making waves on the international stage. Now is an ideal time to put all those hours spent zapping aliens to good use and become a games designer.

Alternative job titles for this role

Video game environment designer

Video game systems designer

Video game mechanics designer

Introduction

Games developers design or programme games for a variety of formats, such as consoles, wireless applications, the internet and mobile phones. They are involved in various stages of the creation of a game. Most specialise in a particular area such as design, programming, animation, audio, editing or production. Lead designers coordinate the design aspects. A game mechanics designer works on the balance of the game and its rule system. The environmental designer creates the different scenarios and environments of the game.

What the job involves

  • Come up with new and appealing game ideas
  • Develop ideas for gameplay
  • Experiment with several themes and genres
  • Develop plots and storylines
  • Develop characters
  • Develop maps, scenarios, and levels of difficulty
  • Come up with ways of winning and losing the game
  • Develop user interface concepts
  • Improve existing games

How your career can develop

Creativity, innovation and technical know-how and experience are all-important in the games world.

Why games design matters

The head of Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto, also invented the first fitness video game of note for the Wii Fit. The US Navy has even used the Wii Fit for physical therapy.

 

Skills

  • Creativity
  • Artistic vision
  • A passion for the world of video games
  • Storytelling ability
  • Wide-ranging knowledge of gaming trends
  • Strong analytical frame of mind
  • Excellent programming skills
  • Ability to work as part of a team

Typical employers

  • Video games developing companies
  • Marketing companies

Typical salary

  • Graduate/Starting: €36,000
  • Senior/Potential: €70,000+ dependant on experience

Typical qualifications

Degrees in computer games development/design, graphic design, animation, software engineering or computer science are common gateways. However, experience and a portfolio of work are all-important in a very competitive industry.

Further information

Irish Games Developers: www.gamedevelopers.ie

Ireland’s Annual Games Fleadh: www.gamesfleadh.ie

Irish Software Association: www.software.ie

Irish Computer Society: www.ics.ie