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Video Game Designer Salary for 2016

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This article is part of the Video Game Developer Salary series. Read about the annual salary ranges of all video game jobs, and get advice on maximizing your paycheck throughout your career.
Man wondering How much do game designers make?

You can make games. But can you make money?

Table of Contents

  1. Game Designer salary: Overview
  2. Game Designer salary: Factors
  3. Search for Game Design jobs
  4. Game Designer salary: Details
  5. Other factors that affect Designer salary
  6. Demand for Game Designers
  7. Should I become a Game Designer?

When people find out that I work at a game studio, there’s always one or two in the group that excitedly explain how badly they want to become a video game designer. They love to play games, talk about games, and read news about games. Boy oh boy, they’re passionate about games!

I always encourage them to follow that passion. But I also temper it by describing what a brutally hard job it can be at times. Once their enthusiasm simmers down a bit, the next question is usually a little more practical: How much do video game designers make?

Game Designer Salary: Overview

It’s a good question, but it’s complicated. Salary ranges for game designers can vary dramatically depending on several factors. Where is the studio located? How big is the company? What platforms are you developing for? Are you in an individual contributor role, or a leadership role? To muddy the waters further, the game designer job description varies a lot from studio to studio.

If you just want a quick-and-dirty answer, here it is: Game designer salaries start around $45,000 annually for entry-level design positions. But they can grow to well over $100,000 per year for very senior designers or designers who are leading teams. And some companies pay their game designers even more – a lot more. With a salary range that wide, how is designer pay determined?

FREE DOWNLOAD: Click here to download the complete 2015 Game Jobs Salary Report

Game Designer Salary: Factors

Like most jobs, game designer salaries increase based on years of experience and by job title. This makes sense. As a designer becomes more experienced and learns additional skills, they can work faster and create higher-quality results. They also make fewer mistakes that could cause their work (or the work of their team) to be thrown out or redone from scratch.

It’s worth noting that designers are not paid based on their great ideas. This is a really common misconception. Do you have an awesome original game idea? Do you suspect it will make you rich, if only you could get hired as a designer? Think again. That’s not how it works.

Video game development is a team sport, and great ideas are a dime a dozen. Everybody on your team will have great ideas. Many of them will be better than yours. A designer’s salary is based on how well they can build a fun game as part of a team, not as a “creative genius who calls all the shots” while others do the heavy lifting.

READ  How To Become A Video Game Environment Artist

Search for Game Design Jobs

There are many design jobs available, but they have different names depending on the state, country and game company. Try searching for job titles like “game designer,” “level designer,” or “content designer.”

What Where
Jobs by Jobs2Careers job search

Game Designer Salary: Details

Okay, let’s take a look at the numbers in detail. These figures are generally from three sources: GlassDoor.com, Game Developer Magazine’s annual salary survey, and my observations based on designers I’ve worked with plus my own experience as a game designer.

One way to break down the numbers is to look at experience. Here are the average salaries for game designers with various years of experience.

The various game designer salary levels, based on years of experience.

Under 3 Years 3-6 Years 6+ Years
Game Designer
$53,000 $65,000 $78,000
Lead Game Designer
N/A $70,000 $100,000

Note that there isn’t data for Lead Game Designers with under 3 years of experience. As you may have guessed, this is because designers are rarely promoted into leadership positions in their first few years.

Another way to break down the numbers is to look at each game design salary based on job title. I think this is more useful because it gives a salary range. It also decouples job title from years of experience, which more closely reflects how game design careers actually flow. You don’t get promoted just because you’ve been doing the job for a certain amount of time. You get promoted based on the quality of your work and the amount of project responsibility you can handle.

The annual salary of a game designer based on job title

Job Title Low High
Associate Game Designer1 $40,000 $60,000
Game Designer2 $45,000 $80,000
Senior Game Designer or Lead Game Designer3 $50,000 $100,000

1 The “associate” job description is generally applied to designers just starting their careers.
2 The standard “game designer” moniker applies to established designers for most of their careers. There are many sub-titles such as “level designer,” “combat designer” or “systems designer” that fall under this catch-all umbrella.
3 Many companies have 2 career paths that a designer can take. They can continue as an individual contributor, or they can lead a design team or a portion of a design team. The salary ranges are similar.

Other Factors That Affect Game Designer Salary

The numbers above are averages from many hundreds of designer salaries, so they’re very general. In reality, there are other factors that can help designers beat the averages by quite a lot.

  • Company/studio size. Larger companies generally have bigger project budgets, which allows them to pay their game designers higher salaries. For example, GlassDoor.com indicates that some senior designers at Microsoft are being paid as much as $125,000/year. That’s 25% more than a typical senior designer at other studios.
  • Education background. New game designers come into the industry through many different paths. But one path that seems to garner a higher starting salary is getting a degree or certificate in game design from a college or university. Designers who come through game design schools tend to already have a portfolio of games that they’ve made as school projects. It gives employers confidence in their abilities right from the start.
  • Sector of the game industry. In addition to “traditional” game studios, there are other sectors within the game industry. And some of them seem to pay their game designers a lot more money. For instance, GlassDoor.com shows game designers are paid as high as $170,000 at companies that make gambling video games.
READ  How To Become A Video Game Character Animator

Demand for Game Designers

Like it or not, the game industry is a cyclical business. It can be boom and bust – there are good years and there are bad years. The chart below illustrates the general demand for game designers, based on the number of monthly job postings that include the term “game designer” in their description at Indeed.com (a job-posting aggregator).

Note that this approach can give a lot of false positives. For example, a given job posting might actually be for a Server Engineer but it would show up in the data if it mentioned “must work well with game designers.” But that’s okay for our purposes because we’re interested in the trends, not the absolute numbers.

Video Game Designer job trends

This chart makes it clear that demand for video game designers is highly cyclical. Why is that important? Because of the laws of supply and demand. In years when demand is high, designer salaries will be high. And when demand is lower, salaries will be lower. It’s worth keeping an eye on the trends when negotiating salary at a new job or when asking for a raise or promotion.

Should I Become A Game Designer?

If you’re passionate about making games and think that becoming a game designer is your dream career, then I hope these numbers are encouraging. Designing video games for a living is not only an extremely fun job, but it’s also a great way to make a living. How many jobs can you think of that will pay you $100,000/year salary for spending all day doing something you love? If you ask me, I’d say that becoming a video game designer is about as good as it gets.

An easy way to get started is to watch these videos to learn the basics Β of Unity 3D, an insanely popular tool for making cutting-edge 3D games:

If you’re thinking about a career in game design, it’s never too soon to start gathering information. Enter your zip below to check out the top design schools near you. The info is free, so it’s a great place to start.

If you liked this article, please share it on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter.

Image: ponsulak / freedigitalphotos.net
Sources: Glassdoor.com | Gamasutra.com | Indeed.com

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300 comments on “Video Game Designer Salary for 2016
  1. Noah says:

    Hello Jason! I was wondering about some of the strengths a good game designer would have. I really like to work in teams with people and problem-solving comes as a second nature to me, as with communication. But what I really want to know is what else would I need to be good in this field?

  2. Jamie Morris says:

    I’m in the 11th grade and is really looking toward a career of game design. And am thinking about attending carnegie mellon university in pittsburgh and was wondering of some good game companys.I’ve been considering treyarch for a very long time but think i should have some backups just in case.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Jamie, it’s not always possible to work at the exact game company you want – maybe they aren’t hiring at the time you’re looking for a job, or for other reasons. You’ll probably want to apply to several different game studios to try and get a job, and you’ll likely work for many different studios throughout your career.

  3. Luis says:

    Hey there, im applying for college next year and have taken a huge interest in game design. I was wondering, how easy it was for you to get your first job after earning your degree?

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Actually my degree was not in game design (when I started, there were no video game degrees being offered yet!). I got the game design job after working as a QA tester at a game studio. But I know many people who did get a design degree and they seem to have found jobs within a few months of graduating, or faster if they had an internship as part of their degree program.

  4. Jared McGeary says:

    Hello there, Thanks for the input and information that you have given in this article. It does help a lot and put into perspective the potential anyone has as long as they shoot for their goals. I am a Senior in High School already planning on going to college for something completely different from game design, but I am thinking about changing my career path again. I have wanted to create video games for as long as I can remember and was really looking forward to attending college for that profession. But towards the beginning of my Senior Year, I felt that I was not getting anywhere with my prior skills at designing and graphics and game design and decided that I would pursue a different career path. And recently, halfway through the year, I have already been accepted to a college that I really want to go to but also got a letter from another college that is known for its game design and other electronic savvy schooling. It made me start thinking again about what I love to do. Play Video Games. They are my favorite pass time and have been playing since I was (From what my mother tells me) 2 years old. They have been apart of my life my entire life and I love them. So I am thinking I should change my major back to the Graphic Video Game Design path because It is something that I love to do and have even had some insight as to what goes on in the studios and the team work that is highly needed in order for a game to work. Again, I thank you for this article as it puts into perspective the large amount of potential and gratification many have if they just shoot for what they love to do. And especially for me since Video Games are what I love.

  5. beau says:

    What should I do starting off on this whole deal? I really need to know if this would be a good idea.

  6. Raul says:

    What exactly is the difference between a game artist and and a game designer ???

    What is their salary difference especially ??

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Raul, game artists and game designers are very different jobs. Artists create art assets like 3D models, animations, and textures. Game designers may take that art and arrange it in the game levels, but they do a lot of other things depending on the company.

      Their salaries are very similar, so don’t let the pay be too big of a factor in your decision. Go with whichever you think you’d enjoy the most and be good at.

  7. Alan Eddy says:

    I am 14 years old and I want to join the game design career when I get out of school which college do you think I should go to and will help me the most with it

  8. Francisco D. says:

    Im in 8th grade and i was wondering if there were any schools that i could learn at to become a game designer?

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Francisco, there are many art schools that offer a focus on game art. (I’m working on an article about that very topic, so check back in a couple weeks for a big list of schools.) But since you’re in 8th grade, you don’t need to worry about learning “video game” art just yet – start learning art in general, and everything you learn now will apply to video games later on!

  9. Noah Young says:

    Hi, great article!

    I’m French, currently studying in Paris (2 months left!) and working part time as a game designer, and it’s been awesome… but a lot of hard work πŸ™‚

    It might be interesting to find data for countries outside of the US for those that would like to move abroad. I would say that for a game designer over here, salaries rarely go over 50k€ and can start as low as 22k€ – 25k€ (but living costs differ etc.) I don’t have any hard data to back that up, just talking to people and a little experience.

    Good luck to all those that dream of becoming a Game Designer one day!

  10. Sajitha Subramaniyan says:

    Hi Jason,

    It’s so good to see you reply to these future gaming professionals. I am writing from India and my son is in grade 12 doing Computer science, physics, chemistry and maths(main subjects).

    He is crazy about playing games, watching all latest game videos and keeping updated. He wants to become a game designer. However, I am unable to find a college in India offering an engineering degree with concentration in game desinging.

    What are the best options for Indian students in US/other countries for pursuing this career? There are many institutions that I found on Google but their curriculum requirements for the course confuse me. Please advice on best institutions that offer scholarships for overseas students so that we can afford it. Do all institutions have campus recruitment?

    I request you to please guide us.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hello Sajitha, unfortunately I don’t know which foreign schools would be eager to give a scholarship, so you will have to do more research: contact each school that seems interesting, and they have advisors that will reply with the relevant information.

      Also, there are many game studios in India, so it may be a good path for your son to get a Computer Science degree or similar in India (focusing on game programming if possible) and then try to get a job as a programmer at one of the Indian game studios, where he will work with game designers and may eventually be able to do some game design – especially at a smaller studio, where many team members contribute to the design.

  11. bryan says:

    hi im bryan, i’m working on my high school career paper. can i interview you? How much do you make off of a video game per year (average pay)?, What are most of the working conditions? & do you have to go to a 4 year collage or not?

  12. Brianna says:

    My name is Brianna and I really want to be a video game animator but theirs one problem I also want a big house and a family of my own. would those two life styles really mesh?

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Brianna, it’s smart that you’re doing some research to make sure the career you choose can support your life goals.

      Video game art is a career that can pay enough to support a family. I know many video game artists that have a spouse, children, a home and a good life. You can learn more about game artist salary here.

  13. Rue Luna Chang Wong says:

    Please update this website because all it gives me is the money i would make if i had this job what if i am just doing it for a school project I hope you can update this web site and if you cant i hope that all the people that work there HAVE AN AMAZING DAY!!!!!! πŸ™

  14. robbie b says:

    hi im in 9th grade in high school and im wondering about college and everything for a good path to get into game design. im really good with computer science and design and art and everything, so whats the right path i should take?

  15. Nenad Cvetanovic says:

    Congrats on this amazing website man, on all the articles you wrote and your willingness to answer each and every question on this thread. I’m 38, have been a web/print designer for the last 15 years, and I’m doing fairly, earning ~3k$/month, outsourcing from home(serbia, eastern europe), but I (mildly said) never loved my job and as you might imagine I dream of changing a career and becoming a game designer some day. I used to do mods and levels for doom but that was decades ago. I am a designer and familiar with flash animation, audio/video editing and I have worked in 3d studio made some neato 3d animations and tv commercials but that was also long time ago… but given that I know some basic stuff… I am just thinking, maybe becoming a game designer is not such a science fiction… If for example I continue working what I do… but start learning unreal engine 4 (or unity) in my spare time… and maybe in like 2-3 years if I master it to the bone, and pile up some nice demos I could try and send some job inquieries in game studios here and there and see what happens… πŸ™‚ I might sound rediculous among all these 14-year kids asking the same question… but hey, its never too late to change your life and do what you love ! Peace man and thanks for the great article(s) πŸ˜‰

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Ni Nenad, it’s cool that you’re thinking about exploring a new career. I don’t know how it is in Serbia, but in the US it’s normal for people to change careers many times over the years.

      I don’t think you need to spend 2-3 years mastering a game engine. The important thing is that you start a game design portfolio. If you spend a few months working hard to make a game demo, or even just to make a good mod of an existing game, I think that could be enough for you to start applying for entry-level design jobs. If you could find a local or online school that offers a game design certificate program, that could also get you on the fast track. I wish you the best of luck!

  16. Siddhant Jain says:

    Sir are there any big league gaming industries based in India that I can work for?

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Siddhant, there are several game studios in India. Gameloft, Disney and Zynga all have studios there, but there are also many smaller studios. Visit gamedevmap.com and search for “india” and you’ll see many suggestions.

  17. Shiv Ifreann says:

    Hi, I’m 17 and going into my senior year of high school. I really think that becoming a game designer is what I’m meant for, but am very nervous and confused about several things.

    First being college. I’m in Florida, have pre-paid college thanks to grandparents, and am going to go to a community collage near home for the first two years to get the general education classes out of the way. After that I was thinking of going to UCF to get a B.A. in Digital Media and specialize in game design. However, I don’t know how good it is there and was hoping for some advice?

    Next, would be jobs. I want to work (at least hoping to work) on fantasy/si-fi/apocalyptic types of games on consoles ranging from PC’s, Xbox, PS4’s etc. I’m also heavier handed in art and stories when it comes to my talents, and not so much coding and programming (at least as of writing this.)So, how many game designer jobs are there from the Orlando area and southward that offer for the things I’m interested in? What are things I can work/focus on that may help me get hired and possibly stand out more than others?

    I apologize if these are ridiculous questions, I just want to know some basics of what I’ll be getting myself into and plan ahead just enough to relieve some stress. I want to chase after my dream, but set realistic goals within my abilities, all while making my family proud. πŸ™‚

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Shiv, these are all really good questions. It sounds like you’re already on track – since you’re going to college and thinking about your future. I think the Digital Media degree will be helpful, check out the article on video game designer education requirements and you’ll see that media degrees are not uncommon among game designers.

      When it comes time to search for jobs, though, I’d recommend that you don’t limit yourself to any particular genre, platform, or even region of the US. It’s common for game devs to move around to take a job in a different city if it’s a good offer. So keep an open mind. To stand out from others, try to build a nice portfolio of game-related project work.

  18. Carl says:

    Hello Mr.JASON,

    FIRST OF ALL I would like to thank you for this wonderful article it really gives a good idea of the industry.
    I am currently a working in the medical field as a dental lab technician which i hate by the way.and I am also a 23 year old college students and about to finish with a associate degree in computer information technology. However I really want pursue a career in game design. I have 2 questions. 1. Do you think that full sail university is a good school to go to for game design? and 2.Are there a lot of big game studio companys in Florida especially in Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, and orlando area because I love living in Florida.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Carl, I do think Full Sail is a good school because I’ve known several good game developers who went there and they loved it. You can find a list of Florida game studios here.

  19. Will B says:

    Hi,
    I have a game idea that I would like to get off the ground. I would share the idea and also pay the designer for helping me to develop the game. I know nothing about designing I’d just like to be the ceo of my idea and game that I’m thinking off, how do i go about finding a good designer and not having ppl steal the idea etc,… i am 27 w a college degree in education and will be going to med school.
    Since im busy, id like to hire ppl to take my thoughts on this game and bring it to life. Any advice please

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Will, just about anybody you talk to has a game idea that they think is amazing. Most people in the video game industry have many different game ideas that could be viable/profitable so, I hate to break this to you, but game ideas really aren’t worth much – all of the value is in the execution, launch, and marketing of the game. There’s not really a role on the team for “the guy that has an idea” while everybody else does the work. I should also point out that it takes more than just a designer to make a game, even a relatively small game might require at least 1 designer, 1 artist and 1 programmer. The best way to get a game made is to start making it yourself, and then bring others on as your vision takes shape.

  20. Kate says:

    Hello Jason,

    Firstly, thank you for writing this article. It is very helpful to me.

    I love video games and decided that I would major in 3D animation at the art school I was going to. Sadly, it is too expensive for me to return this coming sophomore year, so now I’m planning to go to a different school to major in programming. But I also really love game design and I love drawing, modeling (Zbrush) and animating. Could being an artist and a programmer help me break into the video game industry? And do I need a degree in game design or game development to get into the industry? Also, I don’t want to give up on animation, so is there a possible way in this industry that I could do both? I know there’s always freelance, but I would feel more comfortable in a studio environment. Thank you.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Kate, I think you’ll find the most success by focusing on the thing you’re the best at rather than trying to learn everything. It sounds like you aren’t yet clear about what you most like to do, and what you’re the best at doing – art, or programming? (Or design?) Since you’re going to learn some programming, you’ll be able to compare and contrast – which comes easy to you, and energizes you when you’re doing it? Follow that path. I wish you luck!

  21. Soham shah says:

    Hello sir, you see I am from India and India is not known for its game designing careers so I am thinking of going abroad to complete game designing career and also thought of going to Canada for it. So I am asking you to tell me what qualifications, skills,etc is needed to get into game designing field

    Would be great help
    Thanks

  22. Evan G. says:

    Great article, especially compared to other sites that aren’t very organized or some to pull facts out of thin air.
    I’m currently attending a highschool with an established IT program: I’m part of the Graphic Design branch, I have an average GPA but my SAT scores are top notch. How much do you think that will help me get into a good college with a good video game design program? And, what schools would you suggest? There aren’t many good schools for that in my state (Virginia), so I’ve been considering SCAD(Savannah college of art and design) in Georgia. Any thoughts on my situation would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Evan, congratulations on your SAT scores! In my experience, video game schools are not as hard to get into as, say Computer Science programs at some state universities. But since you’ve already got the scores then you don’t need to worry – just go ahead and apply to the schools you’re interested in. I can’t recommend a specific school, but there’s a list of top game dev schools here. Also, a good trick when you’re researching a school is to use LinkedIn to find out what that school’s graduates went on to do in the game industry, for example go to LinkedIn and search for “scad game designer” and you’ll see a list of people who attended SCAD and you can see what jobs they have now.

  23. John Paul says:

    I was wondering a few things… 1. Do you get paid more for being at a company, say 10 years versus 2 or 3? And 2. If you work for a bigger company are you more likely to make more? 3. How many years of schooling do you have to go to for most companies to hire you?

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi John, thanks for the questions. You normally get paid more based on your years of experience, not on your years at a certain company – so if you’ve been a game designer for 10 years, you’ll make about the same as other game designers with 10 years experience even if you’ve changed companies a few times. Bigger companies do tend to pay more, but that’s not a guarantee, it just depends on the company and how much success (and therefore $$) their games have made in the market. Most companies want you to have a Bachelor’s Degree (4-year degree) but that’s not a hard rule, it just depends on the company – you can look at job postings for Game Designer jobs at different companies to get a sense of what they’re looking for.

  24. kaleb says:

    hey i was wondering how much do game designers make a week?

  25. Spiderangle123 says:

    I got to say one thing…. So helpful. Thanks for the amazing organization!!! πŸ˜€
    (Was so helpful for my research!!!)
    -Spiderangle123

  26. I would like to become a Game Designer I’m in high school and I was wanting to know how long you have to be in college for this career because I want to be a Lead Game Designer so I was wondering if you could give me information on this career and the path to take. Thank you, Sincerely, Robert

  27. bryce brooks says:

    so im wondering if i get this job if the pay is 30000 every 3 years it moves up that much what will the deal be if i have other manage ments in the same organization if i had other jobs what would other payments be and how much do they take out do to taxes because i would really like this career

  28. will says:

    I think that I should focus on school, get a diploma and head strait for game designing, since nearly half my family grew up in this dream job it is something I love and favor! thxs for the help, sincerely William

  29. Andrew Coleman says:

    Hello, I’m in 8th grade and I was wondering if USC was a good school to go to for video game design. I have heard good things about it.

  30. rocky says:

    thanks for the info sir. i need your suggestion… currently i am working as a dba bt not very interested into that field . i always wanted to make my carrer in gaming field. now i am 28 yr of age. can i start my gaming carrer now? i am planning to take game design course at dublin inst of technology. will it worth?? TIA.

  31. Raymond says:

    Hey Jason, was wondering if there was a way i can get in contact with you to ask some questions, I’m currently in college studying business but I’m thinking of switching into game design. Thanks!

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Raymond, I don’t usually have time to talk in person. But if you have 2-3 specific questions, you can email me using the “Contact” link at the bottom of any page and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

  32. Pablo says:

    What are the education and training required for this position. Are there any licenses or certifications required?

  33. Anthony Mitchell says:

    Hello, I’m 26 and have been dreaming of a career in gaming ever since I played Kingdom Hearts back in 2006. I have always loved gaming and learning about the “behind the scenes” of gaming. I’m afraid that I wont be able to succeed or get hired by a gaming company, I’m just not sure where I should start or what I should do. Coding worries me the most.

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Anthony, it is possible to change careers into gaming (many careers don’t require any coding), but you need to start working in that direction as soon as possible. Some articles that might help: It’s never too late to get a job in games, and 10 proven ways to break into the game industry.

      • Anthony Mitchell says:

        Thank you for the info, another concern I have is, what if being a game designer makes me hate gaming. A friend of mine said that he has talked to developers and they have told him that its like eating your favorite food 20 times a day, is that true?

      • Jason W. Bay says:

        In my 15 years of working in the game industry, I’ve only known 1 person who truly said they stopped liking a certain genre of game after making several of them in a row. (Note that it wasn’t all games, just one specific genre.) You shouldn’t be concerned; making games is quite different from playing games, so you’re not likely to stop enjoying games. If anything, you may develop an even deeper interest and respect.

  34. CJ says:

    This was a really helpful article! I’m in 10th grade, 16 years old, and am looking to go into the game industry. My dream job is to work at Bethesda Game Studios as a designer, and I’d like to get a head start. This article made me realize that this job isn’t impossible (and I can live off of it) so thank you!

  35. Zach says:

    Hey Jason, I am 14 and seriously considering getting a job in the gaming industry. I am already working on a RPG and going to a game design camp this summer. I need to know the educational requirements of a game designer if I am to get any further. Do you have any recommendations for specific colleges or needed degrees. thanks so much

  36. Pradipta says:

    Who are Game Directors? Are they also Game Designer?

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      The job “game director” is a little different depending on the company, and some studios don’t even have a game director. Whenever you see the word “director” in a job title, it usually means that person is in charge of several managers that in turn run several different groups. So a Game Designer is usually working on a single team, where a Game Director might be overseeing/assisting the game design for several game teams.

  37. Manan says:

    Hey Jason,
    I’m from India and i know very well that there is so minimal scope of game design. But i want what i want and I’m planning to move California. I’m still 16 and i have designed a basic c++ game with the help of a friend(i am not really good at programming). So, my questions are:

    How can a Lead Designer describe his everyday schedule?

    Is the pay satisfying?

    What company do you suggest working in my initial years and after i have 3-5 years experience?

    Describe Male:Female ratio at work?

    Waiting for your response..

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Manan, you’ll have to be a designer for several years before you can be a lead designer, so start with that. The pay is generally good (it depends on your needs) as you can see from the charts in the article. The game industry in general has a lot more makes than female, but that’s balancing out over time. As far as companies to work at, I’d say, work at any company where you can learn, and you like the city and the studio culture – here’s an article that might help you as you think about how to relocate.

  38. Asad says:

    I am fresh graduate. I want to start my career as Game Designer. I did my internship in 3d unity level designing one of the Pakistani software house. How can I get a job in this field ?

  39. Deepak says:

    hello sir,
    i am Deepak from india i have a query regarding my future.Sir i am pursing b.tech in computer science engineering from india and i don’t have good hand in programming so i want a different way to make my future bright.one of my cousin brother suggest me to go for graphic design but i am in trouble that this profile is technical or not ??
    and i have a great interest in designing part also. and i can work for app design ,web design, and game design also please suggest me what should i do??
    thanking-you
    Deepak walia
    India

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Hi Deepak, I think you’ll have the most success if you can find an area that is a blend of your interests, your talents, and your skills. But if you aren’t sure about your interests or talents yet, then a programming degree is a good starting point because you’ll be able to try for a programming career, or many other technical careers within game/software development. (Graphic Design is not considered a technical job.)

  40. Vicious Llama says:

    Hello there.

    Nice article!

    I have been working for 6 years as Game Designer under strict NDA in South America (hence I have not much of a portfolio to show). I want to move to Canada or US to continue my game-design career. Is that possible, even though I can’t really speak of the games I’ve made?
    I mean, we can “mention” (as in, give some clues about who they are) the companies we’ve worked for (major companies in the States and Europe) but can’t say anything about the games (with a couple of self-published exceptions).
    We do mainly casual, mobile, flash, html-5 games.
    What do you think? Is there a demand in North America for designers like me?

    Thanks!

    • Jason W. Bay says:

      Yes, I think there’s a demand for designers like you, there are many casual/mobile game studios in the US and Canada. You don’t need to put the specific names of the games if that’s not allowed, but you could generalize, for example say something like “A match 3 game with deep social connectivity features” instead of “Candy Crush.” Be sure to also list what specifically you did on the game (e.g. “I designed and balanced the XYZ system”).

  41. Shereef says:

    how high in demand is the career video game designing

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