Roles in Game Development The game designer

Roles in Game Development: The game designer

In the video game industry, there are many roles that are necessary for the development of a game. One of the most important, and often overlooked, roles in game development is the game designer. The game designer is responsible for creating the concepts and ideas for the game and the game’s core gameplay mechanics. They work with the team to come up with a plan and make sure that the game meets the expectations of the players.

The game designer is responsible for the vision and overall design of the game. They work with other team members The game designer must have a good understanding of video game mechanics and programming in order to create a game that is both playable, visually appealing as well as fun and challenging.

The game designer’s job is to create and develop the world of the game, and they work closely with the programmers and artists to bring their ideas to life. He doesn´t have to be the one that have the concept idea behind the game, but rather the person that coordinates the development of the initial idea into a full blown game.

The game designer also work with other members of the team designing other important aspects of the game like:

  • the gameplay and levels for the game.
  • Creating the rules of the game, as well as its architecture.
  • Working with the programming teams to manage the overall specs and technical requirements of the game code and files, Memory and hardware requirements.
  • Ensure that the game’s artistic vision is carried out.
  • Collaborating with writers or writing the story, plots, characters, visual designs, and layouts and adapting it to the game through narrative design.
  • Validating and iterating on the game fun factor through playtesting both internal and external.
  • Work with testing and playtesting teams to address design problems and solve them
  • Work with the producer to make sure the game is on track schedule-wise and budget-wise.
  • marketing to create a game that will sell well to the correct audience of gamers.

In this article we’ll take a closer look at how to become a videogame designer and the tasks that he is entitled to perform during the game creation process.

Roles In game development: The game designer – Table of contents

What is a game designer?

A game designer is a professional within the video game industry who creates the concepts and gameplay of a video game. They are responsible for developing the ideas that make up a video game, and work with other members of a development team to create a playable product. The game designer’s responsibilities may also include creating level or environment designs, writing dialogue, and working on the game’s story.

Video game design is a relatively new field, having only emerged in the late 1970s when personal computers became widely available. Prior to this time, most video games were designed by programmers who also handled all other aspects of game development. As the industry grew, it became increasingly difficult for one person to handle all aspects of game design, so the role of the game designer began to emerge.

The game designer importance

The game designer is one of the most important roles in game development. This person is responsible for coming up with the ideas, the rules and the structure of the the game and creating the design document that will be used by the rest of the team to make the game.

They need to have a good understanding of what makes games fun and be able to come up with new ideas. They work with artists and programmers to create a functional and entertaining product and to make sure that the game can be made according to their vision.

There are many different roles in the game design process, and one of the most important being the game designer, only one of them. 

Creating video games is a collaborative process, and it takes many different people with many different skills to fully design a video game. In small casual games it is possible for a unique role to manage the overall process, but in most of situations will not happen, and different roles in the game design space will have to present as to guarantee the quality of the game design.

It’s a challenging, but highly rewarding role, and if you’re interested in becoming a game designer, this article will teach you everything you need to know.

A game designer is usually the person who first comes up with the idea of the game, which is passed on to the programmers, who then create the game mechanics.

The game design process

When designing a videogame, the process is typically started by creating a game design document, or GDD. This document outlines all the aspects of the game and is used as a guide for the developers. The game designer will start by creating a concept, which is then fleshed out into a more detailed design. This includes determining the gameplay, story, and setting of the game. Next, the designer will work on creating a prototype to test the gameplay. Once it is finalized, they will work on polishing and balancing the game before release.

1. Conceptualization

When creating a video game, the conceptualization process is of utmost importance. This is where the designer maps out the basics of the game, from its core mechanics to its overall feel. The conceptualization phase can last for weeks, months, or even years, and it’s during this time that the designer must ask themselves some essential questions. What kind of game do I want to make? What’s my target audience? How will players interact with the game?

Once these questions are answered, the designer can start fleshing out the details of the game. They’ll create mockups of how the game will look and play, and begin testing out different mechanics to see what works and what doesn’t. This process is known as game development, and it’s essential for ensuring that the final product is as good as it can be.

2. Prototyping

Prototyping is an important part of the game development process. A prototype is a rough version of the game that allows the game designer to test out new ideas and gameplay mechanics. Prototyping helps to ensure that the final game is fun and playable.

The game industry is constantly changing and evolving. To keep up with the competition, game designers need to be able to prototype new games quickly and efficiently. In order to do this, they need to have a strong understanding of game design principles and mechanics.

3. Level Design

A game level designer is a person who creates the layout and design of the levels in a videogame. This involves creating both the aesthetic appearance of the level and the gameplay mechanics within it. The level designer works closely with the game’s artist, programmers, and producers to create a level that is both fun to play and visually appealing.

The process of creating a videogame level generally starts with brainstorming ideas for potential levels. Once an idea has been selected, the level designer will start creating a mock-up of the level using basic geometry. This mock-up will be used to get feedback from other members of the development team, and to help determine things like enemy placement and puzzle solutions.

Once the mock-up is finalized, it is turned into a game design document (GDD).

4. Iteration

Iteration is one of the most important aspects of game development. By iterating, or repeatedly testing and refining a game’s design, developers can ensure that players have a fun and engaging experience. The game industry has embraced iteration as a key part of the development process, and many games are released in an unfinished state so that they can be improved through player feedback.

Designers must constantly balance the need for iteration with the need to release a finished product. Too much iteration can lead to delays and missed deadlines, while not enough can result in a game that feels unpolished or unfinished. Balancing these competing needs is one of the biggest challenges faced by game designers.

The increasing complexity of modern video games makes iteration even more important. With so many moving parts, it’s difficult to get everything perfect on the first try.

5. Playtesting

One of the most important, and often overlooked, aspects of game development is playtesting. Playtesting is the process of testing a game with actual players to find and fix issues. This is done early and often to ensure that the game is as fun and bug-free as possible by the time it’s released.

A game designer’s work is never done, and playtesting is a vital part of ensuring that a game is ready for release. Many bugs can be found and fixed with careful playtesting, saving time and money in the long run. It’s also a great way to get feedback from players on what they like or don’t like about a game.

Playtesting can be done in many different ways, but the most common method is through focus groups or beta testing.

6. Balancing

One of the most important – yet often undervalued – aspects of game development is game balancing. This involves adjusting the game’s elements in order to create a well-rounded and enjoyable experience for players. A good game designer must be able to not only design a fun game, but also make sure that it is balanced. Balancing a videogame can be a difficult task, as it requires tweaking many different variables in order to achieve the desired result. There are many factors that need to be considered, such as the strength and speed of enemies, the amount of health or damage players can deal out, and how easy or difficult it is to complete each level or objective.

Balancing a game can be a time-consuming process, but it is essential if you want your players to have a good experience.

7. Polishing

No game is ever really finished. Even after a game has been released to the public, it can always be improved with some refinement and polishing. This is especially true for videogames, which are often complex and require a lot of work to get just right.

This is where game designers come in. They’re the ones who take a game that’s already been developed and make it shine. They add new features, tweak the existing ones, and generally try to make the game as enjoyable as possible.

This process is known as game polish, and it’s an important part of any game development cycle. It can make the difference between a good game and a great one.

That’s why most games undergo a period of polish after they’ve been completed but before they’re released to the public.

8. Finishing

Finishing a game is a very important milestone for any game developer. It’s the moment when all of the hard work that has gone into the game finally comes together and players can see and experience the end result.

There are a lot of different aspects that go into finishing a game, from polishing up the graphics and gameplay to finalizing the game’s narrative. A game designer is responsible for making sure that all of these elements come together in a cohesive way.

The game development process is a long one, and it’s important to not lose sight of the end goal. A GDD (game design doc) can be a great tool to help keep everyone on track and make sure that no important details are missed.

Finishing a game is an exciting time, but it’s also important to stay focused and make sure that everything is done properly.

Game Design Documentation

A game designer is responsible for the overall design of a videogame, from the mechanics to the story. In order to create a well-rounded and cohesive game, they need to document their ideas. This is done through a game design doc (GDD), which is a comprehensive overview of the game.

The GDD outlines all aspects of the game, from the story and setting to the controls and mechanics. It also includes concept art, screenshots, and any other relevant information. This allows everyone on the development team to have a clear understanding of the game’s vision.

The GDD is updated as the game progresses, so it can reflect any changes or new ideas. It’s an essential tool for any game designer, and it’s what allows them to bring their vision to life.

Why is a game design important in game development?

The game design plays an important role in the game creation process. The game designer works closely with the programming team to make sure the game’s mechanics work effectively, and he also works with the artist to ensure that the game looks great.

Before the programmers are able to work on the game, the designers must first create a plot and characters, and they must work closely with the artists to create a look and feel for the game.

Roles in Game Design 

A game designer is the creative visionary behind a videogame. They develop the concepts and ideas that make up the game, and work with other members of the development team to bring them to life. The game designer is responsible for creating a “game design document” (GDD), which outlines all the major gameplay elements and mechanics of the game.

The role of a game designer is not always glamorous, but it is one of the most important positions in game development. Videogames are a complex medium, and it takes many different people working together to create a successful title. The game designer is at the heart of this process, and their vision is essential to making a great game.

Below are some of the roles that can be part of the game design process in a game production:

Game Designer

Game designers work with the art team to create environments for a game, like houses, dungeons, or cityscapes. Game designers can also design the gameplay. In a platform game, for example, you’d be designing the jumps and obstacles players will face, perhaps designing a new type of vehicle. You’d also be working closely with the art team to create assets, like characters, enemies, or other in-game objects.,Game designers can also be tasked with developing the gameplay of a level. In a genre like platformers, you’ll be designing a large part of the challenges that players of the game will face.

Associate Game Designer

Junior / Associate Game Designers are mostly programmers. They write the code.,This is a pretty tough role for a beginner. There’s no doubt in this, but the game designer’s job is to check if the code is clear enough.,They need to check if the mechanics are working, if the code is easy to read.

Level Designer 

This person is not just responsible for designing levels. They’re also in control of the design and the flow of the game. They also work on the balance between gameplay and story.

This is an all encompassing role for the level designer. They create levels and worlds for the game. Their job is to make sure that the gameplay fits the game mechanics and that the game has a good overall look and feel.,This is a pretty broad role that encompasses everything of level design and gameplay. So, this is a role that you have to play and learn yourself.,,They are the people responsible for the look, feel, and design of the levels. Not to mention, they create the assets for the levels.

The role of a level designer is to put together a level for your game. While it’s up to you to come up with the overall layout, and you’ll need to be flexible in your knowledge and skills, it’s important to have the technical skills to be able to implement your ideas.

Roles in Game Development Game designer - workswimming pool with green palm trees
Roles in Game Development: Level designer Photo by Mo on

Levels require a good understanding of a multitude of disciplines, from modeling to texturing to lighting and rendering.

As you might imagine, you’ll need to have a lot of knowledge of industry standard technologies, including 3D modeling, texturing and lighting. You’ll need to be able to work within the poly and texture budgets for your game.

You’ll need to be able to create scenes that are visually pleasing and able to convey your gameplay. Since you’ll be creating a lot of 3D models, you’ll need to be able to sculpt and retopologize them into a beautiful, game-ready scene.

Level designers work with the art team to create environments in a game. You’d be designing houses, dungeons, or cityscapes. You’d also be designing the gameplay. In a platform game, for example, you’d be designing the jumps and obstacles players will face, perhaps designing a new type of vehicle.

Roles in Game Development Game designer at work
Roles in Game Development Game designer at work

Just as a narrative designer will be in charge of the narrative experience for a game, a game designer can work with a narrative designer to create that experience.

This means that you’ll be working with the narrative designer to create a compelling experience for players through the game’s story. This could mean creating a compelling main menu experience, or a rewarding cut-scene experience, or even working with the narrative designer to create a compelling boss battle.

Since you’ll be creating the narrative experience for players, you’ll need to understand how players respond to narrative and how to create a compelling experience for them. This means you’ll need to have a thorough knowledge of story structure and character psychology.

Since games are interactive, you’ll need to understand how players can affect their experience with a particular mechanic and how to implement them.

Gameplay Designer 

This is the role in charge of designing the gameplay of the game. He makes sure that the game is set in the right direction and that it’s fun to play.,A gameplay designer is the one who creates the rules of the game. He’s in charge of creating the core mechanics, and making sure that the gameplay of the game is balanced.,Gameplay designer’s job is to create the rules of the game and to make sure that the gameplay is balanced.,This is the most important role in the game design team. If the gameplay is unbalanced, players won’t enjoy playing the game.

Technical Game Designer 

They create the tech tree, the stats, the AI, the game mechanics.,They also create the game’s art assets.,They design the UI, the HUD, the menus, the way the player interacts with the game.,In the bigger studios, they create the art for the game, but usually only a small amount of their time is spent on it.

Gameplay testers / qa / designer role in game development

They’re the ones testing the game. They play the game and try to find all the bugs. It’s their job to make sure that the game is ready and stable.,They are constantly testing the game to detect bugs.,Check for the game’s stability, make sure that the game doesn’t crash (or that it doesn’t crash often).

Videogames Writer 

Roles in Game Development - photograph of a vintage typewriter on table
Roles in Game Development – Game designer Story writer – Photo by Dzenina Lukac on

The writer is the person who will be able to express that vision. He will take the design and make it an interactive story for players.,He’ll write the narrative part of the game. He will guide the whole story, writing the dialogue and giving direction. He will also be in charge of the script-writing part of the game.

Many of the best game writers are independent contractors or freelancers who work on games full time.,You can make a good living as a freelance video game writer.,Many game writers do it for the love of the game, and they often work in the industry for most of their lives. Many freelancers work for a company as a first job in the industry, then move on to self-employment.

Narrative Designer 

This is the guy who takes care of the story, the main characters, the lore. The guy who’s going to give the game its personality.,They have a good eye for the story. They know what they want and it shows on the gameplay. They design all the characters and the lore. They also design the main characters and the game world.,They are usually hired as freelancers, or as leads in the development of a game.

Game Director / Creative Director 

The one who’s responsible for the vision, the big picture (that’s what they call it), and the direction of the game. In the bigger studios, the creative director is the person who holds that role.

The Creative Director is your guide in the studio. He’s the one who has high expectations and wants to see the game succeed; and he’s the one who makes sure the game is completed on time and the quality is good. He’s the one who makes sure the team is cohesive and working well together.

The creative director is in charge of the creative and technical aspects of the game. He’s the person who is responsible for creating the game’s art style. He also helps out with the overall look and feel of the game.

Music designer

The music is a huge part of the game. It’s the soundtrack of your game. While hiring freelance music composers is a common practice, having someone skilled in piloting the adaptation of music to the pace and requirements of the game is crucial.

That’s why it is so important that it fits with the style and theme of the game.

We’re talking about the music that the player will hear.

black and silver mixing board
Roles in Game Development – Music design – Photo by Stephen Niemeier on

System Designer 

The System Designer is the person that builds the game world from scratch. You could say it’s like the Game Director for the level design. Only the world is the game. You can’t even play the game without it.,Game Designers usually focus on gameplay. The System Designer makes sure all the different parts of the game fit together (the gameplay, the game world, the story, etc.), and that all of them are coherent.,They make sure that the game world is fun enough to play.,The System Designer creates everything that can be seen in the game. This includes the game levels, characters, gameplay mechanics, and the game world. The System Designer defines how the game world works.

photo of green circuit board
Roles in Game Development – Systems design – Photo by Johannes Plenio on

Monetization Designer 

The Monetization Manager is responsible for developing and executing monetization strategies to optimize revenue generation for the game studio.

They work closely with various teams, including game designers, marketers, and analysts, to ensure that the game’s monetization aligns with the overall business objectives.

Multiplayer designer

The Multiplayer Designer creates all tools that are needed for multiplayer games. Additionally, he has the opportunity to contribute to the customization of the game’s flow by navigating through various menus and collaborating with the level designer to craft engaging levels that enhance the multiplayer experience.

Character designer

If you want to know what a Character Designer is, here is a little explanation. The character designer will collaborate with the writer to create game characters. They will also work with the concept artist to ensure that the character designs are consistent with the game’s world, design, mechanics, and target audience.

Art director

The Art Director is not usually directly involved in game design, but they play a crucial role in ensuring that the visual elements created by the design team are cohesive and align with the artistic vision of the game.

,Art Directors create the look and feel of this game. They manage the creative and design and design of all the assets of the game. They will afterwards also manage the creation process that will add to the game the actual in-game characters and environments.

UX / UI Designer 

The UX designer does the UI.,They are the ones that use the game mechanics to create a more friendly user interface. They design the UI that looks good, works well.,The UI designer is responsible for the UI of the game. They make sure that the game is easily understandable and navigable, and that players don’t get lost.

What to study to become game designer

There are many different paths one can take to becoming a game designer. One of the most important things you can do, though, is to study the art and science of game design. This involves learning about the various elements that make up a videogame, from the story and characters to the gameplay mechanics and level design. You also need to be familiar with the software used to create games, such as Unity or Unreal Engine 4.

A good way to learn about game design is by reading game design documents (GDDs). These documents outline all aspects of a game, from its mechanics and story to its levels and controls. By reading these documents, you can get a better understanding of how games are made and learn from the mistakes and successes of other designers.

Roles in Game Development: Game Designer
Roles in Game Development: Game Designer – Sutdying Photo by Pixabay on

Find Game Design Jobs

As the videogame industry has continued to grow, the demand for skilled game designers has exploded. But how do you go about finding a job in game design?

The first step is to get yourself familiar with the terminology and process of game development. Start by reading up on game design theory, then move on to studying various engines and tools. Once you have a basic understanding of how games are made, look for any opportunities to put your skills into practice. Create small prototypes or mods, or take online courses in game development.

The best way to find work in the game industry is through personal connections. Get involved with local gaming communities and meetup groups, attend conventions and festivals, and network with other professionals in the field. It’s also important to build up a strong portfolio showcasing your skills and experience.

If you are looking for game design jobs, then you came to the right place. We list the top game design jobs and game design careers.

External Youtube References

The Four Types of Video Game Designers – Game Design Specializations

What is a game designer video?

Board game design

What does a Game Designer REALLY do?

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