menu iconmenu

Games Designer

Games developers design and 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 to allow the player to experience the full range of activity in the game. The environmental designer creates the different scenarios and environments of the game.

If you are interested in a career in games design, visit Qualifax (www.qualifax.ie) to search for relevant courses at all levels and entry points.

Some alternative job titles for this role

  • Video Game Environment Designer
  • Video Game Systems Designer
  • Video Game Mechanics Designer

What the job involves

  • Create 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
  • Establish new 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 it matters?

The head of Nintendo, Shigeru Miyamoto, also invented the first fitness video game of note known as the Wii Fit. This method of gaming is now being used for physiotherapy rehabilitation and has been adopted by various health clubs around the world including the US Navy.

Research in this area is taking place in Ireland’s national centre for Data Paralytics, Insight, spearheaded by Prof Brian Caulfield. His team is using large stores of data associated with movement collected by wearable sensors. They can extract the movements for a given injury and then integrate these movements into a computer game.

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.

Alternative routes to a bachelor’s degree in this area may apply to students that have a PLC qualification in a related course or general computing certification or diploma. For further details on eligibility requirements for third level entry following a PLC qualification, students should visit the CAO course search at Careersportal.ie.

Further information