When a game is being created, the first question encountered by the creators is ‘what the game is about’. And the second one is ‘how the game is to be realized’?
Game designers are concerned with the former while game artists and game developers are concerned with the latter. Remember that anyone who works on a game is a ‘developer’ in the general sense. And yes! That does mean that all game designers are game developers whether they are into programming, art, design or production – but not all developers are designers.
As a rule of thumb, Developing = Designing + Programing + Art
And every aspect mentioned in this equation gives you a multitude of career opportunities.
Let’s get into the details.
Player experiences such as controls, rules, goals and challenges as well as the game content like levels, story, and dialogues falls under game design. Game designers convert an idea into a concept. They determine the character arcs and player progression. They also add features crucial to making the game unique. While most of these careers and roles require creativity, they can get technical too, as it may involve user-interface design, use of animation controllers, application of audio, and more.
Once the design and concepts are finalized, the process moves to game art. In this phase, the artists and animators make the artwork and animation respectively, using tools like 3d Max, Maya, Photoshop, etc. They create game models including characters, props and environments. They are involved in one or more roles such as 3d modelling, sculpting, lighting, texturing, rigging, and animation.
With the help of game design concepts and assets, a game developer codes the final product or the game to run on a computer, mobile phones, or gaming consoles. Game development also involves debugging and optimization of code.
Let’s take the example of Tetris.
• A game designer will design the levels, scoring pattern, and the blocks of the game
• A game artist will be responsible for the overall assets or the game contents
• A game developer will write the code for it
Imagine a complex game like World of Warcraft or League of Legends. It takes research, simulation, and math to even formulate the design of those games.
In the development of smaller games, the lines of distinction between game designers, game artists, and game developers blur. On the other hand, in bigger gaming studios, their roles are more defined and a person will specialize in one of the areas such as game designing, game art or game development.
While there are plenty of career opportunities in gaming, it takes specialized skills and training to meet the requirements. You must enroll in a career course in gaming at an institute with proven track record and get the right skills to embrace such new-age careers.