ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Video Game Design Careers

Updated on January 5, 2016

Is a career in video games a good option?

Absolutely. the video game industry is booming and blooming - just think about all the amount of games coming out and that most of those games take years to make. Now think about all the people that work in each game - now go back at thinking about the amount of games coming out each year, yeah that's a lot!

To give you a better idea of the size of the industry, a research made by First Research Inc. shows that every year 45$ billion are spent on video game software. It also shows that the average age of a gamer is 37 showing that gaming isn't only for kids.

With this industry booming and overcoming the piracy problem with rising profits, video game studios are in constant need of good professionals. Hopefully, this hub will point you out in the right direction to becoming a video game designer.

Video Game Industry: Salary Averages

Average Monthly Salary
Average Annual Salary
Quality Assurance Tester
Sound Designer
Video Game Designer
Business Marketer

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data published March 27, 2012;

If you were given the choice...

Would you work for a big game studio, or go solo?

See results

How to become a video game designer

Well, your first step should be getting qualified! You should find a school and study some areas like:

- Drawing, Painting and Sculpting: Not only are these forms a great help when designing (for obvious reasons) but they also help in learning about proportions, about simulating mass with shadows or visual illusions and using color to hide or empathize details.

- Physics and Maths: You may have some issues with this courses, but you are not becoming a video game designer without having to pass trough these... sorry about it!

- Mythology: Game designers have to dominate Mythology - in the gaming industry you will constantly get griffins, chimeras, hydras and other creatures in the way. More often than not, video game professionals seek mythology for inspiration.

- History and Literature: You cannot make historical errors, and the characters must appear natural - not forced! You have to know the difference between the renaissance swords and the medieval swords and other details like this, don't be unprepared.

- Computer Hardware and Software: Duh!

Other areas you will have to study in order to be a good professional are: Screen Writing, Psychology, Acting, Public Speaking, Marketing, Leadership...

Hey! Nobody said it was easy!

Start your career in the video game industry

Now that you are graduated and educated, you have to start your career. Now is the time to search for a video game design opening right? WRONG!

You will have a hard time if you try getting in a high paying position just starting, unless you are the "creme de la creme" of your area. You will probably have to start low. Try to get into a more modest position in a gaming studio, the plan is progressing inside. Don't be afraid to tell about your ambitions on the job interview - most interviewers look positively to the ambition of rising in the ranks of their company.

Now you have to perform well and, if you can, help the designers once or twice. Helping or not, each month you pass on the company makes you a better candidate for the opening, as companies prefer to hire internal people than taking the risk with unknown folk.

How to get a Gaming Sponsor

A great plus into starting a gaming developer career is to have a sponsor that will help pay or just broadcasts your work.

As a sponsored game developer, you can promote a certain entity or grant that entity exclusive rights to your work in exchange for a salary, a budget or even a promotional channel that you wouldn't otherwise have.

Some tips on how to get a gaming sponsor are:

  • Write a sponsorship letter: You have to write an amazing sponsorship letter letting the target company know of your interest and just how you can benefit the company. Why should they invest their resources on you? What do they get in return? What's the amazing way you are going to repay them?
  • Aim, don't just spray and pray: You have to know if it's worth it to send your sponsorship letter to that particular company - do they have the resources or means to sponsor you? Are you able to provide them benefits? Do you even stand a chance?
  • Tailor your gaming sponsorship letter: Don't send the same letter to a lot of companies in the hopes of getting a "bite". Tailor each letter to each company, making them feel you really want to be their sponsored gamed developer and telling why you didn't go to their competitors.
  • Think outside of the box.

A day in a Game Designer's Life

Things that affect video-game designer salaries

Educational Level: This may be a formality for some, but it is a plus in negotiations for a better salary.

Location: Studios in larger cities yield better pay

Employer: Working for a larger company is the best - games nowadays are too complex to go solo!

Job Experience: As in any other career, the longer you are in the business the better is your credibility - the better your credibility and experience the better terms you are going to get in a negotiation.

Steam Game Wall
Steam Game Wall

Steam for Indie Games: Pre-Release and Early Access Games!

You should really consider getting into Steam if you want to be an Indie Game developer as they really support Indie Game developers.

In fact, there are lots of good games on this platform that are made by an Indie Studio or even just one man.

Another great perk of being a developer there is that you can open your game for early-access, so users can choose to buy access to the game to play the unfinished version and help you out figure out the bugs and weak points of the game while you get paid!

Steam Indie Early Access Games
Steam Indie Early Access Games

Follow the Trends: Early Access Survival Games!

If you want to be a Game Designer, you really have to keep your eyes peeled to know how the game industry develops.

For starters, if you haven't been sleeping in a hole you now know that survival games are in big demand, and that close to 90% of them are Indie games, games from one person or just a small studio.

Know that there's plenty of chances for you now that this industry is flourishing, but there's one thing you can't skip - work!


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Rui Carreira profile imageAUTHOR

      Rui Carreira 

      6 years ago from Torres Novas

      I didn't knew about that.. I definitely have to check it out!!

    • flashmakeit profile image


      6 years ago from usa

      I am glad I read this article because it was absolute true. You can also learn a lot about making games for because they provide music you can use, voice actors, artist willing to help you, testers and even programmers.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)