Video Game Designers

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About the Job

Design core features of video games. Specify innovative game and role-play mechanics, story lines, and character biographies. Create and maintain design documentation. Guide and collaborate with production staff to produce games as designed.

It is also Called

  • World Designer
  • Videogame Designer
  • Video Game Programmer
  • Video Game Maker
  • Video Game Engineer
  • Video Game Developer
  • Video Game Designer
  • Video Game Creator
  • Senior Gamemaster
  • Senior Game Designer/Senior Environmental Artist
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What They Do

  • Create gameplay test plans for internal and external test groups.
  • Provide test specifications to quality assurance staff.
  • Prepare and revise initial game sketches using two- and three-dimensional graphical design software.
  • Review or evaluate competitive products, film, music, television, and other art forms to generate new game design ideas.
  • Determine supplementary virtual features, such as currency, item catalog, menu design, and audio direction.
  • Collaborate with artists to achieve appropriate visual style.
  • Write or supervise the writing of game text and dialogue.
  • Create gameplay prototypes for presentation to creative and technical staff and management.
  • Keep abreast of game design technology and techniques, industry trends, or audience interests, reactions, and needs by reviewing current literature, talking with colleagues, participating in educational programs, attending meetings or workshops, or participating in professional organizations or conferences.
  • Oversee gameplay testing to ensure intended gaming experience and game adherence to original vision.


People who work in this occupation generally have the interest code: AE.

This means people who work in this occupation generally have Artistic interests, but also prefer Enterprising environments.

Work Values

People who work in this occupation generally prize Achievement, but also value Independence and Working Conditions in their jobs.

Things They Need to Know

  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Communications and Media - Knowledge of media production, communication, and dissemination techniques and methods. This includes alternative ways to inform and entertain via written, oral, and visual media.
  • Psychology - Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.

Things They Need to Be Able to Do

  • Programming - Writing computer programs for various purposes.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.

Education Required

Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.


In 2016, the average annual wage in Pennsylvania was $87,850 with most people making between $51,730 and $127,160


avg. annual growth

During 2014, this occupation employed approximately 7,480 people in Pennsylvania. It is projected that there will be 7,730 employed in 2024.

This occupation will have about 25 openings due to growth and about 95 replacement openings for approximately 120 total annual openings.

Industries that Employ this Occupation

Industry breakdown is not available for this occupation

Pennsylvania Department of Education