Video Game Designers
SOC: 15-1199.11


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.

National Salary Information:

Hourly Statistics:

Annual Statistics:

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 wage data.

Employment Projections:

Employment (2014):
233,000 employed

Projected (2024):
240,800 employed

Projected growth (2014-2024)

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 2014-2024 employment projections external site. "Projected growth" represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2014-2024). "Projected job openings" represent openings due to growth and replacement.

Alternate Titles:

  • Computer Game Designer
  • Computer Video Game Designer
  • Design Director
  • Designer/Writer
  • Game Designer
  • Game Designer/Creative Director
  • Game Engineer
  • Gameplay Engineer
  • Interactive Multimedia Designer
  • Lead Designer
  • Lead Game Designer
  • Lead Level Designer
  • Mid Level Game Designer
  • Mobile Game Engineer
  • Senior Game Designer
  • Senior Game Designer/Senior Environmental Artist
  • Senior Gamemaster
  • Video Game Creator
  • Video Game Designer
  • Video Game Developer
  • Video Game Engineer
  • Video Game Maker
  • Video Game Programmer
  • Videogame Designer
  • World Designer

  • Job Zone Four: Considerable Preparation Needed


    A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.


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

    Job Training:

    Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.

    Required Skills:

  • Reading Comprehension
  • Active Listening
  • Writing
  • Speaking
  • Mathematics
  • Critical Thinking
  • Active Learning
  • Learning Strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Social Perceptiveness
  • Coordination
  • Persuasion
  • Negotiation
  • Instructing
  • Service Orientation
  • Complex Problem Solving
  • Operations Analysis
  • Technology Design
  • Programming
  • Operation Monitoring
  • Quality Control Analysis
  • Judgment and Decision Making
  • Systems Analysis
  • Systems Evaluation
  • Time Management
  • Management of Financial Resources
  • Management of Material Resources
  • Management of Personnel Resources

  • Knowledge Used:

  • Administration and Management
  • Clerical
  • Economics and Accounting
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Customer and Personal Service
  • Personnel and Human Resources
  • Production and Processing
  • Computers and Electronics
  • Engineering and Technology
  • Design
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Psychology
  • Sociology and Anthropology
  • Geography
  • Education and Training
  • English Language
  • Fine Arts
  • History and Archeology
  • Philosophy and Theology
  • Law and Government
  • Telecommunications
  • Communications and Media

  • Tasks:

  • Review or evaluate competitive products, film, music, television, and other art forms to generate new game design ideas.
  • Provide test specifications to quality assurance staff.
  • 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.
  • Create gameplay test plans for internal and external test groups.
  • Provide feedback to designers and other colleagues regarding game design features.
  • Balance and adjust gameplay experiences to ensure the critical and commercial success of the product.
  • Write or supervise the writing of game text and dialogue.
  • Solicit, obtain, and integrate feedback from design and technical staff into original game design.
  • Provide feedback to production staff regarding technical game qualities or adherence to original design.
  • Prepare two-dimensional concept layouts or three-dimensional mock-ups.
  • Present new game design concepts to management and technical colleagues, including artists, animators, and programmers.
  • Prepare and revise initial game sketches using two- and three-dimensional graphical design software.
  • Oversee gameplay testing to ensure intended gaming experience and game adherence to original vision.
  • Guide design discussions between development teams.
  • Devise missions, challenges, or puzzles to be encountered in game play.
  • Develop and maintain design level documentation, including mechanics, guidelines, and mission outlines.
  • Determine supplementary virtual features, such as currency, item catalog, menu design, and audio direction.
  • Create gameplay prototypes for presentation to creative and technical staff and management.
  • Create and manage documentation, production schedules, prototyping goals, and communication plans in collaboration with production staff.
  • Consult with multiple stakeholders to define requirements and implement online features.
  • Conduct regular design reviews throughout the game development process.
  • Collaborate with artists to achieve appropriate visual style.
  • Document all aspects of formal game design, using mock-up screenshots, sample menu layouts, gameplay flowcharts, and other graphical devices.
  • Create core game features including storylines, role-play mechanics, and character biographies for a new video game or game franchise.

  • Tools & Technology:

  • Audioconferencing systems
  • Computer data input scanners
  • Desktop computers
  • Laptop computers
  • Personal computers
  • Smart phones
  • Tablet computers
  • Video gaming equipment
  • 3D graphic design software
  • ActionScript
  • Adobe Systems Adobe After Effects
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Creative Suite software
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Flash
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Illustrator
  • Adobe Systems Adobe Photoshop software
  • Atlassian JIRA
  • Autodesk 3ds Max
  • Autodesk Maya
  • Autodesk Scaleform
  • Balsamiq Studios Balsamiq Mockups
  • C
  • C for Graphics cg
  • C++
  • Extensible markup language XML
  • Graphical user interfaces GUI
  • JavaScript
  • Linux
  • Lua
  • Microsoft DirectX
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Microsoft Expression Blend
  • Microsoft High Level Shader Language HLSL
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Microsoft Outlook
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Project
  • Microsoft Visio
  • Microsoft Visual C#
  • Microsoft Word
  • MySQL software
  • Objective C
  • OpenGL
  • Oracle Java
  • Oracle software
  • Perforce software
  • PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor
  • Practical extraction and reporting language Perl
  • Python
  • Scheme
  • Simple DirectMedia Layer SDL
  • Sound development software
  • Structured query language SQL
  • Unity Technologies Unity
  • Virtual Battlespace 2 VBS2

  • computer and mathematical

    industry stats

    SOC: 15-0000

    Total Employed: 4,005,250

    Average Annual Salary: $86,170