Game Designer 2021: Types of Game Designers

By Rupali Sharma

With a tremendously growing industry and top-notch quality gaming, the range of responsibilities of a game designer has changed. Gone are the days when a single person had to manage the making of an original game.

Now big companies divide the responsibilities and workload among a team of designers. Therefore, the productivity and quality of a game remain the same. There was a time when a game designer oversaw the design, programming, sound and art all in one. Now a designer refers to a whole team, not just a single designation. Likewise, the type of work they do also decides the game designer salary. 

You may read more about a Game Designer in our previous blogs to know closely what a game designer does. Here in this post, we will take a look at the types of game designers and how they work in a team. Feel free to contact us if queries arise!

Table of Contents

Game Play Designer

In simpler terms, a gameplay designer is responsible for the core gameplay experience. They are responsible for designing the core mechanics of the game and work closely with the gameplay engineer. For instance, when can we get the coins or increase the speed of a character in a game. It’s possible that they’ll have to re-write the specification if the gameplay is difficult to achieve technically.

Responsibility and Skills Required

  • It is crucial that they work closely with the lead designer, the gameplay programmer, the AI programmer, and the art department.
  • To plan the production of game elements, they must be good at project management.
  • As well as understand the capabilities and limitations of the games engine.
  • Communication skills are a must as they can explain how the game will be played so that it is understood by all.

UX Designer

Let’s first understand UX Design. The design of user experiences focuses on the interaction between everyday products and services such as websites, or apps, which are used by real humans. Therefore, they have a close understanding of User Interface and Heads-up displays. They work closely with 2D artists, UI engineers and animators.

Responsibility and Skills Required

  • A user experience designer should be able to develop user flows, prototypes, and wireframes.
  • You should be able to effectively collaborate with those around you, including clients, stakeholders, developers and fellow designers.
  • An experienced user tester must be able to coordinate with both UI designers and developers.
  • Must be able to conduct competitor analysis, customer analysis and user search.

Level Designer

A Level Designer works on spicing up levels, by adding creative and challenging obstacles. They work closely with environment artists, game artists and animators. In short, A level designer creates the level-by-level play of a game, and they are probably the most well-known game designers. Within the levels, they usually place creatures, objects, and props. So if you felt hardship in playing a game, do consider it is a Level Designer behind this.

Responsibility and Skills Required

  • As instructed by the Game Designer, the Level Designer must interpret the original concept of the game and create the level structure from storyboards.
  • In addition to writing a document listing assets, objectives, and laying out each level, they must sketch and map out each level.
  • Create a 3D environment for each level and plot and map out the sequence of action within it.
  • Determine where the player will encounter characters and objects within each level and where they will enter and exit each level.

Content Designer

It’s important not to confuse game writers with content designers. Though one person may manage both tasks, they aren’t the same thing. In-game material, such as books in the library or writing on cave walls, may be written as the story, the NPC or PC dialogue, or the in-game missions. Content Designers typically create tales, quests, and questlines for a game, depending on the studio where they work.

Responsibility and Skills Required

  • Ensure that the unannounced projects are designed, tuned, and implemented in collaboration with designers, engineers, artists, and producers.
  • Scripted content is implemented by using proprietary tools.
  • Develop game content in collaboration with system designers that both achieves broader goals as well as an outstanding quality.

Gameplay System Designer

System Designers develop the individual software components that make up a video game. To analyze the scope and design of the game, they are brought in early in the development process. From there, they create the platforms through which the game will run. They build complex systems like the progression or metagame features. They work on spreadsheets and work closely with system engineers.

Responsibility and Skills Required

  • Data entry skills and management of game assets are essential, plus the ability to create prototypes, oversee the testing process and implement changes as needed.
  • Assemble all software and hardware needed by researching and analyzing resources in the market.
  • The ability to iterate, polish, and balanced player progression, experience, and tuning and balancing of game data are essential skills.

Technical Designer

An ideal technical designer must have a knowledge of design and technical knowledge of gaming. Therefore, they are responsible for the actual implementation of a lot of gameplay. They are often regarded as a middleman between a programmer and a designer. As part of a production design team or multidisciplinary team, the designer develops and implements complex technical elements.

Responsibility and Skills Required

  • As game programmers, they must meet strict deadlines while creating game content.
  • In order to create engaging content, they must work with artists, animators, and programmers.
  • A good understanding of object-oriented programming patterns is imperative as well as strong programming skills.

Lead Designer

To be very clear, a lead designer is wholly responsible for how a game looks and plays. Therefore, they have to lead a team of designers and track the vision of a game. Depending on the project, you may determine how to document it, determine the basic systems, and design the overall storyline, or you may delegate those tasks to another designer on the team.

Responsibility and Skills Required

  • Make sure all elements developed by the team meet consumer needs and are enjoyable for players.
  • Ability to work with other game designers and programmers in driving and following up on prototyping.
  • Provide all team members with the goals and strategies for the project to allow visibility of the progress of the game development and other crafts.
  • Plan and prioritize the team’s workload according to the production capacity.

As the gaming industry is expanding, more and more opportunities are available for different designations. You can see our previous(jobs blog) posts on job roles and their responsibilities. Hope this would be a great help to you in knowing the types of designers. However, you can see an overview of a Game Designer blog thoroughly. Till then Gamify Your World!

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