Kalev Tait, designer at Supermassive Games, explains why games wouldn’t be fun without designers to fill them with stimulating concepts.
What is your job role?
My role is a mix between inventing ways to improve the player experience, coordinating between other disciplines by representing the vision of the game to them, and integrating handling the end of the asset pipeline where everything comes together within the level.
How would someone become a designer?
Develop a gameplay aesthetic by playing lots of games, of all different types, both good and bad, and learn what makes a game experience good or bad and why. Then find a way to make a game, either on your own or with others, and test your aesthetic values by applying them to your own creation.
What qualifications and/or experience do you need?
You need to be able to demonstrate an understanding of how to make an experience fun by having one or more demo projects. This can be done on your own or as part of a game course, or even by getting a role outside of design within the games industry, and then demonstrating a consistent aptitude.
What do you look for when recruiting a new designer?
- What games have they made on their own, and how did they solve problems surrounding creating a fun player experience
- Experience with game creation tools
- Communication skills
- Programming or art skills.
What opportunities are there for career progression?
Experienced designers become senior designers. A few senior designers become lead designers. A few lead designers become project directors. And few project directors become studio creative directors.
Why choose to follow a career in your field?
Games are ultimately about the way the player interacts with the game’s systems. Designers are the champions of this experience, so anyone who cares about games needs to think like a designer.
This feature is part of New Year, New Job 2014, Develop’s month-long guide to games recruitment. You can read more at www.develop-online.net/jobs2014.