A common misconception among many of today’s aspiring game designers is that all of the jobs available in game design and development involve creating graphics and thinking of new, highly interactive scenarios for end users. While this is certainly a significant part of the game design process, graphics only represent one aspect of a successful, multiplayer or mobile game in today’s highly developed market, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Indeed, some of the most important positions outside of design contribute directly to the game’s narrative and story, its levels, and more. Consider each of the unique positions available in this field before choosing a given career path in the gaming industry.
A good game doesn’t just tell its users what to do. Instead, good games tell their players why they need to take certain actions and what the significance of those actions is in the game’s universe. This is where writers come up. Writers think of a storyline and plot for the game, an ultimate goal, and a narrative that pertains to each of its major characters. They carefully craft dialogue and create a game that matches their users’ expectations from start to finish. Writing is a crucial aspect of the game, and one that largely determines whether it’s a successful, fast-selling release or one that most people simply don’t understand or care to play.
Gaming isn’t just about the graphics when action is taking place. Other designers are responsible solely for creating new levels of play that get increasingly challenging over time. They may also create level “bosses” and “big bads” that must be defeated in order to advance, and they might contribute to a pool of ideas pertaining to special new abilities that are unlocked with advancement through each successive level of play. They add to the writers’ narrative and give the game added depth.
No game is complete without robust graphics that take advantage of impressive console or mobile device hardware. Graphic designers bring the narrative to life through realistic characters that have real-life movements, shading, coloring, and more. Their work can determine whether a game looks like a cutting-edge use of technology or merely the same, tired retread of an older game and older, outdated graphics. This role is just as important as the game’s writing, narrative, and unique levels.
Motion Capture and Animation Engineering
The key to creating realistic characters is not only to give them realistic graphics, coloring, and shading, but also to give them movements that look like they could happen in real life. While this used to be done solely with computers, and characters tended to have highly unrealistic movements, today the process is done by actually capturing the movements of a human stand-in and translating those movements into a character’s own. Animation engineers capture these movements and translate them into character mannerisms and movements, giving the game personality that matches its players’ preferences as they proceed to the ultimate, final battle.
Related Resource: Visual Effects
Exciting Positions in Game Development for All Kinds of Talent
A really great game leverages all kinds of different talents, from a skill in writing and narration to animation and level design, movement capture, and beyond. Those who are considering whether they have what it takes to pursue the jobs available in game design and development like have at least one highly marketable skill in this industry as a result.