Gaming industry is known as one of the billion-dollar industries. It creates jobs for many professionals, including game directors, who are essential to the video game development team.
Understanding a game director’s role and requirements may help determine if you wish to pursue it as a career opportunity. This post will discuss what a game director does as well as explore all aspects of this profession.
Who Is A Game Director?
Game directors are professionals in the gaming industry who ensure a video game will look great and work correctly.
They may supervise and review all aspects of the video game design process, including the graphics, sounds, and programming.
Before moving into this creative leadership role, game directors typically have several years of experience in the gaming industry.
Roles and Responsibilities
Gaming directors often manage multiple design teams to produce video games.
They may work for a video game studio or agency, and their responsibilities may differ depending on the size of their company. Their daily duties may include:
- Ensure a game’s graphics, text, and sounds function correctly.
- Design an overall aesthetic for a game by picking visual and audio themes.
- Collaborate with game designers to produce a storyboard for a new game.
- Present new design ideas to potential investors or clients.
- Create a production schedule for the design and production process.
- Generate narrative aspects for a game, including characters, plots, and dialogue.
- Manage a design team by supervising and dividing all tasks.
- Recruit new artists and team members.
- Design and implement a game’s budget.
- Review the project at each development stage.
- Approve the final game before production.
Where Do Game Directors Work?
Game directors typically work in a game studio and likely do much of their work at a computer or office. These professionals will normally meet with the heads of other departments, which happens in meeting rooms or throughout the studios.
On the other hand, many directors do some of their work from home or remotely. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 57% of all art directors generally are self-employed.
However, self-employed directors also must meet with many other professionals, usually taking place in fast-paced office settings.
The BLS recommends that people interested in pursuing a game director career should have at least a bachelor’s degree in design or art.
But once you have obtained that degree, you should spend a fair amount of time as a graphic designer, video game designer, multimedia designer, or illustrator. It provides skills and experience that can be used in the game director position.
Many game directors pursue a master’s degree, which can help to prepare them for the director role. Plus, other beneficial courses include leadership and management courses.
Interested learners will benefit from doing extensive research on the art programs available at various institutions before picking a school.
To be successful as a video game director, you should have the following skills:
- Design: Graphic design and audio engineering skills will help game directors oversee the production process effectively.
- Programming: These professionals must have coding skills and experience with C++, Java, and Python.
- Marketing: Game directors must pitch new projects to potential investors and clients. To succeed, they must analyze existing markets, make robust sales presentations, and pitch with confidence.
- Leadership: Game directors need potent leadership skills to manage various teams. They can utilize leadership skills to motivate their crew members, promote collaboration, delegate production tasks, and more.
- Communication: Game directors typically work closely with designers, developers, producers, clients, and other stakeholders.
They need robust communication skills to clarify ideas, give constructive feedback and discuss deadlines and goals with their team. They can also use these skills to connect with potential investors and clients.
- Time-management: As a game director, you need time-management skills to produce new video games by certain deadlines.
Depending on the studio size, they may design various games at one time, balancing different calendars and deadlines.
- Organization: Game directors can use organizational skills to create production calendars and budgets.
- Storytelling: To create plots and characters, game directors should rely on robust storytelling skills.
- Creativity: Game directors oversee the design process and must have strong creative skills to produce new ideas. In addition, they should have an eye for visually appealing graphics.
In the list of the best tools, we have mentioned the 30 game development tools that will help your career.
- Adventure Games Studio.
- Godot Engine.
- Autodesk StingRay.
- Unreal Engine.
- Construct 2.
- Torque 3D.
- Houdini FX.
- Wick Editor.
- Urho 3D.
- Strata Sculpt 3D.
- Pixel Game Maker MV.
- Defold Engine.
- Character Creator Pipeline.
The overall job outlook for game director careers has been positive since 2019. Vacancies for this career have increased by 5.31% nationwide in that time, with an average growth of 5.31% annually.
Demand for these professionals is expected to go up, with a desired 32.000 new jobs filled by 2029. It represents an annual increase of 2.28% over the next years
The average annual salary for a game director in the US is $78,194 yearly. It equates to $37.59 per hour, $1.503 per week, or $6,516 per month.
Most game director salaries range from $30,000 to $121,500, with top earners making about $156,000 annually across the United States. The salary can vary depending on many factors, including skill level, years of experience, location, etc.
- You can follow your passion.
- It allows you to express your creativity.
- Your work generates tangible results.
- There are multiple routes of entry.
- You can work independently.
- Part-time work is available.
- It’s highly competitive.
- You may work long hours.
If you want to become a game director, you can consider the following steps:
Most studios look for game directors with at least a bachelor’s degree. You should consider developing skills by studying programming or design.
- Game design.
- Graphic design.
- Computer science.
- Software engineering.
- Game design and development.
Some game directors decide to get their master’s in design, management, or development to get more skills and experience in the field. It is optional for agencies in most cases but might help gaming professionals earn a director role.
It may also be helpful to research game studios in your area to know what level of education they require or prefer.
Step 2: Get Internship Opportunities.
Several gaming directors complete internships during education or immediately after graduating to gain professional experience and strengthen their skills.
Those internships may include software engineering, video design, or graphic design. You can explore internship opportunities with local design studios to help you start your career.
Step 3: Play games.
As a game director, you need extensive knowledge about games to succeed in your career. Playing new video games and exploring the market might help you develop industry knowledge.
Also, noticing how characters change and how storylines progress throughout the game will help you develop your game preferences. Learning more about the game market and what is being made could help you generate new ideas.
Step 4: Get Professional Experience.
After completing your education, you can get professional experience in many roles within the gaming industry. You may begin your career as a graphic designer, programmer, or audio engineer.
You must consider which path you are most interested in when picking your first job in this field. You can develop your professional skills and learn more about the game market as you work.
Step 5. Develop a Portfolio.
You can utilize a portfolio to show your artistic talents and professional work. It will help you stand out to your potential employers. As a gaming expert, your portfolio may include:
- Examples of graphic designs.
- Links to a game you made.
- Storyboards from your game.
- Photos from a game you designed.
- Examples of programming or mechanical script.
- Videos of your screen as you play a game you made.
You can build your skills by making short apps or games in your spare time. Once you have gained knowledge and experience, you can design and develop longer games. Select some strong examples and include them in your work portfolio.
Step 6: Work as a Video Designer.
Most game directors have five years of professional design experience. Several agencies may consider internship experience or independent design projects towards that requirement.
By using your portfolio, professional experience, and industry knowledge, you can apply for a game designer role. In that position, you can get more experience, develop skills and build new video games for your portfolio.
Step 7: Apply for a Job.
After getting experience as a game designer, it is time to apply for a game director role. Some professionals advance their careers within the same company by applying for a promotion, while others utilize their experience to move into a new role in a new company.
Before applying, you should consider making a resume and cover letter reflecting your industry experience, leadership skills, and technical knowledge. Also, you can revise your portfolio to showcase projects you made while working as a game designer.
The key difference between those two roles is that game directors take on the responsibility of the budget and schedule of a game title and are in charge of making major decisions in the game’s production as well. The game’s success typically falls on the shoulders of the game director.
Your game director career will manufacture its own peculiar brand of stress. Also, sometimes you have to work overtime, weekends, and holidays to fulfill project deadlines or milestones.
Game director is the game’s champion, overseeing all parts of the process to make decisions about a game’s creative vision and direction.
Game directors produce a vital part of a game’s management. Therefore, getting employed in this role requires the necessary skill and experience.
Let’s start by completing a bachelor’s degree in design or art. Then you can hone essential skills and acquire knowledge by taking some proper online courses.