Creating a video game requires a big team effort, with the game director being the leader. It sounds cool, right? You will find it challenging yet exciting, especially when you are a gamer!
If you dream of being a gaming industry expert, consider this path. I’ll show you how to become a video game director here. Are you ready to level up? Let’s dive in!
A game director is a professional in gaming production. They are in charge of everything in the production process, including the visuals, sound effects, and coding.
The game directors work with a production team, and they play the leadership role. Thus, they supervise the whole process and all their team members.
Before moving to the director position, they have many years of experience in this industry. They may work for a game studio or agency. Depending on the size of the company, their duties vary.
I’m a game director. To me, this job comes with many challenges and opportunities. I face all of them in my daily tasks, which include the following:
- Design: This task involves deciding how the game looks and sounds. More specifically, I choose the theme and style for the audio and visuals.
- Storytelling: A game has many characters, plots, and dialogues. So I have to create and arrange them properly.
- Collaboration: I also work closely with other designers to plan the game. The topics in our discussions are all about the challenges and characters in the game.
- Team management: I lead a team of designers. It means I have to divide tasks among them and make sure everything runs smoothly.
- Budgeting: Budgeting is an important part of game production. As the director, I decide how much money we need to develop a game.
- Project review: A game development process has multiple stages. I need to check every stage and fix errors.
- Final approval: Once my team has reached the final stage, the game isn’t ready yet. I have to test it carefully before introducing it to the public.
You love games, but working in this industry is totally different. Here are some steps to take for your dream job:
The first step is all about learning. Most game companies want you to have a bachelor’s degree. This certificate shows that you have learned the core elements of the subject.
There are many choices for you to start. For example, you can study computer science. This course will help you work well with computers and make games on these intelligent devices.
Graphic design is also a good path. You will learn to create pictures, animations, and other cool visuals.
Game design and development can be an excellent choice, too. Unlike the other two fields, this major focuses on game development.
Sometimes, game designers study more to get a master’s degree. Since you get a higher education, you can move to a higher job position, such as a director.
Not all game studios need you to have a master’s degree. However, it makes you more ready for the director job. You can also choose a specific aspect of the field to focus on.
You can only create good games if you know a lot about them. And the simplest way is to play them.
There are tons of benefits to spending time on this hobby. For example, when you play new games, you can check out what’s popular in the industry. Then, you can apply them to your new project.
It would be best to try different games regardless of the popularity level. You need to learn good and bad things from them. Who knows, you can think of new and exciting ideas.
In addition to the aesthetic elements, you can learn from the storylines. So observe how the game characters develop throughout the game. It’s an excellent way to dig into a story topic that you haven’t tried before.
After finishing studying at school, you can start working in the real game world. So try different parts of the game production. As a beginner, you can help write code, design graphics, or work with sounds.
You will learn a lot while you work. And the best part is, you get paid for doing something you love.
Of course, the salary for a new game developer is not high. Yet, I swear that you won’t regret this valuable experience.
To be a good game director, you need to sharpen your skills. You can choose what to focus on first, then work on it.
There are many skills to hone. You can shine in your own way. But after years of working in the gaming industry, I find the following skills the most important:
This skill is about creating fantastic sounds and visuals in the games. Both aspects affect the gaming experience of players significantly.
In terms of visuals, you will work with artwork and images. They are what the players see. And regarding audio, you handle the sounds in the game, like audio effects and music. Then, you will enhance the overall experience.
You use computers to develop the games. Thus, you have to communicate with those devices. The key is to use the languages that they can understand. That’s when you need programming skills.
Don’t worry if you are not good at programming. A game director doesn’t have to be a coding expert. Yet, you should understand coding concepts.
There are characters and plots in games. As a game director, you must handle them. This way, players can enjoy the adventures you give them.
Creativity is the heart of game development. With this skill, you can come up with innovative ideas and set your games apart. Then, the players will always look forward to your next products.
You are the leader, so you have to guide and inspire your team. I know it’s hard to balance the energy in a group of talented people. But your teamwork will make the dream work once you can do it.
Communication skills can help with your leadership. Clear communication ensures that everyone on your team is on the same page.
Moreover, you will talk to many people during the game production process. For example, you have to explain your ideas and understand what clients want. You also need to listen to feedback from your team.
This skill is crucial for organizing the development process. You must set deadlines for every part of the game. Then, ensure that your team can complete everything on time.
The portfolio holds all the awesome stuff you’ve made. When you apply for a game director position, the employers will check your portfolio first before inviting you to the interview. So try to make it impressive!
There are many things to include in your portfolio. For instance, you can add pictures of your game designs and links to the games you made.
Another idea is to record the process of making a video game. Then, show you play it. I did one when applying for my current position. And as you can see, I got hired!
Besides, game developers write code for games. Thus, you can consider including examples of some gaming codes in your portfolio.
Remember to choose the best projects. They must reflect your ability in gaming production. They should match the job description, too.
Before becoming a director, you need to work in lower positions. Trust me; nothing is better than working as a video designer. This job will help you learn more and gain experience. You will also improve your skills during this period.
A video game designer works on creating parts of games. Hence, this position requires all the knowledge and skills needed for a game director, except for leadership.
Work hard when you are still a video designer. The games you create will be the shining stars in your portfolio. And after a few years, you can move to the next step.
You are getting so close to the game director now. You have the experience, expertise, and skills to promote yourself.
There are two ways to find a job. First, you can get a promotion at the same company where you worked as a video game designer.
Second, look for a game director job in a new company. Then, you can explore a new world. It can be more interesting than what you have done so far.
Don’t forget to update your portfolio! Employers like a game director with a huge game collection.
Some jobs in the game industry sound like game directors. However, they are different. So don’t be confused! Otherwise, it may lead you to a different path.
In games, these two jobs are quite similar. Game directors create the game and manage the budget. Meanwhile, the producers focus on the business side.
For example, as a game director, you will decide how the game works. Setting the budget is also your responsibility.
However, if you want to become a game producer, you will ensure there’s enough money for the production. You check up the timeline, too.
A director can be more on the technical or creative side. If you choose the technical aspect, you must make sure all the parts of the game work properly.
But if you work as a creative director, you will decide what the game should look like and how players have fun with it.
Game directors are responsible for all the parts of the game. Meanwhile, creative directors work on the creative aspects. They collaborate to create games.
Game directors often work at the game studio. Most of the time, you will sit at a computer to plan and guide your team.
Sometimes, you have meetings with other directors and your team. Together, you talk about how to make amazing games. And those meetings take place inside the studio.
You can work from home, too. Many creative and game directors are self-employed. But even when you are at home, you still need to talk to other experts online.
The average pay for a video game director in the US is about $65 per hour. It may vary depending on your level, experience, and location.
Another plus of becoming a game director is the high demand. Many people play games these days. Hence, game companies want to provide more options.
Moreover, every year, new technologies come out. This growth encourages game developers to create more exciting games.
There are many things to expect when working as a game director. You should know the pros and cons to prepare you for the challenges ahead.
- Passion: This job lets you do what you love – making games.
- Creativity: You can use your imagination to make stories and characters to create a whole new world.
- Different paths: You have many choices in your work. For example, you can start working as a programmer, graphic designer, or video game designer.
- High salary and demand: The demand for this job is high. You also have generous pay.
- High competition: Many people want to work in this role. Thus, you have to work hard to earn a competitive edge.
- Long hours: Developing a game takes lots of time. So be ready to work for long hours.
You can become a game director after taking the steps above. But this journey requires a lot of effort. You also have to hone your skills and expand your knowledge day by day to excel in your role.
You can be a game director that gamers adore and wait for your next projects. Now, let your dream begin!