With billions of gamers globally, gaming is a rapidly growing industry. So, more and more people want to become a game director. This post will help you know whether this job is for you.
Keep scrolling and see the benefits and challenges of working in this position!
A game director is responsible for overseeing the development of a video game from concept to completion with these tasks:
- Come up with the game’s main idea and style.
- Lead and manage a diverse team of artists, programmers, designers, and other experts.
- Work with designers to create gameplay mechanics, levels, and systems.
- Work with writers and artists to build the game’s characters and plot.
- Help sort out any problems that come up during the game-making process.
- Playtest the game, provide feedback, and make necessary adjustments to improve gameplay, graphics, and overall polish.
- Liaise with stakeholders to make sure the game is what players want.
My following exploration of the ups and downs of the game director career will help you answer whether to pursue it. Let’s check!
Let’s begin with the benefits I get when working as a game director, including creative control, a competitive salary, a stable career, and diverse career paths!
Game directors are paid well, especially in the US. In 2023, on average, it’s around $182,583 per year. That’s broken down into an average base salary of about $149,725 per year, plus some extra income (bonuses, tips, etc.) of about $32,858/year.
This salary is attractive, right? The reason for this good pay is that a game director is in charge of ensuring a game gets made from start to finish, and that’s not easy. Plus, the gaming industry is growing, and there’s a high demand for great games.
So, in this role, not only do you get to do something you love, but you also get paid well for it. It’s a win-win!
The best part of working as a game director is the creative control I have when making a game. I mean, I get to make the game my way and make the game different from others. I can add cool and fun ideas that no one has seen before.
I love to have the final say on all major decisions related to the game, including the game’s story, characters, gameplay mechanics, and art style. It is a big responsibility, but it is also incredibly rewarding!
Games are more popular than ever, and they keep getting bigger. So, it’s no wonder I assert that game directing is a stable career. There are many job opportunities as you can work on all game kinds, from mobile apps to big console titles.
The longer you’re a game director, the better you get at it. You learn a lot, and that makes you even more valuable to game companies. So, downsizing in this position while the gaming industry is growing is seemingly impossible if you do your job well.
If you pursue this career, you can choose from many paths within the gaming world, with various game genres (action-packed shooters, puzzle games, educational games, etc.) and platforms (PCs, consoles, mobile devices, virtual reality).
As you can see, being a game director has its upsides, but there are also some downsides that come with the job. Let me share three of the most significant challenges in this role!
As a game director, I often have seriously long workdays with tight schedules and deadlines that can lead to extended work hours.
Sometimes, I work late into the night and on weekends, especially as a game nears completion, making it challenging to find time for my personal life, family, and friends.
One of the challenging parts of being a game director is that the success or failure of the game largely rests on my shoulders.
My decisions throughout the development process impact significantly how well the game turns out. If the game is a hit, that’s great, but if it falls short of expectations, I’m the one who has to answer for it.
Moreover, it’s not just about pleasing players; it’s also about meeting the expectations of those who invested in the game, like publishers and investors. The fear of letting down my team or not reaching goals is a heavy burden.
I find leading a team of different people with various skills and personalities tricky because I must handle different opinions and find ways to resolve conflicts.
Ensuring the team stays motivated and excited throughout the often long development process is another challenge. Keeping everyone on the same page with the game’s vision, managing their expectations, and addressing their concerns is a lot of work.
As you can see, this role is not just about managing tasks but also maintaining a positive and productive team atmosphere.
From the above pros and cons, it is evident that this career is attractive for those who want to work in the game development industry.
However, because whether or not it is a wise choice depends on your circumstances and goals, you should answer these two questions before making the final choice:
- Is it your passion? In this role, you will work long hours and deal with stress, so you must be passionate about gaming to succeed.
- Do you have the necessary skills and experience? You need to understand all aspects of game development, from design to programming to art. You also need to be good at collaboration skills.
I believe you definitely have your answer after considering these things! Please share your choice in the comments section!
Have the seven advantages and disadvantages of being a video game director above given you the answer about pursuing this career?
Ultimately, here’s the deal: If you’re super into games and ready for the challenges, it can be a great choice. However, it’s not a walk in the park, and you need to know what you’re getting into.
Thank you for reading!