How can I become a Videogame Designer? Schools, Salary and Cost

The truth is, if you enjoy playing games, you will always find that one thing you wish to change. You may not be able to change that particular one, but you can design yours to accommodate your wishes.

The great challenge is, how do I become a Videogame designer? This article will show you the way to achieve your dream career.

No worries, I have compiled all the information to guide you in becoming a video game designer. Indeed, this post answers questions on what a video game is and who a videogame designer is. Also, it provides details on how to become a video designer and the best school for video game design programs.

So, when you are done reading this article, you can start your carrier journey as a videogame designer. You will become Shigeru Miyamoto the second. Creating video games and influencing the entertainment world.

What is Videogame?

A video game is a digital entertainment tool. It is interactive and is played via a computer, a game console, a phone, or a tablet.

The term video game covers a whole lot of different things. However, it refers to sports that take place on the computer.

It also includes interactive TV shows and movies. Simply they are digital board games and card games. In addition, it is a form of media entertainment that is usually an artistic expression.

Furthermore, video games are entertainment mediums one can use for relaxation purposes, the exertion of control, confronting challenges, and achieving goals. Most programmers and other professional claim video game helps them unwind and de-stress after work

Also, a few posit that while playing video games, they have been able to come up with solutions they encountered during working hours. Whoops as interesting as it sounds, Video game has also been proven to be addictive.

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Who is a Videogame Designer?

At this point, we need to get it right. So, we have video game developers, video game designers, and creators. While there is a slight difference between a videogame designer and creator: videogame developers are totally different.

So, to have a videogame, the services of a designer and a programmer is essential. Videogame designers are responsible for the overall creative vision of the game.

Videogame design, basically, is the process of designing the content and rules of a videogame in the pre-production stage. Well, a videogame designer takes the toil of designing the gameplay, environment, storyline and assigning roles to characters.

In addition, the job of a videogame designer is synonymous with that of a movie director. While the programmer is closely related to the job description of a movie producer.

In a nutshell, a videogame designer creates the layout while a videogame developer implements the game designer’s ideas and brings them to life using computer code.

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Notable Videogame designers and their Works

Well, what videogame designers do is enchant their players with new characters, stories, art, and Worlds. The video game industry is growing at a geometric rate.

As it stands, a great number of aspiring designers are coming out of their shells. They are brainstorming ideas, refining existing mechanics, and create our favorite new characters.

To inspire you, here is a list of notable and successful videogame designers and influential creators in gaming history.

Shigeru is the most innovative and influential game designer of all time. Born 16 November 1952 in Sonobe, Japan, he is currently the general manager of Nintendo.

Popularly called Stan Lee and Walt Disney of Video-games by his fans, his works include:

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Born a Japanese, Kojima has been in the gaming industry for over two decades. His first debut is Konami in 1986 and then Metal Gear Solid. Actually, the last shows clearly his love for storytelling.

Metal Gear Solid: The Phantom Pain made it to Play station and a strong contender for the 2015 game of the Year. However, some of his games are:

  • Metal Gear (1998)
  • Metal Gear Solid (1998
  • Snake Eater: Metal Gear Solid 3: (2004)
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (2008)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (2015)

Actually, he left being an Engineer to creating some of the most groundbreaking role-playing games.

The Final Fantasy series is the game work of Sakaguchi born on November 25, 1962, in Ibaraki Japan.

Other notable works include:

  • Final fantasy (1990)
  • Final Fantasy VII (1997)
  • Chrono Trigger (1995)
  • Lost Odyssey (2008)
  • The Last of Us (2011)

What are Video Game Designer’s Education Requirements?

Even though the premium requirement is a high school diploma or GED. However, it is important to get a bachelor’s degree.

Since you will be working in a team to create video games, education is necessary. You will need a good understanding of the English language in creating scripting language and artistic vision for a game.

Subsequently, a game designer’s education is usually a degree in computer science or video game design. In addition, voluntary certifications will help you improve in no distant time.

Furthermore, getting into the best college will help your career. So, choose colleges that have more links to the gaming industry, and more networking opportunities.

Also, consider colleges that can set you up with an internship or two. It may not be an Ivy League school but choose the school with a better reputation.

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What Does it Cost to Become a Videogame Designer?

Basically, the cost of becoming a video game designer depends on the program you enroll in, the school, and program format.

However, the total cost of becoming a videogame creator will cover tuition, fees, books, and supplies in-game programming school. While working towards earning a degree you may also have to worry about housing and feeding fee.

So, getting a bachelor’s degree in computer programming is a bedrock in chasing a career in game programming. Subsequently, an out 0f state student should expect to spend an average of $22,000 a year.

Also, note that this may vary from $12,000 to nearly $40,000 a year if you attend a public or private school. Furthermore, a Bachelor of Science degree in game programming from The Art institute attracts an annual tuition of $24,864.

The University of Advancing Technology will charge $23, 150 for two semesters. In fact, a per credit hour for Game and Simulation Programming degree both online and on-campus is about $609 for seven hours and $365 for more than eight hours.

In summary, to get a degree in game programming may cost from $12,000 to $40,000 depending on the factors above.

How Much Salary do Videogame Designers make?

The major influence on the salary of a game designer is basically years of experience and degree. To earn better, you need to equip yourself both with educational qualifications and years of practical experience in similar industries.

According to a recruiter, video game designers earn on average $70,000-$90,000 annually. Interestingly, these professionals earn the most salary in Washington. Approximately, they earn a compensation fee of $70360.

Also, getting into the Management of Companies and Enterprises will get you an average salary of $69,890. Furthermore, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says video game designers alongside animators and multimedia artists earn an average wage of $76, 560 a year or $36.81 an hour.

How Do I Become a Videogame Designer?

Actually, if you got here with me, you will agree with me that this is a fun spree profession. What do you think about getting paid to create happiness, relaxation and an unwinding medium for the universe?

Let’s see a step-by-step guide on how to become a videogame designer.

#1: Get a degree

Well, if you’re looking at working for a large game studio or with big tech companies, then get a bachelor’s degree. Game programming, game design or computer science are degree options for you to consider.

Basically, it would help if you had a degree that covers 2D and #d modeling, animation, level, and interface design. Also, storyboard rendering, drawing, and scripting are essential to coursework in any game design program you settle for.

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In addition, make sure you play video games, familiarise yourself with playing video games is important. What this does for you is it aids you to discover more effective and efficient ways to create yours better.

Furthermore, join a game design club as a student and discuss games outside the classroom. Make sure that this club covers all facets of game production, it will be useful to you as a future game designer.

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#2. Choose a Career Path

Well, game designers have different specialties for you to choose from. You can either become a lead designer, content designer or level designer.

Obviously, video game designers specialist has different responsibilities. So, aspiring professionals in the gaming industry should consider what type of game design career they want to pursue.

#3. Gain Experience

Well, getting a job as a game creator without experience might be a difficult task. In a nutshell, you must get all the relevant experience in video game design.

A major way to do this is by getting internship offers, training positions and apprentice tags with professional designers and game programming firms.

However, you may choose to work for small business firms that are willing to hire video game designers with no experience yet.

This singular act will get you a better design position in the future.

#4: Design a Game

Now, with all the experience you have gained from work and playing games, create your own game design.

Basically, you may use free and inexpensive programs to create simple games at first. Then, begin working on more complex projects after grasping basics.

Interestingly, you can add every design of yours to your portfolio as a design experience.

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What Do I Learn in Videogame Design Program?

Honestly, even though it is possible, it is not advisable to separate game design from game development.

This is because you need to understand how the codes work to be an efficient designer. Then you can align your design to meet specifications.

So, most game design programs cover Computer science, game design, practical programming, and Mathematics alongside logic. Well, let’s see what each of these entails.

In computer science, you will learn operating systems, programming methodologies, and algorithms alongside input and output.

Basically, this will aid you to understand your developers and not make impossible demands.

Most videogame designing programs will teach programming. Actually, a course or two in this will help you perform simple coding tasks to make the game run more smoothly.

More importantly, it will teach you how to make your computer do exactly what you want in the designing stage of a video game.

As funny as it may sound, you never will understand the importance of mathematics and logic till you need to find a way to get your artificial intelligent robot to behave.

So, it would be best if you had this to help you define your ideas about mechanics design.

How Do I Become a Videogame Designer without a Degree?

In as much as you need at least a bachelor’s degree if you wish to work for big companies, You can still be a game designer without a college degree.

Basically, what this means is you would have to devote your time learning and unlearning every day. Also, you will need to work closely with a professional videogame designer. In fact, you would have to pay rapt attention to get all the basics.

Then, you must watch a lot of videogames if possible try your hands on as many as possible. In addition, you would have to create your own designs following all you learned by yourself.

Interestingly, your game designs will add up as work experience in your portfolio during the job hunt.

However, you sincerely need a degree, you never can tell, you might want to work with the big shots in the gaming industry.

How Many Years of College Do I Need to Become a Videogame Designer?

Well, how many years you spend in school to become a videogame designer depends solely on what you want. For Instance, if you want to be a freelance videogame designer for yourself or just for fun; you may take a three to four months’ training to perfect your skills.

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However, if you wish to make a career out of this passion, then you need a degree. This may cost you four years in an undergraduate program and 2 to 3 years for a graduate program.

What are the Best Schools for Videogame Design?

Well, I bring to you the best universities in the world to get a degree in videogame designing. Like we said earlier, there are no such programs in videogame design.

However, prestigious universities in the world offer certificate programs, and a bachelor of science program in related courses. Here is a list of the best schools to get a degree in Video game design.

Full Sail University

FSU offers several programs in Game design, game development and animation degrees specifically for aspiring game designers.

Actually, Full Sail offers classes online and on-campus for Gaming programs such as Bachelor’s and Master’s programs.

In fact, it offers Bachelor of Science degree programs in

  • Game Design
  • Game Art
  • Computer Animation
  • Mobile Development

Also, it offers a Master’s program in Mobile Game design. Consequently, getting this degree from Full Sail University may cost you about $23,116.


University of Southern California-Los Angeles

This university ranks number 1 in USNews world rankings for best schools for design. Consequently, the university boasts of four video degree programs, two as an undergraduate degree and the other two as a graduate degree.

This university is in the same city as Hollywood the biggest entertainment industry in the world. California also houses the world’s biggest tech giants like Silicon Valley, Netflix, and others.

Interestingly, students in this department receive the best hands-on instruction from professionals working in the gaming industry. To get any of these four degrees in USC, you may have to part with $52,283.


University of Utah, Salt Lake City

Basically, the University of Utah offers a video game development program that allows students who are tech-savvy to work collaboratively in learning how to produce a good product.

Interestingly, if you choose to study videogame design in this school, you will have access to valuable internship opportunities. Actually, this is because of the relationship the university has with EA Sports in Salt Lake City.

It is quite interesting because it builds the experience segment of your portfolio. Furthermore, here are the design programs available in Entertainment Arts and Engineering department

  • Bachelor of Science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master’s of Entertainment Arts and Engineering


New York University, New York

The Tisch School of Arts offers programs that award associate, bachelor of art and master of art in Fine Arts.

Actually, the school makes the programs available for future video game makers. If you choose to get any of these degrees at New York University, you will have access to valuable resources.

Well, these resources include media and Games Network, game center Open Library and The university’s Game Center.

However, to get admission you need a GPA of 3.66 and it may cost you about $49,062 except of course you get a scholarship.


DigiPen Institute of Technology, Redmond, Washington.

Digipen offers both graduate and undergraduate degrees in arts that you need to start a career as a game designer.

Actually, it has great support for Nintendo and has grown to become one of the best schools for gaming.

The school boasts that they have programs for you in case you want to make games as an artist, designer, software developer or programmer.

Digipen has the following videogame designing program.

  • Bachelor of science
  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Master of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of Fine Art
  • Master of Fine Arts

Basically, getting a degree from Digipen to further your Videogame designing career may cost you about $29, 000.


How to Become a Videogame Designer FAQs

Is it hard to become a game developer?

Basically, you need determination and passion. Throughout your career journey. So, it is not hard to become a game designer. Get the basic requirement, create as many game designs as possible and you can become a videogame designer.

How long does it take to become a game developer?

Practically and Judiciously, it may take you 3 to 4 months to get concrete experience and buid your first game design. However, it may tak you four or Six years if you intend getting a bachelor and master of science degree in game design.

Can I get a degree in game design?

Yes, you can if you judiciously learn from home every day. However, if you’re looking at working for big game firms and companies, get a degree in game design or related courses.


In the entertainment world, the gaming industry is gaining ground. This post seeks to answer profound questions on videogame design.

In addition, you must understand the different levels of videogame designers, choose a niche and grow in it.

We also analyzed that even though a degree is not a prerequisite, getting one is important if you’re looking at working for big companies and firms.

Furthermore, this post states clearly the difference between a videogame designer and a videogame developer.

Subsequently, the study cost and expected salary are also found in this post for your reading pleasure. In summary, this post provides a detailed guidelines on how to become a videogame designer.



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