Games Design

Games developers design, create and produce computer or video games for personal computers, games consoles, social/online games, arcade games, tablets, mobile phones and other hand held devices. . They work in games development teams with artists, programmers, producers and marketing staff. There are many stages, including creating and designing a game's look and how it plays, animating characters and objects, creating audio, programming, localisation, testing and producing.

(Source:Prospects 2015)

Games developers may be required to perform the following tasks: 

  • Draw up detailed design documentation, including charts and diagrams that outline the various concepts and components involved.
  • Modify and document the program code to correct errors. 
  • Test the game and make amendments to enhance its capabilities.
  • Prepare digital graphics, animations, sound, video, photographs and images for editing 
  • Combine structural, mechanical and artistic elements into the game's environment, such as buildings, vehicles and decorative finishes.


What industry specific and transferable skills are Games companies typically looking for when they recruit graduates? Beyond the technical skills needed for a specific role, companies look for employees who are able to demonstrate a range of key skills such as: 

  • Excellent computer skills
  • A good knowledge and understanding of computer games
  • An ability to demonstrate creativity and imagination
  • Demonstrate a logical approach to problem-solving
  • Work as part of a team and/or project manage
  • An ability to be flexible and adaptable
  • Able to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • Demonstrate patience and attention to detail
  • A willingness to keep up with industry developments and learn new skills
  • Communication – an ability to articulate ideas and information comprehensibly in visual, oral and written forms
  • Generate ideas, concepts, proposals, solutions or arguments independently and collaboratively in response to set briefs and self-initiated activity
  • Employ materials, media, techniques, methods, technologies and tools with skill and imagination whilst observing good working practices

Many of these skills you will have developed whilst studying at university. Take the time to look through the list and try to think of an occasion when you have demonstrated these skills. Try to identify your weaknesses and consider how you might improve your profile.

Using the STAR structure will help you to reflect upon, identify and provide evidence for the whole range of skills you will have developed throughout your time at university, including work experiences such as internships, placements and voluntary or paid part-time work. 

Key Facts about the Games Industry

Games development is a fast-moving, multi-billion pound industry.

  • 8,850 people are employed in the computer games development industry, which is 2% of the whole creative industries.
  • There are around 220 businesses of which: 155 are games development companies; 30 games publishing companies; and 35 games support companies.
  • 25% of businesses employ between 1 and 5 people, 11% between 6 and 10, 18% between 11 and 20, 21% between 21 and 50 people.
  • 68% of the workforce has a degree, but an estimate 90% of entrants since 2000 were at degree level.
  • 27% of the degrees held by those in computer games are media related.                

(Gov UK 2012)

Career Options

Games industry workers tend to be degree educated, especially in highly skilled areas such as programming. However employers often tend to be less concerned with formal qualifications than with relevant experience, portfolios and knowledge of specific software tools.

Many of the most successful games professionals are qualified in the broad-based disciplines that draw on both creative and analytical approaches. The industry recruits both creative individuals and those with more specific technical skills. The games developer job title covers a broad area of work and there are many specialisms within the industry. These include:

Quality Assurance Tester - Programmer, with various specialisms such as network, engine, toolchain and artificial intelligence - Audio Engineer - Artist, including concept artist, animator and 3D modeller - Producer - Editor - Designer - Special Effects Technician

Last modified: 
Wednesday, April 4, 2018 - 14:20