CAREER GUIDES

Here's how designers use different styles to design computer games

Image: 123RF/georgejmclittle.

Game designers are the creative thinkers in the development of a game, and they become the story-tellers in how the game is to be played. They produce the game design document and develop games for educational, entertainment or computer platforms.

There are different styles of computer games:

Simulation - where the player takes on a real-world simulation.

Strategy - where the player takes on opponents using strategic and tactical moves

Role-playing - where the player controls characters in fantasy or science-fiction environments

Action - where the player needs a quick eye and reactions to make his moves against a character.

The degree of programming is dependent on the type of game. In small projects, game designers do the design and most of the programming, whereas in larger projects, they may do the design only and the programming will be done by other people. They work with a team of programmers, developers and animators.

Personal requirements

  • Highly creative and dynamic
  • Computer-literate and technically minded
  • Able to work under pressure
  • Prepared to work long, irregular hours
  • Analytical, skilled at solving problems

How to enter

Schooling & school subjects

  • National Senior Certificate meeting degree requirements for a degree course
  • National Senior Certificate meeting diploma requirements for a diploma course

What to study

Computer Science related degree for programmers, Art qualification for game artists. Most tertiary institutions offer computer courses in programming.

Examples of places to study: Degree: BSc Software Development - RU BSc Information Technology: Computer Games Design - UCT, BIS Multimedia - UP

Diploma: NDip Information Technology - UJ, NMMU

Employment

  • Computer software companies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Game developing companies
  • Self-employed, with appropriate experience

Getting Started

  • Develop your computer skills
  • Speak to game designers about this career and ask permission to observe them at work
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