Becoming a game designer?

Right, so I'm in my junior year right now and I've already got an awesome college picked out. As a matter of fact, I've already got my entire education mapped out around level designer. Here's the thing, I know that when it comes to the game business, there is nothing that replaces experience! I was wondering if anyone could suggest a way of going about obtaining this experience. And also maybe any programs, books, articles that would help me learn level design.

Of course if any of you have any other suggestions on how to get ahead, your words of wisdom are more than welcome. Much thanks!

Update:

Ryot-yeah that's what I though, but I looked at the Guild Hall at SMU and they had this class called level design and it said that you would be writing the story, and designing the levels, etc. I guess that's just the course. thnx for clarifying. so I guess what I meant was that I want to become a game designer, not level designer. I want to be able to have some more creative freedom and be able to tell my stories. Sorry for the mix up.

2 Answers

Relevance
  • Ryot
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    For level designing (aka world building, level building, etc), going to a school that focuses on game art and/or level building will help you put together a good portfolio, which is really all you need to get hired as a level builder. Game companies do often hire level builders and artists directly out of college, with no experience other than their portfolio.

    However, if you want to add to your portfolio and get a little amateur game experience as well, the best thing to do is to work on mods, building new levels for existing games. You can work with a team (there are communities online that focus on this and nothing else) or by yourself, both will get you valuable experience.

    In the end, though, it all comes down to your portfolio, so while in college, focus on making that as impressive as you possibly can.

    And just FYI: within the game industry, “game designer” and “level designer” are two separate jobs, usually two separate departments. Game design focuses on the writing and math behind all the tiny details of the gameplay, while the level designers create the physical spaces for the game to take place within.

    Source(s): Professional Game Designer since 2003
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Maybe you can look into colleges and schools offering a co-op solution. So that you can work with a gaming company during the summer, earing money and experience.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.