The Gaming Industry is an exciting place to be right now. With the overall Gaming Market right at the cusp of crossing the US$ 100 Billion mark and expected to grow at a CAGR of 6% till 2020, it is one of the most lucrative industries for a career. While PC gaming has been the largest revenue generator for the last decade, it is being quickly overshadowed by Mobile Gaming, with new mobile phones having processing and graphic powers comparable to an entry level PlayStation 2.

Today, some of the biggest gaming studios are porting their games to mobile, whereas others are moving to a mobile first strategy. Within the gaming industry, there are several career options, including game development, game testing, marketing, project management, etc. But none of these is as attractive as Game Design. In the broadest sense, game design refers to the idea behind a game. But it’s come to mean a whole lot more than that. Game designers are creative decision makers. Some “designers” are actually writers who come up with a script for a game or pen the character dialogue.

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If you’re a developer with a creative bent of mind, or a creative person with a development bent of mind, Game Designing could be an ideal career option for you. Here are some helpful tips if you’re just starting your Game Designing career.

Plan Well Before a Project

Projects begin with a Game Design Document (GDD). Many game designers abstain from cultivating design documents and organizing ideas. However, having a well thought out game design document can act as your crutch in difficult times. It will let you see the ideas and concepts that kept you up all night long when you first started on your game development process. It could also help to analyze the portions that needs to be cut from the game to make your life easier, or reworked to make your efforts worthwhile. A game design document acts as a nexus and hub to connect and list every aspect of a game. It consists of written descriptions, images, graphs, charts and lists of information pertinent to each segment of development, and is often organized by what features will be in the game, and plainly lays out how they will all fit together.

Use Placeholder Assets

The early pre-production phase is no time to fiddle with unnecessary details. It is unlikely that the early prototypes will be kept as they are. They are often dumped because they are proof of concepts more so than solid bases for a product. At that stage of a project, you shouldn’t hesitate to use placeholder assets and snippets of code. The only thing that matters, as far as a game concept is concerned, is that you find the right design direction before beginning game development. A placeholder texture in game design is a texture (an image used to color the various parts of a rendered scene) that is used for things that don’t yet have a committed texture or are not meant to be seen at all. It is often very brightly colored so that during design and testing you can easily see what you might have missed such as holes in a level or just not completed. A lot of developers also choose a neutral color for it once the game is released so that mistakes are less visible to end users.
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Update Your Knowledge Regularly

The game industry is one of the most aggressive industries. There are many people with creative minds that are trying to get noticed. What can make you stand out from the crowd? Knowing what trends are going well and being knowledgeable about what is going on in the industry is the key. With the Internet, there are numerous websites at your disposal to know anything you could possibly want to know. Spend an hour everyday catching up on the news from Kotaku, Destructoid, Gamasutra, and VGCharts with other sites getting visits periodically such as Board Game Geek. If you are more of a magazine person, Edge magazine is a strongly recommended magazine with Game Developer being a good source for industry specific needs. As an aside, a game designer who codes is an ideal match for most game studios. You just need to know your fundamentals and to have a few samples of your work to prove your skills. With that, you will have no problem finding work. If you can code, other developers won’t need to interpret your documents and iterate based on your input anymore.
Shorten Iterative Loop

Don’t wait to have a whole slice of gameplay to put your game in the hands of testers. By then, you could have wasted time polishing poor controls, focused on a technical aspect that doesn’t matter to your players, or worked on the system so big that you can only backtrack at a horrid cost. Iterative design is a design methodology based on a cyclic process of prototyping, testing, analyzing, and refining a work in progress. In iterative design, interaction with the designed system is used as a form of research for informing and evolving a project, as successive versions, or iterations of a design are implemented. An iterative workflow means that you should tackle a limited set of rough features at a time and get feedback before you polish them.

Are you looking to begin or enhance your career in Game Designing? betterU provides several courses both on Game Designing and Game Development to help you stand out from your competitors and get a chance to create and work on some of the hottest games at the biggest gaming studios around the world!