How to become a games designer: Rhianne's story

Meet Rhianne, 23, who uses her creative and technical skills to design video games. Part of our Bitesize world of work series.

Working in video games is my biggest passion ever, and I can't see myself doing anything else in the entire world.

  • Growing up, Rhianne loved video games and had her first games console at six years old. Her love of games ignited a passion for everything creative and digital

  • At school she studied GCSE Media Studies, combining IT with media skills, then she did a BTEC in Games Design and Technology at college. Originally intending to be a concept artist, she discovered she liked games design more and so chose a Bachelors of Science in Game Design and Technology

  • Games design is a very competitive field, so when applying for jobs, she had to make sure she had a portfolio which fully showcased all her skills

  • Now she works with talented developers and generates ideas about how they want each game to play, look and feel. Working alongside the software development and art teams, she puts their work all together in her software and then plays it to test whether it's actually fun to play!

What to expect if you want to be a games designer

  • Games designer salary: £19,000 to £70,000 per year
  • Games designer working hours: 30 to 40 per week

What qualifications do you need to be a games designer?

  • Typical entry requirements. You can get into this job through a university course, a college course or an apprenticeship. You could do a foundation degree or degree in Computer Games Technology, Computer Games Development, Computer Science, Interactive Media or Mathematics. Doing a degree with a work placement could give you an advantage when you look for work. You can also do a Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Creative Media Production or Games Development. You could do an advanced or higher apprenticeship in creative and digital media or software development, or a software developer or junior 2D artist higher apprenticeship. You could start as a quality assurance (QA) tester if you have plenty of experience of game playing. A good portfolio of work or online demo will help highlight your skills to potential employers.

This information is a guide (sources: LMI for All, National Careers Service)

Find out more on the Prospects website about the role of a game designer.

For careers advice in all parts of the UK visit: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

If you’re interested in becoming a games designer but are not sure if your skill set matches up, take a look at the Wheel of Strengths from Barclays Lifeskills.

It’s a nifty interactive tool you can use to identify your skills, interests and personality. It will also suggest jobs that might suit you and identify how building other skills could open up other job roles.

Take a look - your future awaits!

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