Designing games attracts many creative individuals. You might start out enjoying video games while growing up. You might like fighting games like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter or puzzle games like Tetris and Dr. Mario. Maybe you like racing games, sci-fi games, or horror games.
No matter what you’re into, at some point, you realize you should make this your life. You decide you’ll plunge into it once you graduate high school. If you’re lucky, your parents and other important people in your life will support you completely.
Game design offers both rewards and challenges. You might love the whole enterprise once you learn what goes into it, but maybe it will turn out differently than you imagined.
We’ll discuss potential game design pitfalls right now.
You Need Technical Expertise
Expertise is one thing you’ll need when you get into video game design. If you don’t have it, then you can’t design games. It’s that simple.
That means you must attend school, probably for years, before designing games. It’s true that sometimes you’ll encounter a self-taught game designer. They’re called autodidacts. The word means someone who learns something on their own, without formal schooling.
For the most part, though, you’ll attend college and learn to code. Without that skill, you might describe what you want in a game to someone, and they can design it for you. That’s not really game design. If you can’t learn to code, you lack the fundamental skill this job requires.
Not Completing the Game on Time
Let’s say you learn about coding. You master some of the skills, and a video game company hires you. They might say you should work on a project already in progress. Most designers can’t work on their own ideas right out of the gate.
You must try to get the video game you’re working on ready for launch by a certain date. The company might announce a launch date, and you’re part of a team trying to make that happen.
If you can’t get the game ready by that date, your bosses at the company won’t like that. Maybe you’re running into problems, and you can’t overcome them before the announced launch. The company might have to push it back.
Time constraints matter in the gaming world. You might face some intense pressure if you take on this job. Keep that in mind. You will put in some long hours, and sometimes you can’t see your family very much.
You’re Encountering Resource Restraints
Sometimes, you are up against a deadline when making a video game, and you may feel like you don’t have the resources you need. Maybe you have encountered some serious glitches in the game, and you can’t launch it till you fix those.
You may have to go through lines of code one by one, which takes weeks. You may not have enough players who can continually test the game while it’s in beta to see whether you’ve solved the problem.
These resource restraints might frustrate you. If you are understaffed or underfunded, you may wish you’d tried a different profession sometimes.
You’re Not Getting Along with Your Coworkers
The video game design industry has some amazing, creative minds. It also has some massive egos. The best designers don’t have an ego that gets in the way, but few people in game design fit that mold.
It’s rare that you get someone completely selfless who’s a team player. Instead, you might encounter game designers who want the glory and the name recognition, and they don’t play well with others.
You must suppress this instinct in yourself and get past it in others as well. If you have some people working with you who serve crucial functions, you must sometimes placate them and stroke their egos to get the desired results.
That can frustrate you. You might play nice and say soothing words if you need this person’s skill, but inside, you might see the because you wish they’d do their job and not delay the process when you’re facing a tight deadline.
You need both people skills and technical prowess for video game design. It’s not easy, and you might find it infuriating sometimes.
Still, when you finish a game and take it live, you might enjoy that feeling more than you could ever imagine. You’ve created something, and for many designers, that makes it worth it. This profession is certainly not for everyone, though.