“How do I become a game designer?”

If we were a medieval scientist or a farmer working on church farms, the most important question we would ask would be whether the earth's being flat or round, or the expression of it, warrants execution. But we are in the digital/digitalization phase of the information age. For this reason, besides our daily concerns, the titles of the important questions of our generation have also changed.

Ever since I entered the game development industry, one of the questions I've been asked the most is, "How do I become a game designer?".

Today, children, young people and even people who want to get rid of the monotonous structure of their work want to be the ones who really design game mechanics, game systems and levels. Their ultimate goal is to turn their passion for gaming into a career.

So what does a game designer actually do?

The answer to this question essentially depends on the size of the studio, the type of game being made and the structure of the team. Because depending on where you work, the design role can be a very general position or an overly specialized position.

For example, in a small mobile game, the game designer might be responsible for every aspect of the design. However, in a larger project this responsibility will be split between game design and level design. In larger projects, these responsibilities will be shared even more. Gameplay designers who focus on momentary changes in the game and system designers who focus on in-game progress can be part of the teams. In addition, in this type of large projects, level designers can be divided into mission designers and open world designers. A technical designer or narrative, ux, economics designer, who is a bridge between design and code, can also be found in teams. 

What are these people actually do?

Among the main tasks of game designers is to come up with ideas for the mechanics and system. If these ideas are approved by team leaders, designers will create detailed design documents and asset lists to help programmers and artists make these ideas a reality. Once these features are available, designers will have the tools to further develop and optimize the mechanics. These tools can be a simple scripting tool for planning interactions or a spreadsheet to modify. In this way, it is ensured that the mechanics and systems designed for the game are optimized. 

Level designers, on the other hand, use materials provided by game designers to create environments for the player to explore and navigate. In most major games, the levels are designed in the form of nonwoven geometric shapes in the gray box, which will be dressed up later by the artists. Level designers can also script specific encounters or link missions in an open world. 

Both roles must be extremely compatible. Because the game designer works closely with artists, animators, programmers, writers and other teams to turn their ideas into a "beautiful" and "playable" device.

Well, if you're interested so far, let's examine the next question;

How to become a game designer?

That's the million-dollar prize question.

From my personal experience, I believe that you need four important qualities to find a job or be employed as a designer;

Thinking in terms of design

Being able to communicate comfortably

Building a strong portfolio to show what you can do

Having some experience in the gaming industry for most roles.

It is up to you/yourself to decide how you can acquire these four features. Now I'm going to tell you how you can get the remaining two features.


My most basic advice on this subject is “Do something!”

Show people that you have the ability to design a game or level, and then put them together in a portfolio. 

In other words, if you want to become a game designer, your portfolio should include small projects that demonstrate the ability to create interesting mechanics or systems. And these projects don't have to consist entirely of games. It could be a restricted game piece, a "game jam" project, or prototypes.

Whatever the case, you must show your work. You should make sure you have clear documentation of how you imagine, design, implement and refine your ideas. So you can offer potential employers indicators of your design and thinking skills. 

If you want to be a level designer, you have to show that you can design a real level.

Whatever you have in your portfolio, make sure you complete it, even if it's incredibly short. Try to focus on your best work and always prioritize quality over quantity. While downloads and documents are great, employers can't play and read everything. Therefore, do not forget to enrich your portfolio with videos and screenshots. 


While some studios have entry-level vacancies for game design, these are the exception and can receive a lot of applications. Thanks to these entry-level postings, you can increase your chances of being hired by gaining experience in the industry. There are several ways to achieve this. These are trainee positions and entry-level work experience positions. You should not forget that if you are successful, you can definitely have work experience that can turn into full-time roles in a game company!

You cannot be selective at this stage. That's why you should gain experience in companies that make mobile games or children's games before jumping into the studios that produce your favorite or blockbuster games.

It's worth noting that other skills and educational background can also help you stand out as a candidate. For example, although coding is rarely needed as a game designer, knowing some programs will help you communicate better with engineers and understand the scripting tools you will use. This is also true for understanding other roles such as art and sound. Also, knowledge of related disciplines such as economics, architecture, art, and psychology can make you a better candidate when competing with those with only game design training.

Finally, besides all these factors, do not neglect the social environment. Building strong industry connections through networking and social media can help you open doors that others can't see.

If you have a resume, portfolio, a graduation certificate related to game design and maybe some experience, your place in the game industry awaits you.