What is the difference in a Game Designer and a Game Developer?

There are numerous careers involved in the design and development of a video game. The two areas of interest, the game designer or the game developer, although very similar, are also different. Depending on your interest and skills, you may choose one or the other, however, it is possible to do both with the proper education and the creative ability that they require.

Which career you choose in gaming may depend on what kind of thinker you are: If you are the creative type and enjoy coming up with original ideas, you might want to become a game designer. If you prefer programming, the technical aspect of gaming, then you might want to pursue a career as a game developer.

The game designer is one who creates the initial framework and overall concept of an original video game. They have a creative vision of what their game should entail and how to play it. They bring that vision to the programmer to develop the technology to bring it to the consumer as a new marketable product.

Designers know how they want a game to be played and know what the rules should be, they design the layout, storylines, combat systems and weapons, character profiles, object placements and level play. They convert character art drawings and map and terrain designs into computer graphics. Designers use their craft to satisfy the needs of the video game player. As an experienced video gamer themselves, they understand what the game player wants in a game. A well-educated game designer creates a good video game foundation to build upon.

The game designer’s career typically requires an online bachelor’s degree in gaming related subjects such as production or game art and design. Designers must be willing to work on teams and work closely with programmers. The average annual salary of a game designer is $85,240 annually, depending on experience.

A game developer knows the programming technology behind creating an excellent video game. They are responsible for implementing the process using coding languages to bring the design ideas to life. They take the designer’s original idea, they insert art and sound and other programming components, which in turn, converts it into a playable game.

A knowledge of coding languages such as C and C++, as well as others are required to accurately complete the game and turn the designers vision into a reality. In this day and time, there are many pre-built computer software programs that help developers with the technical part of game design, however, each company may use a different gaming engine so knowledge in these areas is useful.

Gaming developers should hold an online bachelor’s degree in game design with a concentration in math, logics and computer skills. Most degree holders have a degree with an emphasis in computer science or software engineering. The game developer earns an average salary of $83,060 per year, depending on experience and size of company.

With your online bachelor’s degree in game design, you will be able to see the original idea of an exciting new video game begin in the creative process and end up on the biggest box store shelves in America. Although a gaming career can require tight deadlines and extremely stressful work conditions, seeing a dedicated gamer playing a game that you designed is very exciting! A career in game design or development will be a challenging, yet a rewarding and lucrative career choice.

We researched and found the Best Online Schools for a Bachelor’s in Game Design!  Take a look around!