So you’re a gamer. You spend your weekends slaying the Covenant and hunting orcs. You stare into your television set longingly, absolutely enamored by the beautiful artwork that game developers all over the world are able to bring to you right there in your living room. The video game industry is a vast and quickly growing field and if you’ve got the drive and the artistic talent, game design could be the perfect job for you.
Video games are one of the most visual mediums we have. Epic worlds are created, with thousands of details that the casual gamer may never even see. A cast of hundreds, dozens more monsters and villains, and fantastic landscapes and worldscapes populate all of the greatest games. Rightfully, there are hundreds of artists whose job it is every day to design these wondrous images for games. The video game industry is built on the artistic talent of a few very gifted individuals, one of whom could be you.
The most important thing to remember is that you must not only be incredibly talented, but willing to put in the hard work and learn. The video game industry has its own niches and rules just like any other career and when you jump into game design, you’d better be ready to learn them.
It’s only recently that the game industry has even begun to hire special artists. The technology didn’t use to allow for it. But now, every character and building must be carefully designed before it can go into a game. As a game artist, you’ll be working on 3D models, 2D sketches, hand-sculpted models for use in 3D modeling, and much more. You should be prepared for any facet of artistic expression and be fully willing to offer any and all amazing ideas.
Game artists will work directly under the art director and game designer, the two figureheads of game design elements. Generally the job will consist of bringing to life all of the concepts presented by the writers and theorists. But, absolute artistic freedom is not necessarily given to all game artists. You must be flexible in your design, willing to work with the programming limitations of your game.
If you create something you find epic and beautiful and your game designer comes back and tells you that it’s not going to work in the program, or the technology is insufficient, you must be capable of reworking your vision. Game artistry is as much art as it is structured design, almost like architecture. It’s a team effort, in which you give and receive feedback constantly.
Game artistry is just one of many possible jobs in the video game industry. You might find you aren’t comfortable with your artistic talent, or that you’d rather work directly on modeling, or you’d like to be one of those writers. There are many other job options in the video game industry to look into if art design isn’t for you and if you’re set on working in game design, you should check out them all.